“[Persistence] is a truth that applies to more than writing. It applies to anything that is important, but difficult, important but frightening. We're all capable of climbing so much higher than we usually permit ourselves to suppose. The word, again, is persist!”

—Octavia E. Butler

 [ Issue 2014.30; Cover art © 2014 L.E. Badillo ]

Issue 2014.30

Short stories

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Welcome to The Future Fire issue #30: that feels like a bit of a milestone, doesn't it? Looking over our back issues since 2005, we've certainly learned a lot about editing a magazine in that time.

The other big news this month is that we're about to kick off another fundraiser for a themed anthology. TFF associate editor, and independent scholar of feminist science fiction, Kathryn Allan will be co-editing Accessing the Future, an anthology of speculative fiction stories that interrogate issues of dis/ability—along with the intersecting nodes of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both the imagined physical and virtual spaces of the future. On August 2nd we'll be launching on Indiegogo to try to raise the money to pay authors a fair word-rate, offering loads of great perks as well as the opportunity to pre-order copies of the anthology. Watch our Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages for more news on that. If you can help, whether by supporting the fundraiser, boosting the signal, or in any other way, we'll be eternally grateful!

This fabulous issue contains five great stories, stories that are beautiful and useful, stories that shake up what we expect of language, of society; that shock what we think it means to be human, to be alive, to be plugged into the world exo-brain; that question what we expect of the future, of the last frontier, of the new start. These stories are unforgiving of the power structures of the world, be they patriarchy, body normativity, unfettered corporatism, or old élites; they are scathing of those who would use the excuse of race or cult or creed or identity or wealth to make war on other humans or on the planet itself; but they also show us the beauty of the world that can be, that is, that we are.

This is what the finest stories do—and we want to see more of them.

If you have an unforgiving heart for the ills of the world, but an eye for beauty in language, and you write fiction that is socially and politically aware, inclusive of all classes of people, especially the underrepresented and those at the intersections of disadvantage, why not try to write us a story that joins a classic speculative genre with an unexpected progressive theme? We want to read your postcolonial horror; your queer cyberpunk; your genderqueer space opera…

Go on, shock us!

Djibril al-Ayad, July 2014

Comment on the stories in this issue on the TFF blog.

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