“The waves of the Aegean are not just washing up dead refugees, dead children, but the very civilisation of Europe.”

—Alexis Tsipras

 [ Issue 2015.35; Cover art © 2015 Laura-Anca Adascalitei ]

Issue 2015.35

Flash fiction

Short stories

Novelettes

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This is the fourth and last issue of TFF in 2015. Sometimes you need a hit of something beautiful. Maybe a nice cup of luxurious, exotic tea; maybe a divinely prepared rice dish; some derivative poetry from the far future’s distant past; fiercely political, feminist action fantasies that sing or howl their fury into the night; or just a little bit of perspective. The stories in this issue will offer you all of these things, as well as warmth, energy, beauty and unapologetic hope.

Hope sometimes means you can see light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes that you think things will get better (that 190 countries signing a convention will be enough to keep us alive to the end of the century, say). Or hope sometimes merely means you have the strength to keep fighting, to never bow your head, to die on your feet. Sometimes it takes strength not to stop crying for the next in a long line of increasingly dehumanized corpses.

It’s been a pretty scary year—millions of people driven from their homes, fascists of all stripes squirming out of the woodwork like the worms they are to take advantage of the unease and panic caused by these huge population movements and the violence that displaced them. At the same time, some great supportive and progressive movements have also raised their fists to keep hope alive. But, shit. What a year on all fronts.

In this, TFF’s tenth anniversary year, we released Accessing the Future, a disability-themed SF anthology co-edited by Kathryn Allan. Now TFF-X: Ten years of The Future Fire has just appeared, our celebration anthology featuring fifteen short stories and fourteen shorter, experimental pieces (poems, drama, pseudo-criticism, absurdism) to showcase some of the best of the last decade and our hopes and desires for the next. And we’ve been putting together an anthology of pan-Mediterranean horror and fantasy stories, poems and multi-lingual tales, Fae Visions of the Mediterranean, which is due out in a few months.

So let’s celebrate hope. If fierce, political, inclusive and diverse science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird can serve as a tonic to boost our capacity for hope even the littlest bit, let’s strive to keep making it.

Djibril al-Ayad, December 2015

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

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