And lately, the sun
Bushland is burning. Forecasts say the Arctic will be ice-free in the summers to come. Oceans are swelling with the run-off, and heaving with plastics and endocrine disruptors. Coral is dying, and the knock-on effects have barely begun.
Climate change is here. Now what are we going to do about it?
Do we need to help the environment change as fast as the climate? Release chemical mutagens into the ecosystem to drive natural selection at a hundred miles an hour so we can see what survives on the other side?
Is it time to reinvent our social, political, and economic systems from the top down – or the bottom up? Our current lifestyles could become as alien to the next generation as the Aztec civilisation now is to us. In a world of guerrilla-style eco warriors, or digitised barter economies, or robot socialism, or ageographical nation states, what will we preserve? Which threads will we weave forward?
Or could it be that a more gradual transformation of our destructive policies is the way to safety, taking each set of problems one box at a time? Our future could look much like our present, but with supercharged carbon sequestration, genetically modified bacteria safely breaking down plastics, and next-generation smart phones. How does it start? What drives it onward?
Or do we need to move backwards? Our answers may not lie in the new, but in the old. Perhaps our best future is a radical rebuilding of history, and all we need to decide on is whose.
And Lately, The Sun explores such ideas in a short story anthology slated for publication in November 2020. We are currently calling for submissions until midnight (GMT) on the 30th of June, 2020.
Word count: 2000-8000 words per story. Stories with word counts falling outside these limits will be considered, if exceptionally crafted.
Stories should be for readers of the English language. We are flexible in our use of English and invite a broad range of vernaculars. Be considerate of your audience but stay true to your world.
We encourage a diversity of authors, characters, and settings. We want to hear from and about all cultures, locations, genders, orientations and abilities.
Simultaneous submissions and multiple submissions are accepted, but please submit each story separately (one story per submission), and let us know immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. We accept previously unpublished works only (please do not submit material which has been published on personal websites).
What we’re looking for:
We want to see stories which thoughtfully investigate potential futures under our changing climate.
Give us substantial characters, vivid worlds, shiny (and not-so-shiny) wonders. Let us see not only new technology, but how society works with it – how we think, how we relate, how we live under its influence. Show us how we’ll obtain or produce our material needs. How we’re born, how we’ll grow, what will ail us, how we’ll die.
Show us how we’ll play and work. Who we are, and who we could be.
Please submit completed, polished work.
What we’re not looking for:
Stories designed to alarm people into taking notice of climate change. Your story must explore functional solutions, and not simply highlight problems. Show us a future with future in it.
Violence, sex, or gore, if present, must be integral to the story, and must not be the main point of the story.
Pitches are not accepted. Unedited work, or work littered with errors of spelling, punctuation, or grammar will not be accepted.
Stories should not rely on footnotes or glossaries. To a reasonable degree, please guide your reader by using context and structure. For everything else there’s search engines.
We are not looking for essays. Please send us fiction only.
Standard manuscript format. Please remove all author information from the manuscript, including headers and footers.
Payment and rights:
We pay AUD$80 per accepted story as our standard rate. One story will receive an “editor’s pick” payment of AUD$500. All authors will receive a contributor copy of the e-book. This buys us first world electronic rights, including HTML, PDF, and plain text formats, and non-exclusive anthology rights. Payment is made within 30 days of publication via PayPal.
Bear in mind that most publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web, so for all intents and purposes after your work is published by us it can only be marketed as a reprint. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work according to the conditions offered is what you want to do.
The collection will be published in eco-friendly e-book format.
How to submit:
Submissions are accepted via email at email@example.com .
Please send your story as an email attachment. Make sure all author information is removed from the attachment. Attachments may be in .txt or .doc format.
The subject of the email should contain the title of your story and your name. The body of the email should contain your name and contact details, plus any relevant information about yourself, your previous publications, or experience or qualifications relating to the story.
You will receive an email confirming that your submission has been received.
Open for submissions until midnight (GMT) on 30th of June, 2020. Responses will be sent within one calendar month from the submission deadline.
We regret that we cannot give personal feedback on submissions.