We are raising funds to publish a special anthology of disability-themed speculative fiction, Accessing the Future, co-edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad, to be published by Futurefire.net Publishing.
Futurefire.net Publishing is the publisher of both The Future Fire magazine of social-political speculative fiction, and of two previous anthologies, Outlaw Bodies (2012, co-edited by Lori Selke) and We See a Different Frontier (2013, co-edited by Fabio Fernandes). Djibril al-Ayad, a historian and futurist, co-edited both volumes and has edited TFF since 2005.
Kathryn Allan is an independent scholar of feminist SF, cyberpunk, and disability studies, and is the inaugural Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellow (2013-14). She is editor of Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure (2013, Palgrave MacMillan), an Associate Editor and Reader of The Future Fire, and her writing appears in both academic and popular venues. She tweets and blogs as Bleeding Chrome.
This anthology will call for and publish speculative fiction stories that interrogate issues of disability—along with the intersecting nodes of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both the imagined physical and virtual spaces of the future. We want people of all abilities to see themselves, as they are now and as they want to be, in our collective human future. The call for stories will open immediately after this fundraising campaign ends.
What We Need & What You Get
Our minimum target is to raise $4000 so that we can publish a semi-pro anthology with approximately 10-12 stories paid at a rate of $0.03/word. If we raise this much funding, we’ll go ahead with the project in this relatively modest form.
But we want to do more!
Help us reach our first stretch goal of $7000 and we will raise the pay rate to the level of $0.06/word and publish and market a full, professional anthology. This money would cover the cost of paying around $300 for each of 12 stories, plus cover art, publicity and advertising, review copies, rewards for supporters, and all the other bits and bobs that come with publishing an all-original collection of exciting speculative fiction.
And we don’t need to stop there. Once we reach the $7000 target, more stretch goals will be announced, including a larger anthology, higher pay rates, and internal artwork.
We’re very excited about the rewards and perks on offer to our contributors: as well as e-book or paperback copies of the anthology itself (and other Futurefire.net Publishing volumes, if you like), we will be producing a limited edition hardcover version of the anthology in 50 copies only, not available except to supporters of this campaign! *New!* You can now also claim an exclusive poster print of the cover art (not shown, as not finished yet; recent cover art above) by our fantastic artist Robin E. Kaplan. You'll have to trust that this art will be just beautiful, but if you don't believe it, check out her portfolio and Etsy store!
If you’re a writer, you can also bid for a story critique from one of the TFF editors (up to 10,000 words; only six available) or a novella critique from professional copyeditor and script doctor Maureen Kincaid Speller (up to 40,000 words, only three available). We’re offering a limited number of copies of an e-book bundle: all three Futurefire.net anthologies, the five volumes of Lyda Morehouse’s multiple award-winning AngeLINK series, generously donated by Wizard's Tower Press, *plus* a revised and otherwise-unavailable short story by Lyda Morehouse set in the AngeLINK universe: “The Case of the Missing Devil Child”. There’s also a very limited, one-of-its-kind print bundle, the three FFN anthologies, plus first editions of the first three volumes of Lynda Williams’s Okal Rel Saga, signed and containing unique memorabilia (e.g., manuscript pages). At the higher levels, you have the opportunity to have characters in forthcoming works named after you (or a person of your choice) by amazing authors such as Lyda Morehouse (AngeLINK series),
Morgan J. Locke (Up Against It) (taken), Steve Gould (Jumper) (taken), Tiptree Award-winner Nisi Shawl (taken) and multiple award-winning Nicola Griffith (Ammonite; Hild) (taken).
We've already reached the first target of $4000, and are well on the way to our first stretch goal of $7000 for a full-size, professional rate paying anthology. We'll post more stretch goals when we get closer.
Inspired by the cyberpunk and feminist science fiction of yesterday and the DIY, open access, and hacktivist culture of today, Accessing the Future will be an anthology that explores the future potentials of technology to augment and challenge the physical environment and the human form—in all of its wonderful and complex diversity.We are particularly interested in stories that interrogate issues of disability—and the intersecting nodes of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both physical and virtual spaces. Disability is a social construct, and all bodies do not fit into or navigate the material environment in the same way(s). Personal and institutional bias against disability marginalizes and makes “deviant” people with certain differences, but it doesn't have to be that way.
We are asking:
- How will humanity modify the future world?
- What kinds of new spaces will there be to explore and inhabit? Who will have access to these spaces and in what ways?
- Given that we all already rely on (technological) tools to make our lives easier, what kinds of assistive and adaptive technologies will we use in the future?
- How will augmentations (from the prosthetic to the genetic) erase or exacerbate existing differences in ability, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, and race?
- What does an accessible future look like?
Accessing the Future will be a collection of speculative fiction that places emphasis on the social, political, and material realms of being. We aren’t looking for stories of “cure,” that depict people with disabilities (or with other in/visible differences) as “extra special,” or that generally reproduce today’s dominant reductionist viewpoints of disability as fixed and a problem to be solved. We want stories that place emphasis on intersectional narratives (rejection of, undoing, and speaking against ableist, heteronormative, racist, cissexist, and classist constructions) and that are informed by an understanding of disability issues and politics at individual and institutional levels. We want to hear from writers that think critically about how prosthetic technologies, new virtual and physical environments, and genetic modifications will impact human bodies, our communities, and the planet.
We have both edited collections of academic essays. In addition, Futurefire.net published two previous fiction anthologies, and ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for We See a Different Frontier, and has the experience and network to produce and market a professional anthology.
Risks & Challenges
There are always risks associated with a publishing venture like this: we might not receive as much funding as we need (in which case we’ll produce a more modest anthology, or special themed issue of the magazine); we might not receive as many truly awesome stories as it would take to fill the volume (in which case we’ll reopen the call for submissions and get more creative with reaching out to the writing community); or the volume might not sell many copies (in which case at any rate the bases are covered, the authors are paid, and we may just be a bit less excited and ambitious next time).
We honestly don’t think any of these are high risks, because this is an awesome project and many people are supporting us already, but as editors and publishers we know things don’t always go as well as we hope, and so we have strategies for dealing with these sorts of problems. Even if the worst comes to the worst, we’re confident of being able to deliver the perks for your support, and the anthology will happen come hell or high water.
Other Ways You Can Help
Have a minute to spare? We would be grateful for any support and signal boosting for our fundraising campaign. Please tweet, blog, and share links to our campaign for Accessing the Future. We talk about this campaign at the TFF blog, at Djibril and Kathryn’s Twitter accounts, and Facebook. You can also use the buttons here on Indiegogo to share this fundraiser with your friends and contacts.