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ANNOUNCING THE SFF/BSFA AGM 2024

The SFF AGM, in conjunction with the BSFA, will be held online on Saturday, 22 June. Our Guest of Honour will be Nina Allan. All members of the SFF are welcome to join the AGM - a link will be available presently from our Chair, Graham Sleight. There will also be two SFF events. At 10 am, there will be a panel celebrating the work of Christopher Priest and Brian Stableford, with our guests Paul Kincaid, Adam Roberts and Lisa Tuttle. And, at 2 pm, Nina Allan will be in conversation with Sarah Brown. All welcome!

Please see the full programme below:

  9.45: Start

10.00: SFF panel - Remembering Christopher Priest and Brian Stableford (guests: Paul Kincaid, Adam Roberts, Lisa Tuttle; chair: Paul March-Russell)

11.00: BSFA panel - Eugen Bacon and Francis Gene-Rowe are joined by writers from Fission #4

12.00: BSFA AGM

13.00: SFF AGM

14.00: SFF GoH - Nina Allan in conversation with Sarah Brown

15.00: BSFA GoH - Wole Talabi in conversation with Gareth Worthington

16.00: Close

Published 31 May 2024 (updated 18 June 2024)

ANNOUNCING THE PETER NICHOLLS ESSAY PRIZE 2025

We are pleased to announce our next essay-writing competition. The award is open to all post-graduate research students and to all early career researchers (up to five years after the completion of your PhD) who have yet to find a full-time or tenured position. The prize is guaranteed publication in Foundation in 2025.

To be considered for the competition, please submit an original article on any topic, period, theme, author, film or other media within the field of science fiction and its academic study. Approximate length should be 6000-8000 words. All submitted articles should comply with the guidelines to contributors as set out on the journal pages of the SF Foundation website. Only one article per contributor may be submitted.

The deadline for submission is Monday, 6 January 2025. All competition entries, with a short (50 word) biography, should be sent to the journal editor at paulmarchrussell@gmail.com The entries will be judged by the editorial team and the winner will be announced in the spring 2025 issue of Foundation.

Published 7 March 2024

 
CALL FOR ARTICLES - 'SCIENCE FICTION IN THE 1870s'

To mark the 150th issue of Foundation in spring 2025, we would like to include contributions on the topic of sf from 150 years ago, published during the 1870s. Darko Suvin once proposed 1 May 1871 as the starting-point for sf – the day that Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race was published, George Chesney’s The Battle of Dorking began serialisation, and Samuel Butler submitted Erewhon to his publisher. Jules Verne, however, was already in full swing and he would soon be joined by such contemporaries as Camille Flammarion. Where else can we trace the roots of science fiction in the 1870s? How can we reassess the writers we know and who are the writers we need to rediscover?

We welcome articles on any aspect of science fiction published between 1870 and 1880. Articles should be 5000-8000 words long and written in accordance with the style guide available on the website (www.sf-foundation.org/journal). Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ideas of utopia

  • Humans and machine technology

  • The impact of evolution and the biological sciences

  • Sf and the invasion novel

  • Sf and astronomy

  • Satire and allegory

  • Science and pseudo-science

  • Space travel and other worlds

  • Exploration and voyages of discovery

  • Race and empire

  • Gender and sexuality

  • Arnold, Huxley and the ‘two cultures’ debate

  • Sf and the non-anglophone world

 

The deadline for articles is 7 October 2024. Please email your submission to paulmarchrussell@gmail.com with a short (50-word) bionote.

Published 7 March 2024

 
CALL FOR PAPERS - WOMEN IN THE BLACK FANTASTIC

Following the success of our conference in 2022, the SFF will be organizing a further two-day online event in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University on 7-8 December 2024.

The theme of the conference will be 'Women in the Black Fantastic' and will mark the 40th anniversary of Octavia E. Butler winning both the Hugo Award for Best Short Story and the Nebula Award for Best Novelette.

In the past decade, and especially since the posthumous success of Parable of the Sower (1993), Butler has become a pillar of contemporary science fiction and fantasy. She has been joined by such authors as Malorie Blackman, Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, Nisi Shawl and Rivers Solomon. But, under the umbrella of such movements as Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism and Indigenous Futurisms, Black female creators have been innovating speculative fiction in a variety of other media – film, music, comic books and the visual arts. Over the weekend, we want to celebrate the achievements of women working in, what Ekow Eshun has dubbed, ‘the Black fantastic’, and to look critically at the challenges that they face.

We invite 20-minute papers on topics that may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • The legacy of Octavia E. Butler

  • The short story and the short fiction anthology

  • Race and literary awards

  • Utopia and dystopia

  • Speculative fiction and postcolonial theory

  • Hybridity, abjection, borders and the human body

  • The Black cyborg

  • Black sf and YA fiction

  • Gender, sexuality and non-heteronormative identities

  • Race and climate change fiction

  • Migration, exile and displacement

  • Alternate history and time travel

  • Sf and the African Diaspora

  • Legacies of empire and the slave trade

  • Black sf and Astrofuturism

  • The role of editors, publishers and agents

 

Proposals of up to 250 words with a bionote of 50 words should be sent to Dr Paul March-Russell at paulmarchrussell@gmail.com by 2 August 2024. We also welcome suggestions of panels. A selection of the papers will be published in Foundation in 2025. All proceeds from the conference will help support the Maureen K. Speller Travel Fund for independent scholars.

Published 7 March 2024

 
DOMENICO DI ROSA WINS PETER NICHOLLS PRIZE

We are delighted to announce that Domenico Di Rosa, a PhD student at the University of Glasgow, has won this year's Peter Nicholls Essay Prize with his article on 'Naomi Mitchison's Revision of "Pure" Science and Phallic Utopias in Solution Three'. Domenico's article will appear in the spring issue of Foundation. Details for next year's prize will be announced shortly.

Published 13 January 2024

 
CALL FOR PAPERS - A BILLION AND FIFTY YEAR SPREE: SCIENCE FICTION AND ITS HISTORIES 'AFTER' ALDISS

Keynote speakers: Paul Kincaid and Prof Lisa Yaszek

The Science Fiction Foundation is partnering the University of Liverpool's Olaf Stapledon Centre for Speculative Futures in a hybrid symposium on 23 January 2024 to mark the 50th anniversary of Brian W. Aldiss's Billion Year Spree (1973). Considering the contours, eddies, and alternative canons of sf history, the conference will explore what has shaped and continues to shape our understandings of the genre ‘through’ and ‘after’ Aldiss and his work. We are inviting presentations and talks from students, scholars, and fans of sf to present on Aldiss’s criticism and approach to sf, as well as those that reflect movements and ideas that have emerged or become foregrounded since 1973.


It is envisaged that the range of papers will be comparatively broad, to account for the plethora of approaches that participants will have. However, the following list provides a sense of the areas we imagine will be covered to some degree:


• The impact of Aldiss’s Billion Year Spree (and the subsequent 1986 Trillion Year Spree by Aldiss and David Wingrove), and how it relates to the development of the genre, and our understandings of it.
• Mapping ‘Science Fiction’ (or SF or sf or SciFi), what it is and does, and the contours and borders of the ground the genre might be said to cover, then and now.
• The ‘Origin of the Species’ of Science Fiction – new or contested starting points for the genre and its numerous subgenres and offshoots, its eddies and alternative canons.
• ‘Future histories’ of sf production and reception, and its uses, directions, and concerns, across time, geographies, cultures, and media.
• ‘Alternative histories’ of sf – counterfactuals or provocations that enable us to consider the route(s) that sf has taken over time.
• ‘Yesterday and Tomorrow’ – what histories and critical frameworks have been suppressed or overlooked in science fiction criticism—such as queer, feminist, and non-Western perspectives—and how alternative frameworks have emerged since the publication of Billion Year Spree.
• Genealogies and historiographies of Science Fiction – critical or creative explorations of the criticism and analysis of Science Fiction, particularly those that engage in some way with Aldiss’s work.


Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to futures@liverpool.ac.uk , with the subject ‘Aldiss Conference’, no later than 30 November 2023, alongside a brief author bio. It is intended that selected papers from this conference will be considered for a special issue of Foundation, to be published in winter 2024.

Published 26 October 2023

CALL FOR PAPERS - FICTION 2000 AND BEYOND

To mark the fortieth anniversary of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, in 2024 Foundation will be publishing a special summer issue devoted to the legacy of cyberpunk in the twenty-first century. Cyberpunk culture is conspicuously everywhere – from books and films to videogames, pop videos, TV shows, fashion, advertising, and the visual arts. If cyberpunk was once ‘cutting-edge’, what future does it have when AIs and virtual/augmented realities are increasingly part of everyday life? When global corporations such as Facebook are encouraging its customers to inhabit ‘the Metaverse’, what function does cyberpunk have? Do the spiralling uses of the ‘punk’ suffix (steampunk, solarpunk, hopepunk, etc.) suggest a new afterlife for cyberpunk, or do they describe a loss, fragmentation or dissolution of its original identity? Instead of focusing on cyberpunk’s heritage, we want to concentrate in this special issue on its legacy, and what cyberpunk means now in the context of the twenty-first century as its association with the high watermark of postmodernism has waned. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

 

  • The novels of William Gibson since 2000

  • Cyberpunk and women writers – Madeline Ashby, Pat Cadigan, Annalee Newitz, Justina Robson, Tricia Sullivan, etc.

  • After The Matrix: cyberpunk cinema since 2000

  • Cyberpunk TV – Altered CarbonBlack MirrorElectric Dreams, etc.

  • Cyberpunk and the video games industry

  • Cyberpunk and the graphic novel

  • Decolonising cyberpunk – postcolonial responses in art, literature and film

  • Cyberpunk and Afrofuturism

  • Commodifying cyberpunk in fashion and advertising

  • Body horrors: cyberpunk and the medical humanities

  • Into ‘the Metaverse’: cyberpunk, virtual reality and AI

  • After Haraway: cyberpunk, cyborgs and posthumanism

  • Cyberpunk, solarpunk and climate change fiction

  • Ghosts of the Digital Age: cyberpunk, the city and hauntology

  • After the Singularity: cyberpunk and transhumanism


Articles of 6000 words in length (plus 10% leeway) should be submitted, alongside a short bionote, to the editor (paulmarchrussell@gmail.com) by 8 January 2024. Submissions should be laid out in accordance with the style guide available at https://www.sf-foundation.org/style-guide They will then be assessed by the editor and the guest editors, Anna McFarlane and Will Slocombe. Final revisions will be due for May 2024 with publication in that summer's issue (no. 148).

Published 2 July 2023

NEW TRUSTEES APPOINTED

We are happy to announce that, at today's AGM, Una McCormack, Charul ('Chuckie') Palmer-Patel and Andy Sawyer were confirmed as new trustees of the SFF. Andy, former SFF Librarian and long-time Book Reviews Editor for Foundation, needs no introduction to SFF members. Una is a New York Times bestselling author, co-founder of Gold SF, and a frequent contributor to BBC Radios 3 and 4. Chuckie is founder and co-editor of Fantastika and the author of The Shape of Fantasy (2020). We welcome all three of them!

Published 17 June 2023

MAUREEN K. SPELLER TRAVEL FUND NOW AVAILABLE

In honour of our departed friend and colleague, Maureen Kincaid Speller, we are launching an annual travel fund of up to £500 to enable independent scholars to pursue their research. The fund can be used to attend conferences, workshops and archives both in the UK and overseas. This has been made possible by the profits from the When It Changed conference held online in December 2022, for which we thank all the attendees. For further details, go to our new Research and Travel Funds page on the website. 

Published 1 May 2023

 
TOM DILLON APPOINTED AS SFF CURATOR

We are happy to announce the appointment of Tom Dillon as the new SFF Curator at the University of Liverpool. Besides being a graduate of Birkbeck College, London (where his PhD supervisor was Prof Roger Luckhurst), he is a former member of the LSFRC organising committee and the Beyond Gender Collective. Tom is already in post but he officially starts on 15 May. Enquiries can be sent to his university email - T.Dillon@liverpool.ac.uk 

Published 30 April 2023

 
PETER NICHOLLS ESSAY PRIZE 2024

We are pleased to announce our next essay-writing competition. The award is open to all post-graduate research students and to all early career researchers (up to five years after the completion of your PhD) who have yet to find a full-time or tenured position. The prize is guaranteed publication in Foundation (summer 2024).

To be considered for the competition, please submit an article on any topic, period, theme, author, film or other media within the field of science fiction and its academic study. The work should be original and not previously published. Approximate length should be 6000 words. All submitted articles should comply with the style guide. Only one article per contributor is allowed to be submitted.

The deadline for submission is Monday, 4th December 2023. All competition entries, with a short (50 word) biography, should be sent to the journal editor at paulmarchrussell@gmail.com The entries will be judged by the editorial team and the winner will be announced in the spring 2024 issue of Foundation.

Published 17 February 2023

FOUNDATION EDITOR LAUNCHES NEW SCIENCE FICTION IMPRINT

Paul March-Russell and Una McCormack have launched a science fiction imprint, Gold SF, devoted to new feminist writing, to be published by Goldsmiths Press. The call for submissions is below:
 

Gold SF - Call for Submissions

Goldsmith’s Press is seeking to establish a dedicated imprint to publish feminist science fiction. We believe that sf and speculative fictions offer a mode of critical and utopian thinking ideally placed to address contemporary issues. We are therefore looking to commission novella and novel length work which answers to the times, dealing with subjects such as:

·      Anti-rationalism and the rise of the alt-right  

·      The climate crisis and feminism in the Age of the Anthropocene

·      Global movements of populations and refugees

·      New visions of race, class, and queerness

·      Expanding frontiers in gender and sexuality

·      Decoloniality and indigenous knowledge traditions

·      Pathways to resistance and rebellion 

We are particularly keen to hear from new voices not traditionally represented by science fiction, literary fiction, and liberal feminism.

Enquiries to: Ellen Parnavelas - E.Parnavelas@gold.ac.uk

Editorial board: Abi Curtis, Elizabeth English, Joan Haran, Una McCormack, Paul March-Russell, C. Palmer-Patel, Aishwarya Subramanian and Sheree Renee Thomas

Follow us at: https://twitter.com/GoldSF_Books

Published 17 April 2020 (updated 2 July 2023)

 
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