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 email@example.com , 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 Carbon, Black Mirror, Electric 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 email@example.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)