Sunday 10 June 2012

We See a Different Frontier: Call for submissions

We are seeking submissions for a colonialism-themed anthology of new stories told from the perspective of the colonized, titled We See a Different Frontier, to be guest edited by Fábio Fernandes and published by The Future Fire.


It is impossible to consider the history, politics or culture of the modern world without taking into account our colonial past. Most violent conflicts and financial inequalities in some sense result from the social-political-economic matrix imposed by European powers since the seventeenth century—even powerful countries such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have to be viewed through the filter of our history to fully appreciate their current circumstances. The same is true of art and literature, including science fiction; as Rochita Loenen-Ruiz eloquently explained, “it is impossible to discuss non-Western SF without considering the effects of colonialism.” Cultural imperialism erases many native traditions and literatures, exoticizes colonized and other non-European countries and peoples, and drowns native voices in the clamour of Western stories set in their world. Utopian themes like “The Final Frontier”, “Discovering New Worlds” and “Settling the Stars” appeal to a colonial romanticism, especially recalling the American West. But what is romantic and exciting to the privileged, white, anglophone reader is a reminder of exploitation, slavery, rape, genocide and other crimes of colonialism to the rest of the world.

We See a Different Frontier will publish new speculative fiction stories in which the viewpoint is that of the colonized, not the invader. We want to see stories that remind us that neither readers nor writers are a homogeneous club of white, male, Christian, hetero, cis, monoglot anglophone, able-bodied Westerners. We want the cultures, languages and literatures of colonized peoples and recombocultural individuals to be heard, not to show the White Man learning the error of his ways, or Anglos defending the world from colonizing extraterrestrials. We want stories that neither exoticize nor culturally appropriate the non-western settings and characters in them.

We See a Different Frontier will pay US$0.05 per word, with a minimum payment of $50, plus the possibility of royalties if sales are good enough. We are looking for stories between 3,000 and 6,000 words in length; we are willing to be flexible about this wordcount, but the further a story falls outside this range, the harder a sell it will be. Please do not submit stories that are also under consideration elsewhere. Query before sending more than one story to us. We are unlikely to be interested in reprints unless they were published only in a market that is not well-known to an anglo-american SF audience, but in any case please query before sending a reprint, explaining when and where the story has appeared before.

Please send submissions as an attachment (.doc[x], .rtf or .odt) to The deadline for submissions is midnight UTC, October 31, 2012.

About the publisher: The Future Fire is an e-published magazine showcasing new writing in Social-Political Speculative Fiction, with a special interest in FeministSF, Queer SF, Eco SF, Postcolonial SF and Cyberpunk. See for more details.

About the editor: Fábio Fernandes is a SFF writer and translator living in São Paulo, Brazil. His short fiction in Portuguese has won two Argos Awards in Brazil. In English, he has several stories published in online venues in the US, the UK, New Zealand, Portugal, Romenia, and Brazil. He also contributed to Steampunk Reloaded, Southern Weirdo: Reconstruction, and The Apex Book of World SF Vol. 2. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Fix, Fantasy Book Critic,, and SF Signal. He is also the non-fiction editor for International Speculative Fiction.


Steven said...

Quick point of clarification: You want SF stories from the point of view of the non-Anglo/non-Earth entities involved in the story?

Djibril said...

@Steven: We're less concerned with the narrative POV of the story itself, than we are with the cultural perspective it brings to the question of colonialism. We want stories that tell us about colonialism from the perspective of the colonized, informed by understanding or experience of real world colonialism and all the facets of life that are affected by historical colonialism. Using aliens to stand in for colonized humans is probably not the best way to do that (partly because it may lead to simplification and stereotyping, not to mention exoticization of the colonial experience), but if you have a story that you think fits the call, then feel free to send it and we'll see if it works for us.

Sara said...


This sounds like an excellent project. Much needed. Do you have an estimate on response times to submissions?


Djibril said...

@Sara: apologies for not spotting this comment sooner (it was in the spam trap awaiting moderation).

It's hard to give an estimate on response times for the anthology, because what we'll do is read stories in several rounds. So if a story is being considered for inclusion it will be kept for longer, and some stories may be kept right up until the end of the reading period in September and still not quite make the final line-up. But we will try to keep you posted if your piece is kept for a second-round reading.

Sara said...


Just a quick question. When submitting, should we include our name on the story, or just in the cover letter? I know that the regular Future Fire submissions need to be anonymous, but I didn't see anything one way or another here.

Thanks much.

Djibril said...

Sara: no, you don't need to anonymize submissions for this anthology. Just send the manuscript in standard format, and we'll do what needs to be done. Thanks for asking.

Djibril said...

Edited to extend closing date to October 31st, 2012. Keep the stories coming in!

Anonymous said...

Any sense of when those who submitted might hear something?

Djibril said...

@Anonymous: we're almost done with the first read-through of all submissions, so most people will hear soon (early December, I'd say). We then just have to fight over the shortlist, but I hope we'll have a final decision on the contents before the end of the year. Thanks for your patience!