Hope in the face of disaster: anthology seeks eco-fiction submissions

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(Image by Maria Korolov via Midjourney.)

Exile Editions announced an open call for submissions yesterday for a new anthology, “Through the Portal: Stories from a Hopeful Dystopia.”

The collection, which is being edited by Lynn Hutchinson Lee and Nina Munteanu, is looking for submissions of all-new works of eco-fiction, which is a brand of literature that focuses on the environment as a major aspect of the story. The anthology will feature stories that celebrate the complexity of relationships and the emotional and physical journey from catastrophe.

There is no fee for submissions, but there is a limit of 3,500 words and the work must be previously unpublished. The payment is 5 cents per word, in Canadian dollars.

The anthology was inspired by the words of Indian author Arundhati Roy, who said, “Historically pandemics have forced humans to break with their past and imagine a world anew. This one is no different. It’s a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it dragging the carcasses of our prejudices, our hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies. Or we can walk through it lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

“Dystopias embrace an element of hope through a character’s experience, and can serve as a road map for individual or community endurance, resilience, and triumph,” said Lee and Munteanu in a statement. “We want to showcase stories that imagine a future where the environment plays a crucial role in the narrative.”

Stories can be literary or speculative, with the environment playing an essential role in the narrative.

The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2023, and more information can be found on the Exile Editions website.

According to the announcement, the anthology will accept fiction submissions as well as visual content in the form of black and white illustrations accompanying a story or prose poem, or as graphic stories.

“We want submissions from everyone, emerging through established, including but not limited to LGBTQ2S+, Black, Indigenous, marginalized, under-represented, culturally diverse, and persons who are disabled,” said Lee and Munteanu.

Lynn Hutchinson Lee is a multimedia artist based in Toronto who has exhibited her work in Canada, Latin America, and Europe. She is known for her thought-provoking and visually stunning work that often addresses environmental and social issues.

Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist and internationally published novelist of science fiction and fantasy. Her work often explores the intersection of science and technology with the natural world.

The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2023. More details and the submission form can be found at https://exilepublishing.submittable.com/submit/.

Meanwhile, NASA reports that the past nine years have been the warmest years since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.

According to a report released earlier this month, 2022 was the fifth warmest year on record. Global temperatures in 2022 were 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for NASA’s baseline period of 1951 to 1980, according to an analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

“This warming trend is alarming,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement. “Our warming climate is already making a mark: Forest fires are intensifying; hurricanes are getting stronger; droughts are wreaking havoc and sea levels are rising.”

The data shows that Earth in 2022 was about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the late 19th century average. The Arctic region continues to experience the strongest warming trends, with temperatures close to four times the global average.

“The reason for the warming trend is that human activities continue to pump enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the long-term planetary impacts will also continue,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of GISS, NASA’s leading center for climate modeling, in a statement.

MetaStellar editor and publisher Maria Korolov is a science fiction novelist, writing stories set in a future virtual world. And, during the day, she is an award-winning freelance technology journalist who covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and enterprise virtual reality. See her Amazon author page here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Email her at [email protected]. She is also the editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business, one of the top global sites covering virtual reality.

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