I’m really pleased to be able to announce that there will be another series of near-future fictions for Virtual Futures and this time I’ll be co-curating with Stephen Oram. Other writers Stephen will be co-curating with are Allen Ashley, Britte Schulte and Vaughan Stanger.
It’s going to be good…
So, authors and poets, we need your best imaginings of the future of infection and infestation, of personhood, of war and of brains.
Successful stories and poems will form a series of live reading events in London between February and May 2018 with an opportunity to be included in an anthology of Virtual Futures Near-Future Fictions.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Virtual Futures events, take a look at some of the video footage here https://m.youtube.com/user/virtualfutures
We are open for submissions until 21 December 2017 on the following themes:
1. The (dis)ease of the i-Mortal: Born of earth or brought back from far away, biological or viral invasions or diseases can affect humans on any scale; from protecting or plaguing an individual to becoming an epidemic that affects us all. Take on a topic that Literature has meditated on from its inception; from Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, to Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, to Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude, to Camus’s The Plague, to King’s The Stand.
Show us the good, the bad, but not the bland; we are relying on you to predict the future of infection and infestation in any of its various forms. What is the nature of the diseases, contagions or contaminations have in store?
Curated by Allen Ashley and Stephen Oram
2. E-Me’s: The digital world is a personality playground that offers us an unprecedented ability to curate and create a public persona — but what does this ability mean for the future of personhood?
As the digital world expands around us and the Internet of Things combines the physical and virtual do we have a moral obligation to represent ourselves with truth and integrity in the digital realm, or should we view it as an opportunity to explore new and radical ontologies?
Curated by Britte Schulte and Stephen Oram
3. Tomorrow’s Battles: War has, so far, been inevitable throughout human history – but what will the future of conflict or cooperation look like? Will the discoveries of the future lead us to a world without violent disagreement, or just result in us killing one another in more creative ways? Paint us your future of what kind of conflict – or lack of – will emerge from the caldron of tomorrow’s technologies: what utopia or dystopia will we be exposed to?
Curated by Jule Owen and Stephen Oram
4. Post-Brain: As technology gets smarter and smarter, the human brain is forced to reflect on itself in the mirror of the future and question what value it will have in a world in which wet tech, cerebral hacking and commodified consciousness could reign. A world not of enhancement or augmentation, but replacement. We implore you to enquire what the future of our most precious organ will be, while you still have one.
Curated by Vaughan Stanger and Stephen Oram
Stories or poems should be no longer than ten minutes reading time (around 1,000 words for stories) and the author/poet should be available to attend the event, preferably to read their work although alternative readers can be found.
Submissions should be emailed as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org with Near-Futures Fiction, the title of the work and the relevant theme in the subject line. Please include your name and title of your work in the document name.
Submissions for more than one theme are very welcome, but not multiple submissions for the same theme. Please attach a separate file for each submission.
The work can already be published, but the author must have permission for it to be used in the context of the Virtual Futures events and anthology.
The deadline for submissions is 21 December 2017 and successful authors and poets will be notified in January 2018.