Call for Submissions: Prediction, Innovation, & Futures

Vector and Focus invite proposals from academics of all disciplines, and from industry, policy, and practice backgrounds, on the theme of speculative fiction in relation to prediction, innovation, and futures. Please see here for the full call.

The principal output will be a special issue of Vector, guest edited by Stephen Oram, and relevant proposals will also be considered for publication in Focus (ed. Dev Agarwal), and/or for online publication. Prospective contributors are encouraged to move conversations forward; to challenge received wisdom; to historicise the use of speculative fiction within science communication, policy, foresight, innovation, education, and research contexts; and/or to reflect in detail on your own personal experiences of using speculative fiction. Contributions may take the form of:

  • articles of any length;
  • snapshots / key findings / lightning summaries of your research or activities;
  • methods and tools, and/or reports on their use;
  • interviews, roundtables;
  • other formats — be as innovative and imaginative as you like!

We especially welcome proposals from BIPOC contributors, and/or proposals which connect applied speculative fiction to themes of diversity, decoloniality, and social, environmental, and economic justice. Priority fields of interest include futures studies, innovation studies, Science and Technology Studies, applied ethics, and the history and philosophy of science. Topics might include prediction, modelling, decision analysis and decision support, hacking and makerspaces, speculative design, critical design including Critical Race Design, anthropological futures, design fiction, diegetic prototyping, strategic foresight, wargaming, anticipatory governance, predictive data analytics, algorithmic governmentality, speculative fiction as technology, speculative fiction and aspects of methodology such as reproducibility and validation, user stories as a form of speculative fiction,  science communication, protoscience, exploratory engineering, design futurescaping, experiential futures, serious gaming or participatory scenario workshopping, financial modelling and financial activism, creative disruptions, future fabbing, the use of speculative fiction to engage communities and stakeholders, the ethical obligations of the speculative fiction writer, the use of speculative fiction to facilitate interdisciplinary encounters, the use of speculative fiction to model risk and uncertainty, issues around speculative fiction and Intellectual Property, the sci-fi-industrial complex, Indigenous futurisms, energy futures, education futures, all kinds of futures, and the history and future of the future. 

Submission details

Please submit proposals by 5 September 2021 to Very early proposals very welcome. A proposal should typically contain:

  • a 150-500 word proposal;
  • an estimated word count; and
  • some information about you, e.g. a 50-100 word bio or a CV.

We seek contributions that are carefully grounded in research, while also being clear, engaging, and suitable for a broad audience (including non-academics). Articles will be due by 1 February 2022.


SFF and Justice

UPDATE: Deadline extended to July.

Vector and Focus invite submissions on the theme of SFF and Justice. The call is open to all, but we have an explicit preference for hearing from authors from BIPOC backgrounds and other historically marginalized voices. Please send your proposals to by 9 May 9 July. Vector will be publishing a special themed issue, with Stewart Hotston as guest editor. For more information see the Call for Submissions, and the supplementary list of suggestions and inspiration.

Call for Papers: HG Wells: From Kent to Cosmopolis

Andrew M. Butler asks me to draw attention to this conference, and who am I to refuse an ex-Vector editor?

H.G. Wells: From Kent to Cosmopolis
An international conference to be held at the Darwin Conference Suite, University of Kent at Canterbury, England
July 9-11, 2010


The conference marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the H. G. Wells Society in 1960 together with the centenary of Wells’s comic masterpiece The History of Mr Polly. It will take place in what Mr Polly found to be the ‘congenial situation’ of Canterbury, the Kentish cathedral city within easy reach of Folkestone and Sandgate where Wells lived in the early twentieth century and wrote some of his best-known works.

We shall examine Wells both as a novelist formed by local circumstances of his time and place, and as a thinker and social prophet who remains intensely relevant today. We aim to discuss Wells’s links to modern science fiction in all media, his imagining of worlds to come, his political, social and ecological expectations for the 21st century, and his success as an artist and controversialist both then and now.

We invite proposals for papers on all aspects of Wells’s life and writings: his science fiction, his novels and short stories, his political, sociological and autobiographical works, and his contributions to education, journalism and the cinema. In keeping with the conference title ‘From Kent to Cosmopolis’ we hope to attract contributions which relate the local to the universal in his writings and/or look at Wells’s achievements in relation to wider cultural, historical, temporal and spatial perspectives.

250 word abstracts for 20-minute papers should be sent by 1 March 2010 to Andrew M. Butler and Patrick Parrinder at

Priority booking for the conference at bargain rates is available up to 30 June 2009. Contact the Hon. Treasurer, Paul Allen, at