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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
In this issue you’ll find several insightful articles: “The Dystopian Narrative: an Analysis of Texts that Portray Nightmarish Futures” by Giovanna Chinellato; “The Needle and the Wedge: Digital Games as a Medium for Science Fiction” by Monica Evans; and “Amazofuturism and Indigenous Futurism in Brazilian Science Fiction” by Gama and Garcia.
Paul Kincaid‘s regular column, “Kincaid in Short,” is devoted in Vector 291 to a short story by Brian Aldiss, “The Girl and the Robot with Flowers”. There are three highlighted book reviews from The BSFA Review by Andy Sawyer, Maureen Kincaid Speller and Kate Onyett, as well as a special review-essay by Nick Hubble about Sideways in Time: Critical Essays on Alternate History Fiction, edited by Glyn Morgan and C. Palmer-Patel. Finally, this issue features a review-essay by Dev Agarwal “Us: A film about ‘Them’?”, a conference report by Jasmine Sharma on “Productive Futures: The Political Economy of Science Fiction,” and several artworks by the artist David Lunt.
A science fiction and fantasy author with a background in physics and finance, Stew Hotston is something of a Renaissance man (right down to the sword-wielding bit). Vector sent Robert S. Malan for a friendly duel of words …
Tell us a little about your work to date – are there distinct strands linking the stories you tell?
Yes, for sure. Despite moving around across SF, fantasy, horror and the just plain weird, there are a couple of themes which recur. One theme is family. Not always blood, but always who we choose to be vulnerable with, who we choose to have by our side when we’re facing challenging times. I think asking who those people are and what we’d do for them are interesting questions, no matter the setting.
The other recurring theme for me is worlds on the edge of collapse. I like returning to the idea of how times and places, which at first appear idyllic, have nearly always required bad decisions to get there, and these will lie in wait, festering until their time comes again. It’s a little of dealing with the past, but also about asking what price we are willing to pay in order to get what we want.
Finally, you’ll see a lot of dreams in my books. Not in an ‘it was all a dream’ kind of way! But as ways of characters processing what’s going on, as ways of communication and, even in the hardest SF, to remind us there’s more out there than we’ve dreamed of (literally).
What motivates you when it comes to storytelling, which can be a hard and lonely craft at times?