THE WORLD TO COME
All writing anticipates the future if only because it presupposes the reception it will receive there. The very notion of reading compels writing to speak of the world it is destined to inhabit—the world to come. Even those writers who write only of the past still end up producing shadowy forms of the future.
The present time of writing is an especially precarious moment in which the writer is always at risk of slipping into the future as they trawl through their memories. The world to come is always snapping at our heels. After the end of everything at the end of the 20th century—of ideology, of the nation state, even of history—everything now feels as if it is once more about to begin.
Still what a future confronts us! Rising oceans threaten to overwhelm the species they once spawned; technology is slipping ever deeper under the skin of the not quite human; wars are being waged against enemies we hardly recognize.
The future feels foreshortened. Apocalypse may not be now… but it is pending.
Is the world to come to be here on earth? Or will it be wherever it is that eschatological fervour sets the scene of the future?
Present thinking about the world to come feels like squabbling in a crowded room, and so perhaps it is the short story—arguably the most nimble and surefooted mode of writing—that is best suited to cutting through the clamour and gaining a headstart on the future.
We encourage submissions of previously unpublished short stories for a proposed international collection about the world to come… whatever it might be… wherever it might be… and whoever will be there, or not, to call our present past.
Any genre of story is welcome, including but not limited to science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, realism, magic realism or naturalism.
The suggested word length is between 3000 and 5000 words. Please include a brief biographical note with your submission.
Payment will be negotiated once the publishing contract is signed.
The deadline for submissions is 29 February 2012.