Not afraid of the ruins is a new collaborative writing project for utopian dreamers, other-worldly explorers and psychonautic adventurers, scholars, activists, students, and critics. Over the past year, we’ve collected stories and critical essays, reviews and poetry—all dedicated to science fiction, climate fiction, and utopian imaginings. The goal of this section is to regularly showcase new, original, creative and critical reflections to foster intimate and productive conversations across the intellectual and creative arts.
The fertile ground between science fiction and social/environmental justice has long been an arena for speculation and exploration by academics, activists, and creative writers. From the academy to the field and beyond, the works of science fiction writers such as Octavia E. Butler, Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood (among many, many others) have presented unique corollaries to the diverse worlds and experiences we encounter in political ecology and social/environmental justice research and activism. Our goal with this project is to create a space explicitly open to exploring such convergences, a space that is neither formally academic nor wholly creative fiction, but instead, in the true spirit of Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, seeks to tap the potential that exists in the liminal space between these otherwise isolated worlds of thought. We hope that such an endeavor will produce seeds for imagining that will go forward and populate unexpected places both far and near.
2020/12: NAOTR Anthology & UE Press announcement
Hi everyone, what a wild year so far, huh? To us, it seems like stories about the future are more important now than never. As editors for the Not Afraid of the Ruins project – a project we’ve been working on for nearly three years at this point – we’ve been thinking a lot about your stories lately, and we are excited to announce that we’re aiming to publish an anthology.
We are aiming to publish the edited volume though Uneven Earth Press, which is in the process of incorporating. By effectively publishing this book ourselves, we have much more room for creativity in design and concept. It is our intention to pay you all for your contributions. Again, more information is forthcoming.
We hope this finds you all well and thriving – as best as you can – during this global reckoning with advanced neoliberalism! Thanks again for your stories. =)
2018/10: Not afraid of the ruins #2: Local science fictions
We are calling for more focused submissions with the goal of highlighting people, places, stories and characters that are not typically represented in the traditional Science Fiction canon. We are particularly interested in exploring ‘local science fictions’ through pieces that engage with place-based histories and geographies. The due date for submissions is
January 15, 2019 January 31, 2019. Some examples for inspiration:
- Aliens landing in Soweto, South Africa
- Solarpunk in Belgrade, Serbia
- The development of a sharing economy in a post-mining community, Northern Sweden
- Local revolution against the soy plantation industry in the Cordoba Province, Argentina
- Space colonisation, inter-planetary mining and a water-based economy in Singapore
- Anti-petroleum activism in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
See the full call for submissions here.
2017/06: Not afraid of the ruins #1: Call for science fiction and utopian imaginaries
Utopian dreamers, other-worldly explorers and psychonautic adventurers, scholars, activists, students, and critics: we are officially inviting submissions for a new collaborative writing project that combines critical perspectives and creative possibilities. Drawing inspiration from Uneven Earth, an online magazine for political ecology established in 2015, we are excited to announce the launch of a new section, called Not afraid of the ruins, dedicated to science-fiction and utopian imaginings. The goal of this new section will be to regularly showcase new, original, creative and critical reflections to foster intimate and productive conversations across the intellectual and creative arts.
There are no strict guidelines for submission in regards to content, format or length although we will maintain editorial oversight of submissions. While shorter pieces up to 2,500 words may be most suitable, we are happy to consider longer pieces, especially as they explore the creative possibilities of such a genre-melding forum. We are particularly interested in pieces that engage with the themes of:
- Climate, social and environmental justice
- Feminist and queer theory
- Critical race studies
- Anti-capitalist politics (socialist, anarchist, etc.)
- Post-capitalist ecologies
Deadline: Friday, September 22 (Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere)
Deadline: Friday, September 29
In an age of unprecedented climatic, social and political change, we believe that such a project is as important and urgent as ever. We feel compelled, as academics and activists and human beings, to not only critically reflect upon our shared human and ecological condition, but to dare to dream otherwise, to imagine things not only as they are, but to reimagine them as they could be. It is our hope that this blog will provide both space and motivation for doing just that.
Read the full call for submissions here.