Phase Change: New SF Energies
Edited by Matthew Chrulew
Published by Twelfth Planet Press
“Earth: to be determined. Utopia? Apocalypse? Is it worse to hope or to despair? To that question there can only be one answer: yes.”
The global economy is powered by burning ancient organisms, releasing solar energy first photosynthesised millions of years ago, since decomposed under Earth’s heat and pressure, then, in a great industrial spike, extracted and processed for fuel and fibre, plastic and fertiliser at a rate of acceleration that has triggered catastrophic climatic changes. We must decarbonise; yet as work in the energy humanities has reminded us, energy is not simply a matter of physics and chemistry, technology and innovation, but socially entrenched and environmentally entangled, bound up with questions of history and culture, value and power. A just transition to renewable and sustainable energy will demand more than new machines and markets that shore up neocolonial extraction and corporate profit. The fossil fuel industry and its hegemonic petroculture not only lubricates the globe and its gadgets but — with the habits of consumption it elicits and the greenwashing deflections it pushes (footprints, offsets) — shapes lives and selves, narratives and concepts, expectations and illusions, and constrains the space for divergent imaginations. Yet other energy systems are possible — and with them, other stories, worlds, futures.
Phase Change: New SF Energies seeks diverse speculative fiction that experiments with alternative energy systems and the aesthetic forms that might accompany them. We are open not only to solarpunk (windpunk, hydropunk, batterypunk…), but also climate fiction, Anthropocene (Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene…) fiction, Indigenous futurism, Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism, hard science fiction, alternate history, magic realism, and the new weird. We want stories that defamiliarise and denaturalise modern energy systems, the exploitation and hierarchies they perpetuate and the necessities they presume. Stories that imagine and interrogate energy transitions and futures in all their complexity and agonism, their price as well as their promise. Stories that go beyond both nihilistic apocalypticism and techno-optimistic ecomodernism to imagine alternative forms of economy and ecology, survivance and sovereignty, metabolism and prosthesis, infrastructure and commons, technique and know-how, mobility and belonging. We want stories of phase change.
The anthology will be edited by writer and researcher Matthew Chrulew (@negentropist), published in paperback and ebook form in the first quarter of 2022 by the World Fantasy Award-winning Twelfth Planet Press, and launched at an exhibition curated by the Energy Futures Visualisation project of Curtin University’s School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry.
Pay Rate: AU$0.20 per word for original, previously unpublished fiction
Word Limit: 5000 words
Due Date: 30 November, 2021
We seek first world print and electronic English-language rights. We seek work from writers of all backgrounds and communities, especially those historically marginalised and under-represented. No simultaneous submissions. We will respond by mid-December, 2021. Submit your work in standard manuscript format.