Science-based Australian fiction anthology – submission guidance

Brave New World and Brave New World RevisitedThe Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How it WorksLiterature After Darwin: Human Beasts in Western Fiction 1859-1939 (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-century Writing and Culture)On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and AstronomyIntroducing Psychology: Brain, Person, GroupThe History of PhysicsScience: The Definitive Visual Guide

The details of the AusLit science-based fiction anthology are available at https://auslit.net/2011/06/10/science-based-australian-fiction-anthology-call-for-submissions and submissions are due by midnight Dec 31st 2011. The post linked to above has a greater amount of detail than this post about what kind of stories are being sought and the process the project will follow.

Below are some extra tips to offer guidance for writers submitting for the science-based fiction anthology:

Submissions should each be one story of 4,000-10,000 words; not a collection of flash fiction.

Think popular fiction with genuine scientific insight. You don’t have to be a professional scientist, but incorporate some aspect of observing and explaining (in a well-reasoned way) the universe around and within us (in a physical sense; not in a mystical or metaphorical sense).

There can be a speculative element, such as a new technological development in a story set in the future, but aim for realism (or, in SF terms, hard sci fi) with a single speculative twist; not a whole range of speculative elements verging on fantasy or a range of elements drawn from mythology.

For historical fiction involving famous people from recorded history, separate fact from myth and misconception in relevant historical records but then feel free to take some artistic license. It is a story; not an accurate-as-possible historical re-enactment in words. The balance of verifiable history and deliberately made up fiction will differ depending on what you’re going for in your story.

No – as one person put it – litfic wank. Part of the reason for this post is because it would be easy for newcomers to The Australian Literature Review to see the word literature in the title and think, as would often be the case, that this means a focus on academically-popular speculation about the nature of identity and society. If you want to submit a story and you consider yourself, for example, a postmodern, poststructuralist, Freudian-Lacanian, Saussurean, Foucaultian, Derridan de/constructivist, I recommend you drop all the derivative and speculative lines of thought and just consider yourself a person capable of conscious thought writing a story for people to enjoy. Pseudointellectual pretentiousness is not needed here; many tradies have a greater understanding of topics like maths, physics, chemistry and mechanics than many people with a PhD. Heavy use of specialist terms not common in everyday speech does not make ideas any more profound, interesting or intelligent and, more often than not, coincides with a lack of these qualities.

Do not hinge your story on the conclusions of a book, article, report, essay, documentary or news story unless you understand what the writer(s) have referred to in their conclusions and how they arrived at those conclusions.

Remember that a fictional story is required; not a lecture. You should write with the aim of engaging readers with your characters, what’s at stake for your characters and how the conflict plays out in your story.

Brave New World and Brave New World RevisitedThe Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How it WorksLiterature After Darwin: Human Beasts in Western Fiction 1859-1939 (Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-century Writing and Culture)On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and AstronomyIntroducing Psychology: Brain, Person, GroupThe History of PhysicsScience: The Definitive Visual Guide

The Australian Literature Review
www.auslit.net

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One Response to Science-based Australian fiction anthology – submission guidance

  1. This looks interesting I might have a go at this Steve. Thanks for making these competitions available it is always a challenge and each one helps me grow as a writer.

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