The future of mankind is dark, desolate and generally pretty frightening. At least, that is what dystopian fiction like The Giver and The Maze Runner would have us believe. Dystopian fiction pictures a future world where many of our current problems are escalated to extreme proportions.These fictitious works are set sometime in the future after we have continued down our current path of destruction and the end result is a world overrun by violence, greed and sometimes even a creepy monster or two. There is an overarching presence of oppression by some sort of political force in all these works of fiction, and it is when citizens of these dystopias realize the system they live in isn’t the one they want to live in, that the story typically begins.
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written by Carl Slaughter
I have counted seventy Hollywood actors, most of them A-Listers, who have switched from films to television. The studios are reducing the number of movies. Meanwhile, 48 television networks are offering scripted episodic dramas series. The only people outside the industry who can keep track of the number of shows are journalists on the TV beat.
Television is where the storytelling is and television is where the job security is. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only a matter of time before the likes of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts join the party.
Who wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have liked to have studied their university subject using their favorite science fiction or fantasy stories? I missed a crossover between my favorite genre fiction and the subject he was studying, so when I became a PhD student and lecturer at a German university, I decided to take matters into my own hands and asked my professor if I could teach a business course using Escape Pod as the main source. I might have understated the fact that Escape Pod is a science fiction podcast thoughÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Waylines? Yes, Waylines! Haven’t heard of it? It’s a SFF magazine with a twist. We publish short speculative fiction PLUS stream short speculative films (and it’s free!) We’ve been out for a year now. In 2013 we ran 6 issues, published 14 stories and screened 18 films. We were lucky enough to run some great stories by Jake Kerr, Anaea Lay, and Eric Del Carlo among others, and get some interviews by the likes of Ken Liu, Cat Rambo, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, and Aliette de Bodard (we even interviewed old David Steffen). It was a great year.
“Thief of Futures” by D. Thomas Minton demonstrates value in terms of wealth and talent; the story is only concerned with characters who are either rich or possess a very certain innate skill. Everyone else is consigned to the background. “Antiquities and Tangibles” by Tim Pratt examines value through connections and luck; the more social-oriented tools of achieving success and accruing value. Those without connections and luck have no chance of exploring happiness to the extent the main characters do.
Not everything in a story happens on the page. When an author writes material that occurs “offstage,” that so-called “green room writing” may inform the events that the audience sees. Giving foundations for the characters, their motivations, personalities and activities, green room writing may well feel like wasted effort. Trust me, though Ã¢â‚¬” it’s really not.
The primary reasons for the decline of the magazine business have less to do with the quality of periodicals – less, even, than with the rise of the internet – than with an outmoded, archaic and unspeakably wasteful distribution process.
The method through which periodicals are distributed and sold dates back to the era of cheap paper, expensive televisions, limited media, general print literacy, and the rise of mass advertising.
Here are the stories resulting from the Storygasm event in rough chronological order of prompts received. Feel free to take yours and post it elsewhere or link directly to this page. Thanks for contributing!
Here’s how it works: you give me a prompt, and I’ll turn it into a drabble, a 100-word story for you. The best approach, speaking from personal experience, is to keep the prompt between two and five words long, and to avoid getting too specific. For example, something like “werewolf shampoo” can lead all sorts of directions and gives me something to work with.
With publishing’s gatekeepers now comprising the bulk of short fictions’ readership, I think it reasonable to say that for every story read at least one rejection slip is also read. The rare instances in which writers’ stories are not rejected and to some degree published and possibly read by others are offset by writers’ publishing their rejection slips on public blogs and forums and disseminating them in emails. Similarly, publishers’ returning the same rejection slip to many writers is offset by writers submitting the same story to many publishers. So even ignoring that rejection slips, unlike the stories that inspired them, are almost always read in their entirety, taken to heart and remembered, it all more than cancels out. Ergo rejection slips are the most widely and attentively read short literary genre.