Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday. Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a story to inspire your submission and to help newer writers understand how to fulfill a call’s thematic elements.
This week we’re subbing to Hybrid‘s Future//Tense: Gender anthology and we’re reading Merc Fenn Wolfmoor’s The Frequency of Compassion in Uncanny.
Hybrid’s Future//Tense Gender anthology
Eligibility: the Future//Tense anthologies focus on identity in the future, this one specifically on gender identity. 5K to 15K words preferred.
Take Note: Hybrid has no restrictions on gender or orientation. #ownvoices encouraged.
Submit By: open to submissions until April 1st, 2020
Payment Offered: $0.025 per word, to a maximum of $100
Click here to go to the original call for full details.
A Story to Ignite Your Writing Mojo
For this call we’re reading one of my favorite short stories, The Frequency of Compassion by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor. You can read this story online at Uncanny magazine by clicking here.
The Frequency of Compassion follows an autistic, agender protagonist, Kaityn Falk, into deep space, accompanied by their AI, Horatio. Extremely introverted, their solo expeditions suit Kaityn well, though their memories follow and haunt them in the darkness. When Kaityn and Horatio stumble into an unusual distress call, Kaityn’s gender identity is what gives them the tools to understand and survive First Contact.
What I like about this story is it’s emphasis on compassion and that it tackles the question of gender representation head-on within the story. In a flashback we hear Kaityn’s ex argue that Kaityn’s gender identity would only confuse any alien species they might encounter in deep space. The story itself acts as rebuttal to the ex’s argument.
One thought on “Submit Your Stories Sunday: future gender”
I like the suggestion that aliens might be a little confused by binary gender. It’s an idea I’ve been playing with in my own writing: that maybe the whole male and female thing is a biological quirk that’s unique to Earth, and maybe the rest of the civilized galaxy thinks its kind of weird.
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