Speculative City is an upcoming online literary magazine whose first issue will be published digitally to the public in February 2018. They are currently open for submissions relevant to the magazine mission and issue theme with focus on science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism. The first them is the “grotesque.” “In literature, the grotesque is a creative trope that focuses on the body, biological or structural, aiming to distort and deform it through the macabre, the taboo, and the horrifying to create absurd or unexpected outcomes.”
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked City Architect/Chief Editor Meera V. and she kindly replied. See my interview with Meera and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Speculative City.
MEERA: Speculative City is a bi-annual magazine produced by three friends who are inspired by the potential of the genre of speculative fiction. Speculative fiction excites us because it's an umbrella term that includes so many possibilities, and possibilities are what make science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism so special. We strive to feature a diverse collection of authors and stories that push boundaries and exceed genre expectations.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Speculative City originally started?
MEERA: Speculative City started for two reasons. The genre of speculative fiction allows for creative exploration and critique, and we first thought of the magazine as a forum to explore social and political issues. Then, when we began to explore themes for magazine issues, we realized the magazine could be a means for us to influence the genre to include diverse, challenging works.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
MEERA: We are looking for speculative fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that both defy expectations and relate to our magazine's focus, the city. We are not necessarily looking for happy endings. We want stories that surprise and invite the reader to think. We also believe that the city, as a dense place filled with many people and cultures, is a setting that gives a writer a lot to work with.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
MEERA: Before answering this question, we first want to emphasize that we see a lot of great work. Thank you to all the writers who have shared with us a piece of their creativity.
When we describe what we wish to see submitted, we are focusing partially on genre. First, we wish we could see more stories that describe folk magic and esotericism interwoven with city life. A lot of fantasy can include that, and we have not seen much fantasy submitted. Then, to reiterate what we said earlier, we want stories that unsettle and make a reader reevaluate their perceptions of the world and reality.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
MEERA: There are several amazing literary magazines and journals. One we love is The Offing. We appreciate this magazine because it invites a diverse mix of contributors and has both entertaining and enjoyable categories of works, like "Wit Tea" and "Micro."
We also want to mention Tor, which is a publisher, so they may not count. But the reason we list Tor is because of their dedication to publishing shorter fiction.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
MEERA: Green Submissions is the platform through which writers can send their works to Speculative City.
We would briefly like to express our appreciation to Green Submissions because it is a free service and allows small startup magazines like us to have a safe (from viruses) and easy platform to receive and organize our submissions.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
MEERA: If you have any questions, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at us @speculativecity.
DEADLINE: December 15, 2017
FORMAT: digitally online
SUBMISSION FEE: None
PAYMENT: Writers published will be paid $20-$75 according to the category and length of their submission.
FORMS: speculative fiction, poetry, and nonfiction