CFP: Philosophy through Science Fiction Stories Book Launch and On-the-Spot Writing Contest

Submission deadline: January 18, 2021

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Philosophy through Science Fiction Stories Book Launch and On-the-Spot Writing Contest

Organizers: Helen De Cruz (Saint Louis University), Johan De Smedt, and Eric Schwitzgebel (University of California, Riverside)

Philosophy through Science Fiction Stories: Exploring the Boundaries of the Possible (Bloomsbury 2021, edited by Helen De Cruz, Johan De Smedt, and Eric Schwitzgebel)

We are happy to announce the approaching publication of the anthology Philosophy through Science Fiction Stories. This volume brings together short stories by award-winning contemporary science fiction authors and philosophers, and covers a wide range of philosophical ideas from ethics, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and metaphysics.

The book launch will include an on-the-spot flash fiction writing contest with a $100 prize and an opportunity to jump to the final round of consideration for publication at Flash Fiction Online.

After a brief introduction by the editors, the following contributors to the volume will read teasers or standalone flash fiction stories

·      David John Baker

·      Aliette de Bodard

·      Frances Howard-Snyder

·      Wendy Nikel

·      Christopher Rose

·      Sofia Samatar

·      Lisa Schoenberg

·      Mark Silcox

After the readings, audience members will have 30 minutes to ask questions of the authors and editors.

The launch will conclude with the prompt and submission instructions for the on-the-spot writing contest.

When: January 18, 2021, 2 PM – 3:30 PM Central Time.

The corresponding times in various time zones are:

12 noon – 1:30 PM Pacific Time

3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern Time

8 PM – 9:30 PM Greenwich Meridian Time

9 PM – 10:30 PM Central European Time

How to register:

Registration for this event is free of charge but needs to be done in advance. To register, please send an email with subject line “registration philosophy through science fiction stories” to Helen.DeCruz at

You will receive a Zoom link to the email address you used to send your registration request.

Please register by January 17 2021. Any registration requests received after 18 January, 1:00 PM Central Time won’t be considered anymore.

Do not register using the PhilEvents feature—please send an email to the address above.

Details for the on-the-spot flash fiction contest:

Participants will have two hours to complete a flash fiction story of between 500 and 1000 words on the topic of the prompt, which will only be revealed at the end of the book launch event. Assuming the event concludes at 3:30 PM Central Time, contestants have until 5:30 PM (and equivalent times in their own time zone) to complete and submit the story. The two-hour submission window is a hard deadline. Registration for the book launch is also required for participation in this contest.

Though standard manuscript format (Shunn) is preferred, don’t worry too much about formatting at this stage. You can send the story as an attachment in pdf, docx or doc format, so not in the body of the email. You need to send the story within 2 hours after the prompt has been given, to the email address we will reveal at the end of the book launch event.

We ask that there be only one entry per contestant (co-authorship counts as an entry) and no simultaneous entries (i.e., do not submit the story elsewhere while it is under consideration for the prize).

Award: The prize money is $100. Moreover, the winning story will jump to the final round of consideration for publication in Flash Fiction Online. We will announce a winner within 6 weeks of the date of the contest.

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