Open Call – Strange Economics SFF anthology

The Strange Economics anthology will feature SFF stories on the theme of “economics”, broadly interpreted. It’s paying a semi-pro rate of CAD1.5c/w. Simsubs are allowed. Submissions are open until January 30, 2018, so there is still some time to come up with a story, write it, polish it, and submit it.

Some ideas/prompts/suggestions for stories:

  • Job market implications of genetic engineering and “designer babies” on society: Do parents seal the employment fate of their children? Why would anyone engineer their children for the jobs no one wants?
  • What kind of work will people do when human labor is no longer necessary? Does work still exist? How are resources distributed? How do people spend their time? Explore these question in a SF world, where robots and AI have eliminated the need for work, or a fantasy world, where magic or gods have eliminated the need for work.
  • Supply and demand in a world of magic: a critical spell/ritual ingredient is in short supply.
  • Some people think capitalism is the final stage of human history, and no other systems are going to arise. If that’s right, what will the capitalism of the future look like? If that’s wrong, what other system might take its place? Tell a story about either of these futures.
  • A market for human souls: a “collector” who makes their living selling souls to demons, but questions where to draw the line (and by extension, the variable value of human life).
  • How will interplanetary trade work? What might go wrong?
  • A story that illustrates the prisoner’s dilemma in an SFF context.
  • A story that illustrates the sunk cost fallacy in an SFF context.
  • A story that illustrates negative externalities in an SFF context.
  • An SFF story that illustrates irrational economic behavior, or how biases/beliefs/ psychological predispositions sometimes make us act in ways that don’t seem to make economic sense.
  • There is an asteroid worth $10,000,000,000,000,000,000. What would happen if someone managed to collect it? Write a story about the company that makes this happen, and what happens as a result.
  • Global warming will create new economic challenges over the next hundred years. Write about one or more of those problems, and how people deal with them.
  • Space Tourism. Write about the business in the near-future.
  • Mars or moon colonies. Some run by China, one run by NASA, some run by multinational corporations. Tell a story about the differences in how they’re run, and the potential conflicts that arise, for example, when resources are scarce.
  • Pollution is an example of a market failure. Tell a story about how a future society tries to deal with this market failure. Come up with a policy solution, and tell a SF story about why it works, or doesn’t. Or, create a fantasy analogy for pollution, such as a side effect from using magic. Maybe using spells releases demons into the wild. Should the peasants be expected to deal with the demons? Or maybe the peasants get fed up with the wizards not dealing with the problem.
  • Space pirates.
  • Corporate neo-feudalism.
  • What if the gap between rich and poor continues growing? Is there a breaking point? What does that look like?

Happy writing!

Submission guidelines for Strange Economics can be found here.