Journal Messengers from the Stars: On Science Fiction and Fantasy

deadline for submissions: 
July 2, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon
contact email: 



Journal Messengers from the Stars: 

On Science Fiction and Fantasy

No. 4, 2019


Edited by: Danièle André & Christopher Becker


Co-edited by: Angélica Varandas & José Duarte


Messengers from the Stars is an international, peer-reviewed journal, offering academic articles, reviews, and providing an outlet for a wide range of creative work inspired by science fiction and fantasy. The 2019 issue will be dedicated to the theme


LIES, Inc. lies and “alternative facts” in Science Fiction


For our 2019 Messengers from the Stars issue we will focus on how lies and “alternative facts”—as coined by Kellyanne Conway—can be both the basis for some to overthrow governments or remain in power, and for others a way to protect a society that would be torn by war or disaster if truth was to come out. Thus, the interest rests in seeing how lies and alternative facts are used to deprive people of their power to decide for themselves for good or bad—the question of lifting the burden of moral condemnation on cannibalism is central to Richard Fleisher’s Soylent Green (1973) and leads us to wonder whether or not falsification can ever be justified. In our societies, in which lies in some forms or others are part and parcel of our daily lives, the question of truth and facts is to be questioned and we can wonder to what extent they could jeopardize our contemporary so-called democracies. We will study the tools used by fabricators and falsifiers in order to twist reality and minimize the truth (propaganda, political manipulation, storytelling and information warfare) as well as the effect an unmitigated resort to lies has on social structures. Papers will cover all formats.


Possible topics:


-          Communities and lies (ex: Philip K. Dick’s Clans of the Alphane Moon, 1964);

-          Falsification as institution/tearing the veil of illusion (ex: The Illuminatus! Trilogy; John Carpenter’s They Live, 1988);

-          The limits of truth. Lies as second-best choice or ‪stopgap solution (ex: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, 1986; Utopia, Channel 4, 2013);

-          Propaganda vs Anti-Propaganda (ex: BrainDead, CBS, 2015);

-          Truth as a revolutionary act (ex: George Orwell);

-          Rewriting history (ex: John Wyndham’s Plan for Chaos published posthumously in 2009);

-          The role of conspiracy theorists (ex: Chris Carter’s X-Files);

-          Information warfare and New Wars (ex: William Gibson’s Neuromancer, 1984);

-          Lies and mise en abyme (ex: narratives within narratives);

-          The morality of lies vs the immorality of truth.The text as falsification: real books and fictional authors (ex: Kilgore Trout as imagined by Kurt Vonnegut) / fictional books and real authors (ex: J. L. Borges and the use of mock quotations);

-          Other.



Submissions, between 4000 and 6000 words in English, must be sent to by July 2, 2018. The authors will be notified by the end of July.


In addition, you can propose a book or film review. We welcome book and film reviews on current science fiction and fantasy research and PhD dissertations. Reviews should be between 500 to 1,000 words. Longer reviews, e.g. dealing with more than one book, should be agreed upon with the Editorial Board.


All submissions must follow the journal’s guidelines available at: