Justice and SFF

deadline for submissions: 
March 9, 2021
full name / name of organization: 


Vector and Focus invite proposals for articles that explore science fiction, fantasy, and justice in all its forms, be it social, legal, economic, political, environmental, procedural, distributive, restorative, and/or transformative. We’re especially interested in how SFF communities, including creative professionals, academics, and fans, can explore and promote justice. How should these many overlapping communities discuss, think about, evaluate, strategize, and enact our desires for a just world? 

Although justice can be a hard term, evoking images of courtrooms and prisons, we want to explore justice in all its expressions. How do we use speculative cultures to develop a broader sense of what justice is beyond carceral imaginaries, including existing and emergent forms of restorative and transformative justice? How might SFF help us look at the ideas of social, economic, political, and environmental justice and centre them in our understandings? Furthermore, how should we confront racism, colonialism, misogyny, queerphobia, and other forms of oppression and exploitation, both within and beyond the SFF we love? How do we fight white supremacy, economic exploitation, democratic disenfranchisement, both using our writing and creative practice, and also beyond?

The call is open to all but we have an explicit preference for hearing from authors from BIPOC backgrounds and other historically marginalized voices.

We are open to submissions from SFF writers, creators, fans, academics from any discipline and at any career stage, independent scholars, activists and organizers, and others. We welcome both theory and criticism, and more craft-oriented articles about the practicalities of writing, editing, and reviewing, in connection to the theme of justice. We also welcome articles about the practicalities of activism, resistance, and driving change, if there is some SFF angle. We especially welcome voices from marginalized groups. All contributions will be considered for publication in both Vector (general SFF criticism) and Focus (aimed at writers).

We are especially interested in moving conversations forward. For example, this includes articles that make bridges between academic conversations and broader communities of writers, creators, fans, and activists with interests in SFF and/or justice. Are there potentially useful concepts, tools, approaches, perspectives, etc. that currently mostly exist only in academic spaces, which could be of benefit to broader SFF communities? On the other hand, are there terms, ideas, paradigms, or histories that circulate more prominently in ‘popular’ discourse (concepts like ‘punching up’), that could benefit from being more explicitly integrated into scholarly debates? Finally, is there praxis and evidence from everyday experience in these areas which could offer insight into theoretical considerations around justice? For a list of further ideas, prompts, ruminations, and inspirations, please explore this Google doc.

Proposals should be sent to vector.submissions@gmail.com by 9 May. Please include:

  • a 150-500 word proposal, and

  • something about yourself: either a 50-100 word bio or a CV.

Articles should be between 1,000 and 8,000 words. Please include an estimated word count in your proposal. Contributors are invited to familiarise themselves with Vector and/or Focus. Articles should be thoughtful and carefully researched, while also clear and accessible, and able to appeal to a broad audience (including non-academics). Articles will be due by 1 October.

Further information

Contributors receive a copy of the publication. Vector articles are open access, released under CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 unless otherwise arranged. Articles receive editorial review, and are not normally peer-reviewed. Peer review can be arranged upon request.

This call relates primarily to a special issue of Vector, guest edited by Stewart Hotston. Submissions will also be considered for Focus, ed. Dev Agarwal, where appropriate.