"I dare to say that the overwhelming majority of artists I commission come from hashtag art events, so I highly recommend artists to participate in those—we and other art directors are certainly looking!"
In worldbuilding your own fictional afterlife, be aware of how the rules of your storytelling may accidentally erase those identities. Your marginalized character may have a place in your living world, but in light of those marginalizations, ask yourself: where will you place them when they die?
I’d like SFF that makes it feel good instead of terrifying to think of the future. I don’t want the retro-future with flying cars and robot servants and a Star Trekian hand-wave of past abuses, but visions of a new, inclusive future. What does reconciliation and healing look like? What can we look forward to that isn’t an apocalypse, but also doesn’t pretend that climate change isn’t happening? I want fiction that acknowledges the shortcomings of past dreams but isn’t afraid to put forth a new vision of the future.
I think JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures and its success, especially in the queer community, can teach Western storytellers a lot in terms of representation. Merely stating a character’s marginalisation is not enough—at least not without commitment to representing what that marginalisation truly means at its core. Representation needs to be nuanced to embrace the kaleidoscope of experiences within a marginalised community. Finally, it needs to be something made for marginalised people, with the primary aim not to educate the majority, but to – well – represent us with enthusiasm, empowerment, and joy.
Contributors Fargo Tbakhi and N.A. Mansour join staff editor Rasha Abdulhadi to share reflections about palestinian art and writing, the speculative register, what lineages they draw nourishment from, and what they long for from future feasts.
Strange Horizons is a weekly magazine of and about speculative fiction. We publish fiction, poetry, reviews, essays, interviews, and art. For more information, see our about page. All material in Strange Horizons is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.