Editor and critic Farah Mendlesohn has announced that she is to edit an original anthology, which she will publish herself through a political publisher.
Call for Stories
The British Government is attempting to pass a Bill which will make illegal â€œthe glorification of terrorismâ€. This week, the Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons. It will return again to the Lords (who may vote it down, as they have already done twice) and then to the Commons. If it passes, it will become law sometime in the Spring.
This Bill is opposed by people from many political parties. It is an attack on free speech. Government protests that it will only be used if someone â€œdirectly incitesâ€ have been regarded as implausible by lawyers who point to the many other laws which currently cover this action.
There is growing concern that the Act (if it passes) may be used to clamp down on political dissent. There is currently very little discussion about what it might do to artistic expression (although journalists are finally catching on to what it might do to history books).
Science fiction is a political genre. There are many science fiction writers who have already written novels and stories which could be considered in contravention of the proposed law. As a historian I fear a return to the days of the Hays code, when movie makers were reluctant to show a gangster surviving to the end of the film.
As a protest I have decided to edit an anthology of short stories. I intend to self-publish using a political press used to taking this kind of risk and will put up my own money to cover costs.
Andrew McKie of the Daily Telegraph (and a huge science fiction fan) has agreed to write the introduction.
I invite submissions of stories (up to 8,000 words) by May 1st (the time scale is so short because of the need to remain timely). A flat fee of Â£200 will be paid for each story accepted.
The working title of the anthology is: Glorifying Terrorism.
Stories do not have to tackle the issue head on, but must in some way break the law.
(Although I am keen to have the best stories I can get, people should be aware that for legal and political reasons I will need at least 50% of the stories to come from the UK.)
Title: Glorifying Terrorism
Introduction by: Andrew McKie
Wordcount: up to 8,000 words
Deadline: May 1 2006
Pay: Â£200 per story.
Copyright: Reprint rights for individual stories belong to the author.
Contact: farah dot sf at gmail dot com