LIGHTSPEED’s 2015 special issue will be Queers Destroy Science Fiction!, an all-science fiction issue entirely written, edited, and illustrated by queer creators. It is now open to submissions. We’ll be launching a Kickstarter on January 15 to help fund making the special issue a double issue.
Who are the guest editors for the special issue? Seanan McGuire is our overall guest editor and she will also be selecting and editing the original short stories (1500-7500 words); Sigrid Ellis is our flash fiction editor (<1500 words); and Steve Berman is our reprint editor.
Who can submit stories for consideration for the special issue? Anyone who identifies as queer.
How do you define queer? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, demisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, transgender, genderfluid, genderqueer–if you fit within the QUILTBAG, we want you. Identity is what matters for this issue. (Please note that the “A” in QUILTBAG is for “ace/on the asexual spectrum,” not “ally.” We hope allies will support this special issue, but if you are not yourself queer, please do not submit.)
I’m queer. What can I submit? Science fiction short stories, up to 7500 words. No fantasy for this special issue, though if our Kickstarter campaign goes well we might unlock Queers Destroy Fantasy! and Queers Destroy Horror! special issues as well.
How queer does my story need to be? We very much want to see diverse queer representation and queer themes, but we are focused on the identity of the authors and the quality of the story, not the “this much queer content per story” meter.
What is science fiction? At LIGHTSPEED, we think of science fiction as fiction that speculates on our world, where the basis of that speculation is science, not magic. This includes the social sciences, so dystopias are welcome, as are stories set in post-apocalyptic worlds. Steampunk is also welcome, as long as whatever is powering your cool stuff isn’t magic.
How long is the submission period? Submissions open October 31, 2014 and will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on February 15, 2015.
When can I expect a response to my submission? We will endeavor to reply as quickly as possible to submissions, but since assembling the special issue is similar to assembling an anthology, stories being seriously considered may be held until March 1, 2015 to allow our editors to consider everything before making their final decisions.
How many stories and how often may I submit? Our usual policy of allowing authors to only submit a story once every 7 days is lifted for this issue; so while you may only submit one at a time, you can send in something else as soon as we pass on the first one. You are also allowed to submit one short story (1501-7500 words) and one flash fiction (<1500 words) story at the same time.
Can I submit a rejected story to LIGHTSPEED in the future? All stories submitted to the special issue will also simultaneously be considered for regular issues of LIGHTSPEED. So if you receive a rejection for the special issue, you can consider that story having been rejected by LIGHTSPEED in general. If we end up with so many good stories we can’t fit them all in the special issue, we’ll take such “overflow” for regular issues of LIGHTSPEED.