Writing a sci-fi story about ‘discovery’ in 300 words that involves LGBT characters or has an LGBT vibe… well, believe me, that is hard. I’m a verbose kinda girl. I never say something in 300 words when I can use 3000.
But I had a go when J. Scott Coatsworth, owner of the Queer SciFi site and Facebook group, decided to host a flashfic competition to create the second QSF anthology. More than a hundred other writers gave it a try too, with some amazing results collected here for your reading pleasure.
And it’s published TODAY!!!
Scott says: “Each year, we ask authors of queer speculative fiction to submit a story to us around a central theme. The rules are simple. The story must be 300 words or less, not including the title. It must embrace the theme— in this case, “Discovery”. And it must have either an LGBTQI protagonist or an LGBT sensibility.
We also ask for cover designers to submit a cover that embraces the theme.
We are thrilled with this year’s responses—including stories from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and asexual perspectives that run the gamut from sci fi to fantasy, and from paranormal to horror.
Within the covers of this book, you’ll find a platypus shifter, a trans- affirming leprechaun, a pissed off unicorn, a green pick-up with another world in its glove compartment, and a bunch of other miniature adventures—each only 300 words long.
At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We hope you’ll join us, and maybe submit a story of your own next time!”
Well if I did, you should!
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Bey Deckard
Zero G Corn Pie by Astrid Amara
With a loud thump, the Cressida’s gravitation system
It didn’t surprise anyone. Last week the air conditioning broke, and now all one hundred twenty researchers onboard walked the hallways in their underwear. And while this was a sexually attractive side effect of the ship’s impending doom, the subsequent failing of the automatic chef system was less sexy. The autochef now only produced corn pies, which was particularly alarming since “corn pie” had never been a menu option in the first place.
Oren drifted upwards and gently hit the hallway ceiling. As his head was softly embraced by a floating sock, he realized it was all at an end.
And if they were going to die, there was someone he needed to see one last time.
Oren floated through the vessel trying to avoid the years of detritus that had spontaneously taken flight. He couldn’t go five feet without being smacked by something offensive. Still-wet toothbrushes, partially full condoms, toenails, all that had slumbered on the floors of each cabin now drifted about the crews’ faces.
He met the gorgeous communication officer Tavi in the maintenance shaft.
Tavi inserted a light pin into an open circuit slot. He was in his underwear. He stared at Oren.
“We’re doomed,” Oren said, hoping it sounded as good as he imagined it could sound. “And I know I’m not that attractive right now. I slept through ‘shaving in zero G’ and corn pies make me bloated. But I’ve been in love with you for a year now. So before we’re reduced to cannibalism, I thought I’d ask if I could kiss you.”
Tavi said, “I finally made contact. Our vessel’s been discovered. We’re going to be rescued.”
Oren cursed his rotten luck. “So no kiss then?”
Tavi put down the light circuit and leaned in.
ABOUT QUEER SCI FI
Scott describes the site: “We started QueerSciFi.com in early 2014 as a place for writers and readers of LGBTQI speculative fiction—sci fi, fantasy, paranormal and the like—to meet to talk about their favorite books, share writing and publication tips, and help increase queer representation in both the romance and mainstream genre markets.
QSF now includes a blog full of book announcements, calls for submission and much more, a critique group with more than 100 members, a vibrant discussion group on Facebook that tackles daily discussion topics and provides a safe space for authors to talk to each other and for fans and authors to meet, and an annual flash fiction contest that resulted in this book.”