Just as we were asking ourselves when this dreary dystopian fad was going to wear off, news comes from a sunnier side of the universe. We’ve been plagued with so many movies and books that paint the future as a big, bad place to live that I’ve started to wonder if I should build a bomb shelter or just stock up on antidepressants. To provide an oasis in this dystopian desert, Solaris Books has commissioned Jetse de Vries to collect manuscripts for Shine, an anthology of optimistic near-future science fiction.On the heels of Jason Stoddard’s “Happier Science Fiction” manifesto, Solaris has announced that science fiction writer and former Interzone magazine editor de Vries will be soliciting manuscripts for stories depicting a kinder, gentler future:
Shine is a collection of near-future, optimistic SF stories where some of the genres brightest stars and some of its most exciting new talents portray the possible roads to a better tomorrow. Definitely not a plethora of Pollyannas (but neither a barrage of dystopias), Shine will show that positive change is far from being a foregone conclusion, but needs to be hardfought, innovative, robust and imaginative. Most importantly, it aims to demonstrate that while times are tough and outcomes are uncertain, we can still bend the future in benevolent ways if we embrace change and steer its momentum in the right direction.
De Vries is looking for stories set within the next 50 years that would persuade “the biggest skeptics on the planet” that the near future can be a better place. He has also set up a blog for Shine, hoping to create an “open platform” for discussing the nature and challenges of an optimistic future. [Shineanthology’s Weblog via Jason Stoddard]