I am thrilled to have updates to share about multiple stories of mine being accepted for inclusion in a variety of anthologies. The first is one for which I am also sharing a call for contributions of not only short stories but also essays about the theme, which is the intersection of religion and spaceflight. It is a sequel to Touching the Face of the Cosmos where I had my first science fiction short story published. The new story for the sequel volume is about a plan to terraform Mars and is called “In Earth’s Backyard.”
I am also excited that a novelette of mine will be included among the stories to be published in the anthology A Hero of A Different Stripe. This is the latest benefit anthology being published under the auspices of the sci-fi and fantasy conference Life the Universe and Everything. That story is about robots in church, and I really think it has a distinctive take on the topic, being focused on the nearer future than most robot stories are. Its title is “New Members.” You can read the full lineup of authors and story titles on the Hemelein Press website. This one also comes with a call for submissions, not for that anthology but for the next LTUE anthology, Troubadours and Space Princesses.
Third, I will say with confidence that my story that has been accepted for publication in the 42 Stories Anthology has the most perfect title for that particular volume. Can you guess what it is? I should also add, for those who know the deeper significance of that number, how happy I am that ‘life, the universe, and everything’ connects more than one of the projects I have the honor of contributing to.
Last, I have also submitted a few pitches to Shadow of the Gallifreyan which will tell stories about characters who intersected with the Doctor on the television show Doctor Who. I’m not sure which if any of the ones that I have proposed will be accepted and appear, but I wanted to mention it nevertheless, for two reasons. One is that I believe they are still looking for submissions. Actually at this point it is only a matter of indicating interest in reserving specific episodes that one would like to write about (you can see which episodes have been reserved in the Google Doc Altrix Books has shared). Since this is a compilation of flash fiction it is by no means too late for you to offer something and probably manageable (even for very busy people) to write something by the deadline. The other is because of how much I love the echo of the famous book by Gerd Theissen, Shadow of the Galilean. Whether my work on the historical Jesus will help explore the character of the Doctor on Doctor Who using a similar approach is another question. But you can understand why I perhaps more than anyone else would geek out about a title like that!
Of related interest, Harvard Divinity School recently published an article, “Fantastic Faiths and a what We Can Learn From Them.” I recently listened to Ted Chiang’s story “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” in audiobook form (published in his collection Exhalation). It offers a really interesting speculative fiction story (at the border of science fiction and fantasy) set in a Muslim context. Chris Bateman is discussing Dune and related science fiction and its message for the present day. Also see the latest from David Brin and an article on algorithms in health care.
Recently I have been watching The Expanse (which was great and I’m sad to see go, but glad it ended well rather than running out of steam), The Book of Boba Fett, and Star Trek: Discovery, as well as classic Babylon 5 when there’s nothing new on. What have you been watching?
Here is the video of my talk on AI and theological ethics given at an online symposium organized by Qom Seminary in Iran:
Here are a few videos of online presentations (not by me) related to science fiction and religion: