Editors at the Australian Defence College, Canberra have issued a call for previously unpublished military-themed science-fiction stories of less than 4,000 words in a contest ending Mar. 1, 2020 Australian time. Winners and honorable mentions will be published on The Forge website, as well as a print compendium. The Forge is "an on-hub hub designed to help build and hone the intellectual edge of those involved in the Profession of Arms" in Australia.
All military and civilian personnel "working in defense and national security" are eligible to participate. Two categories of competition are offered: one, for Australian writers; and a second, "international" class of competition for writers from other countries.
The call for submissions reads, in part:
Robert Heinlein: Starship Troopers. Joe Haldeman: The Forever War. Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game. John Scalzi: Old Man’s War. These seminal works have shown us the value of science fiction in trying to conceive of what war in the future would look like. Sci-fi also allows us to imagine worlds where we can consider security impacts of broader factors such as demographic factors and climate change. Harry Harrison’s "Make Room! Make Room!" considers the consequences of population growth and food shortage. Australian author Dr. Cat Sparks, has also written a doctoral thesis on the contribution of science fiction to understanding climate change. Her book, Lotus Blue, considers the challenges of survival in an environmentally ravaged, post-apocalyptic world.
The Australian Defence College recently hosted a Sci-fi and the Future of War conference, with eminent science-fiction authors, cyber warfare specialists, futurists, and ethicists discussing these very issues. Inspired by the discussions at that conference, the Australian Defence College is holding a science-fiction writing competition and we want you to join in the conversation!
The topic for the competition is “War in the Future.” Entries should examine at least one of the following themes:
- Strategy and diplomacy
- Politics and war
- Causes of war
- Civil-military relations
- Human-machine interface / teaming
- Logistics and sustainment
- The operational environment
- Recruitment / training
Writers' guidelines for the contest include, but may not be limited to:
- Content must not contain explicit violence or sexual content.
- Format: Microsoft Word, double-spaced, Times Roman 12pt font.
- Include cover sheet with name, contact details, and story title. Do not place author name on any other part of the submission.
- Original and unpublished work only.
- Simultaneous submissions are NOT acceptable.
Send submissions via e-mail to: submissions DOT theforge AT gmail.com. Include the keyword #ADCSciFiComp in e-mail header.
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