There’s a new hopepunk book out in the Writers Save the World anthology series from Other Worlds Ink: Transform the World. And there’s a giveaway.
FOURTEEN WAYS TO CHANGE THE PLANET
Income inequality is worse than it was in the Roaring Twenties. Corporations are moving fast and breaking things, and the social contract seems to be falling apart, aided by social media disruption and division on steroids.
There has to be a better way.
We asked fourteen sci-fi writers to come up with innovative ways the world could work better. Universal basic income, smaller communities, AI voting, and learning to live in harmony with nature are just a few of the ideas explored inside these pages. So buckle up and settle in for a look at the world of the future.
The world’s not going to transform itself.
“A satisfyingly diverse set of visions of the future that come from a single question: how could the world work better?… these short stories encourage dialogue and discussion about what elements could work better for the planet and its people. Libraries and readers looking for especially diverse, thought-provoking sci-fi forays into not only what works, but why, will find Transform the World a potent gathering of forces that juxtapose tales of hope, social inspection, and a feeling of peaceful opportunity into the sci-fi short story world.” — D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
About the Series
Every year, we ask science fiction writers to tackle a “save the world” theme with an ultimately hopeful story about how the world might be changed for the better.
Other Worlds Ink is giving away a $20 Bookshop.org gift card with this tour. Enter for a chance to win:
by Stephanie N Greene
Today I swam through MOMA. I’d already trained myself to not think about how filthy the water must be, or of sea snakes, both favorite topics of my boyfriend, Leon. Anyway, they say the water inside is filtered. By the time I got to the third floor, I was exhausted, despite the audio-guide retrofitted with a breathing apparatus. Perhaps it was just the excitement of it all coming together at last.
Leon says it was a waste, encasing the art, then flooding the museum—frivolous and elitist. Do the homeless in Queens give a rat’s ass about some stunt like flooding MOMA? How many millions did it cost?
I say it was a gesture of optimism. A Nothing Can Keep New York Down sort of thing, and for that triumph of technology and political will, priceless. Did folks in Queens get off on the first moon landing? You bet they did.
It was mostly private donations anyway, which also galls Leon—that such big money would show up for the MOMA project. They even reinstalled Guernica.
Treading water, I wondered what Picasso would say to his masterpiece becoming an aquarium decoration?
The art can’t all be moved to the Poconos. Those of us remaining in the city need art more than ever.
But this is a topic I’ve learned to avoid with Leon, so I argue both sides, back and forth, with myself.
We work in what’s left of the city planning office. There’s an esprit de corps among us Remainers that we all try to sustain. Leon’s actually being pretty gracious about having been outvoted on the MOMA thing.
I stayed for the longest time, studying Guernica. The agonized faces. The horror of war. In my darker moments I’ve wondered if it wouldn’t be better to get it over quickly, with fire, instead of this slow drowning.
Then I looked to my side, and there was a giant grouper, equally entranced. I had to smile: I doubt he had to pay 50 bucks admission.
There’s still a lot to rethink, not even counting underwater commerce. But by God, the docents all wore matching pink wetsuits. What spirit! I love New York. I’ll never leave. Well, not alive.
The trick to survival is to remind ourselves that it’s not all bad: now certain high rises have saltwater swimming pools. Upping the rent for the privilege, of course. Swimming is standard in kindergarten curricula. You can buy a snorkel at corner kiosks that once sold only periodicals and candy. On high water days, gondolas cruise Houston Street. The fancy knee-high rubber boots fashionable New Yorkers used to sport when there were a few puddles are now standard. Even mid-emergency, we find ways to adorn ourselves, decorating boots with patterned duck tape and waterproof decals.
B. Morris Allen: B. Morris Allen is a biochemist turned activist turned lawyer turned foreign aid consultant, and frequently wonders whether it’s time for a new career. He’s spent the last few decades working on building public participation in government decision making. He’s been traveling since birth, and has lived on five of seven continents, but the best place he’s found is the Oregon coast. When he can, he makes his home there. In between journeys, he works on his own speculative stories of love and disaster. His story collection Chambers of the Heart came out in April 2022.
Beth Gaydon: Beth Gaydon is an internet analyst living in Tennessee with her husband, kids, and dogs. She tries to be nice to the environment, though her thumbs are chartreuse at best. When she’s not busy with her family, she writes about whatever topic intrigues her that day. You can find her most recent work in The Sirens Call, The First Line, and On the Premises.
Derek Des Anges: Derek Des Anges lives and works in London, UK, where the weather is getting less and less Classically British by the year. His work has appeared in anthologies from Parsec Ink, Calyx Press, and Ghoulish Books, among others.
Gustavo Bodoni: Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer with over four hundred stories published in fifteen countries, in seven languages. He is a member of Codex and an Active Member of SFWA. He has published six science fiction novels including one trilogy, four monster books, a dark military fantasy and a thriller. His short fiction is collected in Pale Reflection (2020), Off the Beaten Path (2019), Tenth Orbit and Other Faraway Places (2010) and Virtuoso and Other Stories (2011). In 2019, Gustavo was awarded second place in the Jim Baen Memorial Contest and in 2018 he received a Judges Commendation (and second place) in The James White Award. He was also a 2019 finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest.
Holly Schofield: Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. With not-so-hidden twin agendas of promoting environmental causes and inclusivity, Holly has had over 100 speculative short stories published in genres ranging from hard science fiction to magical realism. Her works have appeared in such publications as Analog, Lightspeed, and Escape Pod, are used in university curricula, and have been translated into multiple languages.
J. Scott Coatsworth: Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were. He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends. A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Jana Denardo: Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.
Jaymie Heilman: Jaymie Heilman is a daily swimmer and ocean geek with a PhD in history. She has written two books about the history of Peru and her climate-focused Young Adult novel is under contract for publication. When she’s not reading or writing books for kids, she’s usually gardening, biking to the library, or dreaming about the ocean. She lives in Edmonton with her husband, son, and a ridiculous number of books.
JoeAnn Hart: JoeAnn Hart is the author of a prize-winning fiction collection, Highwire Act & Other Tales of Survival, the winner of the 2022 Hudson Prize, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press, September 2023. Her most recent book is the crime memoir Stamford ’76: A True Story of Murder, Corruption, Race, and Feminism in the 1970s (University of Iowa Press, 2019). Her novels are Float (Ashland Creek Press) a dark comedy about plastics in the ocean, and Addled (Little, Brown) a social satire. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in a wide range of literary publications, including the Future Tense column of Slate.com, Among Animals 3, Fire & Water: Stories From the Anthropocene, Orion, The Hopper, Prairie Schooner, The Sonora Review, Terrain.org, Black Lives Have Always Mattered, and others. Her work explores the relationship between humans, their environments, and non-human creatures.
O.E. Tearmann: Bringing their own experiences as a marginalized author to the page with flawed and genuine characters, O.E. Tearmann’s work has been described as “Firefly for the dystopian genre.” Publisher’s Weekly called it “a lovely paean to the healing power of respectful personal connections among comrades, friends, and lovers.” Tearmann lives in Colorado with two cats, their partner, and the belief that individuals can make humanity better through small actions. They are a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and the Queer Sci Fi group. In their spare time, they teach workshops on writing GLTBQ characters, plant gardens to encourage sustainable agricultural practices, and play too many video games.
Stephen B. Pearl: Stephen B. Pearl is a multiple-published author whose works range across the speculative fiction field. His writings focus heavily on the logical consequences of the worlds he crafts. Stephen’s Inspirations encompass H.G. Wells, J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, and Homer, among others. Stephen uses local settings in his works where appropriate. His Chronicles of Ray McAndrews series, Nukekubi and Revenant, are set in the GHA and surrounding areas. His Tinker’s World series, The novels, Tinker’s Plague and Tinker’s Sea, and the short stories Tinker’s Toxin and Tinker’s Well are set in a future Southern Ontario. Stephen’s training as an Emergency Medical Care Assistant, a SCUBA diver, and his long-standing interest in environmental technologies have factored into all his Tinker series.
Stephen Sottong: Stephen Sottong writes Science-Fiction and Fantasy. He is a 2013 winner of Writers of the Future and lives in Northern California behind the Redwood Curtain. A list of his publications is at:
Stephanie N. Greene: Stephanie Greene’s short fiction has been published in Nostoc Magazine, Green Mountains Review, Sky Island Journal, The New Guard, Flash Fiction Magazine and The Writing Disorder. Her work has been long-listed for the Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, nominated for inclusion in the Best of the Net Anthology and for a Pushcart Prize. As an organizer of the Brattleboro Literary Festival for the past decade, she has a blast championing new fiction at the LitFest every October. She is revising her second novel, A Perm For Mrs. Medusa, and lives on the family farm in Vermont with her husband, writer and artist Marshall Brooks.
Xauri’EL Zwaan: Xauri’EL Zwaan is a mendicant artist in search of meaning, fame and fortune, or pie (where available); a Genderqueer Bisexual, a Socialist Solarpunk, and a Satanist Goth. Zie has recently published short fiction in The Sprawl Mag, the Simultaneous Times podcast, Neo-Opsis, Cossmass Infinities, and Galaxy’s Edge. Zie lives and writes in a little hobbit hole in Saskatoon, Canada on Treaty 6 territory with zir life partner and two very lazy cats.