Foundation, the international review of sf, has reached its hundredth issue and celebrates with an anthology of fiction. Their special editions are usually worthwhile reading (the last being papers from the conference on British sf) and this is no exception. The contributors are varied such as Christopher Barzak, David Marusek, Nalo Hopkinson, Margo Lanagan and Jon Courtenay Grimwood.
As Farah Mendlesohn discusses in her final editorial, the idea for the anthology came from Clute’s argument that First Sf is dead and that the future it had once described had no believers anymore. It also conflates that white bias to that future, its lack of multiculturalism. Taking these, the collection asks its contributors to come up with a future which they believe in and which is possible. Reflecting on this, I find myself reading the stories more as if they are talking about a present, giving us the choice to make a choice or not to. These stories really talk about the now, the very real choices that we face to create a non-conservative future.
Barzak’s story is short and sweet but exemplifies the theme of change and making choices. He credits us with being able to make the choice – but will we? David Marusek’s story is one with a savage twist, where the Lotto really is a lottery.
Religion and how we deal with it, how we render it into our lives if we’d like to or not, is the theme of Karen Traviss and Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s stories. Vandana Singh’s “Life-Pod” is an eerily chilling story of trying to find some sort of community, also a partial theme of Tricia Sullivan who continues playing with language.
The journal has strived to be an international community built up of fans, authors and academics whilst also transcending territorial boundaries. It remains one of the few journals that I will take time out to sit down and read when it arrives due to its vibrancy. I’m sure that this will continue with the transition to its new editor, Graham Sleight.