Editorial – Sci Phi Journal 2023/2

Lectori salutem.

Welcome to our 2023 Summer edition.

While the spring had started quietly, to our surprise this turned out to be another bumper issue, containing ten original short stories loosely arranged around two themes: the possibility of communication (and the lack thereof) between different forms of intelligence, and the lore, history and mythology humans tend to build around concepts both real (wine, for instance) and fantastical (such as magical artefacts).

We are also featuring three essays which, each in their own way, tie into the ideas mentioned above, by examining works of fiction that deal with these issues in both written and audio-visual media.

The Sci Phi editors and team have also had some serious conversations with fellow SF practitioners and friends of speculation on the potential near-future impact of machine-generated literary and artistic content. We have come to the conclusion that, for now, we simply don’t know how to predict the extent to which the blanket deployment of these novel technologies will displace or empower individual creativity – there will likely be instances of both in equal measure.

Sci Phi Journal is not against the use of “artificial intelligence” as an expressive tool, per se, and even if we were, the tide of progress would merely wash over our objections. However, for the time being, we would like to hang on to the aspect of speculative fiction that brought us to this genre in the first place: the companionship of wonder. Communing with the visionary mind of the human author behind a story or artwork, and then engaging in rapt discussions with fellow fans to tease out the underlying ideas: these are some of the supreme pleasures of SF.

Therefore, until further notice, we will continue to publish only writing and illustrations wrought by human hand, harking back to the aesthetics of the pre-AI era.

This may or may not be wise. Time will tell. Meanwhile, enjoy the ride!

Speculatively yours,

the Sci Phi co-editors & crew


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