Sci Phi Journal 2023/3 – Autumn Issue For Download

If you like to peruse your seasonal dose of speculative philosophy printed on trusty old paper, or the slightly less old, but no less trusty screen of your e-reader, go ahead and download your free PDF copy just below.

We hope our mélange of concept-driven literary curiosities and thought-provoking essays will serve as a cosy read for the autumn months!

Enjoy the trip,

the Sci Phi crew


  1. Hey there. I’m a longtime reader of SPJ and as always, I find my mind cracked open by this issue as well. There was so much to love here, but…. for the first time, there was also something that made me deeply uncomfortable, and not in a good way.

    The story “Virginia” makes the mistake of conflating abduction and rape with seduction. A woman, particularly one who hasn’t been around men, and occupies an exalted position in Amazonian society where men are seen as the enemy, when shown to react the way Antiope does, feeds into the narrative that even when women don’t consent, they ‘want it’ anyway.

    Moreover, a victim of rape suddenly becomes the patron saint of heterosexual love between man and woman – after one night of passion? So basically, sex has the power to hypnotise women to the point that we’ll go against our very comfortable (and safe!) positions in society in search of carnal pleasure…. well, it feeds the same “she really wants it even if she doesn’t know it” narrative.

    I know the publication is already out, and I’m sure you have your reasons for selecting this particular story, but maybe this comment shows you how this story can be perceived in a very different light.

    As always, a fan.

  2. Dear Shriyansi, thank you for sharing your thoughtful reflection and kudos for your reading speed (mere hours after publication!). Indeed, “Virginia” is likely the most controversial of Săsărman’s classic 1975 urban fantasies’ cycle, and was left out of the original English translation by Ursula le Guin for that reason. Half a century later, and with the consent of the author’s estate, we are gradually publishing all hitherto missing tales to complete a cycle that was groundbreaking in concept-driven flash fiction at the time, even if challenging for contemporary sensitivities. We should have made it clearer on the site that this is a “retro” story and refer back to the note introducing the series. We’ll add a note to that effect to the respective page. Thanks again for raising this, your constructive engagement as an attentive reader is much appreciated!

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