Editorial – Sci Phi Journal 2024/1

Lectori salutem.

Welcome to our 2024 Spring edition – marking the 10th anniversary of Sci Phi Journal!

Thanks to the generosity of our readers, we have been able to slightly increase the number of original stories, this time ranging from beautiful metaphysical journeys to alternate history scenarios on both large and small scales, along with the customary dose of light-hearted fancies, as well as two translations of classical SF tales (from Romanian and Spanish) hitherto unavailable in English.

The current issue is made complete by two essays, one on ideological diversity in speculative fiction by our trusty columnist, Tangent Online’s SF critic Mina, and a second by an illustrious trio of scholars introducing the Science Fiction and Philosophy Society, which held its inaugural meeting in 2023 (and with whom we will host a joint panel at the 2024 EuroCon in Rotterdam, Netherlands).

Somewhat surprisingly even to ourselves, some of our most-read pieces are essays on and around SF subjects, such as Joseph Heath’s “Why The Culture Wins”, an appreciation of Iain M. Banks, which has thus far been visited by a quarter of a million people – among them a certain Mr. Musk who, by tweeting about it, inadvertently crashed our website… (We are pleased to report that we had since upgraded to a server more befitting the requirements of the 21st century.)

By the time you are reading this, we will have festively opened an exhibition at the Liszt Institute in Brussels, Belgium, showcasing the solarpunk portfolio of Utopia-award finalist Dustin Jacobus, our longstanding cover artist, including previously unpublished visions of sustainable urban futures. If you happen to find yourself in the vicinity this spring, we encourage you to drop by for a free visit.

The world of 2014, when Sci Phi Journal first saw the light of day (in Australia, what more), was markedly different from our current realities. The field of speculative fiction had since then been buffeted by the COVID pandemic triggering a global wave of locked down authors and readers (and at least one attempt at a hybrid EuroCon), the return of warfare on European soil (and the subsequent suspension of Russia from the European SF Society), ideological polarisation in Anglophone literature, and political interference from outside the SF realm (award procedures at last year’s WorldCon in China being the latest example). We can only guess what challenges may lie ahead, chief among them the rise of AI and the effects it will have on human creativity.

Nevertheless, we dare to look into the future with an inquisitive spirit that has been our beacon since the current editorial team took the helm five years ago. Here’s to another decade of intriguing speculative philosophy in all its forms, welcoming its broad spectrum of views and voices from around the globe. (As long as they’re not over 2000 words, that is…)


Speculatively yours,

the Sci Phi co-editors & crew


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