I was among Norwescon’s nearly SRO audience during this weekend’s question and answer panel on The Tomorrow Project Seattle. Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson and Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE), Sarah Perez-Kriz fielded smart questions from an enthusiastic sci-fi fanbase.
As announced at Norwescon, The Tomorrow Project Seattle is an anthology of science fiction based on science fact, hosted by the University of Washington and sponsored by Intel, Frog Design, and HCDE. Call for submissions in for short fiction, comics and short screenplays based upon current scientific research and technology development.
Norwescon was a sweet spot to announce a project like this, tapping the creative energies of sci-fi fans to engage the general public on the future of technology.
As Perez-Kriz noted, the project is an outreach “to get people to look at real science going on now.” Many questions were posed to the panelists, to which I post the replies below. This is not a substitute for the full program rules, but might help provide some further background for aspiring sci-fi short story writers, screen writers, comic creators.
Call for Submissions [download flyer]
1. When can we start?
Now. Submissions are due by June 15, 2011, Midnight Pacific Standard Time.
2. Does it have to be about Seattle?
No. Seattle is where this particular Tomorrow Project originates. The overarching goal is to get diverse voices talking about the future, so it is possible that subsequent Tomorrow Projects would launch from other cities/countries.
3. Is it open to poetry?
No contribution is too short.
4. When will Tomorrow Project Seattle be published?
Tentative publish date is September, depending on number of submissions that the University of Washington panel will have to review. Distribution will be free via download, authors will receive two copies of the print edition. The goal is to make distribution as digital as possible.
5. Does the format for submission have to be PDF?
6. What is the Intel role as a sponsor of the Tomorrow Project Seattle?
Intel is sponsoring production of the project website, printing of promotional pieces and publicity, and printing the Tomorrow Project Seattle book. Intel does not have a role on the editorial board managed by the University of Washington to review submissions.
7. How large will the Tomorrow Project Seattle book be?
That depends on the volume of submissions and the judging panel’s selections. The book may be larger or smaller, depending on what is chosen.
8. What rights do the authors have?
Authors keep their copyright, the Tomorrow Project Seattle gets first publishing rights; after that we hope the authors will disseminate it further. The goal is to facilitate a richer discussion about technology. The project is based on the premise that the conversation itself can help shape the future in a positive direction.
9. What restrictions are there on content?
Refer to main project website www.tomorrowproject.uw.edu for format and topic guidelines. There are seven emerging technologies you may write to. As far as material that may be deemed offensive, it will be at the discretion of the editorial board. As Perez-Kriz noted during the panel, “If it’s offensive to us we don’t want others to be offended.”
10. What sort of audience should I write to?
Write for a general audience. The goal is to spark conversations about science fiction/science fact beyond enthusiast conventions like Norwescon and engage the mainstream.
As Perez-Kriz said, “we did our part, now it’s your turn.” If you’ve been a sci-fi fangirl/fanboy who thinks you can do better than the pros, now’s your chance to be published. Join award-winning author Cory Doctorow (“Little Brother”), in contributing a story for The Tomorrow Project Seattle. Ready?