This is so Cyberpunk: billionaires in Silicon Valley would rather cure death than make life worth living!
Once again Urban Fantasist is pleased to be supporting the SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Flash Fiction Challenge which starts at 11am on Saturday 8th April – which is just three weeks away now! And, once again UF's Charles Christian will be chairing the challenge jury. (Which sounds impressive but basically means counting up the votes!)
The embedded link below tells you everything you could ever possibly want to know but here's a quick summary of the key points, including one very important change from last year: we now have a £500 prize for the winner AND the winning entry will be published on the New Scientist website! Watch for @scifilondon #SFL48hrFlash on Twitter
So, here's a quick recap of the rules...
* You can register to take part any time between now and the 8th BUT you can't start writing until after 11am because you have to login and receive three elements (title, piece of dialogue etc) you must incorporate in your story.
* You have just 48 hours in which to complete and submit your story (actually till 1pm on Monday 10th)
* Our definition of flash fiction is a MAXIMUM of 2000 words
* You can submit from anywhere in the world however your entry must be in English (and sorry but the prize-giving is in London and we have no travel budget for winners)
* There is NO entry fee
* And, please note this challenge is part of a science fiction film festival, so we are looking at sci-fi and fantasy genre fiction
UPDATE in response to comments...
* The start time is 11am UK time - and the UK will be on summertime by the 8th
* Authors' rights -
Q: Can I sell, publish or develop my story after submitting to the challenge?
A: Yes. It's yours and you own own it, so exploit away! However, please remember by taking part you grant us an in-perpetuity, world-wide, royalty free, non-exclusive licence to promote, publish, sample and sub-licence the work. We will never charge any money for the story or film, but we will offer it free to anyone who wants to show it. The intellectual property in the work is yours and we do not make any claim on this, so we won't take the world or characters you develop without permission.
The Challenge Jury comprises...
Pat Cadigan is an American science fiction author, whose work is most often identified with the cyberpunk movement.
Mike Carey is a British author known for comics like X-men, and 2000AD. He recently had his novel Girl With All The Gifts releasesd as a feature film.
Marcus Gipps is a commissioning editor at Gollancz, part of the Orion Publishing Group. He specialises in science fiction, fantasy and a bit of horror.
Anything worse than a rogue #AI - how about two AIs firing lasers at each other? Thank you Deepmind!
We know it is a cliché about well-meaning but mad scientists inadvertently unleashing horrors on mankind but the boffins at Google's Deepmind artificial intelligence research outfit have just taught a pair of AIs to become aggressive when they need to fight for scarce resources. If it is any consolation, apparently it's a variation on the Prisoner's Dilemma. Personally, I for one welcome out new robot overlords...
This is the Modern World: toss your phone & laptop if you want to protect your data when visiting the US
How others see genre fiction: "No place for computers & space travel in literature." Not a fan of scifi or cyberpunk then?
Something for the Weekend? How about some books – and not just any books but three new (as distinct from classic) cyberpunk novels?
I'm currently reading my way through a torrent of new science fiction novels that have been submitted to a major international book award (I'm one of the judging panel reading my way through them) and among them were three intriguing cyberpunk novels. They are, in no particular order:
Escapology by Ren Warom (Titan Books) which I suppose is the most "conventional" of the three in cyberpunk terms – although totally outré when compared with most genre fiction. It's also a cracking thriller.
A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton) features an AI that actually has better characterisation than most of the people I've encountered in many books. Has an element of the late Iain M. Banks Culture novels about it.
United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas (Angry Robot) is an alternative history on a Man in the High Castle theme but with giant mecha and computer games. This is also a gripping thriller.
All three are not just well written but have protagonists you can care about and endings that you don't see coming from page three. All recommended.
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Curated by former barrister and Reuters correspondent turned writer, award-winning tech journalist, best-selling non-fiction author, and sometime werewolf hunter Charles Christian on a mission to inform and entertain with news and comment on tech, media, writing, science fiction, folklore, pop culture, geek stuff, and the just plain weird. Also includes the Grievous Angel webzine for free-to-read, sci-fi and fantasy poetry and flash fiction. Plus links to Charles Christian's books including fiction, nonfiction, and all the latest reviews.
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