01 November 2013

Military Sci-Fi Book Needs Writers, Guns, and Money

The literary terrain is littered with the hulks of military science-fiction stories of the 1970s and '80s, and Hollywood has lately been stripping the carcasses. Given the daily advances of military tech heralded in today's headlines, however—robot tanks and mulebots and supersuits—it's probably time for a revolution. Or, at least, a renaissance.

This weekend, for example, sees the premiere of "Ender's Game" (2013), based on a 1977 short story and a 1985 book, by Orson Scott Card. (To read the original short story, in its entirety, see the author's website here.)

There are rumors of a pending remake to "Starship Troopers" (1997), a movie inspired by the 1959 book by Robert A. Heinlein.

There are more-than-rumors that a "Forever War" film is also in the works, based on the 1974 novel by Joe Haldeman. (For a 2011 Red Bull Rising note about Haldeman's work, click here.)

Using science-fiction as a device, military writers can explore the effects of new technologies on how we think, fight, and act ... as a military, and as the society it protects. It's time for a new generation of war stories.

A group of editors and writers has launched a $10,000 crowd-funding project toward publishing an anthology of military-themed science-fiction, with the aim of telling "some new stories that look at the future of warfare, and the people, robots and aliens involved." The Kickstarter project ends Nov. 14.

The Kickstarter project page is here.

Participants contributing $25 or more to the "War Stories" project will receive a trade paperback edition of the anthology.

At the $150 level, there are opportunities to have a fictional character named after you, a technique called "Tuckerization."

At the $250 level, there are opportunities to have your writing critiqued by a published author. Participating author-mentors include Janine Spendlove, an active-duty U.S. Marine KC-130 pilot and author of the War of Seasons series.

For more information, see the Kickstarter project page here, or the "War Stories" website here. A Facebook page is here.

On the same Nov. 14 deadline, the group has also issued an open call for previously unpublished stories of 1,000 to 7,500 words in length. Ideal length is less than 5,000 words. According to the submissions guidelines:
We want top-notch original military science fiction stories that are contemporary, innovative, relevant and exciting. We want to speak to the civilians and soldiers of the last decade, keeping in mind the collective experiences of the wars in the Middle East and Africa, from all sides of conflicts. We’re not looking for stories that are necessarily set in the present or near future, but stories that take to heart the major themes and lessons that we’ve seen. Stories on different planets, timelines, with power armor, spaceships, robots and more are welcome.


  1. Phillip K. Dick wrote some great short stories on future tech that spawned a bunch of good flicks - Blade Runner, Total Recall. Second Variety is one for the 11Bs - http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32032/32032-h/32032-h.htm


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