Theme Breakdown

The theme for Space Cat Press’ 2021 anthology is: ‘Aliens & Otherness’

Science fiction has long framed narratives of aliens around questions of identity, of what makes us human. The word ‘alienation’ evokes an existential ache. And extraterrestrials, like Bowie’s Man Who Fell to Earth, speak to all who feel an Outsider in human society. We hope some of your submissions stir a soul-deep reaction too.

At the same time, many alien narratives channel hostility towards a politicised Other. These can be representations of prejudice, or a commentary on the sexism/racism/transphobia the author sees in their own society. So 2009 film District 9 interrogated apartheid’s segregation of non-whites via a camp of aliens. Meanwhile post-colonial science fiction, like Tade Thompson’s Rosewater series, is rewriting the tropes of first contact and invasion. We welcome submissions that play with genre stereotypes with such wit and originality.

While we love subversive science fiction, our anthologies embrace many genres, tones, and forms. Have fun with the weird, the bizarre, the monstrous and the mysterious. Reflect on the emotions that ‘Alien’ and/or ‘Other’ evokes in you and write from that place.

Weekly Writing Prompts

Photo by Dustin Humes

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński

Photo by Adam Birkett

Photo by Alexander Sinn

Photo by Jossuha Théophile

Photo by Zhu Hongzhi

Photo by Will Turner

Photo by Pietro Jeng

Photo by Evgeniia Selishcheva

Photo by Chris Liverani

Photo by Akshar Dave

Photo by Steven Ramon

Photo by Sebastian Hages

Photo by Timothy Dykes