Submissions are currently closed. Keep an eye out for an announcement regarding submissions to Issue Four later this spring!
There is a submission fee of $2 for written submissions to Soft Star (short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; no fee for visual art). However, if your circumstances prevent you from being able to pay the fee and you feel strongly that your work would be a good addition to the upcoming issue, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know, and we can work something out.
What we publish
Soft Star is always open to submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. We are especially looking for work that falls within the genres of soft science fiction, speculative fiction, slipstream, and futurism. Give us your future-facing, pondering, hopeful, otherworldly words. More on our ethos here, and submission FAQs here.
Though we specialize in "optimistic futurism," that doesn't mean we only want stories with happy endings. We view discoveries as a net positive, and the future has infinite potential for discovery. Don’t be afraid to submit surreal and uncanny stories, or even cosmic horror.
Some things we love:
Alternate universes, first contact, time and space travel, unexplained phenomena, afrofuturism/indofuturism/other culturally-specific futurist settings, philosophical themes, cosmic imagery, the overwhelming vastness of the universe, triumphs of the human spirit
Some hard sells:
Military sci-fi, cyberpunk/technoir (these tend to skew dystopian by nature), heavy technical sci-fi jargon, stories with romance as a core theme. However, there is an exception to every rule. When in doubt, submit anyway.
Issue Three: Wormhole
Submissions for Soft Star Issue Three: Wormhole are now closed.
Wormholes, black holes, portals — these mysterious rifts in spacetime have been a staple of science fiction for much of the last century. The concept of a wormhole was first posited by Albert Einstein in the 1930s as a facet of his theory of general relativity, and though they remain theoretical, they have captured the human imagination ever since.
Wormholes represent some of humanity’s greatest ambitions as well as our greatest fears. Imagine the ability to travel the universe faster than the speed of light, to see things no human has ever seen before. Then, imagine stepping across the threshold of a portal, not knowing what lies on the other side or how to return home — or whether return is even possible. Issue Three will capture these simultaneous feelings of unlimited potential and the terror of the unknown.
Though stories containing true wormholes are more than welcome in Issue Three, feel free to submit art and writing about other types of "portals" too, whether literal or metaphorical.
In general, the issue will embody themes of irreversible change (physical, mental, or otherwise), reckoning with fear, contact with the unexpected, expansion of the mind, and bravery in the face of the unknown. Time travel, multiverse stories, and surrealism are all welcome in this issue.