The SFRA Review’s Transition to Partial Peer Review



The SFRA Review’s Transition to Partial Peer Review

The Editorial Collective


With the explosive growth in scholarship on SF in recent times, the Editorial Collective feels that there are more scholars who need peer-reviewed scholarship to obtain and advance in their positions. As of the Winter 2022 issue, the SFRA Review will move to a peer-review model for some of its feature articles. This will happen gradually over the course of 2022: by the end of that year, we hope to be publishing three or four peer-reviewed articles per issue. We will of course need established scholars to perform peer review: you are more than welcome to volunteer by emailing us at sfrarev@gmail.com.

Scholars wishing to submit their articles for peer review should take care to properly edit and format their manuscript before sending it to us, and to clearly notify us that they wish their article to go through the peer-review process.

  • Articles should be a maximum of 8000 words in length, including notes and works cited.
  • Articles should conform to MLA 8th edition standards throughout.
  • MS Word .docx format only, or Google Docs should you not have access to Word.
  • Your first page should be a title page containing only your name and affiliation and
    the paper’s title.
  • Please anonymize your manuscript by making sure your name appears only on this title page; we will take care of disabling the automatic user tagging before sending the manuscript to peer reviewers.
  • Please make sure pages are numbered.
  • Please use endnotes, not footnotes. Do not link the note to the in-text number; this will require you not to use Word’s automatic notes.
  • Please avoid discursive notes when possible.

Articles not conforming to these guidelines will be returned rather than sent to peer review.

Once an article is received, two of our editors will review it and discuss its suitability for peer review. If the editors do not believe it suitable, we will either return it or propose that it be published as a non-peer-reviewed article. If the editors do believe it suitable, the submitter will be informed that it has been sent for peer review. For such articles, our intention is to have it reviewed by two scholars who are qualified to evaluate the work. Our intent is to spend no more than 60 days on the peer review process.

After receiving the results of the review(s), the journal editors will decide whether the article in question should be accepted as-is, perhaps with a few minor edits, or accepted only after major revisions, or rejected entirely. We will notify the submitter as soon as is practically possible after this decision is made.

Again, we will be doing this slowly and carefully. While scholars are encouraged to submit their work for peer review beginning now, please note that we will only accept two articles into the process for the Winter and Spring 2022 issues. This is not because we do not value your contributions; rather, we want things to move as smoothly as possible and are therefore being as careful as possible.

We are also planning a move away from WordPress to an established academic publishing platform, one that will allow for indexing in scholarly databases and DOI numbers. This will also be a gradual process, not least because it involves the appropriation of funds; we will keep you posted as the process unfolds.

We look forward both to your submissions and to bringing the Review, gradually, into the ranks of peer-reviewed journals in SF.

From the Editor


SFRA Review, vol. 52, no. 2

From the SFRA Review


Spring 2022

Ian Campbell
Editor, SFRA Review


As I write this, the ghastly oligarch Elon Musk has just purchased Twitter, the ghastly platform for racism, misogyny, and encroaching fascism. Twitter can, if extremely carefully curated, be a medium for discovery, but mostly, a tremendous amount of energy is spent by people trying to earn the title of Cleverest Person of the Last 30 Minutes. I suppose I can hold out hope that un-banning Golden Toilet’s account will result in another Trump/Biden election, which is the only way we’re going to stave off Braindead Gilead for another four years. Musk and Twitter are both part of a Bad Science Fiction future. We wanted space communism and jetpacks; we got uncharismatic oligarchs and micro-rants. I wanted to find a source where someone discussed this at length, but the first thing I found was, of course, a Tweet:

I have a special loathing for Musk because, in addition to everything else questionable about him, he claims to be a fan of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels and to have read them multiple times: he’s even named some of the SpaceX ships after ships in the novels. While it’s definitely amusing to see a rocket recovery ship called Of Course I Still Love You, it’s also clear that he either didn’t understand the books or has chosen to serve as a counterexample. In the Culture, everyone has the freedom to do as they wish; many people have speculated that Musk is buying Twitter purely so that he can ban the account of the teenage boy who tracks Musk’s private jet. More than anything, Musk is the villain from a Banks novel. Specifically, he’s Joiler Veppers from Surface Detail: an archcapitalist with vile appetites who profits from the suffering of others. Had we the technology to capture people’s mindstates after death and send them to a digital hell, Musk would surely try to leverage it—but of course, we already have Facebook and whatever the Metaverse is going to be.

In this issue of SFRA Review, we have elements of a better SF future: specifically, the second half of our Hungarian Futurisms symposium. We very much hope that in some way, the essays, fiction and reviews herein can help us to understand how things might, could or should be better.

Call for Applications: Fiction Editor



Call for Applications: Fiction Editor

The Editorial Collective


The SFRA Review would like to invite applicants for the position of Fiction Editor. To submit an application, please email Ian Campbell at sfrarev@gmail.com and briefly outline qualifications and interest.

In collaboration with the Editor and Associate Editor(s), the Fiction Editor is generally responsible for soliciting, evaluating and editing submissions to our Fiction section. They may also choose to aid the rest of the Editorial Collective in preparing each issue, though this would not be required.

Overview of Responsibilities:

  • Participate in regular meetings with the Editor and Associate Editors
  • Solicit short (< 4k words) fiction pieces from scholars and the general public
  • Be the point of contact with authors of fiction
  • Edit and copyedit submissions (generally less than ten per quarter)
  • Occasional other responsibilities

We look forward to your submission. This is a great opportunity for a graduate student or emerging scholar to gain experience in the field in a low-pressure situation.


From the Editor


SFRA Review, vol. 52, no. 1

From the SFRA Review


Winter 2022

Ian Campbell
Editor, SFRA Review


Welcome to Volume 52 of the SFRA Review. We’re nearly as old as the Super Bowl and filled with more content. In this issue, we have the first half of our symposium on SF from Hungary, which contains articles and interviews; in addition, we have a wide selection of papers from the LSFRC conference held recently via the virtual meeting technology that I rather doubt will ever stop being the norm.

Technology doesn’t always flatten the curves of hierarchy and privilege: all I have to do to understand this is to compare my own Facebook feed to that of my World War II veteran father. How and why it doesn’t flatten these curves is increasingly the subject of twenty-first century SF: I look forward to works published in the immediate near future where the effect of simultaneous physical isolation and constant online companionship is estranged. For the very most part, I applaud the shift to virtual meetings, precisely because they flatten hierarchy and privilege.

We can hold the upcoming SFRA conference “in” Oslo, and not worry about the prohibitive costs of travel even for privileged, tenured scholars like me: now, it’s trivial for graduate students, independent scholars, visiting/adjunct faculty and even regular faculty who don’t have access to travel funds to add their perspectives to the discourse at conferences. Nothing can quite replace the collegiality of walking into a meeting room or the hotel bar and randomly encountering colleagues: those sorts of ad hoc discussions are the best and sometimes even productive. Nevertheless, on balance the shift has made the discourse around SF better—and more importantly, fairer.

Please see our CFP on sexual violence in SF: I very much hope you’ll consider contributing. I leave you with a photograph of my daughter from 2016, when I tried to troll her into thinking that the Noah’s Ark story was real. Not all SF is cognitively plausible, even within the world of the text.

From the Editor



Fall 2021

Ian Campbell
Editor, SFRA Review


My memories of last fall are of constant anxiety and insomnia. I genuinely believed that monster was going to win re-election, and that my daughter and every other woman would be soon reduced to de jure as well as de facto second-tier citizenship. Now, I’m no less anxious, but the fear is not so immediate; yet unless we begin to think of ourselves as a coalition against fascism rather than a fractious party divided into two groups with very different agendas, we’re headed toward authoritarian minority rule, all while the climate apocalypse keeps ticking away. A 74-year-old coal baron and a proudly out queer woman who was once a member of the Green Party are keeping us from addressing that apocalypse, while the other party actively denies its existence or even exacerbates it. Imagine an agent or publisher finding any of this plausible as a work of SF. Now imagine a work of SF that estranges a modern society facing the climate challenge by having its foundational document written with a feather on a sheepskin by an all-male group of aristocrats who were mostly slaveowners.

I say all this well aware that I personally have a great deal of societal privilege: were I able to plausibly claim that I’m a Christian, I’d pretty much run the table on it. In this issue of SFRA Review, we present to you two different perspectives on SF from folks who can plausibly claim they’ve already suffered through the, or an, apocalypse.

In our Features section, we have a roundtable discussion on the state of Black Indie SF, centering on how a group of people often excluded from mainstream publishing both put out their work and deal with both the exclusion and the still-imperfect attempts at inclusion. The discussion is fascinating in itself, but its organizers have also included links to publishers, sites, authors and events: please take the time to introduce yourself to this most excellent discourse. Our symposium in this issue, Trans-Indigenous Futurity, examines SF by and from Indigenous authors from North America. Much of the fiction examined by the scholars in this symposium addresses the apocalypse that for many of these groups is and has always already happened. Please take the time to explore these fascinating and valuable perspectives.

In addition, we introduce our Fiction section in this issue. We urge you to submit your own works of SF for subsequent issues. And as we move toward peer review, please make sure the graduate students and emerging scholars in your network are aware of the opportunity for peer-reviewed publication through SFRA Review.

The SFRA Review’s Transition to Partial Peer Review



The SFRA Review’s Transition to Partial Peer Review

The Editorial Collective


With the explosive growth in scholarship on SF in recent times, the Editorial Collective feels that there are more scholars who need peer-reviewed scholarship to obtain and advance in their positions. As of the Winter 2022 issue, the SFRA Review will move to a peer-review model for some of its feature articles. This will happen gradually over the course of 2022: by the end of that year, we hope to be publishing three or four peer-reviewed articles per issue. We will of course need established scholars to perform peer review: you are more than welcome to volunteer by emailing us at sfrarev@gmail.com.

Scholars wishing to submit their articles for peer review should take care to properly edit and format their manuscript before sending it to us, and to clearly notify us that they wish their article to go through the peer-review process.

  • Articles should be a maximum of 8000 words in length, including notes and works cited.
  • Articles should conform to MLA 8th edition standards throughout.
  • MS Word .docx format only, or Google Docs should you not have access to Word.
  • Your first page should be a title page containing only your name and affiliation and
    the paper’s title.
  • Please anonymize your manuscript by making sure your name appears only on this title page; we will take care of disabling the automatic user tagging before sending the manuscript to peer reviewers.
  • Please make sure pages are numbered.
  • Please use endnotes, not footnotes. Do not link the note to the in-text number; this will require you not to use Word’s automatic notes.
  • Please avoid discursive notes when possible.

Articles not conforming to these guidelines will be returned rather than sent to peer review.

Once an article is received, two of our editors will review it and discuss its suitability for peer review. If the editors do not believe it suitable, we will either return it or propose that it be published as a non-peer-reviewed article. If the editors do believe it suitable, the submitter will be informed that it has been sent for peer review. For such articles, our intention is to have it reviewed by two scholars who are qualified to evaluate the work. Our intent is to spend no more than 60 days on the peer review process.

After receiving the results of the review(s), the journal editors will decide whether the article in question should be accepted as-is, perhaps with a few minor edits, or accepted only after major revisions, or rejected entirely. We will notify the submitter as soon as is practically possible after this decision is made.

Again, we will be doing this slowly and carefully. While scholars are encouraged to submit their work for peer review beginning now, please note that we will only accept two articles into the process for the Winter and Spring 2022 issues. This is not because we do not value your contributions; rather, we want things to move as smoothly as possible and are therefore being as careful as possible.

We are also planning a move away from WordPress to an established academic publishing platform, one that will allow for indexing in scholarly databases and DOI numbers. This will also be a gradual process, not least because it involves the appropriation of funds; we will keep you posted as the process unfolds.

We look forward both to your submissions and to bringing the Review, gradually, into the ranks of peer-reviewed journals in SF.

From the Editor



Summer 2021

Ian Campbell
Editor, SFRA Review


“Heat Dome” is the phrase we’ve all learned to associate with Summer 2021: while here in Atlanta, it’s just another warm but unremarkable summer, a friend in Oregon tells me it’s like living on a different planet out there. The Anthropocene is already here: it’s just unevenly distributed. We can hope that the science-fictionality of the present will encourage the powers that be and the general populace to consider the solutions SF might have to offer, but given that citizens wanting yet another term for Jim Crow ransacked the Capitol on live TV, this seems rather unlikely.

In cheerier news, we have a great deal happening at the Review, including our transition to partial peer review. We believe that with the exponential growth in the serious study of SF in recent times, it’s important to provide a platform where emerging scholars can receive publishing credit that will help them advance. We are of course absolutely looking for established scholars to help with the peer review, so you may expect a politely phrased request from us at some point in the future.

In this issue, we also have the annual results from the SFRA conference, including statements from award winners, reports from officers and a version of the keynote. We also have statements from candidates for executive positions, so please take the time to read these before you consider how to vote. In addition, we have a long-form piece on and a translated story by the Bulgarian SF master Lyuben Dilov, a special section on Mormonism and SF, some papers from the 2021 ICFA conference and our usual suite of reviews.

The Editorial Collective would like to welcome three new members and two members to new positions. Former associate editor Virginia Conn is now our managing editor; former fiction reviews editor Jeremy Carnes is taking Virginia’s place as associate editor. Jeremy is joined by Andrea Blatz, our other new associate editor; Michael Pitts is our new fiction reviews editor. Josh Derke has also just joined us in the new position of fiction editor, so if you’ve always wanted to write SF, he’s the one to reach out to. We look forward to serving you with more and better content in future issues.

Call for Applications: Associate Editor



Call for Applications: Associate Editor

The Editorial Collective


We will greatly miss our longtime Associate Editor, Amandine Faucheux, who says that “It was my privilege and my honor to work with my talented colleagues and brilliant authors over the years, and I cannot wait to continue following the Review and the field as a reader.”

The SFRA Review would like to invite applicants for the position. To submit an application, please email Ian Campbell at sfrarev@gmail.com and briefly outline qualifications and interest.

In collaboration with the Editor and Associate Editor(s), the Associate Editor is generally responsible for special issues and symposiums. However, duties and responsibilities are generally negotiated with the rest of the editorial team as befits the Associate Editor’s interests, skills, and experience.

Overview of Responsibilities:

  • Participate in regular meetings with the Editor and other Associate Editors
  • Propose, organize, and/or take charge of special issues and symposiums
  • Be the point of contact with authors, conference/panel organizers
  • Edit and copyedit essays (about 20-30 per quarter)
  • Occasional other responsibilities

From the Editor



Spring 2021

Ian Campbell
Editor, SFRA Review


During the last few weeks, I’ve experienced William Gibson’s unevenly-distributed future. My wife was in a motorcycle accident last month, and as of a few days ago now has a knee supplemented with metal and polymer parts and ligaments from a cadaver. My father, who at 93 was still running on a treadmill up until quite recently, experienced tremendous pain from sciatica and is now re-learning how to walk: the surgery that inserted artificial spacers between his lumbar vertebrae and metal rods to hold them together has temporarily confused his spinal cord. My daughter and I are now the only family members who aren’t cyborgs, though both of us wonder how long that will last.

In this issue of the SFRA Review, we present to you at least three distinctly different versions of that future. First, we have a new Fiction section, inaugurated by the Chinese writer Tang Fei: we will be henceforth accepting fiction submissions, as delimited by the call for submissions at the beginning of the new section. We also have two symposia addressing the future. The first, Sinofuturisms, gives perspectives on the past, present and future of the rapidly-growing discourse around Chinese SF. Our other symposium consists of selected papers from the “Living in the End Times” conference, which detail a rich variety of takes on the slow-motion apocalypse many of us have found ourselves in: SF enables us to examine and critique the causes of and responses to the changes presented to us by the Anthropocene. We also have, in addition to the usual panoply of reviews, a call for papers relating to Indigenous SF, which will be one of the primary subjects of our November 2021 issue.

Finally, we bid farewell to one of our Associate Editors, Amandine Faucheux, whose competence and collegiality will be greatly missed. Please pass to your friends and colleagues our call for a new Associate Editor.

From the Editor



Winter 2021

Ian Campbell
Editor, SFRA Review


I’d like to thank you for reading SFRA Review. This is my first issue as senior editor, and while I cannot hope to surpass the standards Sean Guynes instituted during his tenure, I can try to maintain these standards. In fact, this issue is really his, as Sean directed the content, while I merely arranged it. We have him to thank for everything that’s been done to professionalize the Review and raise its visibility.

I live in Atlanta, in the lovely and newly-blue state of Georgia, where I work at Georgia State University. I primarily write about Arabic-language SF, though I also publish on postcolonial Moroccan literature in Arabic and French, and sometimes on Anglophone SF. I grew up on old-school Anglo-American SF, but have gradually learned not to reread the sort of things my teenage self thought magnificent.

It is in the spirit of looking back upon things we once thought magnificent, now with a more mature and critical eye, that we present to you the only part of this issue that is my contribution rather than Sean’s. The Review has been publishing for fifty years, now: half a century of discourse on SF as serious literature. We invite creators, critics, scholars and fans of all generations to take a look at what we’re calling Interrogating Our History, and to consider the call for papers, through which you can consider submitting a reflection upon works the critics, scholars and fans of the year 1971 considered influential. Please consider submitting: the papers will be published in the year’s remaining issues.

My role here is to boost the signals of other people: writers and artists, reviewers, graduate students, emerging scholars, established scholars, independent scholars and scholars from outside the Anglophone world. The Review provides a platform for anyone to make observations or draw conclusions about the vast, increasing diversity of SF and related genres. As an international publication, we have the reach to enable scholars from all over the world to discuss speculative fiction and how it manifests in corners of the world that my teenage self only knew about through stereotypes and Orientalism. Do you have a point to make, or an axe to grind? Contact us.

For now, little will change, especially structurally. Sean did a great job raising the level of professionalism, and I hope to build upon that. In this issue, in addition to reviews and feature articles, our editorial team brings to you papers from Us in Flux and Beyond Borders; future issues will maintain these symposia and special sections. Are you organizing a conference or part of a group of scholars who wish to present multiple perspectives on the same topic? Again, contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.