Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Towards an Accessible Future SciFi Story Contest

I love it when my geeky side and my deaf side combine into interesting stuff. Case in point: the "Towards an Accessible Future" contest mentioned in io9.

Artist's Conception of Space Station Freedom, from the Wikimedia Commons
This essay by Sarah Einstein discusses the use of disability in science fiction. She writes that disability in science fiction is almost always used as a metaphor, symbolic of something about the character or their circumstances. As she writes, "This is not the sort of future disability advocates envision [...] We envision a future in which disability—like race, gender, ethnicity, and other identity axes—may inform, but certainly not define, who a person is."

She asks, " What would a world look like that accommodated all kinds of bodies, all ways of communicating, every way of being an embodied human? How will the need to accommodate alien bodies influence how we accommodate our own? How will science help us build fully inclusive communities?"

The contest asks entrants to envision the world that Sarah Einstein is writing about - a world where disability is not a metaphor for something (although in science fiction it often seems that everything is a metaphor for something else) but where it is a fact of life, as it is today, with the future technologies adapting around it.

The details of the contest are here at Redstone Science Fiction. You've got from today, June 15, to August 15 to submit a maximum 5,000 word story that incorporates disability as a simple fact and portrays a world of universal access.

The contest sounds like a lot of fun and I'm already coming up with ideas in my head.

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