Call for submissions: Automation

We’re launching an open prompt for submissions to our next round of Red Futures Science Fiction writing!

You can see our last sets of short stories which respond to the prompts New Planet and Utopia.

For our next prompt, we are issuing an open call for submissions on the theme of "automation." We’ve been reading Alessandro Delfanti’s book The Warehouse, which details how surveillance and automation in Amazon warehouses work, and the mental/physical toll it has on workers, as well as how these strategies are being expanded to other types of jobs. As he explains:

“Despite its innovation, Amazon will always need living labour's flexibility and low cost. And as the warehouse is increasingly automated, worker discontent increases.”

The more automated a task is, the more workers it requires and churns through to increase fulfilment speed, creating more disempowered short term contract workers who suffer from more workplace injuries and mental fatigue. This is often the opposite of how mainstream media and commentary discuss the automation of jobs: either that it will just put "unskilled" people out of work in a straightforward way, or that it will make it so no one has to do dangerous or boring jobs. Automation is also a common device to explain how certain things are just taken care of (especially way out in space where it's hard to get large amounts of labour) in science fiction.

For this collection we want to invite submissions about the limits or drawbacks of automation. These can be short stories (2,000 words), longer pieces, or in different media. Contributors are welcome to join our Discord channel to discuss more.

We have set a deadline of 31st of May for submissions.

Please contact for further details.