Science Fiction and Fantasy International Conference

Messengers from the Stars: Episode VI – “Nature and Overnature in Science Fiction and Fantasy”

School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon


Regrettably, due to the current pandemic, this year’s conference will have to be postponed to 2021. In the meantime, we urge you to submit any proposed papers you may have to be published in our peer-reviewed journal, which is still scheduled to come out this year. For further details, please see below:

Call For Papers

Messengers from the Stars: On Science Fiction and Fantasy

No. 5, 2020

Edited by: Matthew Hill

Co-edited by: João Félix


Messengers from the Stars is an international, peer-reviewed journal, offering academic articles, reviews, and providing an outlet for a wide range of creative work inspired by science fiction and fantasy. The 2020 issue will be dedicated to the following theme:

Utopias, Dystopias, Ecotopias and Heterotopias

For the 2020 Messengers from the Stars issue we will focus on representations of utopia and dystopia in Science-Fiction and Fantasy. The idea of conceptualizing a hypothetical social order as a way to think about the present has a rich literary and philosophical tradition, preceding Thomas More’s celebrated work itself. As Bloch describes, “the word utopia emerged here coined by Thomas More, though not the philosophically far more comprehensive concept of utopia.” (Bloch, The Principle of Hope, Vol. 1 14). In this sense, we can clearly see many iterations of the concept of utopia today, particularly those related to the idea of the current systems coming to an end. Given our current ecological, sociological and political circumstances, are we at the brink of collapse? What will come after that? In this issue we will address these and other questions related to the appeal of the utopian/dystopian in its many forms.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Alternate realities and histories;
  • Apocalyptic visions and their aftermath;
  • Ecotopia and ecology in the humanities;
  • Manifestations of the utopian/dystopian across the arts, contemporary thought and society in general;
  • Preppers;
  • Retrofuturism and steampunk;
  • Speculative fiction;
  • Utopian communities and projects;
  • Other.

Submissions, between 4000 and 6000 words in English, must be sent to mfts.journal@gmail.com by June 30, 2020. The authors will be notified by the end of July. You can download the CFP here.

In addition, you can propose a book or film review. We welcome book and film reviews on current science fiction and fantasy research and PhD dissertations. Reviews should be between 500 to 1,000 words. Longer reviews, e.g. dealing with more than one book, should be agreed upon with the Editorial Board. The guideline for book/film reviews is available here.

All submissions must follow the journal’s guidelines available at: http://messengersfromthestars.letras.ulisboa.pt/journal/submission-guidelines