Leapsmag is all about high-quality journalism and expert commentary. So you may be wondering, why are we hosting a fiction contest?
The answer is that some of the most visionary ideas for the future of humanity and technology first emerged in fiction, from Jules Verne's prescient novels about space, air, and underwater travels in the 19th century, to Arthur C. Clarke's prediction of satellite communications in 1945, to Isaac Asimov's exploration of robot ethics in the 1950s, to William Gibson's depiction of "cyberspace" in 1982.
But speculative fiction writers don't only anticipate big breakthroughs; they also care about probing the societal, personal, and moral impacts of new technology.
Will the next astute observation come in the form of a short story for leapsmag? Let's find out!
ABOUT THE CONTEST:
Explore a big moral question or a new opportunity raised by an emerging technology today, in the form of an original, previously unpublished piece of fiction of up to 3000 words.
Submissions must be received by midnight EST on September 15th, 2018. Send your story as a double-spaced attachment in size 12 Times New Roman font to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name and a short bio. It is free to enter, and authors retain all ownership of their work. Upon submitting an entry, the author agrees to grant leapsmag one-time nonexclusive publication rights.
All submissions will be judged by the Editor-in-Chief on the basis of insightfulness, originality, quality of storytelling, and relevance to the prompt. The Contest is open to anyone around the world of any age, except for the friends and family of leapsmag staff and associates.
The winners will be announced by October 15th, 2018.
Grand Prize: $500, publication of your story on leapsmag, and promotion on our social media channels.
First Runner-Up: $100 and a shout-out on our social media channels.
Rob Waddell dreaded getting a kidney transplant. He suffers from a genetic condition called polycystic kidney disease that causes the uncontrolled growth of cysts that gradually choke off kidney function. The inherited defect has haunted his family for generations, killing his great grandmother, grandmother, and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.
But he saw how difficult it was for his mother and sister, who also suffer from this condition, to live with the side effects of the drugs they needed to take to prevent organ rejection, which can cause diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer, and even kidney failure because of their toxicity. Many of his relatives followed the same course, says Waddell: "They were all on dialysis, then a transplant and ended up usually dying from cancers caused by the medications."
This article is part of the magazine, "The Future of Science In America: The Election Issue," co-published by LeapsMag, the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program, and GOOD.
We invited Nobel Prize, National Medal of Science, and Breakthrough Prize Laureates working in America to offer advice to the next President on how to prioritize science and medicine in the next four years. Almost universally, these 28 letters underscore the importance of government support for basic or fundamental research to fuel long-term solutions to challenges like infectious diseases, climate change, and environmental preservation.
Many of these scientists are immigrants to the United States and emphasize how they moved to this country for its educational and scientific opportunities, which recently have been threatened by changes in visa policies for students and researchers from overseas. Many respondents emphasize the importance of training opportunities for scientists from diverse backgrounds to ensure that America can continue to have one of the strongest, most creative scientific workforces in the world.