What is Planetary Fiction?
Planetary Fiction is an anthology on or about the the planets, and the themes associated with them. Thus:
Mercury: journeys and messengers
Venus: love and romance
Mars: conflict and war
Jupiter: power, authority and leadership
Saturn: time, age and endings
Such stories could be science fiction, fantasy, horror or weird fiction. Tales could feature science fiction as diamond hard as the unfiltered light of the stars in space, to flights of fancy. Star-ships that rigidly obey the limits of known physics, to fantastic gravity drives to chariots pulled though the starry ether by swans. It has room for the airless deserts of Mars and the crushing pressures of Venus; and for Warlords of Mars and Princesses of Venus.
If the story fits a planetary concept, and evokes awe and wonder, it could be a good fit for ″Planetary Fiction″…
The first in the series will be ″Mercury″; edited by David Hallquist
Why Mercury? Why tales of a small, barren rock circling the Sun, almost invisible in its glare?
The question might be: why not Mercury?
This oddball world races about in a highly eccentric ellipse, instead of the more proper, nearly circular orbits of other planets. It is tidally locked in a 3:2 resonance with the Sun, with one Mercury day for every two Mercury years. This cratered little world is far more dense than it would seem, and is believed to have a larger iron core than in proportion to other worlds. Then there is the odd phenomenon of a powerful magnetic field on a world that is barely rotating at all. Truly, a strange little world.
Mythic Mercury, or Hermes was the swift messenger of the gods, and famous for his brilliance and trickery. The wand of Hermes, the Caduceus, is still the symbol for medical learning around the world. Speed, brilliance and knowledge are all associated with the messenger.
Mercury the metal, is known as ″quicksilver″ and has been associated with transmutation and arcane processes since the time of the earliest alchemists. Chinese Emperors believes that an amalgam of mercury would bestow immortality. Useful in early photography, industry and scientific studies, the deadly poisonous nature of the metal quickly limited the usefulness of quicksilver.
For all of that, Mercury has been a bit overlooked in Science Fiction. There are notable great stories though the tiny world is often overlooked for the glories of Mars, the majesty of Jupiter or the splendor of Saturn.
These then, are the tales of Mercury: messages about the Messenger.
Superversive SF is now soliciting submissions for ″Planetary Fiction: Mercury″. Submissions should be sent to: [email protected]. Please place the name of the planet and the story title in the subject line. Try to avoid excessive formatting, and do include a author’s contact information and word count, as well as which planet it is connected to at the first paragraph. If you agree to have us publish your story, Superversive SF may elect to publish though Superversive Fiction or other publishers and formats, as deemed appropriate by Superversive SF.
″Venus″ is next in the series, edited by Jagi L. Wright and A.M. Freeman, and is now receiving submissions.