The past year has thrown into sharp relief the surreal terrain of our contemporary landscape, and here at The Golden Key, we have watched this rising social and political upheaval with a contradictory, heart-rending mixture of despair and awe. While the world is facing unconscionable violence and pervasive attacks on human rights, there has been an extraordinary response to these systematic injustices and abuses of power. People have taken to the streets in defense of the rights of women and immigrants, to protest political corruption, to reject white supremacy. And even in the midst of our rage and grief and heartbreak, there has been such beautiful strangeness and joy. More than anything, this past year has shown us we must create radical change, through our words and through our deeds.
With this in mind, The Golden Key has decided to devote our upcoming issue to the theme of revolutionary things. We’re looking for stories and poems that subvert, that upend the old order, that wheel and circle, that present novel modes of belief or being.
A revolutionary thing might be an idea that supplants a long-held belief, like the Copernican Model of the universe supplanting the Ptolemaic Model. Or perhaps Ptolemy himself was a revolutionary, with his theory that celestial bodies produced a heavenly music. The rotation of the planets around each other is a kind of revolution, as is the course of any object around an axis. Engines and records and washing machines can all be measured by revolutions per minute, too. Maybe you’ll find revolution in taking an unknown path, or stepping off the path altogether. You might even argue that the presence of strange or unreal elements in your writing is a revolutionary thing in itself.
Some might explore revolution in the form of an allegorical story, as in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Others might prefer to imagine the fantastical experiences of individual people in revolutionary times, as in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. You might think of Marsha P. Johnson and Stormé DeLarverie at Stonewall, or Isaac Newton under the apple tree. Whether it’s the mass levitation of the Pentagon or the Ghost Dance of water protectors at Standing Rock, we want you to show us wondrous and revelatory moments of change.
Please note, we are not interested in works that serve solely to espouse political positions. We are first and foremost a journal of speculative literature, and we are interested in fiction and poetry that explores the experience of revolution in its many definitions through a fantastical tense, or using experimental tools. We tend to prefer stories about people to stories of ideas. This is not a forum for propaganda.
Send us revolutions that elate and devastate. Send us work that upends our thinking, turns us about, and leaves us staring down the barrel of a world of which we could never have conceived.
We will be reading for our Revolutionary Things issue between October 1 and November 30. Work for Issue 8: Revolutionary Things will be published every week beginning in December 2017.
Please see our Submissions page for further details.