New sci-fi mag hits e-shelves

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New Scientist has launched a new digital sci-fi publication. Arc, a “magazine about the future,” hit the e-stands in late last month.

The first edition features new fiction from Ontario’s Margaret Atwood. “Bearlift” is described as “an eerie exploration of the near future” drawn from a yet-to-be-published novel. Maddaddam, the third book in a set that began with Oryx and Crake, is scheduled for release next year.

Unfortunately for eager sci-fi writers, the new magazine does not take submissions. It says it decides what it wants to do with its four yearly editions, then selects and hires writers on commission to produce the material.

It has, however, also launched a writing competition in conjunction with Intel’s Tomorrow Project.

Entries should be new, original stories of between 3,000 and 5,000 words set in the near future. Although technology should be prominent, a compelling human element is also important. Arc’s editors strongly suggest writers read Issue 1.1 to get a feel for the current theme, The Future Always Wins.

Deadline for the first competition is one minute to midnight on April 8.

Editors will select one story for publication in the next Arc, which is due out in May. The winner will also receive £500, with each of five short-listed stories scoring a £200 payday. For further details, please read the terms and conditions on Arc’s website.

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