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Taking Submissions: Untitlted Gay Bear / Chub Sci-Fi Anthology

October 1, 2023

Deadline: October 1st, 2023
Payment: 8 Cents per word
Theme: Science fiction that feature and empower large gay/bi/queer men

John Bear was a mesh of wire and silicone, of nanobot lace and rare gems unearthed from mines in foreign lands. He stepped out of the cryo-chamber, his large body pulsating with a green bio- luminescence, his head throbbing with a constant data stream being jacked into his frontal lobe. The lone light, a faint, dim sliver of faded yellow from a computer monitor a room away seemed blinding, seemed to radiate the force of a violent sun. John stumbled towards what looked like a door, banged his round belly on the control panel before sliding down the wall in a convulsing lump. The door swished open and standing before him was an onyx robot with dancing dreads that looked like guitar wires. “Kiss me,” the robot said with metallic timbre. John raised his head and admired the robot’s physique — round, carbon faced, barrel-chested, and a slick, smooth belly larger than his own. “Kiss me, remember me, understand me — and then we can both be free.” After a pause, the door closed — sssswiissshh — leaving John Bear alone in the dark, leaking fluid, drifting into the blackness of sleep.

We here at the Afterverse have always wondered what a queer empowered sci-fi anthology would look like. We also wondered what would happen if those stories took place in the bear and chub communities, if they featured characters that could be our friends, partners, boyfriends, and lovers and if they featured larger bodies, fat bodies, chubby, hairy bodies! We are often left wondering what queer genre fiction — from fantasy to romance to even slice of life, would look like if we found the lead characters desirable and/or reflective of the myriad bodies that make up gay men’s community. And since very, very few forms of media give us those images in real ways, we decided to carve out a space for our own.

This submission call is for cyberpunk, Afrofuturist, solar punk, space opera, hard and soft sci-fi, futuristic speculative fiction, raypunk, dystopian, sci-fi noir, post-apocalypse and utopian stories — you know, science fiction! — that feature and empower large gay/bi/queer men. We are tentatively calling it “Cybearpunk”; we want sci-fi with big burly fat dudes saving the day, solving quantum problems, fighting aliens, riding mechanical unicorns, flipping around like bad-ass space ninjas!

art by Steven Arnold @pillowtalktalk on Instagram


– sci-fi stories that feature fat/chubby/big-boned’ed gay/bi/queer men in heroic leads (bonus points if there’s — gasp! — more than one fat gay man in your story!)

– stories that feature a wide range of voices: disabled, trans men, men of color — all of that, please, yes

– anything from high octane action thrillers to thoughtful character studies


– strong themes; your story has to be about something, not just pew pew pew! (although even escapist stories will be considered if the writing is top notch!)

– conflict and suspense

– diverse casts

– a unique aesthetic approach (strong descriptive prose, visual storytelling, unusual, kinetic, immersive)

– love, sex, romance, intimacy — it’s not required, but an important part of celebrating fat bodies in queer space is the acknowledgment that fat bodies are sexy and worthy of love, worthy of being able to choose the kinds of love they want


– steampunk, fantasy, horror (these have to be sci-fi stories; unfortunately can’t make any acceptions here, perhaps if this is successful we will do other genres!)

– fat shaming or “fat as an indicator of evil”

– gratuitious sex and violence (sex and violence are good and necessary in many cases; just not an overwhelming amount — be subversive, sneaky, mysterious!)

– no “aliens/mutants/other beings as a metaphor for racism/sexism/homophobia”

– transphobia; no thanks! We are trans affirming!

– no chubby, “woe is me, I’m fat” sad-sack stories or de-sexualized fat men (asexual is fine, but de-sexualized ain’t happening here)

– stories involving weight loss or body horror based on character’s fatness

– multiple submissions; please don’t submit your story anywhere else


– literally anyone! We would love for those in the gay bear community to submit, own-voice matters to us. But anyone who wants to can submit a story. Only the best stories will be selected.

Stories should be 5,000 to 10,000 words at $0.08 (8 cents) per word. Submissions are due October 1, 2023. Send submissions in any format to [email protected]

note: current art is a placeholder and just a general “vibe”. we will work with paid artists for this anthology.

Thank you and stay future!
Alex Smith, Afterverse

@TheAfterverse on instagram


Alex Smith is a sci-fi writer (The Resistance web-series; Black Vans comic book), artist, musician (art-punk bands Solarized, Rainbow Crimes), activist (Metropolarity queer sci-fi collective) and cultural/arts critic (Pitchfork, The Key, Bandcamp, Philly Gay News, Philly Artblog). He is a recipient of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and author of the sci-fi/cyberpunk/super-hero/Afrofuturist short story collection ARKDUST, published from Rosarium Publishing (http://rosariumpublishing.com/novels/arkdust.html)


Via: The Afterverse.