Cybearpunk Anthology

This Queer-Powered, Chub Sci-fi Anthology Wants Your Story

Alex Smith, writer of the plus size cyberpunk comic BLACK VANS is accepting submissions for his upcoming anthology, Cybearpunk. The anthology will contain stories featuring “chubby, fat, large-bodied gay men in heroic leading roles,” according to Smith’s Instagram page.

Why make a bear/chub focused sci-fi anthology?

According to Smith, there’s a lack of these types of stories. Cybearpunk aims to fix that:

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.

Smith goes on to add that he’s hoping for stories “with big burly fat dudes saving the day, solving quantum problems, fighting aliens, riding mechanical unicorns, flipping around like bad-ass space ninjas!”

Here’s how to submit your story

Interested in submitting your story for potential inclusion in Cybearpunk? Here’s what you need to know:

What they’re looking for

  • 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

Smith goes on to add that they’re looking for stories that include conflict, suspense, and diversity. Bonus points for stories that include love, sex, romance, and intimacy, things that help acknowledge “that fat bodies are sexy and worthy of love, worthy of being able to choose the kinds of love they want.”

What they don’t want

  • Steampunk, fantasy, horror, or anything that isn’t sci-fi
  • Fat shaming, or fat as an indicator of evil
  • Transphobia
  • No chubby, “woe is me, I’m fat” sad-sack stories or de-sexualized fat men 
  • Stories involving weight loss or body horror based on character’s fatness

There’s more details to be aware of – click here for the full list of requirements

What about art submissions?

Art submissions will be encouraged, but at a later date. First, Smith is focusing on story submissions.

Who can submit?

Smith says anyone can submit a story if it fits within the guidelines but 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]

Learn more about the Cybearpunk Anthology

Get all the details about Cybearpunk from Alex Smith’s post on Medium and on his instagram, @theyarebirds.

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