As the world faces the oncoming reality of declining energy,
fraying infrastructure, and other consequences promised to us by the profligacy of the fossil fuel
age, we’re left to look into a future that at first appears a trackless wilderness. The
monocrop of globalized industrial civilization has handed down precious few frameworks that we can
use to understand what it will be like to live in an age of less. It has dealt with its
impending dissolution by closing its eyes and pretending it’ll never happen.
And yet if we’re to survive and even thrive in the future, we must have stories.
For narrative is how we make sense of our world. The high-glitz fantasies we’re offered these days
won’t be much ultimate help, though: visions of spacefaring utopias or serves-us-right armageddons
are diverting and perhaps cathartic, but bear little resemblance to the futures we’re actually
likely to get.
New Maps is a quarterly journal of short stories that take place
in the Earth’s realistic future. Not a paradisiac or apocalyptic end of days, nor an
easy continuation of the last few decades’ business-as-usual with somewhat different fashions, but an
era in which our ecological and energy bills have come due, and we and our descendants have
proceeded to do what people always do: figure out creative ways to keep doing all those things that
make up life, the loving and hating and laughing and crying and all the rest, in the times we’ve
This is fiction of real life in an age of limits—an age that, like every
other, will mix the tragic and the comic and the who-knows-what-just-happened, and leave it to us to
make sense of it all. This is fiction full of cobbled-together and home-brewed technology,
reinvented culture with sacred cows butchered and new ones bred, and mourning and celebration of
the old world’s end mixed with hope for renewed health and integrity within a homespun patchwork of
new ways of life.
Readers and writers of New Maps,
The summer issue should have arrived for those of you who’ve subscribed or ordered a copy. And since it was a touch behind the usual schedule, with September now just over the horizon, the fall issue will be following it closely. So this is a quick update with dates for those of you who’d like to contribute something to it.
The summer issue of New Maps is now available!
If you're a U.S. subscriber, your copy should show up in your
mailbox around the middle of August, with dates somewhat different for
international subscribers, depending on your country.
The time is drawing near for another issue of New Maps to start coming
together, and I thought I’d write a quick email about dates and other details.