Into the Ruins

Into the Ruins

Into the RuinsWebsite

Into the Ruins

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Into the Ruins is a different kind of science fiction magazine. Rather than the tropes of space operas, aliens, and interstellar travel, we offer science fiction stories for the real world. These are tales set in the near and far future that deal with the sort of future we are likely to actually get, rather than the shiny, high-tech fantasies too often peddled by science fiction.

These are tales set in a world dealing with climate change, energy and resource depletion, environmental and ecological destruction, political chaos, economic dysfunction, and all the other challenges we are making for ourselves day in and day out.

These are stories that recognize that the most compelling aspects of our future are far more likely to be disruptive political figures and movements, economic recessions and depressions, dramatically fluctuating energy prices, scarcity of fossil fuels, extreme weather events, rising seas, collapsing infrastructure, ecological dysfunction, food shortages, class warfare, and other such events; not travels to distant planets and far-off stars, not contact with alien lifeforms, and not even techno-dystopias.

These are stories that recognize just how compelling the human drama of such futures can be—and what lessons these troubled futures can teach us about the hard times ahead of us all.

These are stories that understand the natural world we are all a part of will far more determine the backdrop of our future lives than the techno-utopian fantasies of Silicon Valley executives, the power mad desires of establishment politicians, or the economic death grip of global corporations.

These are science fiction stories for the real world. New, fresh, and imaginative in ways the dominant culture tells us not to be. This is its own new frontier: not deep travels into space, but explorations set right here on earth, comprising the emerging sub-genre of deindustrial science fiction.


Into the Ruins is now accepting submissions of stories set in the near to far future. We are looking for stories set in the near to far future with well-told narratives featuring compelling characters dealing with and surviving a future of resource and energy shortages, peak oil, climate change, ecological degradation and disruption, and the political, social, and economic consequences of these realities. These stories may be harsh, uplifting or, best of all, a muddled blend of the two crossing a spectrum of human emotion and experience. We want stories that help us to make sense of a future unlike the ones we’ve been promised, but that do this through strong characters and deft plotting, detailing the future within the flow of the narrative rather than in long blocks of exposition.

Our philosophical guidelines include:
— Stories should obey natural laws as we currently understand them.
— Natural limits must exist.
— Stories featuring asteroid mining, terraforming of new planets, new sources of endless energy, or interstellar space travel will be rejected out of hand, even if they are morality tales against these activities.
— Set your story on earth.
— Stories of dystopian futures featuring our technologies run amok will be rejected out of hand. The basis of this journal’s world view is that the energy and physical resources needed to create such futures do not exist, and that the law of diminishing returns make such futures more or less impossible.
— While the details are somewhat debatable, this future should feature limited energy, limited resources, and the decline of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources.
— Consequences from fossil fuel usage should also exist (such as climate change, dead zones, ecological degradation, effects on human health, economic and political pressures, and so on). These consequences can play a central or background role or barely be relevant to the story at hand, but the story should be consistent with these consequences existing even if they are not explicitly seen or referenced.
— No magical technological solutions, no free energy, no fusion power, no amazing new sources of energy equal to or greater than fossil fuels, no easy fixes.
— Hope, joy, love, optimism, and humor should exist alongside pain, misery, sadness, depression, and cruelty. Your story may be sad and painful, and you may harshly criticize the choices of industrial society, but please don’t submit never ending expanses of abject misery or one-note screeds about how evil humans are. They aren’t likely to be published. An honest eye toward the complexity of humans and our decisions is encouraged.


Editors Name Joel Caris
Print publication? Yes
Do you take online submissions? Yes
Submission Guidelines URL
Approx. Response Time? 4-6 weeks
How often do you publish? Quarterly
Year Founded? 2016
Do you pay? Yes


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