Call for Submissions: India 2049 – Utopias and Dystopias

India 2049 – Open to submissions till October 15, 2018 (Updated: 10/09/18)

“The developing countries such as those in the South Asia and Africa are not sufficiently depicted in typical SF stories.”— Cixin Liu, Mithila Review

Mithila Review is seeking submissions for India 2049: Utopias and Dystopias, an anthology of short stories and comics devoted to the exploration of Indian futures, utopias and dystopias, set in India, South Asia or beyond.


  • What would India or South Asia look like in 2049, or later? What kind of democracies India or South Asian countries will become?
  • Who will rule the Indian subcontinent—evil dynasts and conglomerates, godheads or the common man?
  • What kind of a world would technological advances create? Will “Digital India” unite people, or make segregations mandatory, and create a new age of darkness with its data banks and mass surveillance?
  • Can India lay the foundation to become an egalitarian, star-faring civilization in the next three decades?
  • How will social media and IoT change people’s lives, reconstitute our friendships, our family structures and laws?
  • What kind of a planet will our children inherit? When the water in our rivers dry out, how will we source water? How will we survive mega earthquakes and massive floods? How will we live among newer species of beings that walk the earth?
  • Who will decide our fate: religion, the nation or ourselves? Will the old gods survive the new ones? Will women be able to roam the streets freely at night? Will it be okay to be queer? Who will live and who will die? Who decides?
  • What will we produce when we’ve had it all? Will there still be hunger and desperation? What will we strive for? Will life be a perpetual vacation or a never-ending workday?

These are only a few questions to draw your imagination to India or many Indias that might come to be, in the near or distant future. We are looking for excellent stories that show in vivid details, through exciting plot and sensitive characterizations, the Indias of the future. This anthology project seeks to represent the multiple imaginations of India and South Asia. We ask writers from around the world to engage in the present to imagine a future, to draw on the problems and possibilities of existing Indian or South Asian societies to think of a future with its own set of problems and possibilities.

Editors: Salik Shah & Ajapa Sharma

Word Limit: 4000-12,000 words

Comics: Up to 24 pages

Extended Deadline: October 15, 2018 (Updated: Sep 10, 2018)

Eligibility: Stories should be set in India, South Asia, or told from Indian or South Asian perspective. We want excellent, characters-driven and thoughtful stories from emerging and established voices around the world. Your citizenship or nationality, or lack of it, isn’t a bar to submission. You are welcome to re/define India or South Asia to make it relevant to the future/s you’re creating. If you are new to Mithila Review, please go through our existing issues to get a taste and understanding of the kind of stories that define Mithila Review.

Payment & Royalty: This anthology project is a fundraiser for Mithila Review—a quarterly journal of international science fiction and fantasy devoted to the best of speculative writing from around the world. We’ll pay a minimum honorarium of $25 to each contributor along with a digital copy (epub/mobi) of the book. We’ll seek to raise funds to pay professional rates to all contributors through a crowd-funding campaign to be launched in approx. August 2018. Depending on available funding, the authors will be paid either a fixed honorarium or proportionately each from 50% of the total funds raised, and receive two contributor’s copies (print). The remaining 50% and future proceeds from the anthology will go toward funding Mithila Review.

Reprints Policy: Reprints are welcome for a fixed honorarium of $10.

Rights: We require first publication right (print & digital), and the right to publish and market your work as part of the anthology, and separately on Mithila Review. We require non-exclusive audio, comic and video rights.

How to Submit:

1. Subject Line: Please write “Sub: India 2049 – [Your Submission Title]” in the subject line of your email.

2. Cover Letter: We require a brief cover letter with a short bio in the body of the email. If you want us to have a look at the source material, relevant background information or experiences that would help deepen the reading of the text, mention it briefly, and send us up to one-three links. See example.

3. Manuscript Formatting & Attachment: Attach your story as a .doc or .docx file in a standard manuscript format with complete address. See example.

Comics/Art Submission: Please send us a link to your portfolio or Dropbox folder with a cover letter. No attachments, please. We’ll pay an honorarium of $25 for art or comics. We’ll increase the amount to $50 or more depending on our crowdfunding goal.

Email Address: Once you’ve completed the above steps, double check and send your submission to submissions[@]

Response Time: 2-8 weeks, or more depending on the volume of submissions. You could send a polite query after 8 weeks.

Submissions that don’t follow above guidelines would be rejected automatically. We won’t respond to submissions that don’t follow above guidelines, or are beyond the scope of this anthology. For regular submissions to Mithila Review, please read these submission guidelines.

About the Editors

Salik Shah is a writer, editor and film director based in New Delhi. A former journalist and copyeditor with an American broadsheet daily, he is the founding editor and publisher of Mithila Review, a quarterly journal of international science fiction and fantasy. His poetry, fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in leading publications including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, New Myths, Locus Magazine, Open Democracy, Vayavya, Juggernaut, Guftugu, Eye to the Telescope, and La.lit. He has worked with advertising and media houses in Asia, Europe and America as a writer, producer and creative director since 2005. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. Website:

Ajapa Sharma is the co-founding editor of Mithia Review, a journal of international science fiction and fantasy. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she works on ideas of self, identity and nation in mid-twentieth century South Asia. She has been affiliated with the CET-University of Wisconsin Academic Program in India and is deeply invested in teaching and education in diverse and multicultural environments. A recent graduate of the summer program at the Institute for World Literature (Harvard University), her poetry and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, These Fine Lines, The Kathmandu Post, and Studies in Nepali History and Society, among other publications. You can find her on FacebookTwitter, and Website:

Mithila Review Issue 9

About Mithila Review

Mithila Review is an international science fiction and fantasy quarterly founded in late 2015. We’ve featured emerging and award-winning voices from Asia and beyond since our inception. Mithila Review has been featured/mentioned in several prominent publications across the globe, including Wired, Boing Boing,, Hindustan Times, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Locus Magazine, Elle, Kirkus, among others. Award nominations include Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award.

Stories published in Mithila Review are eligible for Best of Year and similar anthologies edited by prominent editors in the field. Along with English, we’ve published work in Czech, Chinese and Khas languages. Fiction, poetry and non-fiction published in Mithila Review have been translated in other major languages, including Spanish and Telagu.

Mithila Review is a non-profit initiative. We don’t have a paywall—you can read all issues of Mithila Review online. Ebooks (epub/mobi) of issues 5-9 are available to download from Gumroad, Amazon, or Weightless Books. We rely primarily on our readers’ support and donation to pay our contributors and cover our running costs. Please subscribe and become a patron on Patreon to support us. Subscription to Mithila Review is also available through Gumroad and Weightless Books.