“To decolonize is to heal the colonial wound – from the land, from the culture, from the practices, from the mind. . . . In many ways, the work of decolonizing the future is the work of decolonizing our imaginations.”

adrienne maree brown, Foreword to Afterglow

Visionary fiction, as defined by Octavia’s Brood editor Walidah Imarisha, is “science fiction that has relevance toward building new, freer worlds . . . Visionary fiction encompasses all of the fantastic, with the arc always bending towards justice.” When they put together the anthology  Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, editors Imarisha and adrienne maree brown meant to draw together activists, organizers, and creators from social justice movements in a process of creatively reimagining the world. They wanted to collect and share different visions, ideas, and imaginings of the world from those who had already been working towards justice.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, the University of Washington Bothell/Cascadia College Library Community Reads team chose the book Octavia’s Brood – and the theme of visionary fiction – as a yearlong focus. After two years of pandemic, amidst political instability and ongoing systemic discrimination and harm, we found ourselves – as individuals, as a campus, as a world – drained and saddened . . . and desperately in need of something new. We found ourselves craving new forms of community connection, new ways of envisioning the world, and new ways of being with one another. We chose the topic of visionary fiction as a tool to help us imagine those new ways of being and living into a better future.

In 2023-2024, we have chosen to continue with this topic on a more specific focus. This year’s programming is inspired by the book Afterglow: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors, an anthology of visionary climate fiction, in which each short story imagines a future in which we manage to do environmental justice right. The short stories in Afterglow imagine climate futures based on justice, community, and alternative ways of knowing. We seek to use visionary fiction as a way of asking the question: what could an environmentally just future look like?

Inspired by the project of both of these books, we hope to engage in a similar creative effort in our own community, our own intervention in the world. On this site, you may submit your own visionary writing – fiction or poetry or nonfiction; under your name, a pseudonym, or anonymously – and share it with your fellow community members. If you are writing specifically climate fiction, we encourage you to use the tag “climate justice” on your writing. We hope that this site will provide a space for our own collective community dreaming, in which we imagine a better world – together.

For more information about the Community Reads team, visit us at our website. To learn more about our guidelines for submission and respectful sharing, visit our Community Agreements page. For prompts from your community members – or information about submitting your own – take a look at our Idea Pool. And to get started sharing your writing, click Share.