For this writing challenge, our guest judge is going to be Matthew X. Gomez, author of the Burned Lands series we published on the Dark Futures website in 2014 and the story A Brief Flash In Darkness in the most recent issue of Phase 2 Magazine. As is our custom, the guest judge has chosen the theme for this challenge. Here it is, in his words:
The Earth is projected to be around for another seven and a half billion years. Barring outside influences (or humanity really mucking the place up), life is expected to continue on earth for another four and a half billion years.
Humanity has only been on the scene for about 200,000 years.
It isn’t outside the bounds of possibility that, should humanity become extinct, some other race will evolve intelligence. What will that look like? Will humanity’s successors be iterations of machines we’ve created? Will insects develop a more advanced hive mind than they possess now? Will sentient slime mold take over and wage a war of extermination on all species possessing a central nervous system?
For this contest, we are looking for compelling stories more than anything. The stories should contain a non-human element and feature that strongly.
The winner of this challenge will receive $10 (paid via PayPal) and have their story published both in the next issue of Phase 2 Magazine and on the Dark Futures website.
The deadline for entries to this challenge is Saturday, April 30, 2016. Stories should be under 5,000 words, with between 2,000 and 5,000 words preferred by the judge.
Send your entry to Submissions(at)DarkFuturesFiction(dot)net and be sure to include AFTER HUMANITY in the subject line. Failure to do so may cause your entry to be overlooked and not considered for the contest. If you have any questions, email them to Editor(at)DarkFuturesFiction(dot)net or contact us on social media and we will respond as soon as we can.