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What is anarchism?

Anarchism is a philosophy advocating that humans should cooperate together as equals. It represents order, not chaos or lawlessness, and stands against hierarchy and oppression. Anarchists themselves come in many flavors, from non-authoritarian communists to those favoring socialist free market systems. The ideology is decentralized, promoting consensus and a horizontal structure of society without a ruling class. Please read more at The Anarchist Library and Useful Notes on Anarchism.

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What is transhumanism?

Transhumanism advocates for the enhancement of human physical and mental capacities through technology. For example, eye glasses are an early technology allowing humans to overcome bodily limitations. Long-term, transhumanists fight for the end of biological human death and disease, the future technological singularity, and also becoming "posthuman," where our capabilities so far exceed those of a natural born that we can no longer be called human beings.

How do anarchism and transhumanism mix?

Both ideals are rooted in the desire to better our existence. Anarchism is routed toward social freedom while transhumanism directs us toward physical freedom. A positive transhuman future cannot happen without anarchism and freedom from the profit-motive. What good is all the freedom in the world if one is unable to experience it due to genetic sickness or dying by the the time they are ninety? There is a vast cosmos for our species to explore and it's time we freely ventured out, unshackled by greed or bodily limitations.

  • Where did Radon Journal get its name?
    It is taken from our motto, “radical perception.” The first three letters of radical and the last two letters of perception gave us Radon. That the word shares the name of the noble gas is a secondary coincidence, but one that we’re happy to attach a variety of meanings onto.
  • How do you support your authors after publication?
    A key aspect of Radon is that we support our authors long after the publication date passes. As a semi-pro journal, authors often come to us with immense promise and on the cusp of professional breakthroughs. We know life is difficult as a writer and want to do everything we can to support our authors as they continue their career. We provide all published authors with custom spotlight graphics, a robust interview series with corresponding social media push, maintain a professional community for writers to support one another via Discord, and nominate over forty stories and poems a year for various awards.
  • What awards do you nominate your authors for?
    Radon currently nominates its authors for nearly a dozen awards. They include the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, O. Henry Prize, Rhysling Award, Best Weird Horror, Best Horror of the Year, PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, Best Microfiction, Best Small Fictions, and the Robert Siegel Prize.
  • Do you edit accepted stories?
    Radon prides itself on a more comprehensive editing process compared to other literary journals. Editing accepted work is a close collaboration between author and editor to create the most polished version of the work possible for publication. We offer free professional developmental and copyediting to all accepted works.
  • What genres of science fiction do you publish?
    We love them all! From cyberpunk to space opera and all in-between. The subgenre we are least likely to publish is military science fiction. But we will consider military stories that are anti-war in message similar to Joe Haldeman's The Forever War.
  • What is the acceptance rate for Radon?
    Our overall acceptance rate for issue one was 3.3%, issue two 2%, issue three 1.55%, issue four 2.3%, issue five 1.7%, and issue six 1.9%. We average around 1,200 submissions per reading period.
  • How can I increase my chance of acceptance?
    The simple answer is by bringing your best work. The longer answer is more nuanced. First and foremost, we want to see you put as much effort into your story as we put into reading it. Professional grammar, page formatting, and adhering to our submission guidelines helps. Second, we want to read something novel. We are all veteran readers of science fiction and revolutionary literature. That means we crave new ideas or at least old ones written in new, interesting ways. We look for texts with both a moving narrative and a progressive message.
  • What kind of day jobs do Radon editors have?
    Most of us work in the publishing industry where we utilize our love of writing and books to physically create them and support authors. Our jobs range from booksellers, managing editors at scientific publishers, open access journal coordinators, freelance editors, literary agency associates, graduate writing students, and so on.
  • How do you pay contributors?
    We pay through our business PayPal account. In rare circumstances we can pay through Venmo.
  • Do you offer print copies?
    For the foreseeable future, Radon will remain an online-only journal.
  • What social media platforms are you on?
    Radon is on Twitter, Instagram, Mastodon, Bluesky, and Discord. We also have a mailing list you can sign up for by clicking here that is sent out around six times a year.
  • What stories are you tired of receiving?
    Please, no more sex robot stories. Additionally, stories focused solely on aliens viewing Earth or ending with "SURPRISE, WE'RE ALIENS!" are too common to be considered unique. We are also tired of receiving stories in the form of advertisements.
  • What POV do you prefer?
    We are open to all, but most often publish third-person pieces. First-person fiction submissions often read too similar to stream of consciousness diary entries or YA books for our tastes. We love second person when done well and have published award-winning stories that utilize this perspective. But to break from convention and use second person, the author needs a strong and convincing reason that fits both within their prose style and the story framing itself.
  • Why do you prefer single-spaced fiction submissions?
    It’s much easier to see and read quickly on our computer screens. It is also how all of our fiction is published, and we prefer to get a sense of your prose in the same format that readers will view your story. Double spacing is an outdated hold-over from the 20th century when editors or teachers needed to write notes in the blank space between lines.
  • Will you consider fantasy or science fantasy?
    No, please send your wonderful fantasy stories to fantasy-oriented journals instead. Though each submission is a unique case, we are likely to also reject science fantasy. Your steampunk society on the back of a magical sky dragon sounds interesting and we’d likely read it on our own time, but not for Radon Journal, which has its aims set elsewhere.
  • Is my post-apocalyptic world a fitting submission for Radon?
    Technically yes, but please make sure that the focus of your story is not solely on the post-apocalyptic setting. For dystopian submissions, we look for narratives combining dystopia alongside revolutionary attitudes, often featuring characters actively fighting to break their chains of oppression. For instance, we are not interested in just another snapshot from a climate collapse world, but a captivating story in this world that shows the characters fighting either for escape to the stars or for revolution in the ashes of the old-world order.
  • Are you a horror publisher?
    No, we do not consider ourselves specifically a publisher of horror, despite being on multiple horror publishing lists. We are more than happy to publish work with horror elements, but they must not be the focus of the story. Either the science fiction idea or the social commentary should be at the forefront for the best chance of acceptance.
  • Do you accept utopian work?
    Unfortunately, no. We feel that utopia is not reflective of our current existence. Additionally, a story without conflict is often boring. Authors are free to combine utopian and dystopian ideas into a single interesting narrative, however.
  • Do you prefer hard or soft sci-fi?
    We love both but have often rejected a story at the last round of discussion because its premise did not make enough logical sense. Our fiction editors strive for immersive, justifiable worldbuilding and emotionally resonant characters. The story's worldbuilding and character development are of equal importance to the plot for us.
  • What poems are you tired of receiving?
    Mostly poems that do not tie into any of our four genres. We are also unlikely to choose poems focused exclusively on nature. While environmentalism is an important part of our politics, we find poetry about nature or trees overdone. Poets have focused on this aspect of the world for millennia and we wish to look toward the future and the stars with our journal.
  • What are hard sells for poetry submissions?
    End-rhyming | Capitalizing every line | Non-purposeful enjambment | Wildly varying line lengths | Environmental/nature poems | Tree or flower imagery | Greek mythology
  • What page settings should I use to format my poem?
    You are free to use the standard blank Word page for your poetry—but if you would like to ensure that your poems are formatted so that they fit into our journal issue dimensions they are the following: Font: 11 pt Lato Page dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 Margins: .5 in Header & Footer: .2 in
  • Do you enjoy form?
    We respect form and understand that limitations create the conditions for great art, but we prefer free verse. As an anarchist journal we are not interested in prescriptive forms of writing and want to see what creativity can be unleashed from authors who choose their own unique form or structure to fit each poem’s unique narrative. We are open to authors who intentionally break forms in interesting ways. That said, we have in the past and will in the future publish some form poems, but they must meet a much higher bar. Additionally, our poetry editor does have a soft spot for excellent haibuns or ghazals. Their favorite ghazal of all time is by poet Martin Espada.
  • Can I submit my slam poem?
    Please do! Our poetry editor began their career in the slam scene and will always enjoy many aspects of the style. But please format your spoken word poetry for the page as best you can.
  • Do you enjoy lyrical poetry?
    We prefer poems that have their focus on narrative or fast-paced, heavy-hitting lines.
  • What kind of art do you want?
    We want digital paintings for our issues and site. Specifically this means digital-native art that is at least 300 DPI. Art should be emotionally evocative and fit into our science fiction / anarchist / transhuman / dystopia themes. Please see our previous covers here for the type of art styles we are looking for.
  • What orientation should my art be?
    For cover and back art consideration, art must be vertical in orientation and fit into a 5.5 x 8.5 aspect ratio. For art on our website, it must be horizontal and any size.
  • What should I not send?
    Please do not send us photographs of your physical canvas art or marker illustrations. We also are not interested in abstract art, pop art, or mixed media. Lastly, we desperately want you to stop sending us photographs of your Barbies with their heads chopped off and planted in your yard’s soil.
  • Do you allow Midjourney art?
    No, due to ethical and rights concerns, we do not accept AI-generated artwork. We aim to support human artists and showcase their work. The robots will be fine without our exposure.
  • What rights do you ask for?
    Artists retain full copyright to their work. Radon only asks for non-exclusive rights.
  • How much funding does Radon need?
    Radon currently costs $2,850 a year to operate. Through our Patreon we currently receive $1,368 in funding. The rest comes out of a single Radon editor’s bank account. In Summer 2023 we were able to reach our previous funding goal and doubled our pay rates across the journal. Our current goal is to reach 100% funding at this new operations budget. As we never aim to make money through Radon, when we reach our next funding goal of $200/month in community support, we will either raise pay rates again, increase our publication frequency to quarterly, or increase our maximum fiction word limit. February 2024 update: We are currently at $114/$200 a month.
  • How can I support Radon?
    Please subscribe to our Patreon or kindly give a one-time donation at our Ko-Fi page. Our Patreon page offers many tier options from $2-$15. Join our Discord community of writers and editors and receive dual magazine subscriptions, exclusive behind-the-scenes information, professional editing services, detailed response letters, mugs, stickers, and more.
  • How do I know where my money goes?
    All contributions are earmarked for author payments first. Any money left goes to covering our web hosting costs and submission system fees. To maintain our transparent ethos and educate others on the true costs of running a literary journal, we create a yearly report titled “How Much it Costs to Run a Literary Journal.” It can be found on all of our social media accounts. A Twitter link to our 2023 version can be found here and a public Bluesky version here.
  • Should I donate through Ko-fi or subscribe through Patreon?
    If you're looking to make a larger one-time donation and are not looking for any perks, Ko-fi is your best choice. If you would like to donate a smaller amount each month and receive a slew of goodies in return, Patreon is best. If we had to choose between the two then we prefer Patreon, as the consistency allows our journal to more easily budget our finances.
  • Why are you anarchists?
    Because we believe that all human beings are equal and that no one has the right to rule over another. We wish for our world and the world of our descendants to be one free of oppression where all engage in self-governing with those around them. The political philosophy of anarchism, we feel, offers the best blueprint for communities and society as a whole to restructure for the better. We are against hierarchy and oppression in any form and actively fight to tear down abusive systems. We desire the freedom to choose our own destinies and organize as we see fit, to free the world from inequality and subjugation.
  • Why did you create a lit journal instead of punching more nazis?
    We feel that Radon is the best use of our unique skills and passions. Leftist organizations have a long history of creating radical literature for free consumption and we proudly continue that tradition. Everyone has different abilities to offer and we have found writing and editing are ours. Some of our editors spent their twenties on the frontlines and in the streets, battling cops and fascists with their bodies. They might not get out as often now, but they are just as dedicated inside this new arena.
  • Why don't you allow authors to use the word 'anarchy' to mean chaos?
    Because this definition is incorrect and ultimately harmful. This stereotype was crafted by governments and the ruling class over the last 200 years in order to delegitimize the ideology to the public. Radon was created to actively help fight against this incorrect meaning of anarchism and to reclaim the word from popular culture. Anarchists are just like you, normal people who are your neighbors, your teachers, your friends, who simply want to craft a better existence for us all.
  • Then what does the word 'anarchy' mean?
    Anarchy means simply "without rulers." The word comes from the Greek prefix ‘an’ which means ‘not’ or ‘without’, combined with ‘archos’ which means ‘a ruler’ or ‘authority’. It does not simply mean ‘no government’ but ‘without a ruler’. Note it is without rulers, not without rules. An anarchist society is not The Purge. It is each community governing themselves in a non-hierarchical manner. In fact, the original anarchist-a symbol was created with a circle because it meant order as part of the phrase "anarchy is order."
  • What kind of transhumanism does Radon follow?
    Radon advocates specifically for anarchist-transhumanism under a social anarchist lens. To be clear, we reject techno-libertarianism and the tech bros. We know that there is no path forward that benefits society while capitalism exists and the profit motive sticks around to ensure a cyberpunk dystopian future.
  • Isn't transhumanism a bad technocrat idea?
    We are actively fighting to reclaim the word transhumanism from the loud right-libertarian technocrats who are busy attaching their names to the ideology. We believe the ideology is inherently pro-human and leftist in nature as it gives humans access to greater control over their lives. For more great information on this topic, please visit the anarcho-transhumanist FAQ at The Anarchist Library.
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