The company Rosarium Publishing is looking to create an anthology of short stories called THE SEA IS OURS, and they are holding open submissions to fill it. The stories should be in the Steampunk genre, but they also need to focus on characters from Southeast Asia or a Southeast Asia like place, if you want to write a story set in a completely fictional world.
I think this is an interesting project, and I enjoy any type of writing project that opens the door to exploring cultures outside of the West. I feel that one of the major problems with fantasy (and in many ways sci-fi) is its Western focus and mentality. In the case of traditional fantasy, too many stories and settings attempt to emulate or are overly inspired by Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, making them essentially all inspired by the medieval West.
Similarly in steampunk, most authors seem to focus on Victorian England as their setting or primary inspiration if they are writing in another world, borrowing overly much from William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s novel The Difference Engine, which was the first true steampunk novel (and was set in Victorian England!). Forcing authors to consider other parts of the world and other cultures might open up their minds to interesting ideas and settings they hadn’t thought to explore, and it gives readers new perspectives to read about and enjoy.
For those of you who are considering writing something for this competition, you can check out the posting on the Rosarium site for details. Submissions close on June 30th, so you have until then to try and cobble something together. Good luck!