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Toxic Memes – Submission Guidelines

The next volume in the Transhuman Space series is in the planning stages, and we want your input. Toxic Memes, a collection of future cults, conspiracy theories, and rumors, will include submissions from Transhuman Space fans.

In the year 2100, ideas – including dangerous ideas – have more power than ever before. The science of memetics can shape beliefs and change minds. That power can be used for good or for profit, but many of the memes floating around can be harmful, twisted, and potentially deadly.

Toxic Memes is a compilation of the odd, hazardous, and non-mainstream memes in the world of Transhuman Space. Every society has its myths and subcultures; Toxic Memes will bring them to light. The majority will come from the nations and people of Earth, but attention will also be given to the growing off-world societies, and to the emerging (and potentially unique) cultures of non-human sapients.

The plan is to divide up Toxic Memes by general memetic categories. The chapters may include:

Careful attention should be given to making sure the submissions fit with the established Transhuman Space setting. Submissions that are simply year 2002 urban myths and conspiracies updated for the year 2100 should be avoided, unless the approach is particularly novel or appropriate. While we aren't looking for silly entries, a sense of humor or the absurd can be useful.

Format for Standard Entry

The standard entry will be around 100-200 words for urban legends/myths and paranormal/weird beliefs, around 300-500 words for conspiracies/propaganda, and up to 1000 words for cults, movements, and alternative culture entries. Formatting should follow previous Transhuman Space books. Entries which use SJ Games' standard coding will be given preferential treatment; see below. Entries should include the following:

  1. A concise, clear description of the meme. This is arguably the most important part! A good, engaging description will make the entry come alive in the minds of the GM and players.
  2. Brief history and cultural setting – where do people believe/follow this meme? How widespread is it? How long has it been around?
  3. Persuasiveness. How likely is someone to accept this idea or belief? Are there factors that make it particularly compelling, or does it require a great deal of self-delusion? Are there counter-memes?
  4. For paranormal/unusual beliefs, propaganda/conpsiracies, and urban legends/myths, what is the basis in reality? Is there a kernel of truth, or is it completely imaginary? "The truth remains a mystery" is acceptable, but boring.
  5. Are there notable figures supporting this belief? Cults, movements, and alternative culture submissions must include a write-up of a notable NPC associated with the meme (text for NPC does not count in above word limits for entries, but will count towards total submission word count).
  6. Suggested chapter, taken from the above list.
  7. Your (real) name, street address, email address, and phone number.

Here is a sample entry, to show the coding style:

@D-HEAD:Simulationist Theory

@TEXT:This meme, most often found in the Eloi of the United States and Europe, holds that reality is actually a simulation within a post-Singularity hyperintelligent computer. The meme has existed for over a century, and tends to emerge during periods of improvement in information/AI technology.

@TEXT:<B>Persuasiveness:<B> Few will actually admit to fully believing the meme, but willingness to entertain the idea increases with education level. Students of philosophy are particularly inclined to adopt this belief.

@TEXT:<B>Basis in Reality:<B> It's true. The world is actually a simulation.

*** Suggested Chapter: Urban Legends and Modern Myths ***

Other Rules

Terms and Payment

All submissions become the property of Steve Jackson Games. All contributors who have material accepted for the book will be credited on the title page. Contributors who have 1,000 or more words of material accepted and used in the finished product will also receive 1 (one) copy of the published book, while those who have 3,000 or more words of material accepted and used in the finished product will receive 2 (two) copies of the published book. No contributor will receive more than 2 (two) copies of the published book. Compensation will be based on word counts after editing.


Entries should be submitted by December 1, 2002. Submissions must be sent via e-mail (plain ASCII text files, please!). Include "[TMSUB]" in the subject line of any email submission.

Contact Info

E-mail Jamais Cascio at with submissions, questions, or other correspondence.

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