Bill Campbell is the author of Sunshine Patriots, My Booty Novel, and the anti-racism satire, Koontown Killing Kaper. Along with Edward Austin Hall, he co-edited the groundbreaking anthology, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. He also co-edited Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany with Nisi Shawl, Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction and Fantasy with Francesco Verso, and APB: Artists against Police Brutality with Jason Rodriguez and John Jennings. His Afrofuturist spaceploitation graphic novel, Baaaad Muthaz (with David Brame and Damian Duffy) was released in 2019. His historical graphic novel with Bizhan Khodabandeh, The Day the Klan Came to Town, will be released by PM Press in 2021. Campbell lives in Washington, DC, where he spends his time with his family and helms Rosarium Publishing.

Francesco Verso (Bologna, 1973) has published several novels, Antidoti Umani (finalist at 2004 Urania Mondadori Award), e-Doll (2008 Urania Mondadori Award), and Livido (aka Nexhuman in English; 2013 Odissea Award, 2014 Italia Award for Best SF Novel). In 2015 he won the Urania Award for the second time with BloodBusters. His stories have appeared in various Italian magazines (Robot, iComics, Fantasy Magazine, Futuri) and has been produced for the stage (The Milky Way); they have also been sold abroad (International Speculative Fiction #5, Chicago Quarterly Review #20). In 2014 Verso founded Future Fiction (a book series by Mincione Edizioni), publishing the best speculative fiction from around the world with such authors as James P. Kelly, Ian McDonald, Michalis Manolios, Clelia Farris, Ken Liu, Xia Jia, Ken McLeod, Cixin Liu, Pat Cadigan, Olivier Paquet, Ekaterina Sedia, and others. Francesco lives in Rome with his wife Elena and daughter Sofia.

Future Fiction edited by Bill Campbell & Francesco Verso

In its brief existence, Rosarium Publishing has worked hard in "introducing the world to itself" through groundbreaking, award-winning science fiction and comics. In combing the planet to find the best in each field, Rosarium's own Bill Campbell has found a fellow spirit in Italian publisher, Francesco Verso. Borrowing from the fine tradition of American underground dance labels introducing international labels' music to the people back home, Rosarium brings to you Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction, a thrilling collection of innovative science fiction originally published by Francesco Verso's Italian company, Future Fiction. Here you will find thirteen incredible tales from all around the globe that will not only introduce you to worlds you may not be familiar with but also expand your horizons and the horizons of the science fiction field itself.



  • "If you've been looking for a superb collection of speculative fiction from around the world; fiction that interrogates humanity's technological, moral, and, evolutionary trajectory; fiction that doesn't hesitate to probe our darkest fears and secret desires—if you've been looking for something like that, then I'm happy to say that you're in luck."

    – Strange Horizons
  • "A mind-bendingly adventurous collection with story content as diverse as its authors."

    – AJ Hartley, New York Times bestselling author of the Steeplejack series
  • "This collection is indicative of the fact that not only is the interest in SF and Fantasy a world-wide phenomenon, it shows there are very able practitioners of the genres in nearly every country. This is a limited sample, which hopefully is just the start of many more volumes in the future."

    – Galen Strickland (The Templeton Gate)



Clelia Farris

Translated by Jennifer Delare

Early last summer, tired of focusing my attention on interesting pursuits, I decided to throw myself into something of no importance at all.

That was how I met Vi.

Vi had placed an ad on the notice board of the Institute of Creative Surgery. Seeking welder for macroorganisms. Only top performers need apply. Payment in onions and fresh produce. Stern Labs.

Unlike most students and even some professors, I appreciated the taste of fresh onions and of natural produce, and the idea of spending all day sticking mice paws onto bird bodies appealed to me. I love simple and repetitive work, the kind that doesn't require you to think.

I found the building, and I knocked on the door under the nameplate V.T. Stern.

No reply.

I knocked again and strained my ears to check if I could hear any noise from the other side of the door. It seemed that the lab was empty. I knocked again but to no avail.

I was just about to leave when I was stopped in my tracks by a concerto of rattling and scrapings of chains and locks. Then the door opened a crack.

"Who are you? And what do you want?" said a brusque voice.

"I read the ad, and ..."

"Come in. And no gossiping."

Vi was a nerd. She had all the trappings of a nerd: cropped hair, wrinkles from insomnia, pale almost transparent skin, eyelids at half mast and dark bags under her eyes. Good God, those bags! They were like two cobalt-colored beaches on which the turquoise waves of her irises broke.

She wasn't ashamed of them. In fact, she wore them the way other women wear earrings. They formed part of her face on par with her rounded chin and thin lips. Not many people go out nowadays with their own face; nowadays everyone is all sugary, fleshed out, and smoothed off; everyone's face is a blackboard waiting for the duster.

Vi's skin was too tight around the cheekbones and too slack around the mouth. It was covered with little moles, keratoses, and chromatic imperfections. She had silky hair above her upper lip, and one nostril was larger than the other one.

Apart from that, she was like anyone else without any features worthy of note. Her body indicated that she was of the female sex, but I had never considered that to be a defect.

She smelled like someone who had no time for deodorants or shampoos.

"Did you bring it?" she asked me.

"Bring what?"

"Your soldering iron."

I stretched out my arms and twirled around.

From her expression I could see that there had been a misunderstanding. She squeezed her eyes into slits and assumed the position of a serpent about to strike. But before she could kick me out, I grabbed a swallow's wing from a shelf, and with just the right pressure of my fingertips, I welded it onto the back of a spider that was sitting in its web in the corner.

The wing, animated by the energy of the spider, started flapping, and it fluttered around the room. The spider waved its legs around frantically as the wing flew upwards in a spiral, unguided by any instinct of flight.

Vi grabbed my hands, turned them over, and examined my fingertips.

"Subcutaneous microprocessors," I explained. "I am a very refined welder."

"I don't want any gossiping," she said, pointing a finger at me.

I literally sealed my lips by brushing the tip of my right forefinger over them. She looked at me spellbound, and I felt like a stage magician. With my left forefinger I unsealed my lips again.

"We will get along all right, you and I," she said. "I'll show you what I'm working on."

Unlike her person, the lab was squeaky clean and full of the usual body parts seen in all the butchers' shops in the department. Two right arms, a left foot, three pinkies (one missing the nail), a collection of ears ranging from the hairiest (an auricle boasting curly blond fuzz reminded me of my last girlfriend's pubic hair; and for a second I wondered what it would be like to fuck an auditory canal) to the smoothest, pale-fleshed ones.

A row of meaty buttons like raviolis on a floury plate piqued my curiosity. Navels! All belly buttons like little domes, hairless and tender. I had the urge to pass the palm of my hand over them to see if they would contract, like turgid nipples. And what a show of colors! From mother-of-pearl blue to dragonfly-wing green, and all the shades of red down to deep Burgundy.

"I see that you passed Anatomy," I commented.

"My best mark."

The higher your mark, the more body parts you are given.

"What is your goal?"

"To make money."

It was called "creative surgery," and at that time it was at the forefront of technical progress.

Apparently very simple, it was all about joining limbs, crania, bodies, eyes, and ears of different origins to create unusual animals, but in reality it was a sophisticated art. Most practitioners just produced badly assembled and clumsy chimeras—crocodile legs stuck onto a seal's body, a hyena's head sewn onto the body of a penguin. Expert surgeons, who could carry out an angioplasty with their eyes closed, debased themselves and became like sadistic, bungling schoolboys attempting to fix their torn teddy bears. My aunt owned a Devon Rex cat with webbed feet so that, apart from not shedding hair, it didn't scratch her furniture—a ridiculous creature that meowed and wiggled its ass like a duck.

With Vi it was a different story. She really was creative.

Our first project was a torto-cat.

She procured an impure Siamese on the black market at the Basic Genetics faculty: elegant head, turquoise eyes, short bluish-gray fur. After the anesthesia, she cut off its head and legs, an unusual and irregular excision. Then it was my turn: I welded the cat's limbs onto a tortoise shell, from which shreds of rough skin still hung. I had to undo and redo the welds several times while she helped me by separating the flaps of skin from the irregular incisions with the forceps. She explained to me how to proceed, calmly, one point at a time, working with her fingers now on one side of the cut, now on the other side, so that the silver-grey fur of the cat would blend in naturally with the epidermis of the tortoise.

In fact, both of the input animals had in turn been created and selected on the basis of certain characteristics: the cat had the smallest cranium that Vi was able to find to make it easier for it to retract its head into the shell. Even its ears were small as Vi had had the foresight to use Chihuahua's ears, onto which she had grafted feline fur.

She was a perfectionist. She wanted every component of the chimera to appear natural, and the most difficult part of the work was still to begin. By using stem cells from some of the cat's internal organs, we were able to make them grow back again inside the shell. The cat's heart, liver, intestines, and stomach grew again inside the small space like the sails of a ship in a bottle.

Then we revived the creature.