Seasick Fish?

There’s got to be a story seed in here somewhere, seriously. 🙂 I’m reading Packing for Mars by Mary Roach, who’s a wonderfully funny science writer. The book is about the space program (American, Russian, Japanese, whatever) and she’s talking about space sickness, which it seems most astronauts do suffer from at least sometimes, whether or not they’re willing to admit it to the media or even each other. She’s looking at motion sickness in general, what causes it and what kinds of animals can get it, etc.

One Canadian researcher recalls a story told to him by the owner of a codfish hatchery. The fishmonger had call to transport some of his tank-raised charges by sea. “After the boat had been under way for some time, all the feed they had eaten was seen to be on the bottom of the tank.”

If even fish can get seasick, the rest of us are doomed! LOL!

This is a great book, with a lot of information, data, anecdotes, experiments and experiences Mary had while researching it, told in her usual smooth-flowing style salted with lots of funny bits. (The footnotes are usually good for a snicker.) I’m almost a third of the way through and I know already this one’s going to get a high rating on Goodreads. 🙂


Review of “Candy Courage”

And another review by Cole at Jessewave’s, this time of my short Candy Courage. He gave it 3.75 stars and said:

There were a lot of things I loved about this story — namely the idea the story is based on. I thought it was a pretty great idea and it was showcased rather well, not only in how Glenn changes after he eats the candy and goes after what he really wants, but in the couple of little vingettes at the start of the story, which show random children and how the candy affects them. I thought the story of little Graciella, who was afraid of her big, scary dog, really cute.

The problem that I had with the story was that the two main characters, Glenn and Neal, didn’t really fit together. I have no doubt that they could if we were given more than a five or six pages of them together. The story is really about Glenn going for what he wants and ending up with a hookup, which is about all that can be told in 14 pages.

Cole’s exactly right there — I’ve never believed stories where the characters are all, “Oh, I love you!” after ten minutes of conversation and one roll in the sheets. I mean, seriously? o_O This isn’t a romance; it’s a story about how Glenn overcame his fear of making a move with Neal. I think they’ll probably work out, but showing that would be a different story. Maybe I’ll write it some day.

Thanks to Cole, and I’m glad he enjoyed it even if it wasn’t a romance. 🙂


Discussion on “The Chosen Hero”

NK Jemisin and Sam Sykes were talking about the Chosen Hero trope in fantasy, and the various ways in which it’s problematic if you think about what-all it implies about how the world works. It’s short but it makes a lot of good points, and Sam posted it on his blog. It’s definitely worth a read for anyone who writes or reads fantasy.

Excerpt from Sam:

But in terms of philosophy, I sometimes wonder if the whole concept of The Chosen One isn’t a toxic one. I occasionally wonder if it’s right to put the concept of someone utterly infallible in all that he does out there, if it’s right to put up this concept that birth matters more than effort. Or, at the very least, if it’s right to put it out there without questioning it.

Excerpt from Nora:

And Chosen Ones who are “select people” or have some birthright to leadership are even more problematic, because then you get into eugenics. If some people are *meant* to be rulers, then that means some people are meant to be ruled — and the latter group can therefore never be allowed to have the power to self-govern. Why give it to them if they’re genetically or magically or psychologically less fit for leadership? And while you’ve got two divisions of people (“select people” and peons, patricians and plebians, whatever you want to call them), why stop there? If some people are especially fit to rule, why not decide that some people are especially fit only for combat, and some only for skilled trades, and some only for intellectual pursuits? And maybe some people aren’t fit to do anything but die, because they’re old or disabled, or because some of your industries (e.g., mining) are especially dangerous and you can’t spare anyone *valuable* to do that kind of work. You’ve just created a eugenicist caste system, whee.

There’s more, it’s good, click through and read. 🙂

I’d never thought of the Chosen One trope from this POV before, but the conclusions do follow from the given. Having the gods or whoever point a finger and say “You” implies that they’re saying “Not You” to everyone else. None of the other people can become the hero, the ruler, the winner, no matter how hard they work, how good or moral or smart they might be. And yeah, that creates an underclass of people who might as well not even try to ever be more than a farmer or a potter or an assistant pig keeper, because that’s what Fate has written for them and that’s what they’re suited for, The End.

I’m trying to think of ways to subvert this. You could have someone who’s been Chosen to perform some task, but maybe that’s all they’re good for and everyone knows it. So you’ve got a bodyguard/babysitter following the Chosen One around to make sure he doesn’t choke on his own shoes before fulfilling his narrowly-focused but necessary destiny, and once he’s done, give him his reward, pat him on the head, and send him home.

Or you can come at it from the POV that the god/Fate/Oracle/whatever doesn’t decide who’s going to do great things, but rather knew who was going to do what. Certain sects of Christianity have spent a lot of time wrestling with the whole predestination question, but to me there’s a clear difference between causing and knowing. If you assume omnicience but not omnipotence, then your oracle can say “This one, but not that one,” with no question of actually controlling anyone’s life. Or maybe you have a Hero’s Oracle who’ll give a prediction to anyone who comes to ask, but the people who come to ask (a long journey over hard terrain, of course) are the ones with the ambition and ability, and thus the ones more likely to get a “Yes, You” sort of answer. [ponder] But anyone can do it; it’s up to them.

Another thought — the oracle would have to give “No Comment” type messages to some people, because foreknowledge can change the decisions a person makes. Or even lie to them sometimes? Although that kind of manipulation could be considered interference and you’re back to having the oracle choose people and force a path upon them. [ponder] Maybe the person’s response to hearing their fate is part of it? Maybe it’s just a potential — so if you ask, “Will I be a hero?” the answer tells you the most heroic future you have available to you at that time, and it’s your choice to work toward it or turn away. If your potential heroism is to step in front of an arrow and die saving the girl who’s going to eventually defeat the Evil Wizard-King, well, some would be content with that and some would say “No freaking way!” and high-tail it back to the smithy. But what if that choice impacts the prediction given to the girl who came last week and was told that she could defeat the Evil Wizard-King?

This could get twisty. Of course, that just makes it more fun to play with. 🙂


Review of Hell Is in the Details

Cryselle did a great review of Hell Is in the Details, and gave it four out of five marbles.


Benioth, the Demon of Laziness, is behind on his memos and has just found out he needs to corrupt a soul by midnight to make quota. Luckily the Demon of Sodomy doesn’t mind sharing the fun, and Benioth runs into Andy, who’s still innocent but eager to have someone fix that for him. It sounds like a perfect situation, but somehow things never go right for poor Benioth.

I always suspected that corporate America got some of it’s less attractive features from the Infernal regions — Angela Benedetti makes that point very strongly, with memos and quotas, job reviews and last minute hustles to get it all right. Benioth needs to scurry — corrupting someone beyond redemption using sloth takes a while and he — really! — doesn’t have all night.

Now, in order for this all to work, you have to reserve judgment on one notion that had me going uhhhhhhhh but you know what? Hell really is in the details.

This was fun, and it gave the devil his don’t.


This was a fun story to write, too, and I’m glad she enjoyed it. 😀


Review of Reach Out and Touch

Cole at Jessewave’s Blog is going through all my Hidden Magic universe stories, and this week he reviewed Reach Out and Touch, another Cal and Aubrey short story. He gave it 3.5 stars and said:


Though Cal has been Aubrey’s apprentice for over ten years (and also his lover), he is still a “baby mage” compared to Aubrey, who is 220 something years old and has been a practicing mage for two centuries. Aubrey never lets Cal forget this — and to remind him, he is always setting little traps for Cal or finding some way to show his dominance. Yet, Aubrey really is the best master and no matter how much of a rascal he seems at times, he does know what is best for Cal. But whether Cal has a natural propensity for arrogance, or being Aubrey’s lover makes him feel the need to meet his lover as an equal in their craft, he sometimes does very foolish things against Aubrey’s advice.

I was a bit disappointed by this story. That sounds harsh, but it really is because I love the other stories and the novel these characters are from so much, so I have very high expectations. Cal and Aubrey have a really amazing, nuanced relationship that always shines through their witty banter. Here, though, most of the story is told by Cal when Aubrey is gone. It is only towards the end of the story, when a contrite Cal is seriously in danger does Aubrey come home to find the disastrous situation Cal has created. Also, this story had a couple of passages that I thought weren’t necessary to the story. They were pretty technical about the magic that Cal was doing that I thought went a little too far in trying to explain what was happening. Ultimately, they took away from the story.


I can see where he’s coming from, actually. This is more Cal’s story than a relationship story. Aubrey doesn’t come home until more than halfway through, and they don’t start directly interacting until more than three-quarters in. If you’re reading for the relationship and dialogue, there’s not as much of that here as there usually is.

More Cole: “And I did like the story. I loved the ending in particular, which showed one of the rare moments between Aubrey and Cal that I love, when they’re finally on the same level and Aubrey shows his tender side to Cal. They are two of my favorite characters in this genre and I was very happy to revisit them.”

I’ll take that. 😀


Review of Unfinished Business

Cole over at Jessewave’s blog did a great review of Unfinished Business, and gave it a a 4.5/5.0 rating. (And he’s going to be reviewing the other three stories in the Hidden Magic verse too, which is awesome. 😀 )

In part:

Aubrey is a master mage and over two hundred years old, while Cal is his apprentice in his thirties. They are also lovers and it is very easy to see how much they love each other — in their looks, little touches, and the banter they throw back and forth like old lovers who have been together a lifetime. It is an extreme May-December relationship in terms of age, yet the issues that usually come to light in such a relationship, especially an inbalance of power, are dealt with humor between the two of them. In short, Aubrey likes to brag about his grandiose power and Cal loves to poke the beast.

This story was such a delight. Not only did I get to revisit a world that I love and two characters who make me laugh, but for the first time, we get to see Aubrey and Cal in private. We see them from Cal’s POV and we get a pure voyueristic treat: magical sex between the two men. The story stayed true to their characters as humor and the little games they play shone throughout the dialogue. Also, though not as proficient, Cal is a mage as well, and as highly magical mortals, I knew that their sex had to be interesting. It didn’t dissapoint.

I love that Cole focused on Cal and Aubrey’s relationship, because that’s what makes these characters so much fun for me to write. They love each other deeply, but it’s all plastered over with joking and teasing. There’s something about them that makes me smile, and I never have to wonder how they’d respond to one another.

The age difference is definitely a key factor, along with the huge power imbalance on a magical level. In some urban fantasy or paranormal romances, one character is hundreds or even thousands of years older than the other, and vastly more powerful, and how they fall in love or even relate to one another is just sort of hand-waved. I can’t imagine having enough in common with a guy even 20 years younger than I am to want to get into a relationship, much less a few centuries younger. With Cal and Aubrey, I’m focusing on making the age/power difference work here in a realistic way, and the shared sense of humor is definitely a big part of it. I’m glad that’s working.

Thanks to Cole for his great comments. 😀


Anthology Markets

If you’ve just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. 🙂 I do these posts every month, so if this post isn’t dated in the same month you’re in, click here to make sure you’re seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, “Until Filled” markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guildelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

Non-erotica/romance writers: check out Anywhere but Earth, Triangulation: Last Contact, Mortis Operandi and the Horror Library.


1 February 2011 — Cyberpunk Anthology — Samhain [scroll down about a quarter of the way]

Welcome to the future, a cyberpunk future—post-industrial dystopias where society has broken down; a world of advanced science, cybernetic and tech. The cyberpunk world is a dark and gritty place, blurring the border between actual and virtual reality.

I’m very happy to announce an open call for submissions for a new, yet-to-be-titled summer 2011 cyberpunk romance anthology. Don’t know what cyberpunk is? Think The Matrix and Bladerunner, or the popular role-playing/computer game/book series Shadowrun. For more information on cyberpunk, you can check out the entry on wikipedia. .

I’m open to M/F, M/M, F/F, or multiples thereof, any sexual heat level, and the romance must end happily ever after or happy for now.

The novellas must range between 25,000 to 30,000 words in length, no more, no less—please note, only manuscripts that fall in this word count will be considered for this anthology—and will be released individually as ebooks in August 2011.

Submissions are open to all authors, published with Samhain or aspiring to be published with Samhain. All submissions must be new material—previously published submissions will not be considered. Additionally, manuscripts previously submitted, whether individually or for past anthologies, will not be considered either. Be aware that manuscripts submitted to this anthology cannot be resubmitted at a later date unless by invitation from an editor.

To submit a manuscript for consideration, please include:

The full manuscript (of 25,000 to 30,000 words) with a comprehensive 2-5 page synopsis. Also include a letter of introduction/query letter. Full manuscripts are required for this as it is a special project.

As well, when you send your manuscript, be sure to use the naming convention Cyberpunk_Title_MS and Cyberpunk_Title_Synopsis. This will ensure that your submission doesn’t get missed in the many submissions we receive, and makes it easy for me to find in my ebook reader.

Submissions are open until February 1, 2011. No submissions will be accepted after this date—no exceptions. A final decision will be made by February 28, 2011. Send your submission to and include Cyberpunk Anthology in the subject line. Questions and queries can be addressed to Sasha Knight ( though do your due diligence and read this anthology call completely and check the Samhain Submission FAQ page before emailing. www.


15 February 2011 — Tall, Dark & Delicious — ed. Marcus Anthony, STAR Books

Tall, dark and handsome. That expression has been around forever. So, how tall and dark do you like your men? Do you dream at night about a handsome black man making love to you? Do you want to feel his smooth velvety skin? Do you want to taste his forbidden fruit?

Of course you do. And, so do your readers. This time, it is your fantasy come true. Imagine being on a train after a hard day’s work, and a handsome black gentleman in a dark suit sits next to you. His leg brushes yours. You both say excuse me, and your eyes lock. What happens next? Or, you are at the gym, and you ask the sexy trainer to give you some pointers, and you smell his irresistible scent and cannot take your eyes off his glistening muscles. What happens next?

Now, you will let us know what happens next. Send us your best stuff.

Please note: Keep the ghetto in the ghetto. Let’s give our brothers some class. If you submit a story with illiterate dialogue and characters from the projects, I will reject them without a reply.

Your characters need to be at least 18 years old.

We are seeking well-written stories that are erotic, not just pornographic. There are no limits to the possibilities or scenarios. All we ask is that writers be creative, have fun, and offer our readers something fresh and new. And, humor is always greatly appreciated! We want well-developed characters and plots, believable and accurate situations (even if it is fantasy or science fiction, it must make sense), and settings, along with internal consistency. All characters must be at least 18 years of age.

Feel free to query me about the thinking you may have about a story for this anthology at

Submit your query to in the body of an email. Include a short bio, your name, postal and email addresses, the title and a five-paragraph excerpt of your story. Indicate whether or not your submission has been previously published and, if so, where and when. You don’t need to sell your story in the letter; your work will speak for itself. If your query is accepted, We will be in contact with you about submitting the complete work. The end product should be no more than eight pages of single spaced 12 pt. type. Occasionally, novellas are accepted, but they must be exceptional. Be sure to edit and proof your query.


15 February 2011 — Corsets and Clockworks: Steampunk Erotic Romance — ed. Kristina Wright, Cleis Press

I am looking for romantic erotica that reflects the excitement, fantasy and rebellion of steampunk. Not sure what steampunk is? Think Victorian elegance and aesthetics meets futuristic invention and exploration. But it doesn’t have to be Victorian (or Edwardian) era—it can be any time period, real or imagined, that blends elements of science, history, fantasy and technology. The one thing the genre has long been missing is romantic relationships and erotic encounters. Steampunk erotic romance is shiny brass and crushed velvet; mechanical inventions and romantic conventions; sexual fantasy and kinky fetish.

The steampunk world includes steam engines and scientists, corsets and clockworks, aviators and airships, alchemy and anachronistic technologies—not to mention those damned goggles and gadgets that everyone always references when talking about the genre! Steampunk is a spirit of high adventure that bridges the past and future. It captures the imagination in ways that make the eyes go wide and the heart beat a little faster.

What I do want:
= Stories that embody the essence of steampunk and pay homage to the genre.
= Stories that fetishize steampunk elements.
= Time travel, alternate histories, “second” or parallel worlds and non-traditional steampunk settings.
= Stories that are lush, wicked, sexy and romantic.

[Click through above for more examples of steampunk.]

What I don’t want:
= Stories that throw in everything but the steampunk kitchen sink.
= Stories that are pure camp. A little campy fun is okay, but don’t overdo it.
= Fan fiction or slash fiction. Do not steal another author’s characters, please.
= Stories that are more about the technology than the characters.

I want stories with strong plots, good character development and scorching hot sex. This collection will feature primarily heterosexual relationships, but stories may include lesbian and bisexual elements, triads, polyandrous relationships or group encounters.

Stories should be written with a female audience in mind and I have a preference for female point of view. No incest, bestiality or underage characters, please. According to Romance Writers of America, a romance must include two key elements: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying, optimistic ending. So be sure to give me a steampunk story that is erotic and romantic!

Submission Guidelines: Unpublished stories only, no simultaneous submissions. The desired story length is 2,500-5,000 words. Double-space and indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. Include your full contact information (legal name/pseudonym, mailing address and phone number) and a bio of 50 words or less written in the third person. Please paste your story into the body of your e-mail and attach it as a Microsoft Word .doc file.

Payment will be $100 per story and 2 copies of the book upon publication. Contributors retain the rights to their stories. I will notify contributors of their acceptance in June 2011, but please note that Cleis Press has final approval over the manuscript. [Note: they’re not kidding here. I know a writer who had a story accepted for a Cleis antho and went through edits and everything, only to have Cleis veto her story. This is not a pro forma approval, so be aware that you might well go through a lot of work here only to end up out.]

Send your submission to with Submission: Story Title in the subject line. Please direct any questions to the same address.


28 February 2011 — Anywhere But Earth — ed. Keith Stevenson, Coeur de Lion

[The whole site bangs off one URL; scroll down a bit and click on the Anywhere But Earth logo for content info, then on the Submissions button on the left for formatting, etc.]

Coming in 2011, Anywhere But Earth will bring you stories that challenge your ideas about the future; tales of the adventures, discoveries, mistakes, revelations, and testing times that individuals or humanity as a whole will face and how we will be changed by, or adapt to, those experiences. Stories will be set in deep space, on human or alien vessels, orbital platforms, rocks, planetoids, terraformed worlds and alien environments. In short, anywhere but Earth. Fantasy or Horror stories will not be accepted, although your Science Fiction story may have horrific or fantastic elements.

A minimum word length of 3,000 words applies to all submissions. The maximum word length is 15,000 words although to be published at the upper end you’ll have to sustain our interest for the entire story length. Longer pieces may be accepted for assessment but send a query email first (see the contact email box below).

Payment is calculated on the basis of 1 cent (Australian) per word (paid on acceptance of story), plus a contributor’s copy of the anthology (on publication), plus a proportion of royalties on sales of the paperback and e-book (paid every six months from publication) based on the following formula: [see submissions page for formula — basically a penny a word (Australian) plus a trib copy, plus proportional royalties.]



1 March 2011 — End of Days Anthology — ed. Bethany Morgan, Samhain

The current Great Cycle, as the Mayas call it, is set to end on the winter solstice of 2012: December 21, 2012. Many people believe on that date the world will change and never be the same. Some predict terrible events resulting in the destruction of our world and some predict that it won’t necessarily end, but that humanity will enter a new era and massive changes in social consciousness may occur. Some even predict that humans and humanity may evolve spontaneously to a higher plane.

Samhain Publishing invites you to step into the future when Earth as we know it no longer exists. But the End of Days doesn’t mean an end to hope and heroes and, most importantly, love and happiness. Will the world end with a bang or will humanity be changed for the better? Only you can decide.

Samhain Publishing is seeking submissions for their November 2011 End of Days themed anthology. Stories can be of any genre or heat level, and submissions are open to M/F, M/M, or multiples thereof, but all submissions must feature either an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic theme (or both) as integral to the story. Submissions should be 20,000 to 30,000 words in length. All stories must end with a happy ever after for the hero and heroine. Yes, a HEA in an apocalyptic story – don’t you just love the contrast?

Submissions are open to all authors previously published with Samhain as well as authors aspiring to publish with Samhain. Submissions must be new material; previously published material will not be considered. Additionally, manuscripts previously submitted, whether individually or for past anthologies, will not be considered either. Please be aware that manuscripts submitted to this anthology cannot be resubmitted at a later date unless by invitation from an editor. However, submissions with merit for possible publication at Samhain are and will be passed to interested Samhain editors even if not chosen for the End of Days anthology.

Chosen manuscripts will be published as separate ebooks under their individual titles in November 2011 but will be combined as one print title for Fall 2012 print release.

To submit a manuscript for consideration please include the full manuscript (of 20,000 to 30,000 words) with a comprehensive 2-3 page synopsis in addition to a letter of introduction/query letter which details the genre, heat level and story length. Full manuscripts are required.

As well, when you send your manuscript, please be sure to use the naming convention Title_EndofDays_MS and Title_EndofDays_Synopsis. This will ensure that your submission doesn’t get missed in the many submissions we receive, and makes it easy for me to find in my ebook reader.

Submissions are open until March 1, 2011 and final decision will be made by April 15, 2011.

Submissions and questions can be directed to Bethany Morgan at Please put End of Days Anthology in the subject line.


15 March 2011 — Mob Men — ed. Eric Summers, STAR Books

Once You Kiss His Ring, Is There Anything Else You Want to Kiss?

The Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface, all great sexy films about mobsters in suits. How about we bend things a bit? With so many men packing heat, there are more than a few who play on our team. Imagine the sexual energy that arises from a perfect mob hit, explosions of gunfire, a high-speed car chase, busting someone’s kneecaps, and eruptions of all kinds.

What type are you? The Don, the hit man, the bodyguard, the fence, the pimp, or do you just work for the boys? Here is your chance to write that mobster, mafia or gangster story you have always fanaticized coming true. And, let’s keep this classy – think 1930s Chicago, 1940s New York, or 1950s Las Vegas. Leave the modern day gang warfare to the kids. These are the good old boys in pinstripe suits we are featuring

As always, your characters must be over 18 years of age.

We are seeking well-written stories that are erotic, not just pornographic. There are no limits to the possibilities or scenarios. All we ask is that writers be creative, have fun, and offer our readers something fresh and new. And, humor is always greatly appreciated! We want well-developed characters and plots, believable and accurate situations (even if it is fantasy or science fiction, it must make sense), and settings, along with internal consistency. All characters must be at least 18 years of age.

Feel free to query me about the thinking you may have about a story for this anthology at

Submit your query to in the body of an email. Include a short bio, your name, postal and email addresses, the title and a five-paragraph excerpt of your story. Indicate whether or not your submission has been previously published and, if so, where and when. You don’t need to sell your story in the letter; your work will speak for itself. If your query is accepted, We will be in contact with you about submitting the complete work. The end product should be no more than eight pages of single spaced 12 pt. type. Occasionally, novellas are accepted, but they must be exceptional. Be sure to edit and proof your query.


30 March 2011 — Melt in Your Mouth: Chocolate, Boys and Bed — ed. CB Potts, Lethe Press

Payment: 2 cents/word and a copy of the book on publication

Sweet, sticky, decadent…is anything better than chocolate? Yes, there is – especially when the tempting mouthful is presented by a candy artistan who looks good enough to eat…

Lethe Press is seeking well-written, inventive gay male erotic stories that feature chocolatiers, confectioners, bakers, and candy men of every persuasion – including the one that got caught with his hand in the bon-bon box! Particularly attention paid to stories that are fun, upbeat, and a step or two off the beaten path…give us your best gourmet treats!

How to submit: Send double spaced Times or Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document with pages numbered (.doc, not .docx) OR RTF of 1,500-9,000 word story. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) required. Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 word or less bio in the third person to If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Payment for these stories will be 2 cents per word.

Absolute, total, final deadline is 3/30/11. I will reply to all submissions by 4/15/11.


31 March 2011 — Triangulation: Last Contact — eds. Jamie Lackey & Steve Ramey, Parsec Ink

[Heavily edited down to the essentials — click through for (lots) more detail.]

Triangulation is an annual 125-150+ page short fiction anthology that publishes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and any other speculative fiction that caught the editors’ fancy. Every year we have a theme: 2011’s theme is “Last Contact”. We pay semi-pro rates and are available online at places like Amazon.

We define “short fiction” as “up to about 5,000 words or so.” If you have an awesome story that exceeds 5K then by all means send it; but be warned that we have yet to accept anything for publication much longer than 5000 words. We dig flash; there is no minimum word count.

We have no interest in getting more specific about the term “speculative fiction.” Science fiction, horror, fantasy, magic realism, alternate history, whatever — if there’s a speculative element vital to your story, we’ll gladly give it a read.

We love creative interpretations of our theme, “Last Contact”. Don’t ask us what it means — tell us what it means with a story that convinces us you’re right.

We will run mature content if we like the story. So make sure there’s an actual story in that mature content.

We will consider reprints, but we are much more picky with them. If the story ran someplace obscure, then it’s probably new to our readers; if it ran someplace high-profile, it’s going to have to be the best thing we’ve read since the alphabet to get in.

The submission period is December 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011. All electronic submits must be sent within that period, all snail mail submits must be postmarked by the deadline.

Compensation: We pay two cents per word (USA funds, rounded to the nearest 100 words, US$10 minimum payment) on publication and one contributor’s copy. The anthology will be published in late July of 2011. We purchase North American Serial Rights, and Electronic Rights for the downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication. Contributors will also have the option of purchasing additional copies of the anthology at reduced price.

How To Submit: Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submishmash. [See SUBMIT link on the publisher’s page.] If this is your first time submitting to a publication that utilizes Submishmash, you will have to create an account with them. It’s free.

We’ll consider stories in the following formats: .odt, .rtf, .doc or .docx.

Please use industry standard manuscript format. There’s disagreement on some of the exact details of the “standard”. We’re not testing you to see if you can follow each and every niggling detail, we just want a manuscript that is easy for us to read.

If you absolutely positively cannot submit electronically, please send the manuscript (with either a SASE or a return email address) to:

Triangulation 2011
312 N Beaver St.
New Castle PA 16101

No multiple submissions; only send us one story at a time. No simultaneous submissions, don’t send it to us if someone else is already considering it.

Response: Expect to hear back from us within a month. Feel free to start sending us nagging emails if you haven’t heard from us after two months.


UNTIL FILLED — Horror Library, Vol. 5 — Cutting Block Press

Cutting Block Press is pleased to announce an open submissions period for the 4th Volume of its Horror Anthology Series, +Horror Library+, to be published in trade paperback during 2011.

We’re looking for the highest quality examples of all forms of Dark Fiction, running the gamut from traditional horror, supernatural, speculative, psychological thriller, dark satire, including every point between and especially beyond. No Fantasy or Sci-fi unless the horror elements are dominant. Read +Horror Library+ Volumes 1-3 to see what’s already pleased us. Special consideration will be given those pieces that we find profoundly disturbing, though blood and violence on their own won’t cut it. While we will consider tales of vampires, ghosts and zombies, we tend to roll our eyes at ordinary ones. They’re just too plentiful. Your best bet is to surprise us with something that is different, while well conceived and tightly executed.

Guidelines: Stories will range between 1,000 and 6,000 words, though we’ll look at longer works of exceptional merit. In that case, query before submission. Buying 1st worldwide anthology rights. No reprints. Paying 1.5 cents per word, plus one contributors copy. For established authors, rates may be negotiable. Response time: six months or sooner. Deadline: We will accept submissions until filled. All Queries to

Manuscript format: 12 point courier font, standard margins, left side of header: name, contact info, right side of header: word count, top of first page: title, author

Variances from traditional manuscript format: single space, NO INDENTS, ONE EXTRA space between paragraphs, use bold, italics and underline as they are to appear in story

Subject box: Short Story submission – title of story

Attach story in MS Word Document or RTF (only). Please paste your cover letter in the body of the e-mail. Send submissions to

[See the web page for a special offer on copies of Horror Library Vol. 1 for writers doing market research.]


UNTIL FILLED — Mortis Operandi — ed. Kfir Luzzatto and Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow Press

MORTIS OPERANDI is looking for stories that revolve around the investigation of a crime and in which the supernatural plays a central role. While we’re expecting a fair share of murders, we strongly encourage stories that revolve around OTHER kinds of crime — for example, arson, assault, blackmail, bullying, burglary, dowry death, embezzlement, fraud, kidnapping, larceny, libel, piracy, product liability, slavery, smuggling, terrorism, treason, and toxic pollution are all fair game.

By “supernatural” we mean magic, monsters, and/or miracles, but we don’t consider psychic abilities (although the inclusion of a minor character possessing them will not in itself disqualify a story), extraterrestrial life, or UFOs to be supernatural.

Types of stories may include whodunits, police procedurals, hardboiled fiction, and courtroom dramas. All genres and treatments are welcome, including ecclesiastic, fantasy, humor, horror, historical, military, romance, and parody. Settings outside the U.S. and U.K. are welcome. Settings on other worlds aren’t.

We want well-written stories that demonstrate originality of concept and plot. Zombies, vampires, and werewolves will be a hard sell, and romantically inclined vampires will be staked on sight. Think outside of the coffin.

Stories will be judged exclusively on the basis of their literary merit; a history of prior publication is not necessary.

Get more information about our thoughts on this antho at Market Scoop.
Submissions & Queries: anthology [[ at ]]
==No simultaneous submissions. One submission at a time.
==Please attach your stories to your email in Microsoft Word, RTF, or text-only format. Stories pasted in the body of an email will not be read.
==Please include the words “Submission: Mortis Operandi” in the Subject line of your e-mail.
Length: 3,000-6,000 words. Please include an approximate word count in your e-mail submission.
Reprints: No
Language: English
Payment: US $50/story, upon publication, and a free copy of the book
Rights: Exclusive English anthology print and electronic (e-book) rights. Please read our Sample Contract Sample Contract (pdf) for full details.
Submission period: Opens 1.1.11 — Closes when filled.
Publication Date: 2012

A Sale and a Freebie

Torquere is the featured publisher over on Rainbow eBooks this weekend, so all their books there are 20% off, including my urban fantasy A Hidden Magic.

Also, the holiday story fest put on by the M/M Romance group on Goodreads — the event for which I wrote “The Gift” — is wrapping up with an e-book anthology of all the stories written for the event. The book is called Stuff My Stocking, and it’s a free download on Goodreads. Lots of fun stuff there.

Review of A Hidden Magic

Cole over at Jessewave’s blog did an excellent review of A Hidden Magic, with a 4.75/5.0 rating. 😀

Angela Benedetti’s A Hidden Magic was a breath of fresh air for me. I love paranormals and fantasy, but usually they seem to be pieces of a few famous fantasy worlds cobbled together — not very original. Not here. This story took me by surprise and I found myself happily immersed in this unique universe that seemed to flow naturally from one page to the next. Before I started reading M/M, I used to read popular YA paranormals and many of them were about the Fey, in all different manifestations. I remember now why, although I loved the premise of these books, they always turned me off. I always felt like I was supposed to like the fey.

It’s great that Cole appreciated this aspect of the book, because that was one of my goals in writing A Hidden Magic — making the fey alien and dangerous, not just gorgeous people with pointed ears and a long lifespan. Not that I mind that kind of fantasy, but I wanted to do something different. Even when one of the fey seems to be on your side (like Willowen, or Azzy) they’re doing it for their own reasons, and their motives are based on an alien point of view. I love that Cole caught that and enjoyed it.

There was also a particular device employed by Ms. Benedetti that I rarely see in M/M and really value if well written into the story. The prose changes very subtly with each characters emotions. The story is written in third person close, so if we’re viewing the action through Rory and he gets excited the prose will speed faster and the syntax will reflect his excitement. Conversely if Rory (or any character who has the lens) gets sleepy and is still trying to describe the scene, the prose will slow, the syntax disjointed, until it seems the prose falls asleep right alonside the character. This is done very subtley and when it is done will like it is here, it is a very effective tool in taking the reader along with the emotions of the character or the speed of the action. I was very impressed by this.

Cole’s picking up on that made me beam, like, massively. There are times when I have to fight to keep some of my run-on sentences while going through edits. Yes, I go long at times [cough] but it’s always for a reason, and Cole gets a hug and chocolate for picking up on how it works and how it enhances the reader’s immersion into the POV character’s head.

Read the whole thing here.