Distractions

Jim had his surgery last Thursday and so far as we can tell, he’s recovering well. His vision is still significantly worse than it was the morning before the operation, but that’s to be expected; they took all the fluid out of his eye so they could repair the retina — which they did using a microscope, tiny manipulators, and a laser — then replaced the fluid with gas before sealing up. The index of refraction is different, so until the gas disperses (which it will do on its own, slowly) and the eyeball refills with fluid, his vision is going to be messed up. His surgeon — who was awesome — said that he should have most of the improvement within about a month, but that it might keep improving a bit here and there for the next year, so we won’t have the final word for a while.

His vision has improved noticeably since they took the bandage off the day after surgery. That’s a pretty low bar — he could only see high-contrast light and dark, or large-scale movements at that point — but still, any improvement is encouraging.

The big goal here is getting back to the point where Jim can read books. He can watch TV and pick up enough to enjoy it, and he can use the computer, leaning very close and with the text size cranked up. He can’t read paper books, though, and never being able to again would be bad. We’re both major book junkies, we have thousands of books around the house and spend a lot of time reading. If we have to, we could get him a tablet and switch him over to e-books, so he can enlarge the text and still have more than five words on the screen. That’s only a partial fix, though. Even now, only a fraction of the books he likes to read are even offered in electronic editions, and most of those are published by the big, New York houses who charge ludicrous prices for them. Having to pay thirteen or fifteen or eighteen dollars for a book that only costs eight dollars in paperback would definitely curtail a lot of his reading.

We’re hoping it doesn’t come to that, but at this point all we can do is wait and see.

Angie

PS — if anyone’s writing a character who has retinal surgery, I can tell you all about it from the patient’s POV. [wry smile]

Hating on B&N Right Now

I have a B&N gift card to spend, so I decided to use it. Okay, cool. So I found some books online (my first mistake)that added up to a bit over $25 so I could get free shipping and get more actual books for my money, and went to check out. I was filling out the form, and in the first New Customer section where they want your address and such, they ask for your phone number, but that space doesn’t have the asterisk marking it as a required field. I don’t like giving out my phone number, especially to businesses; they don’t need it, I don’t want them to have it, and I give it only when I absolutely have to, so this time I left that space blank, happy that they weren’t insisting.

I went on through the forms, filling things out. I put the gift card number in its space (does it seriously have to be fifteen digits? really?) and kept going. I got to the end, and tried to submit the order. Except I got a glitch message — I hadn’t put in my phone number, and needed to go back and do that. o_O

Ummm, if the phone number is necessary, why isn’t it marked as being necessary? I would think that’d be pretty elementary, right? What, their hosting costs are starting to skyrocket so someone decided that one more asterisk would push them over budget? 😛

Okay, fine, I clicked the button to take me back to the phone number field and entered that, then clicked the button to submit my order again. Everything looked good, except when I got my receipt screen, I noticed that it’d charged the whole amount to my credit card. Wait, what?

Same thing when I got a receipt in e-mail — no gift card. [headdesk]

I hunted around on the B&N site looking for a way to e-mail customer support. (And boy, do they hide that page.) I explained what’d happened, gave them my order number and the number on the gift card, and said I wanted to either have the order cancelled, or have $25 of the charges deleted from my credit card and charged to the gift card. While I was at it, I mentioned that I was annoyed by the phone number thing, and suggested they have their web techs add in that asterisk.

I got an e-mail back which said that they were sorry I’d had problems with their site, and that they thought they could “help me best” over the phone, and that I should call this 800 number. Umm, number one, I gave them all the information. What was stopping them from either doing what I wanted (either option) and e-mailing to let me know, or saying, “Sorry, we can’t do that, try using the gift card again,” in e-mail? Granted that last answer would’ve been annoying, but I don’t have to talk to someone on the phone to get it, or either of the positive answers. Exactly what are we gaining by having me talk to someone live? Number two, I’m pretty severely phone-phobic. I hate to call people on the phone. No, it’s not rational, but then no phobias are rational; that’s why they’re phobias.

It took me a couple of days, but I finally psyched myself up and called. I got the usual robot phone answer system (although they’ve got some long pauses in there, one at the very beginning that made me think I might’ve gotten a live person; I said “Hello?” just as the robot went on with it’s spiel) and worked my way through it to what I assume is the right queue. (It’s the “everything else” queue, by the way. There’s no number to press if you have a problem with an order; I guess they’re pretending to all the customers who call with questions about Borders (that was option number one) that there are never order problems.)

So I got switched over to the Everything Else queue. I was notified that my call might be recorded. There were about four seconds of music, then the voice came back to say that all operators were busy and I should keep hanging on, or whatever. Two seconds of music, and I was assured that my call was important. Another two seconds of music, and the voice explained that all the lines were busy and I should call back later, and then it hung up on me.

Wait, what?

I looked at the time on the face of my phone — I’d been connected for one minute and forty-six seconds.

Now, I know a lot of people hate to sit in the customer service queue for a long time, and complain about having to do it. But less than two minutes and then I get dumped? Seriously? I’m an adult, and if the wait gets to be too long, I can decide for myself to hang up on the answer-robot.

You know, B&N is one of the companies who are currently whining and complaining that Eeeevil Amazon is destroying the book business, but I think that if B&N’s business is having hard times, the reasons for it are a lot closer to home.

Angie, who’ll never order anything from B&N again

Oatmeal vs. FunnyJunk and Charles Carreon

Copied from Dear Author, with permission courtesy of Jane.

The Oatmeal is a satiric cartoon site run by Matthew Inman. About a year ago, he noticed that his content was being uploaded without attribution to a site called The FunnyJunk. The FunnyJunk is a site that contains user generated content. This means that account holders post things that they like from all over the internet. Maybe a pre-Pinterest sort of site. The Oatmeal writes to the FunnyJunk requesting that the information be removed.

FunnyJunk took down the comics but proceeded to create a mirror image of The Oatmeal’s website. The Oatmeal responded by asking his readers what to do.

The FunnyJunk responded with a call to action to its own users asking them to inundate The Oatmeal’s inbox and facebook page. The FJ’s users responded in droves using their arsenal of retorts such as gay slurs and incoherently misspelled sentences to insult The Oatmeal and his biological predecessors for having the gall to procreate and, I guess, learn how to spell and draw.

According to Ars Technica, after the furor died down, the FJ admin acted somewhat responsibly, possibly realizing that its site could be in jeopardy due to all the copyrighted material illegally reposted there.

When the flame war finally died down, the FunnyJunk admin issued an unsigned note saying, “We’ve been trying for the longest time to prevent users from posting copyrighted content” and “I’m having all content, comics, comments, etc. with the names of your comics in them deleted/banned by tonight… The site barely affords to stay alive as it is and has enough problems.”

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there in November of 2011, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history. But no.

The FunnyJunk for some reason came into contact with Charles Carreon, Esq., an attorney who came into national prominence during the sex.com domain name lawsuit. Carreon penned a letter on behalf of FJ, threatening The Oatmeal with a lawsuit for the post where The Oatmeal points out that the FJ has copied his website. Carreon, on behalf of FJ, wants the post to be taken down and $20,000 in damages.

The Oatmeal gets a lawyer and responds back with well worded, backed by research, rebuttal. The Oatmeal also goes on to decide to raise money off this ridiculous situation because so many of his readers want to help but the money isn’t going to Inman, instead he raised money for charity. Initially, he only thought to raise $20,000 for charity but the donations came in thick and fast and in the end, Inman raises over $200,000 which is donated to The American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there on June 12, 2012, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history and with its own Wikipedia entry. But no.

The situation gains the attention of the mainstream media and Carreon begins to make personal threats. He expresses wonderment and dismay at the internet’s reaction (he calls it bullying) toward his legal demands of Inman and The Oatmeal. He suggests that there might be other legal problems for the Oatmeal such as the fundraiser being violative of IndieGoGo’s term of service.

The internet continues to make fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon’s actions which include statements like “Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that’s more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns’ undergarments. ”

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there later on June 12, 2012, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history, with its own Wikipedia entry, and a few mainstream media mentions. But no.

Charles Carreon’s pride has been wounded. In his delusionary state, he must see that the only way out is to double down on the Jack and the Six (i.e., worse blackjack hand in the deck). He takes the situation to DefCon 5. Last night, Popehat was alerted by another legal watcher that Charles Carreon has filed a lawsuit against The Oatmeal, IndieGoGo, American Cancer Society, and National Wildlife Federation.

He transcended typical internet infamy when he filed a federal lawsuit last Friday in the United Sates District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland. He belonged to the ages the moment he filed that lawsuit not only against Matthew Inman, proprietor of The Oatmeal, but also against IndieGoGo Inc., the company that hosted Inman’s ridiculously effective fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

But that level of censorious litigiousness was not enough for Charles Carreon. He sought something more. And so, on that same Friday, Charles Carreon also sued the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, the beneficiaries of Matthew Inman’s fundraiser.

Popehat is a site run by a bunch of lawyers and they are offering Inman pro bono legal work and they are asking the internet the following:

1. Kevin and I have offered pro bono help, and will be recruiting other First Amendment lawyers to offer pro bono help. It’s not just Mr. Inman who needs help. IndyGoGo does to. So do the charities. No doubt the charities already have excellent lawyers, but money that they spend fighting Carreon (whatever the causes of action he brought) is money that they don’t have to fight cancer and help wildlife. That’s an infuriating, evil turn of events.

2. You could still donate through the IndieGoGo program The Oatmeal set up. Or you could donate directly to the American Cancer Society or the National Wildlife Federation. I like animals, and I loved my mother who died at 55 of cancer, but I have no qualms whatsoever about encouraging people to donate to those causes as part of a gesture of defiance and contempt against Charles Carreon and the petulant, amoral, censorious douchebaggery he represents.

3. Spread the word. Tell this story on blogs, forums, and social media. Encourage people to donate as part of a gesture of defiance of Charles Carreon and entitled butthurt censors everywhere. Help the Streisand Effect work.

4. Do not, under any circumstances, direct abusive emails or calls or other communications to Mr. Carreon. That helps him and hurts the good guys. I don’t take his claims of victimhood at face value — not in the least — but such conduct is wrong, and empowers censors.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part IV from Popehat.

Feel free to copy this entire post and repost it (even without attribution) anywhere you can.

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 guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

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30 June 2012 — Extreme Planets Anthology — Chaosium Inc.

Chaosium is expanding into new lines of speculative fiction. Extreme Planets will be the first of these publications, with a science fiction anthology of short stories set on or about alien worlds that push the limits of what we believe is possible in a planetary environment.

These could be planets with gravities many times that of the Earth or orbiting neutron stars so their oceans are elongated into egg shapes. Carbon worlds or diamond worlds, iron worlds, or planets with extremely elliptical orbits. Worlds made of exotic elements or with bizarre atmospheres. Planets were time and space behaves strangely or against the laws of physics. Even artificially created worlds can find a home in this anthology, either transformed by bizarre technology or the creation of alien civilisations. Mostly, we hope you dazzle us with worlds we haven’t even thought about.

So how to people survive on these extreme planets? Do human’s adapt the environment to suit their needs, such as through terraforming, or do they change their own bodies to survive, such as through pantropy or cybernetic enhancement. Can humans manipulate the environment or the laws of the universe itself, such as by creating artificial gravity, to survive in these conditions? For a rounded story, these concepts need to be addressed, because there is no story that does not address the human condition.

This is a science fiction anthology—no fantasy or horror. Good characters, engaging plots and mind-blowing settings are important to us, and we also like a good sense of adventure and mystery. Literary style is fine, so long as there is a plot. Most of all we are looking for the staple requirement of the SF genre: a sense of wonder.

The anthology will be printed in both trade paperback and online e-reader formats.

Submission guidelines
== Send us your best science fiction extreme planet story.
== Story length 4,000 to 10,000 words (We may accept a couple of novellas up to 20,000 words from established authors – please query). Payment will be US 3 cents a word and 3 contributor copies. Further copies can be purchased from the publisher for half price.
== Original stories only: no reprints, multiple, or simultaneous submissions.
== Stories may be submitted via email: extremeplanets [at] gmail [dot] com with EXTREME PLANETS [Story Title] by [Author Name] in the header.
== Manuscript format: double spaced, large margins, left justified, Times New Roman or Courier New font, US English spelling. Double quotation marks for speech, not single. RTF preferred but will accept DOC files. Manuscript is to include author’s name and contact details on first page.
== The editors reserve the right to use their discretion in selecting stories.

***

30 June 2012 — A Killer Among Demons — ed. Craig Bezant, Dark Prints Press

A Killer Among Demons aims to encapsulate the deep, intriguing, and twisted tales that arise from the wonderful combination of paranormal/supernatural crime.

We are going to leave the guidelines quite open for this one because, to be honest, we want to be surprised. Not sure? Think of a crime that can’t be solved through traditional methods; a murder committed by a mythical creature that, by all means shouldn’t exist; an on-the-seat-of-your-chair thriller of ghostly comeuppance; a Scooby-Doo-type pulpy crime where the gang tries to rip off the mask of a monster, only to find it’s its real face; and so on…

This title will be published as both a limited print edition and an eBook/digital edition.

We are looking for short fiction 3,000 to 10,000 words in length. If you have work outside this range, please query before sending. Please submit one story at a time.

Please submit via the standard methods you have already taken the time to research – eg. A readable font, 11 or 12pt, 1.5 to double line spacing, a header with the title and your name, and PAGE NUMBERS. You may include a cover letter/intro about yourself and, specifically, your writing.

Payment is a flat fee of AUD$75.00 per story (regardless of length) for both Australian print rights and International Digital rights, plus a contributor’s copy of the print edition.

The editor for this anthology is Craig Bezant.
You can submit via e-mail at: submissions@darkprintspress.com.au
or via post at: PO BOX 3079, Joondalup, Western Australia, 6027

Response time is ~8 weeks. Please feel free to query after this time.

***

30 June 2012 [formerly Until Filled] — Future Daze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction — Underwords

Underwords is now accepting submissions for our next project Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction, a science fiction anthology for teens, young adults, and the young at heart. We’re looking for fiction and poetry that sparks the imagination, twists the heart, and makes us yearn for the possibilities of a world yet to come. At a time when every other YA book features vampires, werewolves or other fantastical creatures, Futuredaze will be an anthology for the next generation of science fiction readers.

We’re looking for hard science fiction, soft science fiction, and everything in between. Think Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell or Ray Bradbury with a YA focus. While we adore fantasy, Futuredaze is not the right anthology for fiction or poetry based in worlds where magic or the supernatural are the driving forces.

Futuredaze’s primary mission is to inspire a love of science fiction in today’s teens and young adults — providing them with a launching pad of quality fiction that will inspire them to further explore the many branches of the genre. Give us your stories of far-flung futures, interplanetary travel, and technology just beyond our reach. Give us near futures with eerie similarities to the present. Give us robots, extra terrestrials, brave new worlds and Andromeda strains.

Most of all, give us good writing. Whether you’re a pro or still looking for your first sale we want to see the widest array of fiction and poetry possible. If you’re unsure whether your piece is right for Futuredaze, please submit it and let us determine if it’s a good fit. Our only requirement is that your story or poem operates within a science fictional universe and is written for young adults. Please no explicit sex, foul language, or gratuitous violence.

Practical Matters
Submissions for Futuredaze open May 1, 2012. Response time is two months or sooner. We will accept submissions until filled. The estimated publication date is June 2013. Electronic submissions only. Overseas submissions are welcome. Send your story or poem as a Word or .rtf attachment to yasfsubmissions@gmail.com and include the word “submission” and the title of your piece in the subject line to avoid our spam folder.

Please follow standard manuscript formatting and submission conventions: i.e., double-spaced, with 1″ margins, and 12 pt Times New Roman font. Your story title and last name should be included in the document header. No reprints. No simultaneous or multiple submissions. For fiction, 6,000 words max. You may submit up to 5 poems at one time. If you receive a rejection letter, you may submit a different piece. Futuredaze will come out in print and as an eBook. Paying $200 per story and $25 per poem for first North American anthology rights, payable upon publication. One-year after publication, all rights return to the creators.

Any questions? Write to us at yasfsubmissions@gmail.com.

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1 July 2012 — Charity Sip Blitz — Torquere Press

[Announced on a closed loop, but with permission to repost; general guidelines link below.]

It’s that time again, where all of our great authors get together to donate to a charity working within the GLBTQ community! This year, Torquere Press has chosen NOH8 as the donation charity, and authors who contribute agree to
donate 100% of their royalties to NOH8, with Torquere Press matching the donation.

This year’s theme, since this is Torquere Press’ ninth anniversary as well, is leather. Nine is the leather anniversary, y’all! How cool is that?

Leather can be reflected in any way in the story. BDSM may immediately spring to mind, but leather can also mean cowboys, fast cars, Italian shoes, jewelry, or any of a million other things. We want stories that show LGBTQ
characters in positive situations, and have strong stories with happy endings. (Or at least happy for now.)

Word count is 3000 to 8000 words, and those limits are firm. Please adjust your manuscripts accordingly before submission. Deadline for submissions is July 1, 2012. Please send all submissions to submissions@torquerepress.com with Charity Sip Blitz in the subject line. For formatting questions or other content questions, please refer to our general guidelines here.

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31 July 2012 — Steampunk Cthulu — ed. Brian M. Sammons and Glynn Owen Barrass, Chaosium, Inc.

The age of steam meets the age of Cthulhu, in a past where technology unbound warps Victorian Britain and the world at large into a dark Steampunk reality.

In Steampunk Cthulhu (yes that’s only a working title) we are looking for stories set in a world where futuristic visions of technology, advanced machines undreamt of in the Victorian era, are powered by steam, or sometimes the inscrutable minds of dark, god-like beings.

Undreamt of yes, and maybe a nightmare here, think of what would happen if HG Wells had sent his Time Machine to a past when the Elder Things ruled the globe, or Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo was an evil acolyte of Cthulhu? Of course we don’t want you to limit yourselves to fictional characters of the genre, but you can use these, historical personages and your own protagonists and cultists of Cthulhu.

Space travel, journeys to the center of the earth and 20,000 leagues under R’lyeh, we want to see Victorian globetrotting adventurers and wild technologies in the Wild West. Think zeppelins crossed with tomes of forbidden knowledge, steam powered automatons battling indescribable beasts from beyond time and space, fanciful high-tech gadgets and blood drenched arcane artifacts, the wonders of tomorrow meting the horror of inescapable doom, and if you can put your own unique spin on both the steampunk setting and the Cthulhu Mythos, so much the better.

Authors should be well versed in both the stempunk setting and Lovecraftian horror as a good blending of both is what we’re after. If you’re looking for info on steampunk, check the Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk) for a brief overview and a small selection of authors and books to get you started. If you need to bone up on your Cthulhu Mythos you can read all of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories online for free here: http://www.hplovecraft.com/ or just look around your local bookstore – if you’re still luckily enough to have a local bookstore – as the Cthulhu Mythos has never been hotter.

This book will be published by Chaosium. Authors will receive .03 a word and 3 complementary contributor copies, with the option to purchase more at a 50% discount.

8000k word limit. Contact the editors if your work is both longer and outstanding. The deadline for submissions is July 31. Please send submissions as .rtf files to both editors below. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Brian M. Sammons bmanrun@hotmail.com
Glynn Owen Barrass cthulhupunk@hotmail.co.uk

***

31 July 2012 — Into the Darkness — ed. C. Dennis Moore and David G. Barnett, Necro Publications

INTO THE DARKNESS Anthology is looking for dark, brutal, unrelenting horror fiction from new and established authors alike. One of the things we always loved with the magazine was finding new voices in modern horror and we want to start doing that again.

Here’s some things we’re looking for:

==Solid story and interesting characters are the two most important elements.
==Modern voice. Nothing old fashioned. No traditional ghost stories. We’re not looking for writers trying to channel Lovecraft or Poe.
==New monsters. If you’re going to create a monster then explain the monster. Don’t just throw it in at the end. The monster is probably a hell of a lot more interesting than anything else. Same goes for killers and psychos.
==If you’re going to give us a vampire, zombie or other traditional monster please do something new and interesting with it.
==Violence, sex, profanity and gore are all fine as long as they are integral to the story. If you’re just trying an experiment in writing only grossout we don’t want it. After 20 years we’ve seen it and it’s boring. And don’t try and shock us by using the word cunt 50 times in your story. That’s just sad.
==Humor is always good.
==Urban fantasy is a favorite genre of ours.
==Angels, demons, heaven and hell are all topics of interest for us.

WORD COUNT: 1500-10,000
PUBLISH DATE: Late 2012/Early 2013
FORMAT: Trade Paperback and eBook for International distribution
RIGHTS: First print and electronic Exclusive Worldwide English Language Anthology Rights for a period of one year.
PAYMENT: $.02/word. Two copies of the trade paperback. Payment upon publication.

SUBMISSION SPECIFICATIONS:
==Email submissions ONLY to: intothedarknessantho@gmail.com
==Submissions should be in standard manuscript format and attached as either an MS Word document or an RTF file.
==All submissions MUST have your name, address, email and phone number.
==Check here for proper manuscript formatting: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html
==Email subject line: ITD – Story Title – Author
==No reprints
==Multiple submissions: up to two stories per author can be submitted but send as separate emails.
==No simultaneous submissions.
==Response time of 1-2 months.
==And for f**ksake, please have some sort of grasp of spelling, grammar and punctuation. No manuscript is perfect, but seriously, don’t waste our time if you can barely spell your name or speak English. This has happened. Not kidding. 😛

***

31 July 2012 (or until filled) — Once Upon an Apocalypse — ed. Rachel Kenley and Scott T. Goudsward, Chaosium

Over the river and through the woods does not always lead to grandma’s house or happy endings – especially if grandma’s house is infested with zombies… or if grandma is really a Lovecraftian being in disguise. Once Upon an Apocalypse is a two volume post apocalyptic anthology laden with the undead and otherwordly mythos crossing into the realm of fairy tales, nursery rhymes and other timeless stories. Editors Rachel Kenley and Scott T. Goudsward and publisher Chaosium are currently open to submissions for these two books of mixed up retold fairy tales.

What are we looking for?

For both volumes we want stories with strong narrative lines, stronger characters and a clear blending of the theme and the fairy tales. For Volume One imagine Cinderella arriving at the ball and discovering it filled with zombies. Or how different the story would be if it were Snow White and the Seven Zombies. Give us new horrors with Alice in Zombieland, and a Prince who climbs Rapunzel’s hair to get away from and find a way to defeat – you guessed it – zombies. In Volume Two we want a strong dose of Lovecraft thrown in. What happens to the townspeople in The Boy who Cried Cthulhu? Pinocchio is going to have a much harder time getting out of the Old One than the whale; a wolf would have been preferable to Little Red Riding Hood and the Byahkee and the Little Mermaid has so much more to worry about then her legs and a missing voice when she faces a Deep One.

Once you choose a story to change it’s your call how far you will take it. Make the apocalypse clear and give some meaning as to why the dead are meandering through the streets and munching on the breathing or why the Elder God has paid the town a visit. Plague, prestilence, bio warfare, meteor shower, tail of a comet… be creative.

Because we don’t want duplicates of themes, you will be able to follow the progress of the anthologies on our blog (http://onceuponanapocalypse.com) or facebook page (www.facebook.com/OnceUponAnApocalypse) where we’ll keep a current list of themes/tales accepted. For example, if we get a Sleeping Beauty story and it’s awesome, that will be it for the book. Stories should be 2K – 4K in length (please query for stories under or over our limit. We will consider them if they are of exceptional merit). The only true way to have similar stories is A Snow White and the Seven Zombies in one and Snow White Star Vampire Slayer in the other.

What aren’t we looking for?

We all know these are dark fiction anthologies, but gore for the sake of gore is un-needed. This is not splatterpunk or extreme horror. Sex? If the story calls for it fine but keep it to an R rating (maybe even PG-13). We don’t to hear about insertions and spurting fluids, unless is blood from a bite wound or a gun shot. Try to keep the violence towards animals at a minimum. In some mythos, zombies chew on animals and that’s fine, but we don’t want redneck zombies killing all of Bo-Peep’s sheep for a pie. Finally, though we shouldn’t have to mention it (but we will given the theme) – go easy on the child-related violence, please. And no kids and sex – that’s just skeevy.

Readingperiod – now through July 31, 2012 – or until filled.

Pay rates – Pays $.03 per word, no royalties and 3 free books and additional copies at 50% off cover.

Email subs to: ouaastories@ gmail.com

Format:

Stories should be an attachment to your cover letter email, NOT copied and pasted into the body of the email. The cover letter should include a single paragraph synopsis of the story and your publishing history. The submission should be in RTF or DOC format (no DOCX). Left aligned, 1/2” indentation for paragraphs, single spaced. Double space between scenes and use five stars (*****) for breaks in the story. Contact info should be on the first page of the story with word count.

Please do not query for your story until we’ve had it for at least 12 weeks. Publication is expected for the first half of 2013. No reprints and no simultaneous submissions. If we turn you down feel free to try again with a new story but give it a few days between submissions.

And please when submitting please be specific which book you are submitting to. We’re reading for both simultaneously. Subject line of the email should be Name, Story Name, Which book.

***

31 July 2012 — Cthulhurotica, Vol. 2 — Dagan Books

What is Erotica?

Erotica [ih-rot-i-kuh] is literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire. It is not pornography, which is understood to have sexual arousal as its main purpose. Erotica includes a sexual aspect but it is only one part of the larger aesthetic. In other words, writing erotica is not about graphic descriptions of people having sex, it’s about making your reader want to have sex. It’s a tease, a flirt, a seduction …

Who is Cthulhu?

H.P. Lovecraft wrote smart, surreal, supernatural horror stories in the early 20th century. Cthulhu is one of several fictional creatures created by Lovecraft in the early 20th century. Lovecraft’s stories, and some of the works of his followers, outline what we now call the “Cthulhu Mythos”. Mythos characters include both the monsters and the men who discovered them.

Cthulhurotica is the place where sex and madness meet.

What are we hoping to get from Volume 2?

We want to expand on the first book, without discarding any of it. The stories from Cthulhurotica are bold, sexy, creepy, empowering and frightening. What we’re looking for now is more … We want stories which use more of Lovecraft’s settings and characters. We’ve got Innsmouth and Arkham, but what about the mountains, the Artic, aboard the Emma? We met Nyarlathotep, the Mi Go, and the King in Yellow, but what about Ithaqua, or the Hounds of Tindalos? Tell us about Charles Dexter Ward’s neighbor, or the secretary in Professor Peaslee’s office.

What if Richard Upton Pickman painted pinup girls too?

There is so much, both in Lovecraft’s work and in the associated Mythos stories by other authors, which hasn’t yet been explored. If you do want to revisit a location or monster from the first book, make sure you do so in a completely new way.

More importantly, we want to see more variations on the human theme. Female main characters, people of color, queer folk, polyamorous families, people with disabilities – if they exist in the real world, they should exist in Lovecraft’s world as well. (Yes, you can still send us a story with a straight, white, upper-middle class male as your main character if you want to.)

Some references which might help:

http://www.hplovecraft.com/creation/whoswho.asp – A Who’s Who of Lovecraft’s characters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu_Mythos – The Cthulhu Mythos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovecraftian_horror – The Style of Lovecraft

What do we want to avoid:

Non-consensual sex, underage characters, slash fiction which features actual people (you can’t use August Derleth as a character in your story if he’s participating in any sex acts), poetry.

Seriously. NO POETRY.

What we’re buying:

Stories of up to 4,500 words. Must be original; no reprints, no simultaneous submissions. Worldwide print and ebook rights (exclusive for 6 months, non-exclusive for an additional 30 months).

What we’re paying:

2 cents per word, paid within 90 days after publication. Contributor copy of print and ebook (can choose between .epub or .mobi/Kindle versions).

Submissions open May 1, 2012, and will close at 11:59 EST on July 31, 2012. Please submit your story as a .doc or .odt file. Use 12 pt font, do not insert two spaces at the end of each sentence (one is sufficient), and your story must include your name, address, telephone number, email address, and approximate word count on the first page.

Submit HERE: http://daganbooks.submishmash.com/submit

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31 August 2012 — UFO — Unidentified Funny Objects — ed. Alex Shvartsman, UFO Publishing

[NOTE: Submissions open on 1 July; do not submit before then.]

UFO Publishing is soliciting short story submissions for “Unidentified Funny Objects” — An Anthology of Humorous Science Fiction & Fantasy.

We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams. We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over.

LENGTH: 500-4000 words.

PAYMENT: $0.05 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request a check.

FORMAT: RTF or DOC. Standard Manuscript Format or something close to it (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier to Times New Roman or some such).

SEND TO: E-mail submissions as an attachment to: ufopublishing@gmail.com

Format the subject line as follows: Submission: Story Title by Awesome Author

POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. We will respond to all subs within 30 days. If you don’t hear by then please check your spam folder, then query at the same e-mail address with the word QUERY in the title of the e-mail.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: July 1, 2012 through August 31, 2012.

RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 6 months from date of release. Non-exclusive rights to keep the anthology in print across different publishing platforms afterward.

[Click through for extensive notes on the editorial staff, their selection process, a FAQ, and links to some humorous stories the editor likes. Note, however, that the third story repeatedly hauls you off to some ad-type page after about a minute, nowhere near enough time to read the story. The first two are worth reading, though, and #1 made me snicker. 🙂 ]

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UNTIL FILLED — All Access Pass — ed. Amelia G, Blue Blood Books ** First Posted July 2011

Short version of what I’m looking for is: well-crafted fiction or memoir, cool erotica with music and/or music culture as a central theme, $50 first run + reprint rights, $25 reprints. More formal version below.

Call for Submissions: All Access Pass

Backstage Passes editor Amelia G is reading for a sequel to her anthology of rock and roll erotica, called All Access Pass. Below are general fiction guidelines for Blue Blood fiction projects. For this book in specific, music must play a central role in the story. Events could take place at a punk club or an outdoor festival, characters may be musicians, music may just really speak to a particular character, but it needs to be important. Stories ranging from balls-out memoir or entirely fantastical vampire sex are all fine, within the appropriate theme and quality standards.

When submitting electronically, please make the subject of your email ALL ACCESS PASS SUBMISSION.

Before sending anything over, please ask yourself if your work passes the Blue Blood litmus test: Is it intelligent? Is it sexy? Is it edgy/counterculture? Is it cool? Email electronic submissions to submit@blueblood.net For submissions of fiction or nonfiction text, please have your writing in a Word document with a .doc suffix (not .docx), RTF, TXT, InDesign, or Open Office format. It is preferred if you include an author bio or link to your website or online profiles.

The All Access Pass anthology is seeking erotic stories with a counterculture feel — Gothic, industrial, techno, rave, punk, metal, dyke, mystery, gangster, hard-boiled, science fiction, cyberpunk, steampunk, vampire, werewolf, medieval etc. At the moment, our needs are for stories primarily from a male or female heterosexual viewpoint, lesbian viewpoint, or female bisexual viewpoint. Often, we can also place male homosexual and gender bender stories in anthologies. We look for work between 2,000 and 7,500 words. Most accepted fiction is shorter than 4,000 words. Death and horror elements are acceptable so long as they do not prevent the piece from being sex-positive. Characters may die but not as part of the sexuality. Kinky is great — leathersex, bondage, vampirism etc. are all fine. Negative attitudes about sexuality are not fine. All sex must be consensual and arousing. PLEASE DO NOT SEND US STORIES PROMOTING NAZIS, RAPE, INCEST, OR THE SEXUALIZATION OF MURDER. NO SNUFF, RACISM, OR HOMOPHOBIA. If you can write genuinely arousing fiction which still works as a story, do contact us. Payment is net 60 on on-sale date and we generally purchase first worldwide rights (exclusive from acceptance to one year after publication) along with nonexclusive reprint rights.

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UNTIL FILLED — Airships and Automatons — ed. Charles P. Zaglanis, White Cat Publications ** First Posted June 2012

Pay: .05 per word first publication/ .01 per word reprint plus a contributor copy of the book. If translations are made, writers will be paid .01 per word and 1 copy for each version.

Format: Trade paperback and eBook.

Word count: 5,000 words preferably.

Setting: We seek steampunk stories featuring strong characters, exciting plotlines, and automatons and/or airships. We don’t want the latter to be mentioned in passing; they should be central to the plot. We aren’t shooting for any particular mood with this book. Dystopian, humorous, pulp, Lovecraftian, upbeat or dark— all have a place here. Please don’t feel constrained to write in a Victorian setting. It’s steampunk, push the boundaries. We’re looking for that certain flavor of writing that’s hard to explain, but obvious when it’s present. Like most markets, we aren’t interested in erotica or unnecessary gore (I know, I know. I said push the boundaries, but I’m not cutting the checks).

Submit stories in standard manuscript format to charlespzaglanis@whitecatpublications.com. No snail-mail. No multiple submissions. Word or .rtf only, no .pdf, .wp, etc. Feel free to send another story after rejection. Please type A&A/Your Name in the subject line. I get a lot of email and this will help me keep track.

Best of luck and we’ll see you in the aether,

Chuck Zaglanis

Editor

White Cat Publications, LLC

[Click through to read comments — there are some good questions answered there.]

Survey for Writers

Michael J. Sullivan is conducting a survey for writers. This includes writers of long fiction, short fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and who’ve been published traditionally (New York or small press) or indie, or not published. From the intro:

The publishing industry is in great flux and traditional publishing paradigms are breaking down. The recently released Taleist Survey looked at self-published authors but ignored those published traditionally (both through big-six and small press) and also didn’t take into consideration “hybrid” authors who have feet in on both sides of the door. In order to get a better picture about the CURRENT publishing landscape, as well as what paths writers are pursuing I’ve created a survey and need writers (both aspiring and published) to help bring some clarity to today’s publishing climate.

The survey is designed so that you can skip sections that don’t apply to you (for instance if you are not yet published). As a way of saying things, I’ll provide my analysis AND raw data to all those who participate (minus any identifying information – such as email address).

I thank you in advance for helping myself, and other authors, get a better handle on what to expect in regards to publishing in 2012.

I think this is a great idea. The Taleist Survey is being discussed pretty widely, but as Michael points out, it had a number of blind spots. If you’re a writer, I encourage you to take this survey and toss your data into the pot.

Angie

Still Alive

There are a bunch of things I’ve wanted to blog about, starting with my trips last month, and in particular the Anthology Listings post that should’ve gone up a couple of days ago. We’ve had some medical issues around our place, though, most recently with my husband, who thought a cataract was getting worse and actually has a detached retina. :/ He’ll be having surgery on that next week.

I’m still around, though, and I’ll be getting the antho post up within a day or two.

Angie

PS — don’t sail with Celebrity. 😛 Our cabin bathroom smelled of sewage the whole trip, despite broken promises to fix it. I got a case of e. coli and spent a chunk of the cruise on in-cabin isolation, the kind where if you leave before you’re okayed, they toss your butt off at the next port. Wow, fun. At least they picked up the medical tab.