Sunday, July 29, 2012

Responding to Rape

Jim Hines, a great fantasy writer, also blogs about social justice issues. Recently he was scheduled to appear on Reddit, in the fantasy area, to do a Q&A about his upcoming book. He cancelled because Reddit is hosting a rather large and active thread where men who've committed rape are talking about what they did and why and how and how it felt, and apparently they're getting an appalling number of back-pats and attaboys for it, along with praise for how "brave" they are to post anonymously about how awesome it was rape that woman, or reassurances about how they didn't really do anything wrong because after all, from what you said it's not like she screamed and cussed and tried to fight you off, right? Or whatever. :/

Jim posted about the cancellation and his reason for it, and of course a bazillion people from Reddit came over to tell him what a censoring dumbass he is. A few people made calm and reasoned arguments about why they thought he was wrong, which is cool, and there were people supporting his actions as well. One of the latter posted a comment I have to share.

Laura Resnick's comment, trimmed down to emphasize a point:

This all makes me recall my experiences when I took a basic self-defense program designed for women. ...

And what I found interesting, shocking, and really eye-opening was HOW HARD most of the women in the group found it to defend themselves. I don't mean they couldn't learn the skills. I mean that their upbringing ahd socialization had sCOMPLETELY indoctrinated them with the idea, the belief, and the behaviorial pattern that they DIDN'T HAVE A RIGHT to defend themselves. to such an extent that trying to practice self-defense moves against an attacker in a classroom setting was traumatic for them.


This conditioning was so powerful that there were women in the class who stood facing the attacker, weeping helplessly over their own indoctrinated inability to lift a single finger to defend themselves against a physical attacker.

... [I]t really opened my eyes to how many women have been taught their whole lives, by everyone and everything that's ever had influence over them, that if they're assaulted, attacked, raped, then they must lie there, still and weeping, rather than fight back.

And because of that conditioning, rapists like the ones bragging on Reddit can convince themselves they didn't do anything really wrong since, gee, it's not as if the assault victim really FOUGHT, right? She just cried a little and lay there, right? "So that must mean what I did wasn't a violent felony, right?"

This fits perfectly with a post I did a while back about how rape happens, about how women are socialized to go along and get along and keep the peace and make other people happy, about how they're not supposed to fuss or object or disagree and if they do they're being a mean bitch or a stuck up bitch or an angry bitch. So many women don't fuss or object or disagree, until suddenly some guy is pushing their legs open and if they object then, they're a teasing bitch.

So, many women just don't object. Much less, as Laura's experience with the self-defense class for women shows, physically fight back.

Raising women to be ladylike, with a traditional (mild, demure, passive, pleasant, pleasing) definition of ladylike, is a significant chunk of the rape problem in our society. Of course, most of it is egotistical men* who think they're entitled to anything they want, including a particular woman. But if we stopped enculturating women to be passive and started raising them to kick up a screaming, cussing, punching, kicking fuss whenever some entitled dirtbag decided to invade her territory, preferably well before it ever got to a place/situation where rape could happen, that'd take a decent bite out of the problem.


*Note that not all men are like this. I shouldn't have to say it, but I'm saying it anyway. In particular, I can't imagine any of the men who comment here regularly being like this. It only takes a minority, though, to get a whole lot of women worried and wary, especially since the raping minority don't wear T-shirts that say RAPIST. If you're a guy and this bothers you, or if you've ever had a woman give you a look like she was wondering whether she could trust you, that's the rapist minority messing it up for all the nice guys.

Over at the Torquere LiveJournal Today

I'm hosting the Torquere LiveJournal Community today, talking about Emerging Magic and anything else that comes to mind. We have candied bacon, so come on over and hang for a while.

I'm going to do a drawing tomorrow for a $10 Torquere gift certificate; for every post of mine you comment on over there today (up through noon Pacific time tomorrow) you'll get a slip in the drawing. I'll be posting throughout the day, so check back a few times, or just wait till later and do it all at once -- maybe during a gap in the Olympics coverage or something. :)


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Emerging Magic is Available

My new Sentinels novel, Emerging Magic, was released today, and is currently available on the Torquere Press site and through ARe. Amazon and B&N aren't showing it yet, but should be soon. It'll also be available in paperback (along with a paperback edition of A Hidden Magic, the first novel in the series) through Amazon; I'll post when those show up.

Emerging Magic picks up shortly after A Hidden Magic wraps up, with Rory discovering something that changes his perception of the last decade of his life.


Rory's mother took him to psychiatrists, let them circumscribe his life, let them give him drugs, while knowing all along there was nothing wrong with him. When Rory finds out, he's angry and confused and just wants to get away for a while. His mother's betrayal plus another kidnap attempt make a visit to the father he hasn't seen in ten years seem like a great idea.

When Rory, Paul and Aubrey get to Seattle, though, it's obviously not going to be just a normal family Christmas. Someone north of San Jose tried to kidnap Rory twice before they left, and to Paul, it's too much of a coincidence that Nathan, Rory's dad, has magic talented friends. While Rory tries to reconnect with his only other family, Paul is trying to figure out whether anyone in Nathan's group is after Rory. They definitely have secrets, and at least one of them has been playing around with things he doesn't understand; the local fey are after him, and elves aren't known for caring too much about collateral damage.

And there's a master wizard in the area who's up to something big and would really like to have Rory's help....


Paul, Rory, and Elizabeth strolled along the sidewalk, between pools of moth-filled light and patches of murky darkness. It was after eight, but the sidewalks were still pretty crowded; it might be a Thursday but it was a Thursday within two weeks of Christmas and the shoppers were swarming. The downtown shopping area wasn't as insane as the malls -- Paul wouldn't go near Valley Fair at gunpoint until after New Year's -- but there were enough people around to slow progress down the street.

So when Rory suddenly stopped, Paul's first thought was that someone ahead of him was blocking the way for a moment. But then he saw that Rory was peering into the darkness down a walkway, a narrow, bricked area where a restaurant had outdoor seating when the weather was warmer. It was currently unused and unlit, and apparently empty.

When he paid attention, though, Paul could hear a noise, something like a dog crying from behind some bushes spilling out of a planting area, back in the shadows.

Rory glanced at Paul as though checking that he'd heard something too, then started off toward the bushes. "It sounds like something's hurt. Maybe a dog got hit by a car and dragged himself back in there?" he said over his shoulder.

Paul was about to agree when Elizabeth said, "Rory? I don't hear anything, baby. You're having another one of your episodes. Let's find a place where you can sit down and meditate for a few minutes." She hurried after him and took his arm, trying to tug him away, glancing toward a bus stop bench up the street, but Rory stood his ground.

"No, it's a dog, Mom. I just want to go check. Paul hears it too." Rory looked up at Paul for support, but Paul held up a hand in a "wait" signal and switched to magesight, frowning into the darkness.

There, behind the dark confusion of foliage, magic glowed a dim blue. The central shape was humanoid. It was stocky in build, and looked like it might be short for a human, but it was crouched down and Paul couldn't quite tell.

The sound of the crying dog faded away and a blob of magic swelled blue-green, then pulled back slightly. Paul got an image of an arm winding up to throw.

He called, "Down!" and spun around, grabbing both Rory and Elizabeth by the arms. He shoved Elizabeth down onto the pavement, used a quick jerk of leverage to get Rory down next to her, then threw himself over them both while activating a bronze pendant shaped like a shield.

A blue-green flash reflected off the pale pavement, and a cluster of moths, perfectly immobile, fell to the ground around them in a rain of gentle pattering.

Elizabeth was squawking in outrage and Rory was struggling to get up. Paul ignored them both and raised a binding spell, invoking the magic in one of his pins -- a tiny pair of handcuffs piercing his jacket near the collar -- and then focusing all his attention on directing it at the small, stocky fey thing that was swirling blue-green magic again in a clear attempt to prepare another spell.

Hurrying would be incredibly stupid at that point, so Paul didn't. He ignored the two people protesting beneath him and cast the binding just a moment after the fey threw something at him. It crackled. The back of his jacket flared with heat for a moment, then he smelled something burning.

He muttered, "Fuck!" under his breath and smacked out his smoldering hair with both hands. It'd been barely two weeks since a salamander had taken an inch or two off the back the same way; he was going to look like an eighties reject if the back got much shorter while the top stayed long.

Burning hair distracted Paul long enough for Rory to squirm out from under him and stagger to his feet, then help his mother up. Elizabeth was still squawking, and Paul took a moment to pay attention to what she was saying. Then he stopped, rolled over and stared up at her in shock.

"--one of those magic people! I knew you were no good, sneaking around Rory, pretending to be his friend, making him think you actually like him! You're just using him, you lying bastard! You just want his magic, trying to seduce him into helping you with whatever plan you have for power or riches or whatever it is you're doing that'll get him killed while you slip away to find some other victim!"

She actually whacked Paul with her purse, something he'd never seen outside a movie, but he was too stunned to even duck. The sturdy bag hit him a good crack in one cheek, and the pain startled him out of his shock. He rolled to his feet and backed out of range, ready to fend off any more physical attacks.

Rory had stepped back too, and was staring at his mother with his eyes wide and his mouth partially open. When Elizabeth paused to take a breath before continuing with her harrangue, Rory said, "You knew."

Elizabeth stopped, then turned and stared back at Rory in dismay. "Rory, baby--" She raised her hand to Rory's face and moved toward him, but Rory dodged away.

"You knew." The pain and shock and betrayal in his voice stabbed into Paul like a spike.

"Rory, no--"

"Yes. You knew all along. You knew it was real, you knew, and you let me think I was crazy! All those years! You took me to doctors, let them poke and question and give me thousands of pills, and all along you knew it was bullshit, that what I saw was real!" Rory's voice got louder as he went, and by the end it was raw with fury. "You bitch! You ruined my whole life, let them convince me I was crazy, and for nothing!"


Get the whole book at Torquere, ARe or Rainbow eBooks.

Emerging Magic Cover

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kudos to some Eagle Scouts

After the announcement by the Boy Scouts of America on the 17th that they'd be upholding their ban on GLBT scouts or scout leaders, some adult scouts have mailed their Eagle Scout badges back to BSA headquarters with letters of protest. BoingBoing (see the second link) is collecting photos of letters, links to more letters, and a lot of comments on the subject, most from former scouts. Many of whom are still scouts, having earned their Life Scout rank.

Despite the snarking and whining of the occasional commenter who can't read, these are people who are and were members of BSA, supporters of BSA, scouts and former scouts who have their own sons in Scouts or intended to enroll them when they were old enough. Not anymore.

Christopher Baker (whose wife wrote the BoingBoing article) said in his letter:

As a Boy Scout I was taught that ethics are important and that when something is unethical you should stand up and say something. I was taught that it is wrong to exclude people, whether based on race, physical ability or sexual orientation. I was taught that a Boy Scout stands with those being persecuted, and not with the persecutor.

Leo Gianini said in his:

I am giving back my proudest possessions because I don’t want to have my son or daughter one day say to me, "Did you know you were a member when the Boy Scouts used to not allow gay people to join?" As an 11 year old, I remember my mother's face contorting trying to hide the guilt after I asked her what it was like attending school in segregated North Carolina. That won’t be me.

Martin Cizmar in his letter:

I am not gay. However, I cannot in good conscience hold this badge as long as the BSA continues a policy of bigotry. Thought I didn't know at the time, I was acquainted with a number of gay scouts and scouters. They were all great men, loyal to the scout oath and motto and helpful to the movement. There is no fair reason they should not be allowed to participate in scouting. I suspect you know this, too. As an adult, I also understand that such policy changes are fraught with complications, possibly including the defection of members affiliated with certain religious groups with dire financial implications. It's a tough position, but a scout is brave."

Matthew Hitchens said:

Scouting taught me to honor my conscience. Ironically, it is this lesson that will alienate not just me, but many other people just like me. I take no pleasure in this choice. Today is a sad day for me. However, the Scout Law tells me that a scout is brave. I am calling on Eagle Scouts everywhere to join me, to search their souls for that bravery and to do what they believe is right.

And from a column by political cartoonist and blogger Rob Tornoe:

Ironically, the effect of continuing this policy will be to harm the very people the BSA claim they're trying to protect — the kids. Straight kids that chose to remain scouts will learn that it's okay to judge people based on things like sexual orientation, and gay kids that might have benefited from becoming a scout will now be forced to remain in the shadows. 

Or even worse — these kids will move on to other organizations that are more tolerant and expose the fact the BSA has outlived its usefulness.

As you read this column, my Eagle Scout badge, the symbol of one of my proudest achievements in life, is in the mail, making its way back to Irving, Texas to Bob Mazzucca, Wayne Perry and the National Council of the BSA.

As proud as I am of my achievements, I no longer want to be an Eagle Scout if a young man who happens to be gay can't also be one.

That's really what it comes down to. It's not just about GLBT people being offended -- it's about straight people who don't want to belong to an organization that would reject their GLBT friends and family members and any other GLBT people who wanted to join, who were good, honest, hard-working people and would be great scouts. It's like refusing to stay with an organization that won't admit black people or Jewish people. Bigotry is bigotry, and it's perfectly understandable that good people who are morally straight -- as scouts should be -- would object to bigotry, and refuse to maintain an association with a group that would reaffirm the bigotry in its rules.

It's been pointed out in various places that this isn't a new policy for the BSA. That's true, it's not. But they had a chance to revisit it, to get with the 21st century, to uphold their own code about what's right and decent and kind and brave, and change the old rule. They're not coasting along on bad old rules anymore; they made a conscious choice, just a few days ago, to maintain those bad old rules. This is what the national leadership of the BSA is all about, right now, in 2012.

As has also been pointed out over and over by commenters who don't realize that nobody is arguing, the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization and has the legal right to be as bigoted and discriminatory as it wants. But at the same time, its members and former members have a right to protest, the American public has a right to protest, members of Scouting organizations from various other countries -- including England, where Scouting started -- have a right to point out that Scouting in their countries is fully inclusive (and includes girls as well as GLBT people) and that they don't get what the issue is with the American branch. Expressing one's opinion is not forcing the BSA to do anything they don't want to do. Pointing out that they're doing something reprehensibly bigoted isn't bigotry, and it isn't oppression. The BSA has a right to do what they want, and everyone else (even if the "everyone else" weren't mainly composed of people associated with the BSA) have a right to comment.

Kudos to the Eagle Scouts who are commenting very effectively.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Kate Wilhelm Joins the Indie Publishing Crowd

Popping up all over the SF and publishing end of the internet, Kate Wilhelm announced that she's starting InfinityBox Press with some family members. She'll be publishing her backlist as well as at least two new novels. When her own work is all up, she'll start in on that of her husband, Damon Knight, who passed away in 2002.

Unsurprisingly, what led Ms. Wilhelm to this decision was being offered a truly horrible contract by a big publishing house.

In the fall of 2011 I was offered a contract that was so egregious that the publishing house that sent it should have been ashamed, and if I had signed it I would have been shamed. I proposed additional changes to those my agent had already managed to have incorporated and each suggested change was refused. I rejected the contract and withdrew the novel. At that point, I could have tried a different publisher but I knew it would have been a repeat performance, because the major publishers are tightening ranks and the contract I had rejected was more or less the new standard. It wasn't about the advance, I might add. It was about rights, especially electronic rights, not only those in existence today, but anything that might be developed in the future in any form: who owned them, duration of ownership, how they would be exploited, how and if they would ever revert, and so on. I refused to submit it to anyone else.

Good job to Ms. Wilhelm for walking away. A lot of writers would've muttered curses to themselves and signed, which is, of course, what the publishers are counting on. If everyone walked away from horrible contracts, they'd have to change. That's not going to happen, though, at least not in the foreseeable future. Still, it feels good to see someone escaping. :)


Sunday, July 15, 2012

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.


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 ( 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: 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
Glynn Owen Barrass


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.

==Email submissions ONLY to:
==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:
==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. :P


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 ( or facebook page ( 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@


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: – A Who’s Who of Lovecraft’s characters. – The Cthulhu Mythos – 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:


1 August 2012 (previously Until Filled) -- Airships and Automatons -- ed. Charles P. Zaglanis, White Cat Publications

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 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


White Cat Publications, LLC

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


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:

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. :) ]


1 September 2012 -- Ink -- Torquere Press

Do you love the idea of a man with tattoos? We do too -- all that lovely skin with just the right mark on the shoulder, or over the heart. Maybe your hero is decorated all over, or maybe he's about to take the plunge for the first time. Maybe he's the one who puts ink to skin, or perhaps he loves the man who does.

That's the concept behind Ink, a new male/male anthology from Torquere Press. We?re looking for sexy, romantic male/male stories about men and ink, whether they have tattoos themselves, or love a man who does.

Stories can be from any sub-genre, but they should be fully realized with strong characters and a happy ever after, or at least happy for now, endings. They should be between 5000 and 12000 words long, and should be submitted in full and include a synopsis and author biography in the cover letter. Please put your name or pseudonym in the manuscript as well as in your submission email.

Send submissions to with Ink in the subject line. Payment is a $50.00 flat fee for first time electronic and print rights for three years, and a print copy of the book. No reprints, please.Deadline for submissions is September 1, 2012 for a December 2012 publication.


14 September 2012 -- We See a Different Frontier -- ed. Fabio Fernandes, The Future Fire

We are seeking submissions for a colonialism-themed anthology of new stories told from the perspective of the colonized, titled We See a Different Frontier, to be guest edited by Fábio Fernandes and published by The Future Fire.

It is impossible to consider the history, politics or culture of the modern world without taking into account our colonial past. Most violent conflicts and financial inequalities in some sense result from the social-political-economic matrix imposed by European powers since the seventeenth century—even powerful countries such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have to be viewed through the filter of our history to fully appreciate their current circumstances. The same is true of art and literature, including science fiction; as Rochita Roenen-Luiz eloquently explained, “it is impossible to discuss non-Western SF without considering the effects of colonialism.” Cultural imperialism erases many native traditions and literatures, exoticizes colonized and other non-European countries and peoples, and drowns native voices in the clamour of Western stories set in their world. Utopian themes like “The Final Frontier”, “Discovering New Worlds” and “Settling the Stars” appeal to a colonial romanticism, especially recalling the American West. But what is romantic and exciting to the privileged, white, anglophone reader is a reminder of exploitation, slavery, rape, genocide and other crimes of colonialism to the rest of the world.

We See a Different Frontier will publish new speculative fiction stories in which the viewpoint is that of the colonized, not the invader. We want to see stories that remind us that neither readers nor writers are a homogeneous club of white, male, Christian, hetero, cis, monoglot anglophone, able-bodied Westerners. We want the cultures, languages and literatures of colonized peoples and recombocultural individuals to be heard, not to show the White Man learning the error of his ways, or Anglos defending the world from colonizing extraterrestrials. We want stories that neither exoticize nor culturally appropriate the non-western settings and characters in them.

We See a Different Frontier will pay US$0.05 per word, with a minimum payment of $50, plus the possibility of royalties if sales are good enough. We are looking for stories between 3,000 and 6,000 words in length; we are willing to be flexible about this wordcount, but the further a story falls outside this range, the harder a sell it will be. Please do not submit stories that are also under consideration elsewhere. Query before sending more than one story to us. We are unlikely to be interested in reprints unless they were published in an obscure market unlikely to be known to our audience, but in any case please query before sending a reprint, explaining when and where the story has appeared before.

Please send submissions as an attachment (.doc[x], .rtf or .odt) to The deadline for submissions is midnight GMT, September 14, 2012.


30 September 2012 -- Rocking Hard -- Less Than Three Press

Everybody loves a rockstar. The music, the look, the life—it’s loud and glamorous and wild. From the badboy who can’t stay out of trouble to fresh-faced newbies still getting used to the stage to the softrock boys who actually play nice. Then there are all the people behind the scenes who keep the rockers on stage: the agents, producers, techs, songwriters, etc. who help bring the music to life. And the fans, who turn the volume up, beg for the encores, and keep the music playing. Less Than Three Press is seeking stories about the bad boys and girls who make the music and make us want to turn it up and put it on repeat. Got a story for us?

==Stories should be at least 10,000 words. Anything less is too short to run as a serial, as we post them in 5,000 word sections. They should not exceed approx 50,000 words in length, as we do not like a single story to run for too long.
==Stories must be m/m or f/f romance (threesomes, etc. are acceptable, but all parties must be the same gender).
==Stories must have a happily ever after (HEA) or happy for now (HFN) end.
==All usual LT3 submission guidelines apply.
==This collection is centered around the theme of rockstars. All stories must have a strong tie to this theme. Any sub-genre is gladly accepted: sci-fi, mystery, contemporary, steampunk, etc.

Rocking Hard will run as one of LT3′s serial anthologies. Stories will run one by one on a biweekly basis, to be compiled into a single anthology at the end of the series. Current examples of serial anthologies are Bad Moon Rising and Something Happened on the Way to Heaven. They’re an extremely popular aspect of our serial stories, as readers like the shorter stories mixed in with some of our longer running works.

Payment will be $200 on acceptance of the story and 5% of gross subscription sales while your story is in the serial rotation. Authors will receive one copy each of the ebook formats LT3 produces and two copies of the paperback compilation.

Stories should be complete before submitting, and as edited as possible. They can be submitted in any format (doc, docx, rtf, odt, etc), preferably single spaced with a space between paragraphs, in an easy to read font (Times, Calibri, Arial) with no special formatting (no elaborate section separation, special fonts, etc). Additional formatting guidelines can be found here.


30 September 2012 -- Dead North -- ed. Silvia Moreno-Garcia; Exile Editions

Silvia Moreno-Garcia will be editing Dead North, an anthology of zombie stories set in Canada, for Canadian publisher Exile Editions. The editor is interested in stories from 2,000 to 10,000 words. Stories must be set in Canada (Chinatown in Vancouver, the oil patches in Alberta, the vast territory of Nunavut, etc.) . The setting must be an important element, not just a throwaway reference you make on page one and forget on page three. Setting could be past, present or future. You do not need to be Canadian to submit, but Canadian writers are strongly encouraged to submit due to the nature of the anthology.

What is a zombie?

Romero-like or in the vein of Herbert West, created by magic or voodoo, fast or slow, smart or dumb, rotting or perfectly healthy, we are defining a zombie as a reanimated corpse.

What do we want to see?

Smart, quirky and unique takes on zombies. Silvia loves stories with strong heroes, non-linear plots and multicultural characters. Yes, we want to know if the Inuit would cope with the zombie apocalypse with no major issues or if Chinese-Canadians have a secret recipe to deal with zombie disasters.

Was the wendigo really a zombie? Was the Great Fire of 1886 started by zombie hunters? Would zombies freeze in the Manitoba winter? Would a hockey stick make a good defensive weapon against the undead? You tell us.

You do not need to be Canadian to submit, but Canadian writers are strongly encouraged to submit due to the nature of the anthology. Canadian writers, Aboriginal writers, culturally diverse writers, new generation writers, Francophone writers and female writers are strongly encouraged to submit. For a definition of any of these terms please see below.

== Canadian permanent residents, Canadian citizens, Canadians living abroad must indicate their status in their cover letter. International writers: nationality not required, but it is nice to know for my stats sheet.
== Please indicate if you consider yourself any of the following in the cover letter: Aboriginal writer, culturally diverse writer, Francophone writer, new generation writer.
== No multiple submissions (don’t send two/three stories at the same time). Stories must not have been submitted elsewhere for publication consideration: this means no simultaneous subs (exception: stories may be simultaneously submitted to a contest sponsored by Exile Editions and this anthology). Will try to respond quickly.
== 2,000 to 10,000 words.
== Yes to reprints. Indicate if it is a reprint and publishing history. Flat payment of $40 (CAD) for reprints.
== Send as .doc, .docx or .rtf with indented paragraphs, italics in italics and bold in bold (no underlining). Full contact info and word count on the first page. Please include a cover letter (name, story title and word count, contact info, notable credits, if any) in the body of the e-mail.
== Submissions in English only. Stories translated into English are fine.
== Please do not send poetry, plays, novels. Short stories only.

All acceptances or rejections will be sent before December 31 2012. Do not query before that. Payment is 2 cents (CAD) per word and two contributor copies. Release date for the anthology is Fall 2013.

Send all submissions to; no paper subs . Subject line: Submission: Dead North: Story Title Last Name.

Look for periodic submissions updates and tips at Silvia’s blog,

[Click through for more info, including a list of zombie stories the editor likes, and a list of definitions for the types of writers who are particularly encouraged to submit.]


UNTIL FILLED -- All Access Pass -- ed. Amelia G, Blue Blood Books ** First Posted July 2011; no new comments or mentions on the site. This is the last time this call will be posted here, so bookmark it if you're interested.

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 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.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Charles posted about maybe publishing his Westerns under a pseud, and collected some comments. I started replying, and as often happens, I ended up with a lot more verbage that is usually polite to post on someone else's blog, especially when I'm coming from the POV of headdesking at what some of the commenters were saying. I've also seen similar discussions elsewhere -- it's not just Charles's crowd -- so I'm posting here instead.

There seems to be a line of thought that says that you *should* publish everything under your own name, that if you write multiple genres, then the real readers, or your real fans, or anyone worth considering, will read whatever you write, or at least give it a try and then figure out for themselves which of your genres they like and only buy/read those. Or something. The thought seems to come from some principle of Writer Against the World, or Artiste Refusing to Sell Out, or some similar ego-war where giving in means losing. Or something.

In actuality, this is about marketing. Sorry, I know I just lost all the artistes, and most of the fierce individualists, but I'm talking to the writers who want their work read (and maybe even paid for) by lots and lots of people.

Anecdotal data, collected from a wide range of sources as opposed to just one writer and their close friends, as well as info from the big NY publishers (who do a LOT of things badly, but do have a buttload of marketing trends data) shows that a large fraction of the audience reads only one genre, or maybe two, and does not want to read another genre. I've run into people like this who will get angry about feeling OMGTricked! into reading a genre (or subgenre, or whatever) that they don't like because one of "their" writers (as if they own them) decided to write something different under the same name.

As a reader, I'll at least try just about anything by a writer I like a lot. So will a lot of other people I know. Strangely enough, most of these folks are writers -- people who are just that interested in fiction in general, and who are constantly aware of skill and style and craftsmanship, enough so to be able to appreciate a good story no matter what type it might be. There are many readers, however, who aren't like us.

Saying, "Well, I personally am different, therefore that's not true," or "I know hordes of people (which is actually like six or ten) who disagree with that, therefore it's not true," is an argument centered around ego, not data. Sorry, but it's true. Your or my personal feelings, or experiences with our friends, don't constitute a valid data sample.

Now, if there's something that strongly ties your work together -- frex., if all your fiction is pulp-style adventure, even if some is Western adventure and some is horror adventure and some is heroic fantasy adventure -- then you can build your name brand on that, because your target audience is fans of pulp-style adventure fiction.

If you're writing deeply scary horror, and rollicking adventure Westerns, and funny-ironic heroic fantasy, though, those are going to appeal to different audiences, for the most part. It'd suck of someone who loves funny-ironic fiction read one of your sleep-with-the-lights-on scary horror stories, and mentally crossed everything published under that name off their list.

This is marketing, folks. It's about getting your stories in front of the people who'd enjoy reading them, and be willing to hand you money for them. You're not in a battle of will with your readers, it's not an ego-fight, and publishing under multiple names doesn't mean that you lose, or you're selling out, or you're letting Those People dictate to you, or whatever. It means that you're taking action to make it easy for the folks who'd enjoy reading a particular group of your stories to find them. There you go, that's it.

And depending on what-all you write, it might also be about sequestering one or more of your genres from people who disapprove of those genres and would cross your name off their list because of that. Anything erotic is going to lose audience for your non-erotic adult fiction, and forget about children's or YA. Even within the same genre, people who write erotic romance and inspirational romance use different pseuds, because writing one will interfere with selling the other.

Saying, "Well, any reader worth having won't think like that," is... well, fine. If you're okay with chopping a chunk off of your target audience, then go for it. But realize that's what you're doing, and don't gripe about how your sales numbers never look like those of your friend with four pseuds, or like the more popular writers in your genres. (Unless you hit the big-time and become the next Stephen King or something, but counting on that is ridiculous as a business plan.)

If you write more than one genre, or more than one subgenre with distinctly different audiences, and there's no one strong style that ties it all together, give serious consideration to multiple pseuds. This isn't about ego -- it's about readers and sales. People who think there's some awesome heroism about being a starving artist sticking to his principles to the end can, well, do that. Me, I want to make it as easy as possible for people who'd like my stories to find them. Using multiple pseudonyms isn't any kind of failure, or selling out. It's a tool available to help you achieve your goals. Use it or don't, but be aware of what you're doing before you throw away a useful tool.