Fiction – Horror
“The nethermost caverns … are not for the fathoming of eyes that see; for their marvels are strange and terrific … out of corruption horrid life springs, and the dull scavengers of earth wax crafty to vex it and swell monstrous to plague it. Great holes secretly are digged where earth’s pores ought to suffice, and things have learnt to walk that ought to crawl.”
— H. P. Lovecraft, The Festival
We’re excited to open submissions to our sixth anthology…
The full title of this book will be
CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth
Pelucidar. The Hollow Earth. DEROS, and the Shaver Mysteries. Blue-litten K’n-yan, red Yoth, and black, lightless N’kai. The Amigara Fault. Derinkuyu. Agartha. The world (and worlds) below. Inner earth, a near infinite space of vast, echoing potential … our (possible?) birthplace, and the place where we all return, either as corpses, or something other? … the churning, chaotic underworld, and true home of all that is weird, unconscious, and forbidden. Descend with us in this anthology of weird fiction; descend to the realms CHTHONIC.
We are looking for weird fiction that explores the mystique and terror of caverns, abyssal spaces, and subterranean worlds. As with previous MMP anthologies, we will be including a seed story from H. P. Lovecraft’s oeuvre (in this case, The Rats in the Walls, though many of his stories went underground). We want to see bizarre civilizations, mind-boggling physical and biological phenomena, horrific rituals, mad science and madder sorcery. We want to feel the tunnel floors beneath our feet shake with the passage of beasts, machines, and gods that have never seen the light of the sun; sentient oils, intelligent muck, living rock, molemen, formless spawn and Efts of the Prime, worms, Dholes, and ghastlier things. But CHTHONIC won’t be just a serving of pop culture “surface” material, if you’ll pardon the pun. We like to see stories with depth (oh god, another one, sorry!); emotional and psychological explorations of the internal spaces of the human mind and soul, as well as the ground below. Write us stories that induce crushing claustrophobia or open us wide to new dimensions of thought and being. If your story can do both, so much the better.
Final story count for the anthology will be determined based on quality and number of submissions. CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth will be released as a softcover paperback and as an electronic book in multiple formats.
Submission period closes JULY 31, 2017. The anthology will be released in early December of 2017.
Please use Standard Manuscript format when submitting. That’s double spaced, left justified, Times New Roman or Courier or something at least readable, a header on the first page (at least) with your author info and word count and… well, you know the drill. RTF or DOC files preferred, but DOCx and text files also accepted. Obviously, you could send us something that’s not in Standard Manuscript format, but it will lower your chances of it being looked at seriously.
We will look at both original work and REPRINTS.
To submit a story to CHTHONIC: Weird Tales of Inner Earth send an e-mail (with the story file attached, not in the body of the email) to: email@example.com, with subject line: CHTHONIC, title of your story, and your name.
For short fiction, we’d like to see anything from 1,500 to 7,000 words.
FLASH FICTION: got something under 1500 words? Send it in. However, the following still applies…
All accepted submissions will be paid .03CAD per word, via Paypal, as well as two contributor copies (paperback) of the anthology, and copies in all electronic formats (mobi, EPUB, and PDF). Authors are also entitled to electronic copies of three additional Martian Migraine Press titles of their choosing.
Replies and Queries
We will try to acknowledge receipt of your submission within a week of its arrival in our inbox. The submission period itself will close on July 31, 2017 and we should be responding to all submissions, yes or no, throughout the submission period and no later than August 2017. We do our best to ensure that all submissions are contacted and kept up-to-date, but sometimes items fall through cracks, so, if you haven’t heard from us by September 15 2017, please query.
For full details, please consult the submissions page
Migraineers. Hello. It has been a while since our last post. Indeed, said post was the announcement of the open submissions call for A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession, lessee, oh … six months ago. Ah. That long? Yes. Terribly sorry, but we’ve been actually busy with … A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession! Ta da!
It’s true, the last few months have been hectic. We received here at MMP HQ well over 500 submissions for review and without going too deep into the process, the experience has been a tad harrowing. We’re ready now, though. Ready to reveal the 20 stories and authors which will appear in our fifth anthology (21 if you count Howard Lovecraft’s seed story The Colour Out of Space … and we do! We do) BUT before we do that, a brief word of thanks to the many writers worldwide who a) got excited about the theme and b) acted upon that excitement enough to write something they thought we’d like before c) actually sending it in! We know how hard that final step can be, and we’re humbled and grateful that you took it, all. Thank you. Good, great, and amazing stories were read, but in the end only a few passed the bar we’d set for this book. And here they are (in random order; the final order of the ToC has yet to be determined)…
by Erica Ruppert
by Garrett Cook
by Sam Grieve
by Cody Goodfellow
But Thou, Proserpina, Sleep
by Megan Arkenberg
Open Fight Night at the Dirtbag Casino
by Gordon White
by Anton Rose
by Premee Mohamed
by Jonathan Raab
The Monsters Are Due in Mayberry
by Edward Morris
The Colour Out of Space
by H. P. Lovecraft
by Autumn Christian
Master of the House
by Matthew M. Bartlett
by Andrew Kozma
by Morgan Crooks
by Sam Schreiber
by Rodney Turner
A Thousand Mothers
by Aaron Vlek
by Seras Nikita
Everything Wants to Live
by Luke R. J. Maynard
We Don’t Talk About the Invasion Anymore
by L Chan
A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession will be edited and introduced by Scott R Jones. Cover art by George Cotronis (you can see a portion of the art above, full cover reveal coming soon!). The anthology will be available in both trade paperback and electronic formats. Exact release date TBD but we are looking at late June, early July.
If you are a reviewer and are interested in an electronic Advance Review Copy of A Breath from the Sky, please email MMP at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “BREATH eARC” and we will put you on the list to receive one when they’re ready. Make sure to indicate your preferred ebook format (mobi, epub, or PDF). Physical ARCs will become available closer to the release date.
NOTE: A Breath from the Sky is now
permanently closed to submissions.
Our fifth annual anthology…
A Breath from the Sky
The full title of this book will be
A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession
As long-time readers and authors involved with MMP know, our annual anthology project takes a seed story or concept from the history of Weird Fiction and allows that seed to grow in strange and interesting new ways. We encourage our authors to unshackle themselves from the standard tropes that can weigh down the imagination and move into truly authentic dimensions of fear, awe, and cosmic wonder. We want to see the Weird move with confidence into the 21st Century, and want our authors to share that commitment.
For A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession, the seed story will be H P Lovecraft’s classic The Colour Out of Space. This is easily one of his best works, and will be included in the anthology. Colour presents many interesting entry points into our theme of unusual possession: the titular entity — an unknown, sentient being from beyond the stars that manifests as an unearthly, unplaceable hue — is released from a fallen meteorite and proceeds to infect and alter everything around it. The earth, plants, animals, and humans within its sphere of malign influence change and suffer. The Colour pollutes the ground water like a common toxic spill, yet also spreads like radiation. It appears to be a brute force of nature, affecting its surroundings on the molecular and genetic levels, but can also attack specific individuals with something approaching intelligence, inhabiting their minds and reducing them to shambling wrecks both physically and mentally.
A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Stories of Possession will offer the reader just that: tales that subvert and challenge the common ideas of what it means to be “taken over” by something that is not yourself. We do not want to see the standard Judeo-Christian “demon possession/exorcism” narrative. We want to see stories that ask “what does it mean to be conscious and aware?” Stories that speculate on the very nature of intelligence, life, and control: of our minds, our bodies, our means of perceiving and arranging the world. We want stories that explore the horror of possession, true, but also stories that focus on the ecstasy of it, the benefits (if any), and the costs and rewards of merging with something outside of oneself, whether by force or by choice.
And when we say something, we want to see a broad range of what that thing could be. Is it possible to become possessed by a song? a language? a meme? Are the possessing entities singular, or multiple? More than multiple? An entire species in one person? What would it feel like to be possessed by a machine or a man-made Artificial Intelligence — and has that already happened? Possession on the molecular level, possession by designer drugs, possession by thoughtforms other than demons, possession by other people. Possession by ourselves? Are you even sure that “you” are you? With Lovecraft’s Colour as the seed, we of course expect to see Lovecraftian and Cthulhu Mythos stories, but please, move beyond the easy targets (tentacles bursting out all over) and give us stories that are truly Other in scope: we want to see effects that defy the body, logic, and the laws of physics! For inspiration beyond Lovecraft, we suggest reading Murakami, Borges, William S. Burroughs, and the like. Surprise and delight us, make us question our sanity and loosen our hold on concensus reality.
Final story count for the anthology will be determined based on quality and number of submissions. A Breath from the Sky: Unusual Tales of Possession will be released as a softcover paperback and as an electronic book in multiple formats.
Submission period closes JANUARY 31, 2017.
For full details, please consult the submissions page here
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