Fiction – Horror
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 email@example.com 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
Martian Migraine Press
The Best Kind of Headache
Is there wisdom in insanity? Enlightenment in blackest despair? Higher consciousness in the depths of chaos? These are the questions we asked of authors who submitted stories to the Martian Migraine Press anthology for 2016. And we here at MMP, along with project editor Scott R Jones, are thrilled to announce that the book (after many months of work, and nearly 400 stories read) is finally complete. With cover art by Alix Branwyn, the groundbreaking novella by Ruthanna Emrys, The Litany of Earth, and stories from some of the finest established writers working in Weird Fiction today, along with several new and exciting voices, Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis, releases officially on Monday May 23, 2016, with pre-orders soon available. Keep watching this space, follow MMP on Twitter @MartianMigraine, and of course Like us on Facebook for updates, contests, and author interviews.
In the meantime, enjoy our editors’ meditative antics as he announces the roster of writers that will fill the pages of Cthulhusattva. Or spare yourself some appalling amateur theatre and drop below the video for the full ToC. It should be noted that the story order for the anthology as it appears here is not yet finalized, but it’s very close. (Every day we be shufflin’ as we Keep It R’lyeh at MMP HQ!)
Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis
Table of Contents
The Pearl in the Shadows — Bryan Thao Worra
Keys in Stranger Deserts — Vrai Kaiser
Mr Johnson and the Old Ones — Jamie Mason
Antinomia — Erica Ruppert
Heiros Gamos — Gord Sellar
Mother’s Nature — Stefanie Elrick
At the Left Hand of Nothing — Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
The Litany of Earth — Ruthanna Emrys
Emperor Eternal — Konstantine Paradias
The Wicked Shall Come Upon Him — Kristi DeMeester
Messages — John Linwood Grant
That Most Foreign of Veils — Luke R J Maynard
We Three Kings — Don Raymond
Feeding the Abyss — Rhoads Brazos
After Randolph Carter — Noah Wareness
Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis
edited by Scott R Jones
5.5×8.5″ trade paperback and electronic book formats
Publication date: May 23, 2016
Distributed to the trade by Ingram