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
Martian Migraine Press is now open to submissions for our fourth annual anthology…
When it comes to Lovecraftian fiction, readers are already well familiar with the standard protagonists. Men of Science. Hardened, world-weary investigators. Sensitive artists, and the like. All of whom eventually learn too much, as they come into contact with forbidden books, foul thaumaturgies, and the human (and not-so-human!) servants of the Great Old Ones. Through curiosity, stupidity, hubris (and oftentimes a combination of these) such foolhardy individuals are blasted to madness in the deadly light that breaks through into their existence when they dare tread the shadowed paths of the Mythos! Surely death would be preferable! And so on, and so forth…
What of the opposite numbers to your standard Lovecraftian hero? What of those servants of the Great Old Ones? The cultists. Sorcerers. Witches. Lone madmen and women. What of those who go seeking that dark enlightenment of their own free will? What of the individuals who choose to cast off from the shores of humanity’s placid island of ignorance, who choose to voyage far on those black seas of infinity that surround that island?
Whatever else can be said about the Mythos (within the Lovecraftian world-view, naturally) it remains that the madness which underlies it is THE TRUTH OF EXISTENCE. The light may be deadly, yes, but it is still light, and it still reveals! Remember, too, that the Great Old Ones and their servants, have been around for a very long time. What wisdom, what insights into Life, Death, and Reality might be gained by currying their favour? What would be the price of that wisdom, and more… would it be worth it?
For Cthulhusattva: Lovecraftian Tales of the Black Gnosis, we are looking for stories that explore these themes, and these intrepid, intelligent, and yes, more than a little insane characters! However, we’re not interested in dyed-in-their-woolen-robes hooded cultists or card-carrying gibbering lunatics with knives behind their backs, laying in wait for the Randolph Carters and Professor Armitages of the world. Instead, give us stories that examine what it means to truly learn the nature of the Universe and come out the other side, smiling! Remember, the Old Ones are apathetic to human needs and desires, and are as likely to ignore a supplicant as devour them. So, consider how one might go mad at contact with them, but still live and move and have an affect in the world. We want to see tales of Mythos mystics, spiritual sorcerers, monstrous monks, and preternatural philosophers, and we want to see them in a diverse range of settings, not just Arkham. The world is vast and strange: show us the bizarre and mind-expanding traditions of far-flung locales! Take us from the deep past to the unimagined future! Give us stories that prove you can hear the Call of Cthulhu… and return as a Cthulhusattva!
We’ll be open to submissions of stories up to 7000 words. Payment will be .03CAD per word + contributor copy (paperback and ebook). We’ll close to submissions on December 15, 2015. More details can be found at our Submissions page.