Open Submission Call for the 2017 MMP Anthology
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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