Posts tagged Cthulhusattva
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
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache!
A good Sunday evening to all! Scott Jones here, editor of the upcoming Martian Migraine Press anthology, Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis. It’s been some time since any updates were posted here (what with Christmas, and day jobs, and so on… you know the drill) and for that I apologize. Work has been progressing on the annual anthology for 2016, and the following is a brief post to bring Migraineers up to speed on that progress. Thank you all (readers, authors, artists, family and friends and sundry other supporters) for your patience, understanding, and good will.
The submissions window for the anthology closed on 15 December 2015. We received close to 200 submissions between August and December. Nearly every one of these stories has been read; I have five left to go over. Most of the rejections have been sent out already, and there are a few more coming. I’d like to thank each and every writer who took a chance on sending something in; I know the feeling of taking a risk and also the discomfort of rejection, but this is the business (as it is, and more on that below) and not everyone can be in the book. But… a shortlist (of 32 tales) has been made, and from these I hope and plan to have the final ToC put together by the end of this month.
I will readily confess here that the reading process for this anthology has been rougher than previous projects. Fitting stories to the theme has proven to be slippery, a fact which I find personally embarrassing, as I’m the guy who wrote the book on #KeepingItRlyeh. (I should take that as a good lesson in R’lyehian Spirituality: just when you think you’ve got the angles right, the thing — a book of stories, an idea about the world, a life, etc. — shifts and mutates and shows another boggling facet of its multifarious self.) The act of balancing horror, mysticism, and a kind of “awed lightness” with these shortlisted stories has been a tricky one, and I’ve gone back and forth and back again on many of them several times. The next two weeks I expect to be especially harrowing. I know, I know: no sympathy. I do this to myself. But I love it, after a fashion, so there.
I am very excited about this book. I have already purchased a long novella that perfectly exemplifies the theme, and on the other end of the ruler, a short poem that is a perfect jewel of #KeepingItRlyeh thought. Also, the cover art has been bought and paid for, a wonderful piece by Seattle artist Alix Branwyn. She has been a real pleasure to work with.
Note that I’ve mentioned purchases and items being bought and paid for. If you follow the triumphs and travails of the horror-and-weird-fiction small press at all, you have likely heard of the recent implosion of a small press in the UK. I have not followed this item too closely, but from what I have picked up, it appears that the outfit in question fell from the sky due to a combination of bad business practices, debt, health issues, and social media outrage (much of the latter entirely justified). Authors were not paid, or waited an unreasonably long time to be paid what they were owed; readers did not receive their books; snark and dishonesty and general weirdness appeared to be the norm.
This has made me uncomfortable for a number of reasons, not least of which is the pain of seeing a small operation showing its belly and issuing forth a death rattle. If you’ve been a Migraineer for any length of time, you’ve likely sussed that this is a one-entity operation, with all the stresses and doubts that incurs. I can hardly even call myself a micropress, let alone a small press. It’s been suggested by wiser heads that MMP is something of a “boutique” operation, and I’m OK with that. Certainly the one or two releases a year qualifies the press for that descriptor. I try to carefully curate a small selection of niche titles, and the annual anthology — Conqueror Womb in 2014, RESONATOR last year, and of course the upcoming Cthulhusattva — are the highlight of the MMP publishing schedule. Would I like to work with more authors, “build the line-up”, and put out more titles? Yes. Can I? No. I know this. To over-extend myself like that would be unfair, to authors, to readers, to myself.
I’d like to stress, though, in the wake of the unfortunate news out of the UK, that MMP authors do get paid. Due to the niche nature of MMP titles, royalties are not a reasonable option (at this time, anyway). For Conqueror Womb (back when MMP was starting out and only doing ebook releases) the payment rate was a flat fee plus a copy of the ebook and three other MMP titles of the authors choice, paid within a month of publication, if not long before at the time of contract. For RESONATOR (which was released as a trade paperback and an ebook) the pay rate was .01 a word plus two contributor copies (and in the case of one author, six copies for their friends and family), also paid out within a month after the book dropped. This year, authors with stories in Cthulhusattva will be paid semi-pro rates (.03 a word) and with some of the shortlisted stories coming in at around 7k words, that’s no small chunk of change (and I should mention that not one dollar is kickstarted or indiego-go’d or what have you) … but by now I’m sure you can see the progression I’m attempting. MMP is evolving, learning from our betters, and becoming more of what I believe it can be,
I don’t say all this to toot my own horn. I’m Canadian, and they freeze that trait out of us up here. I say it to confirm my commitment to doing the best I can with what I’ve got, despite the tiny size of my endeavour here, and to honour the relationship between myself as editor and the hard-working writers who take a chance on the Martian Migraine experience. There are no “gentlemen’s agreements” here: there are contracts and deadlines, payouts and commitments. With this years anthology, I will also be promoting the book better and wider, to indie bookstores across North America and the UK, and getting it into the hands of more reviewers. I’m genuinely excited about Cthulhusattva, and I hope that excitement and pleasure will be reflected once the thing is born and out in the world.
Which, as mentioned, will be happening soon! Stay tuned for official release dates, pre-order information, and other promotional goodies. And again, thank you, Migraineers, for your patience, good will, and of course for reading MMP books and #KeepingItRlyeh.
Vive le Boutique!
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Scott R Jones is the author of the short story collections Soft from All the Blood and The Ecdysiasts, as well as the non-fiction When the Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality. His poetry and prose have appeared in Innsmouth Magazine, Cthulhu Haiku II, Broken City Mag, Flesh Like Smoke, Cthulhu Fhtagn!, Broken Worlds, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, and upcoming in The Children of Gla’aki.
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.