Thursday, October 31, 2013


Is anyone else around here doing NaNoWriMo this year? I'm all signed up -- if you want to be NaNo buddies, I'm here on the NaNo site.

I've done NaNo a few times, only won once so far. The years I didn't participate, I was already working on a novel when November rolled around, and I was pretty sure I didn't have 50K words left. I didn't want to stop to start a new one for fear I'd lose my momentum on the old one. If I'm basically free, though, I'll jump into the NaNo pool, mainly because it's fun, but also because I've found that even in the years I don't win -- and I've had some pretty spectacular crash-and-burn experiences -- I learn something about myself and my writing. That's always valuable.

Anyone else in?


Monday, October 28, 2013

Ten Things I've Done That You (Probably) Haven't

John Scalzi's been posting these lists on his blog and suggested other people post their own with a link, so here we go. John has obviously done a lot of things most people haven't, since this is his fourth iteration of the list, but I'll try to come up with ten.

1. Chaired an SF convention, twice. The second time from a wheelchair after tumbling down some concrete steps at speed and mangling myself.

2. Spent fourteen years getting an AA degree. (I finished that sucker, too! Never give up, never surrender!)

3. Brought a layer cake made of two failed chocolate cakes (neither rose, for completely different reasons) frosted together into one, for an office birthday party, and BSed everyone into believing that 1) I'd meant it to be like that, and 2) that it was really good.

4. Got stitches in my head twice before starting kindergarten -- once when our dog bit me for taking its bone away (I wanted to throw it so he could fetch it, hey, I was three), and another time when I was lying up on the shelf by the back window of the car when my mom had to stop suddenly, back when seatbelts were completely optional and kids routinely played all over the back seat area.

5. Spent two hours physically holding up a pair of panels forming one of the stage wings at a convention masquerade, because the tech guy had forgotten the wire needed to fasten them together. They drafted a bunch of gofers to hold them up for the whole show. I was smart enough to grab a chair. :)

6. Wrote a personal check for a whole long-weekend convention's worth of soft drinks, because we didn't know the guy wouldn't leave the tanks with us unless we paid in advance. O_O Then got the con chairman to run me to the nearest branch of my bank ASAP so I could deposit the check he wrote me from the convention account so the check I gave the nice soda man wouldn't bounce. [laugh/flail]

[Yeah, most of my weird-and-unique experiences came from working conventions, what can I say?]

7. As basically a senior gofer at a tech conference, authorized a rather large expenditure I totally didn't have the authority to okay, because a vital piece of equipment failed during set-up of our premiere evening event, and all the Committee people were up in their rooms putting on their tuxes and evening gowns, and nobody (including the guy nominally in charge of the event) thought it was important to bring a radio up with them. The other senior gofer who was de facto in charge of the tech set-up was about to melt down right there, and wasn't dumb enough to get the new equipment on her own authority, so I did it. And I was ready to chew a new asshole into any committee member who dared even glance at me about it, 'cause folks, this is YOUR show and it was YOUR responsibility to have someone with signing authority available at all times, and I don't even want to hear it.

8. Went walking through the woods gathering firewood while wearing three layers of ankle-length skirts, while camping, several times. Whether anyone else has ever done this probably depends whether anyone reading this is or was a woman in the SCA at any point. :)

9. Kept a pet spider in a home-made cage (cardboard box with a piece of screening over the top, with a little hinged door cut into the screening and secured with a twist-tie) in my backyard one spring. I caught mosquito hawks in a butter tub to feed the spider. I'm actually rather arachnophobic, and I did this when I was twelve while trying to fight the phobia. It didn't really work, but I was proud of myself for doing it anyway.

10. As part of my job from back when, got to go climbing around under a large piece of equipment of National Importance, something I could tell you about, but then I'd have to track you all down and kill you, and that'd be a lot of work, so, anyway. Funny thing -- Workplace Health and Safety requirements required me to purchase a pair of steel-toed shoes for working out on the floor. I got steel-toed sneakers, which I didn't even know existed until my boss took me to the store that sold them, just because the idea of steel-toed sneakers is kind of funny-cool. The thing is, I was on my back underneath a ridiculously heavy unit, checking off serial numbers on the underside while it dangled over my entire body on a winch. If said winch had failed, the steel-toed sneakers wouldn't have really done much to prevent damage to my person. But by gosh, the rules said I had to wear them, so I wore them. Luckily, the winch held. :P

If anyone else wants to do this, feel free to either comment here, or post to your own blog, with a link back to Scalzi's post. Or at least, go read his list, which is a lot more interesting than mine.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fun Halloween Stuff

Half the fun of late October is buzzing around the net, checking out what people are doing for Halloween.

Josh Sundquist is a paralympic ski champ who only has one leg. He's pretty awesome, and has done some amazing Halloween costumes -- a gingerbread man with one leg bitten off, a leg lamp (remember A Christmas Story?), and this year he's going as a flamingo. O_O Seriously, check out the flamingo. No matter how many limbs Josh has, he's an incredible athlete.

Rob Cockerham's done some great Halloween costumes in the past, and I think I've linked to them once or twice before. This year he's going as Disneyland. This isn't my favorite costume of his, as a costume, but watching the work that he put into it, constructing each ride and building, figuring out how to do water and jungle, how to make the roller coasters actually roller coast -- that was pretty cool.

My favorites from his previous years: Dr. Octopus, holding Spiderman's body over his head, a Fandango paper bag puppet, a vampire of course, and a crowd of paparazzi -- all the cameras actually flash.

And here, Tom Mabe turned a radio controlled quad copter into a flying Grim Reaper, then flew it around a park (some parks? can't tell) scaring people. I don't know how many people were running from the flying, black-robed skeleton and how many were running from the huge flying thing coming at them, but either way it was pretty cool. :) Although as someone in comments said, if he'd done that at an SF con or some other geeky gathering, the thing would've been surrounded by folks who'd run toward it to check it out and see how it was built. [grin]

Hope you're all gearing up for a great Halloween. Have fun!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Culinary Adventures

So last night I made Scotch eggs. For anyone who hasn't been lucky enough to have one, it's a boiled egg (hard or soft yolk is debated, and up to the cook) encased in a layer of sausage, then a layer of crumb-breading, then deep fried. (There are oven variants, which are hellspawn. Okay, not really, but if you're going to eat Scotch eggs, you might as well go for it, right?)

I had a Scotch egg on our last cruise, where one of the lounges had a British Lunch sort of thing going once a week. They were wonderous -- eggy and crunchy and sausagey, like the perfect breakfast in one bite -- and I've wanted to try making them ever since. "Ever since" finally came yesterday, but unfortunately the process wasn't without its bumps and diversions.

I'm more of a technique cook than a recipe cook; I'd rather learn a technique, then apply it to different foods, than have to memorize a bunch of recipes. When I'm baking I'll usually have a recipe on the counter, because baking is fussy like that, but most savory dishes are freestyle-friendly, once you've accumulated a certain amount of experience. So I typed "scotch egg" into Google and browsed through a few recipes to get the basic idea, then closed the browser and went off on my own.

You need a lot of oil for deep frying, which I've never done before. Seriously, if I got into the habit of deep frying, I'd be significantly fatter than I am now, so it's just as well it's a major pain. (No, we're not buying a countertop deep-fryer gadget, no-no-no.) So the husband brought home a couple of bottles of extra oil (just basic canola), and a pound of bulk breakfast type sausage, and a carton of fresh eggs. I had AP flour and panko breadcrumbs (which I used because, crunchy), plus seasonings and such, all on hand.

First, boil the eggs. My favorite way to boil eggs is in the electric kettle. You fill it about halfway with cold water, put your eggs in carefully (up to about four, depending on the size of the kettle) then flip the switch. The kettle goes on, and when the water boils, it turns itself off. If I'm just making hardboiled eggs for egg salad or something, I leave them in until the water's cooled enough that I can get the eggs out without scalding myself, since I like my hardboiled eggs hardboiled. For Scotch eggs, though, I was going to be cooking the eggs again, so I fished them out with a spoon about five minutes after the kettle shut off, then put them into a bowl of cold water to chill down.

When they were cool enough to handle, I filled a dutch oven (ours is enameled, but I don't think it matters) to within about 3" of the top with the oil, clipped a fry thermometer onto the side, and got it heating. I peeled the eggs and set them aside, got everything else out and set up, then checked the thermometer. It wasn't even registering yet and it'd been about ten minutes, so I left everything and went back to my computer for a bit, figuring I'd check it in another twenty minutes.

Twenty minutes later, the oil was "steaming" and the thermometer still wasn't registering anything. :/ Okay, most likely a broken thermometer. We have one of those cool, gun-shaped infrared thermometers, and it said the surface of the oil was some ridiculous temperature, like seven hundred degrees. O_O Oops. Okay, turn the heat off, and carefully shift the kettle off the hot burner.

The oil's clearly past its smoke point, which means it's technically ruined. In reality, I didn't have any more oil, so I figured I'd try it anyway. First times are for experimenting, right? Mental note, buy another fry thermometer before I do this again.

While waiting for the oil to cool, I broke the sausage slab into four approximately equal chunks, for about a quarter pound of sausage per egg, and flattened each chunk out. The recipes generally say to roll the sausage out between two pieces of clingfilm (which is British for plastic wrap) but I hate that stuff, so I just put it down on a piece of parchment paper and flattened each one out with my palm. I rolled each egg in AP flour in a little bowl, shaking off excess, then wrapped it in sausage. (Flour before sausage is supposed to help the sausage cling.) Shaping the sausage around the egg, once you've got it basically wrapped, is a lot like making meatballs; the actual shaping motion is a lot like that, if you've made meatballs.

I broke two more eggs into another little bowl and beat them, then filled a third little bowl with the panko breadcrumbs. I added some salt and white pepper and garlic powder to the panko, and stirred it up. When the oil was back down around 365 (the recipes said you want it around 350 for the frying, but putting stuff into the oil lowers the temp a bit) I took the first sausaged egg, dipped it in flour, then beaten egg, then rolled it in panko, dipped it in egg again, then rolled it in panko again. The double layer of crumbs is supposed to make the coating extra crunchy. Then I slipped it into the oil with a spider, since dropping it in didn't seem like a good idea. On to eggs two, three and four.

They fried up nicely, and I started taking them out when the panko crust hit a sort of medium-dark brown. Jim and I let them cool off, then ate them like finger food while watching TV.

I couldn't taste the smoked oil in the fried crust, which is good. But the sausage layer was a bit underdone (we ate them anyway and they were tasty and we didn't get sick) and I suspect that the smoked oil made the crust brown faster than it would've with unsmoked oil. Also, if the surface of the oil was 365 when I put the eggs in, the interior was probably a lot hotter, something I didn't think about at the time. So I probably fried them at too high a temperature, which would also darken the outside before the inner sausage cooked all the way. I'll do better in both areas next time.

And there'll definitely be a next time. Despite the glitches, these things are incredibly yummy. Two was very filling, and makes a good meal, if you're not fussy about your produce; most people would probably be good with one Scotch egg and a big salad or something. I imagine Travis would be good with just two eggs and call it a meal, which is what Jim and I did.

Good stuff, definitely worth keeping in the repertoire.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

Note that Upgraded's deadline has been pushed back to 31 October.


24 October 2013 (was UNTIL FILLED) -- Membrane -- Dreadful Cafe

Unreal. Imaginative. Intense.

An escape from the safe.

These stories will propel the reader—by wormhole or peephole—through the fantastic, the criminal, and the insane.

Sometimes strange, always original, the stories we publish are of the highest production standards, from thrilling premise all the way to professional editing.

We are now soliciting query letters for Membrane, our first anthology. All genres are eligible, but preference is given to stories that cross more than one and which reflect the flavor and theme described above.

Manuscripts must be between 2,000 and 30,000 words and not previously published by anyone but the author. Self-published works are accepted and encouraged!

Please refer to our Submission Guidelines.

Upon acceptance of your completed manuscript, Dreadful Cafe pays for non-exclusive, unlimited, 5-year publishing rights on the following schedule:

Short Stories (2,000-7,000 words) — $125
Novelettes (7,001-15,000 words) — $250
Novellas (15,001-30,000 words) — $500/Negotiable

It's your work.

We are simply paying for the rights to publish, market, and sell your completed manuscript as part of this or any other Dreadful Cafe anthology. You are encouraged to continue marketing on your own.

However, you will be unable to enter into any exclusive arrangement with other parties once you have sold rights to us. Also, note that we may give your story away for free as part of our marketing efforts, and that we may use edited excerpts from your story for the same.

This applies to both electronic and print versions, both in the US and abroad.

We may, at our discretion, hire an editor (at our expense) to work with you on your manuscript. Payment follows final completion and acceptance of the edited manuscript.

Dreadful Cafe reserves the right to reject your manuscript at any time and for any reason, including elimination from future editions of the published anthology.

No royalties or warranties are given or implied.

Estimated Publication: Pre-holiday 2013

Query Submissions Open: April 1, 2013

Query Submissions Closed: TBD

The Dreadful Cafe is committed to socially responsible publishing. All after-cost proceeds from this anthology will go to support St. Jude's Children's Hospital, because life is too short not to have fun and too precious not to do good.

We encourage you to support the many local charities in your community.


31 October 2013 -- Upgraded -- ed. Neil Clarke

An original science fiction anthology of cyborg stories edited by a cyborg.

Pay rate: Seven cents per word
Story Length: 1000-8000 words
Simultaneous Submissions: NO
Reprints: NO
Formatting: .doc or .rtf files in Standard Manuscript Format
Paper Submissions: NO
Electronic Submissions:
Rights Purchased: First Print and Electronic Rights. Book will be published in print, ebook and (possibly) audio editions.
Deadline: 31 October 2013

Obvious Requirement: Cyborgs or cyborg-related issues must play a role in the story.

Feel free to explore this theme as widely as you like. Have fun with it and keep in mind that not all cyborgs need to be human.

Don’t Send:

== Zombie stories. Seriously. NO.
== Stories previously rejected by Clarkesworld. (I’ve seen it already.)
== Stories involving horrible things happening to children.
== Cyborgs that just escaped from Doctor Who, Star Trek, etc.

Authors already scheduled to appear in this anthology: Elizabeth Bear, Helena Bell, Tobias S. Buckell, Pat Cadigan, Greg Egan, Xia Jia, CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Chen Qiufan, Robert Reed, E. Catherine Tobler, Genevieve Valentine, Peter Watts, E. Lily Yu.


1 November 2013 -- Of Devils and Deviants -- ed. Adam Millard and Zoe-Ray Millard

Of Devils & Deviants will be a literary anthology, released as a hardcover book and a digital book, of around 90000 words with the theme of erotic horror. Your submission must contain elements of both to be considered. We want stories that will make us think, we want tales of the flesh, of the lengths people will go to for gratification. Think Cronenberg and Lars Von Trier; Clive Barker and HR Geiger. We want beautiful prose and originality. Most importantly, we want the darkest, creepiest story you’ve ever conceived.

What We Don’t Want:

We don’t want slasher horror; a naked woman getting hacked to death will not be considered for this collection. We will reject any stories that contain rape, bestiality, and the abuse of minors. We will be looking for originality, so stories featuring well-worn tropes (vampires, zombies, werewolves) will almost certainly be rejected. We don’t want gore for the sake of it, and we don’t want something that could be used as a porn-film script.


== Submit your work in Standard Manuscript Format to with Fiction Submission: Your Story Title in the subject line. Attach your story as a DOC, DOCX, or RTF file.

== Include a brief cover letter in the body of your email stating your name, story title with word count, byline, address, and any professional publication credits you think might interest us.

== We will accept works of 2000-7000 words. Please query if you intend to submit outside these guidelines. We may be able to help.

== No simultaneous submissions, please, and no multiple submissions (please wait to hear from us before sending another story for consideration).

Standard Manuscript Format refers to William Shunn’s proper manuscript format, details of which can be found here: The only variation on these guidelines is that italics MUST appear as they will be used; no underlining.


Reprints will be considered if they meet our requirements. Please let us know when submitting if your story has been previously published, including details of where it was published and when the rights reverted back to you.


We pay 1p (2¢) per word for all stories. Accepted authors will receive three hardcover copies of the anthology, and will also be able to purchase further copies at cost (not including shipping). Payment will be made within 30 days of publication.


We are seeking Worldwide English Language rights for 6 months in print and digital formats.

Submission Deadline and Publication Schedule:

We will remain open for submissions until November 1st 2013. Our tentative publication date has been set for February 1st 2014.


5 November 2013 -- Fur & Fang -- Apokrupha

Have you been thinking of adding more monster sex into your life? Of course you are. Who isn’t looking for furrier and fangier sex these days? If you haven’t thought about it, we are betting you are now.

Boy meets vamp, girl meets werewolf or even monster on monster, there are no holds (holes) barred in this anthology.

We are looking for the best horrotica stories out there. Add a dash of romance or maybe some comedy, whether it’s dramatic or “climactic”, we want new and original stories that will make us blush…

Never mind making us blush, if we have to read your story with two hands, it probably won’t make it into the anthology.

All participants in your story must be 18 or older, we only want monsters of legal age.

For inquiries, please email:

READING PERIOD: October 5th 2013 to November 5th 2013

PAYMENT: $50.00 flat rate

RIGHTS: non-exclusive print and electronic rights

LENGTH: 2000 words to 4000 words

FORMAT: please use standard manuscript formatting, for more information see:

All submissions will be done through Submittable

Please include your full name, contact info, and word count in the document and cover letter (the cover letter is part of the Submissions Manager, not a separate file).

REPRINTS: Unpublished work will get first consideration. Any submitted reprint must not have been published within the last 12 months, and the author must retain all applicable rights. All previous publication information (for the submitted story only) must be disclosed.

RESPONSE TIME: 60 days or less.

[Click through for a link to their Submittable page.]


1 December 2013 -- SNAFU -- Cohesion Press

SNAFU will be an anthology of original military sci-fi horror novellas and short stories.

Bioweapons unleashed, mutations, ancient species unearthed in lost caverns deep within the earth… and the soldiers who fight them. You get the drift?

We have solicited novellas from some of the biggest names in the business, and this is your chance to appear alongside them.

There will be approximately 60,000 words taken up with novellas by the solicited authors, so we are looking for three or four original short stories via the submission process to fill the rest of the wordcount up to about 80,000.


We are looking for original stories that take the standard military thriller and inject some horror, whether it be bioweapons, creatures from another planet or dimension, or anything that you can imagine.

We want action-filled, plot-driven tales that carry the reader along for the ride. Think Jonathan Maberry, Greig Beck, Warren Fahy, and Weston Ochse (SEAL Team 666 series). Think Dog Soldiers, Predator, or Alien. If you haven’t read Jonathan Maberry or Greig Beck, or SEAL Team 666 or Fragment, then what are you waiting for? Get reading.

Submission period – September 1, 2013 until December 1, 2013
Payment – 3 cents/word (semi-pro) and a contributor copy of every format that is released
Length – 3,000 to 7,000 words (if your story is longer or shorter, contact us first. We’re willing to look, on a case-by-case basis)

PLEASE NOTE: if your story sits outside our word limits and you haven’t contacted us first to check that this is okay, we will delete it without reading it.

Follow these guidelines when submitting to us:

== Please put your full contact details on the first page of the manuscript
== Standard submission format, with minimal document formatting
== Courier or Times New Roman; 12pt; italics as they will appear. No underlining
== Double spaced
== DO NOT use tab or spacing to indent lines. Use ‘styles’ only. If unsure, do not indent at all
== ONE SPACE after periods
== NO LINE between paragraphs unless a line-break is required
== Please put full contact details on the first page of the manuscript (yes, I said this twice… it’s important)

For a guide to standard submission format, see Shunn's short story format.

The only variation to this format is that italics MUST appear as they will be used; no underlining.

== We are looking for original stories only. NO REPRINTS, please.
== Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please let us know when you send us the story.
== If you do not notify us, and then you have to pull the story because it’s been accepted elsewhere, you will make us very unhappy.
== Authors can send us up to two stories at the same time, but please use separate emails. DO NOT attach both submissions to the same email.

Stories that fail to follow these requirements will be deleted without being read, so please don’t ruin your chances.
Email submissions should be sent as an attachment via email as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file.

== Name your file thus: SNAFU_”name”_”submission title”, using an underscore to separate all words.
== Create your email subject line thus: SNAFU_“Submission Title” .

Please include your full contact details (postal address, e-mail, phone number) as well as word count in the body of your email AND on the top of the first page of your manuscript (as per Shunn’s guide, linked above), and send your submission to:

Authors will be notified of their standing no later than two weeks after the submission period ends (no later than December 15). If you have heard nothing back three weeks after the end (by December 22), please contact via with subject line: query_SNAFU.


1 December 2013 -- Take This Man -- ed. Neil Plakcy; Cleis Press

Payment: $60.00 per story, payable on publication, plus 1 copy of the book

The editor of Active Duty, Beach Bums and other anthologies seeks romantic erotica focused on male couples in committed relationships.

Many erotic stories focus on the thrill of first contact—but Take This Man will be different, looking at how much sexier an encounter can be when the two men involved have been together for long enough to make a commitment to each other. Formalized or not, the fact remains that when you know what turns your partner on, and vice versa, your encounters can be even hotter, especially when you factor in the emotional component.

The anthology will be published by Cleis Press in time to celebrate the first-year anniversary of the decision knocking down the DOMA.

Story length: 3,000 - 5,000 words
Deadline: December 1, 2013
Publication Date: Fall, 2014
Payment: $60.00 per story, payable on publication, plus 1 copy of the book

Submit your story to Neil Plakcy as a MS word attachment.


1 December 2013 -- Me and My Boi -- ed. Sacchi Green; Cleis Press

Preferred Length: 2000-5000 words
Deadline: December 1, 2013
Payment: $50 per story and two copies of the anthology

This book is a celebration of all things boi, butch, masculine-of-center; the people we love who put their own personal spins on the gender spectrum. Bois who like girls, bois who like bois, bois who like both; those who don't label themselves bois at all but can't stand to wear a skirt. Tell me stories about female-born, screw-the-binary free spirits of all flavors. Cool bois, hot bois, swaggering bois, shy bois, geek boys, drag kings, leather bois, flannel bois. Young is fine, but so are butch daddies, mentors, and role models.

As always, give me fully-developed characters, vivid settings, original voices, intriguing themes, and steamy sex that develops naturally out of all the rest.

E-mail submissions (.doc or .rtf files only) and queries

This book will probably be published in 2015.


31 December 2013 -- Take the Heat -- ed. Skye Warren

Theme: Criminals, illegal activity
Word Count: 4,000 – 6,000
Payment: $100

The ultimate bad boys, criminals have the power to capture our attention and waken our darkest desires. Celebrate the illicit in short story format for this taboo contemporary anthology. Put your own spin on the following scenarios or surprise readers with a new one:

- A jaded cop arrests a street walker only to find himself seduced
- A CEO catches a thief in the act—and exacts his own punishment
- A cold assassin finds one target he can’t bring himself to terminate
- An escaped fugitive takes a hostage who just might save him
- A new arrival at the prison stirs up lust in a long-term inmate

Make it sexy and shocking, erotic and thoughtful. A strong plot and well-crafted writing are musts. Twists and mindfucks appreciated. Angst welcome. Romantic elements nice to have. Any variation of genders, pairings, and sex practices accepted, but please refrain from submitting incest, bestiality, or rape as titillation, and all characters should be over eighteen.

The anthology will receive marketing support, including print advertising, review exposure, and event placement. A one-time payment of $100 will be made for each accepted story. Preferred word count 4,000 to 6,000 words. Contract is for 3 years exclusive rights and non-exclusive rights thereafter.

Accepted stories will be professionally edited, but please ensure that your submission is complete and polished. Include the title, your name, pen name, mailing address, email address, and bio on the first page of your manuscript. Format the document in Times New Roman font, 12 point, double spaced, black font, in doc or rtf format.

Submissions are due December 31, 2013. Send your story to with subject line TAKE THE HEAT.


1 January 2014 -- Daughters of Frankenstein -- ed. Steve Berman; Lethe Press

Lethe Press is seeking short stories and novellettes for its forthcoming anthology, Daughters of Frankenstein: Lesbian Mad Scientists! We're looking for more cinematic-style "mad science"--over-the-top vs. textbook--so everything from alchemy to steampunk to cloning in tanks is fine. The protagonist must be lesbian and her sexuality cannot be a stigma. While the mad scientist need not be the protagonist, she must be a three-dimensional character and her interest in (mad) science should have a natural rationale as in real life (though her desired ends to whatever experiment takes place as one of the story arcs need not be natural at all!). Our preference is stories that take place in 19th and 20th centuries, but we are open to other time periods and contemporary tales.

This book would be shelved in SF/Fantasy. So this is not an erotica anthology. Elements of romance are fine and welcome as long as they are natural to the story.

Original stories should be 2,500 to 12,500 words. Payment is 5 cents a word upon publication, which will be in the fall of 2014. Deadline for all submissions is January 31st, 2014. Submissions must be sent as rtf files to with the subject line DAUGHTERS OF FRANKENSTEIN. Feel free to query us.


UNTIL FILLED (November-ish 2013) -- ChiralMad 2 -- ed. Michael Bailey; Written Backwards -- First Listed August 2013

Written Backwards is accepting submissions for Chiral Mad 2, an anthology of psychological horror. While the first two anthologies by Written Backwards were open to submissions following initial invites, Chiral Mad 2 is by viral invitation only.

What does that mean? Well, if you can read this, you are invited. It’s that simple.

What’s acceptable? Fiction that disturbs the nonlinear fabric(s) of reality. Mindbenders in the range of 1,000 to 5,000 words that could not only be classified as horror, but as psychological horror with chirality as its backbone (please query for anything longer than 5K, but if your story pushes over 5K a bit, no worries). This anthology suits stories that push the limits of the human condition. The keyword being ‘human.’ Strong character development is a must, and all stories must have some element of chirality, whether it is in character reflection, physical and/or mental symmetry, structure, or any other way you can manage.

What’s the payment? For the first time ever, Written Backwards is paying pro rates. $0.05 US per word, up to 5,000 words, or $250 US max. If your story is a reprint and you were not personally invited to submit a reprint, please query first, but note that payment will be at $0.025 US per word.

Here’s what is needed. Send your work via e-mail as an attached .docx, .doc or .rtf. How you format the story is not an issue. You are a professional. What’s really important is story. Send one to with a brief introductory message if you feel one is necessary. If you have references, or referrals, use them. Nothing too wordy. Use “Chiral Mad – Submission Title” as your subject line and don’t forget the attachment. We’ve all done it…

And in case you thought all of that was too much to read and scrolled to the end to get to the good stuff (or maybe you simply need a recap), here you go:


Deadline: November-ish, 2013, or until filled.

Release: Scheduled for a winter 2013 publication (or early spring 2014, depending on how this thing takes off). If there’s any indication from the first Chiral Mad, the book will fill up fast and publication will begin sooner than originally anticipated.

Format: Trade paperback.

Word count: 1,000 – 5,000 words (longer work may be considered, but please query first).

Payment: $0.05 US per word, up to 5,000 words (upon acceptance) and one contributor copy (upon publication). All profit from this anthology will be donated to support Downs syndrome by Written Backwards. Copies will be available for cost as long as you donate profit received to a charity organization of your choice.

Reprints: $0.025 US per word, by invitation only, or if queried first and accepted.

Rights: one-time anthology rights for publication in the English language within the United States of America, with no publication elsewhere for 12 months, upon which time rights revert back to the author.

More information on chirality can be found here: Wikipedia article Chiral, or feel free to pick up a copy of Chiral Mad.

[NOTE: Click through for more info on the editor, the previous anthology, awards won, and charitable contributions being made.]

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Paperbacks, And Another Captive Magic Review

Paperback editions of Captive Magic are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, although B&N still doesn't have the electronic edition for whatever reason. But anyone who prefers reading hardcopy can get CM in paper now.


Sirius reviewed Captive Magic over at Reviews by Jessewave and seemed to like it a lot, giving it 4.75 out of 5.0. Sirius said:

This book starts slow, in fact for the first five-six chapters I was wondering whether I indeed was reading the book three of the same series, so slow it felt. However as the story progressed the more I thought that the writer made a very wise choice to start slow, because characters were established so clearly that I could see and hear them in my mind. I was especially pleased to see how real supporting characters felt and I loved Breck’s mother and little sister a lot. I thought that giving supporting characters their voices, by describing the neighborhoods where Breck and Manny lived, they acquired more depth. I mean, when I read about the character with firmly established roots, such character becomes much more realistic and believable to me and I thought this was what happened here.

So, bottom line is I have no problems with slow start of the book. When the magical issue both of the guys have to deal with takes more and more priority , the tension slowly increases, because it becomes really important for everybody’s involved to get the creature off Breck’s back and make sure that his sister will not die and as blurb hints Manny is also having problems because of his involvements.


I have to say though that while I never doubted the grave consequences for Breck, his sister and Manny for not figuring out how to deal with demon thing, for quite some time while I was reading I did not think that the ethical issues in this book rose to the level of the ending of the second book. I mean who would not have stolen anything in order to save a loved one dying from any illness? Now, if Breck would have been asked to kill in exchange for his sister’s life, that could have been something to wonder whether he would really do it and whether the means are worth the ends. And then BOOM – suddenly the stakes (ethical and others) went up and then the stakes went up again and I completely stopped complaining :)

Thanks to Sirius for a great review! Click through to read the whole thing.