Saturday, January 2, 2010

Music for Another World Anthology

Submission Guidelines
Forgive the lengthy guidelines but I hope by being as specific as possible I'll save both my time and yours. If a story does not fit the submission guidelines it will be rejected without a second glance.

What I'm looking for
The obvious points:
I'm looking for Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories. I am quite broad with definitions, but a fantasy story must have an element of fantasy, and a science fiction story must contain an element of science/technology and speculation about science. I like merged-genre stories, but be warned that I don't want the anthology dominated by 'slipstream' stories.

Story length is ideally between 2000 and 6000 words. However, I will consider stories outside of this range.

The unique points:
Music must be integral to the story: for example, the story might be about music, or the life of musicians, or the effect of a musical instrument, or perhaps a piece of music -- or anything else that I haven't thought of!

This next requirement is equally important. I'm not only looking for great characters, great plot, great entertainment and great prose, but I'm also looking for stories that are
intellectually exciting. This is something Science Fiction and Fantasy is best equipped to deliver, so I am going to be explicit about wanting this in the anthology.

What I'm NOT looking for:
  • A story where the author has changed the lead character from a schoolteacher to a musician, or where the magical object has been changed from a cursed handbag to a cursed violin. Music MUST be integral to the story. If the musical element can obviously be exchanged for something or someone else -- brilliant though the story may be -- it won't fit my anthology.
I'm also NOT looking for:
  • Gore-fests
  • Sword and Sorcery
  • Fan fiction
  • Mozart fighting zombies
Submission Format:
Electronic submissions only. In RTF format. Email to

If you have an off-the-wall idea you would like to check out with me in advance, please do so. I can be contacted at

Background info for submitters: What's 'Strange Fiction'?
I'm using it as a convenient term to lump together Fantasy and Science Fiction. 'Speculative Fiction' would also do, but it has acquired snobby associations. I'm happy to celebrate The Geek.

Background info for submitters: The Anthology
The book will be published to good standard in paperback, PDF and ePub. Sales will mainly be online as the cost of selling through the big retailers is exorbitant. I will send review copies to sites and associations that are likely to cover it. I will also invest in publicity activities when the anthology is near completion -- but the scope of this will depend on what is practical when I get to that point. The anthology will contain about 10 stories.

I'll give updates here on submission and book progress -- so if you are a story submitter follow this site for news.

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