They are now reading for Panverse Four (publication date Sept 1, 2012). They'll be reading very selectively, and submissions will remain open until the anthology is filled.
What they're looking for in Panverse Four:
Pro-level novellas of between 17,500 and 40,000 words. They are particularly interested in core SF stories, as well as Fantasy and Alternate History. With Fantasy, note that they gravitate toward urban and edgy, though they do have a weakness for non-sappy stories involving Faërie or Sidhe characters. Your story should be original and unpublished in any medium including web publication.
Depth of characterization will count for a lot—however clever the idea, if they don't care for the protagonist, they'll reject it. They like stories that instill wonder. Give them a character they care for, a world both interesting and well-developed, and a story that carries them along, and you've probably got a sale.
What they don't want in Panverse Four:
Military SF, High Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Horror, RPG, superhero, shared-universe stuff, etc. Vampires and Cthulhu-mythos stories are strongly discouraged unless you've done something absolutely original with either theme. No gratuitous or wildly excessive sex or violence: what this means is that sex or violence which serves the plot is okay, within limits; the same goes for language. Think R-rated rather than XXX-rated.
They'll respond to all submissions inside six weeks; if you haven't heard after that time, please ping them. If they're on the fence over a story, they'll keep you in the loop rather than leave you wondering. Yes, they've been on the other side of the slush pile, and it's their intention to maintain a gold standard in this regard.
How to Submit Stories:
Your submission should be professionally formatted, with paragraphs indented but not separated by line breaks.
Please send only your best work, and take the time to proofread and format it properly. If your submission completely ignores these guidelines or is full of typos, they're unlikely to read it. Please send them only one story at a time. No simultaneous or multiple submissions.
NO 'BOOK BLURB', please: I don't want to know in advance what the story's about! There's no better way to annoy me in a submission than to ignore this rule.
A cover letter is optional, but please keep it very short.
If they really, really like a story but feel some edits or rewriting are needed, they'll make suggestions and discuss them with you rather than just bounce the story outright. They're doing this because they want to help you make this story the best it can be. If you're not open to constructive editing, don't submit to them.
Finally, please don't expect critiques or reasons for rejection. If your story is rejected, it's probably because it either doesn't conform to their needs, or doesn't grab them enough to make them want to publish it.
Email them your submission at pansubs (at) gmail (dot) com as an attachment in either docx, doc, or rtf format. Write SUBMISSION: (Story Name) in the subject line. Stories pasted into the email will be deleted. Please don't attach anything except the story.
Payment and rights:
Each contributor will receive $75 on publication. They buy FNASR for a period of one year.
Here's the deal: they're working on a shoestring, and they're going to be to spending time and money on getting this series—and YOU—noticed. Expect reviews in LOCUS, TANGENT ONLINE, ASIMOV'S and several other prominent venues; they'll blog about this anthology, notify everyone on their large email list, and generally market their butts off; and of course Panverse Four will be available in all digital formats via Amazon.com and other online outlets.
If you're thinking, "Waitaminnit! The pro mags would pay me 6 cents a word!" by all means try them first—they're rooting for you! But the sad truth is that the very few remaining pro markets between them only have room for maybe 10-15 novellas a year, and they're not known for taking chances on novellas by new authors.
Panverse, on the other hand, exists primarily to publish authors writing at these longer lengths, and their titles have received several excellent reviews in LOCUS, ASIMOV'S and elsewhere. Stories from Panverse Two made both the LOCUS and TANGENT ONLINE reading lists, and Alan Smale's AH story, 'A Clash of Eagles,' is currently on the shortlist for the 2011 Sidewise Award.
The Panverse series is the premier anthology for all-original SF/F novellas in the market today. Check their website for more details.