21st Century Wonder Stories: Call For Submissions

mishaburnett

We are looking for 21st Century Pulp Revival stories. 

Who’s we?  Well, there’s me, Rawle Nyanzi,  Kevyn Winkless, and Sky Hernstrom. There is also a good chance that, once complete, the anthology will be published by Superversive Press.

Right now payment details haven’t been worked out, but I’ll be honest, this collection is not likely to be a money maker.  The goal of the anthology is to promote the Pulp ideals and the authors involved.  I’ll post more details when I have them.

What is meant by 21st Century Pulp Revival? Rawle came up with this list, which I have expanded on somewhat:

1) The setting must be contemporary Earth. No “Twenty minutes into the future,” no 1950s/60s period pieces, and no alternate history. Stories should be set in the world that you see outside your window.  No time travel, space travel, or dimension hopping. 

Exotic…

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Kickstarter Backers: Grab Your eBook Copies Today!

Smashwords wasn’t properly converting .doc files to output ebooks with tables of contents/bookmarks.  While I was able to fix this for .epub formats, I don’t think I was able to for .mobi.  Seriously, if you’re going to sell .pdf and .mobi files, maybe you should let publishers upload files in the formats that you offer instead of using your sad garbage-can full of wet coffee grounds and room temperature American cheese slices file converter!

So, uh… I just converted the files myself and put them on a Google-drive instead. Links to download them can be found here on this backer only update post.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1161542777/cirsova-2017-s-5-and-6-lovecraft-swords-and-space/posts/1842865

Index Card D&D (Now With Rules!)

You may have seen me blog a bit in the past about a game my group occasionally plays that we call “Index Card D&D”. It’s a player-created deck-based dungeon crawl game that is sort of like playing a tabletop version of a roguelike where all of the monsters are out of depth.

Well, my DM friend has put together the written rules for it if you want to try it out for yourself.

http://thebonehoard.blogspot.com/2017/03/index-card-d.html

Here are a couple previous posts from Cirsova on Index Card D&D:

https://cirsova.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/index-card-dd/

https://cirsova.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/monster-for-index-card-dd-osr-blogger/

https://cirsova.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/more-index-card-dd/

Also, if you’re going to be at North Texas RPG Con, we’ll be running a table of it.

File the Serial Numbers Off

I’ve said in the past and on numerous occasions that I don’t want to see stories about elves or stories where Cthulhu shows up. Even in a good story, when these sorts of elements are used and borrowed, they end up detracting from the story in my eyes.

If you’re not filing off the serial numbers of these things, it’s either because you’re lacking creativity and hoping to rely on established tropes or you’re hoping that by connecting your piece to those related tropes that you can elevate your writing on the merits of the reference. Or somewhere in between. There are shout-outs, yes, and these can be great – Shub Niggurath as the final boss of Quake or the hipster cultist shouting “Ia, Cthulhu!” before the fat Italian editor gets murdered in Foucault’s Pendulum were AWESOME. But if Quake had been a parade of named monsters from Lovecraft as opposed to horrors that FEEL Lovecraftian, or if Umberto Eco had peppered his book with lots of “LOL, Cthulhu, amirite?” it would’ve drastically reduced the effectiveness of the references.

But more than that, have some faith in your creativity! If you’re damnably insistent on writing elves, fine, but if you want to go the “our elves are different route”, which face it, everyone does these days, take a pinch of that creativity that makes your elves different and call them something besides elves. If nothing else, calling your elves something else, even calling them Morves or Velse will be an improvement, because people won’t look at it and say “oh, look, another elf story!”

And eldritch horror monsters? Why Cthulhu or one of the other big-name badguy’s from the Mythos canon, unless you’re trying to coast on the popularity of Cthulhu (and there are folks who will read anything Cthulhu, but that’s not the point)? Name your own big bad evil scary monster god. Sure, he can be Cthulhu, but if you call him something like Uhlthuc you can fool folks into thinking you’re some kinda original writer guy, or something!

Don’t use elves or Cthulhu as a crutch! Yeah, I know that Cthulhu is a cottage industry, but I can tell you right now that your stories will improve by at least %15 or your money back if your evil monster beyond the gates is Uhlthuc and your similar-but-different elves are ‘the Velse’.

(Note: If you submit a story using the names Uhlthuc and ‘the Velse’ and I accept them on merits of story, I reserve the right to withhold the per-word bonus on the first 2500 words; file those serial numbers off harder!)

Issue 5 Going Out to Backers – Submissions Pre-Announcement

Issue 5 has been sent to all backers who’ve backed for physical copies (minus those still getting their surveys in).

Plan is still for the ebook version to go live on the 31st. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still pre-order here:

If you want to get in on next year’s Cirsova, get writing and get editing. We WILL have a very brief open submissions period from June to July. Space will be very limited, so I recommend writing shorter pieces (5000-7500 words). I’ll post more specific guidelines closer to when we’re ready to open, but for now the following should suffice:

Do Send:

  • action driven stories
  • stuff with space ships
  • stuff with swords
  • stuff with rayguns
  • stuff with dashing heroes
  • stuff with daring dames

Don’t Send:

  • thinky stories where nothing happens
  • math problems or engineering troubleshooting disguised as fiction*
  • stuff with elves

We pay semi-pro rates of 1 cent per word with a bonus of an additional 1 cent per word on the first 2500 words. Payment is on acceptance for exclusive rights for one calendar year from the date of the publication.

*:we do accept “Hard” Science Fiction, just make sure that it’s something like Karl Gallagher’s Torchship or Paul Ernst’s Raid on the Termites (.