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Taking Submissions: Luminescent Machinations: Queer Tales of Monumental Invention

January 31, 2022

Deadline: January 31st, 2022
Payment: $0.08/word
Theme: Huge robots. Bodies fragile and powerful.

General submission notes:

  • Unless the editors are otherwise specified, you can address cover letters to “Dear editors” or “Dear dave.” Please avoid “Dear Mr. Ring.”

  • If you joke about how straight white men are underrepresented in speculative fiction, it will not win you any points.

  • Please query [email protected] if you aren’t sure if your submission went through. We’re happy to check.

  • Thanks for thinking of Neon Hemlock for your work!

  • Please don’t self-reject.

Neon Hemlock Press is now open to submissions of short stories for Luminescent Machinations: Queer Tales of Monumental Invention.

The anthology, co-edited by Rhiannon Rasmussen and dave ring, will include queer stories of dark speculative fiction across genres featuring mechas and mechs of all stripes.

We running a Kickstarter to fund this project. The compensation level for original stories accepted to this anthology is $0.08/word.

You can submit stories on Submittable until January 31st, 2022. Please contact us if there are any accessibility concerns for any reason and we’ll work with you.

We are looking for:

  • Wordcount: Under 6,000 words. 1-4,000 words is probably the sweet spot.

  • Concept: Speculative stories focusing on queerness in the darker side of science-fiction, fantasy and horror: mechs, mecha and cybernetics as both extensions and perversions of humanity.

  • What we want to see: Starships, piloted and unpiloted machines of war or industry, the occasional cyborg… mecha are a representation of war, of power and resistance, of transcending human limits, a representation of extension of the body itself. We are looking for stories about these machines and the people who interface with them through a queer lens, in the most inclusive definition of queer. Queer, trans, undefinable. We welcome a broad interpretation of speculative genres; give us living metal and hand-seeded starships and knights in magic-powered armor (although we emphasized science-fiction above, we love genre elements from fantasy, horror and science fiction). Throughout, we’re looking for rich, varied and nuanced understandings of gender, family and ethnicity.

  • What we don’t want to see: We’re not interested in stories about technology being solely, irredeemably bad, but rather how it can be used both for benefit and for harm. We’re also not interested in work which focuses on unexamined bigotry or sexual violence. While this is a darker-themed anthology, we intend to handle these subjects with care.


  • Please submit your story in .doc or .docx file, formatted in something approaching Standard Manuscript Format. Use italics for italics etc. One of the co-editors has a slight aversion to Courier and a fondness for Georgia.

  • Please include a cover/query letter with the title, length, and a brief bio. You may include links to your website/social media, and previous publications if any. Please don’t stress about this cover letter, if we have additional questions about your submission, we’ll ask them.

  • Simultaneous submissions are fine, please withdraw immediately if you take another offer. Stories should be previously unpublished.

  • Please no multiple submissions. If you receive a rejection within the submission window, you may submit another story.

Submissions are open to all.  Neon Hemlock Press is particularly interested in queer stories and authors.  Authors from all underrepresented backgrounds and marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to submit.  Please don’t self-reject.

You should receive a confirmation of your submission via email. Please query after March 30th if you haven’t heard back from us yet about this project.

We’d love if you tracked your submissions on Duotrope or the Submission Grinder.

Via: Neon Hemlock.


January 31, 2022