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Taking Submissions: Monstrous Futures (Early Listing)

June 30, 2022

Monstrous Futures

Submission Window: June 1st, 2022 to June 30th, 2022
Payment: $0.08/word
Theme: “the next season of Black Mirror that never got aired”

Dark Matter Presents: MONSTROUS FUTURES is a brand new sci-fi horror anthology, edited by Alex Woodroe of Tenebrous Press and produced by Dark Matter’s new trade imprint, DARK MATTER INK. The anthology will publish in both print and digital in 2023, and will be available to purchase right here on our shop in all formats, and wherever else books are sold.

MONSTROUS FUTURES is Book Two in the Dark Matter Presents: Monsters series. Book One, Dark Matter Presents: HUMAN MONSTERS, edited by Sadie Hartmann and Ashley Saywers, features 35 brand new tales of terror and is available for pre-order now. HUMAN MONSTERS publishes October 18, 2022. Order your copy today!

Submission Guidelines


Check back here at the end of May for a direct link to the portal.

The submission portal for MONSTROUS FUTURES will open June 1, 2022, and close June 30, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. CST. To be considered, stories must be submitted via the anthology’s Moksha portal. Emailed or late entries will not be considered.

From Alex:

I’ve been referring to this anthology as “the next season of Black Mirror that never got aired” and that’s exactly what I’m looking for–dark sci-fi with an emphasis on exploring our connection with technology and one another through speculative concepts and backdrops.

I want every piece to look at some aspect of our lives through a “what if” lens and only lean on science as much as strictly necessary to show those human experiences. Think about that Twilight Zone episode, “The Lonely”, where an inmate serving time on an asteroid receives a synthetic companion. We don’t need to know a thing about the propulsion of the ship or the makings of the AI in order to be struck by the emotional impact of the story.

Focus on showing your concept and character on page one, and use the social, environmental, political, and philosophical absurdities around us as your launch-pad. Ask questions about life, the universe, and everything. Avoid providing answers.

Want: near-Future or alt-present; concept-forward; characters that feel real; dark and ominous moods; and stories with a philosophy. A sense of humor is also welcome, especially if it’s wry and clever. The speculative element can be slight (i.e. marginally improving upon current technologies) if the consequences of that change are significant. You can surprise me with a retrofuturism or cli-fi or whatever else piece, if it fits into the greater ethos.

Hard-ish sell: far-future; outer space; supernatural.

Absolutely not: secondary worlds; hard sci-fi; pure comedy science fiction; and stories without a speculative element. Nothing using existing fiction canon like Lovecraft or Doctor Who.

Regarding form: I enjoy weird and experimental things, and I will absolutely consider lyrical works, a script, or whatever else you come up with, if the narrative is clear and fits the theme. Your work will be judged on the story, so make sure the story is accessible through the form. Keep in mind that the acceptance rate for prose poetry and second person present POV will be low, as I’m only likely to select one such work for the anthology, if any.

Other info:

  • This is an open submission call. Zero slots have been reserved for invited work.
  • Submissions will not close early.
  • Decisions will not be made until all submissions are read.
  • You will receive a response no matter the result.
  • Accepted authors can expect to go through some editing with Alex.
  • Previously unpublished authors, ESL writers, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ writers, and other marginalized voices are welcome and encouraged to submit.


Genre: Sci-fi horror

Sub Genre: Near future

Word Limit: 2000-4000 words, no exceptions

Language: English and English translations

Reprints: No. Unpublished works only.

Pay Rate: $0.08/word, paid at least 30 days prior to publication

Simultaneous Submissions: Sure! But please notify us or withdraw your story from consideration at Dark Matter if it is accepted elsewhere before we render our own decision. NOTE: Other publishers have their own guidelines about simultaneous submissions, so please read those as well if you intend to submit to both us and them at the same time.

Multiple Submissions: No.

Time to Decision: We are currently planning for a response time of 30-45 days from the end of the submission period until we render a final decision on your story. If you have not heard back from us after 60 days, feel free to query us by email at [email protected].

File types we accept: .doc, .docx, .rtf

Rights: Dark Matter INK, LLC is buying first English language rights for print, electronic, web, and audio. We are asking for exclusive rights for a period of six (6) months after publication.

Submissions must be in proper manuscript format. View this example of proper manuscript format from the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) and Vonda N. McIntyre.

We will NOT ACCEPT emailed submissions. This is for your benefit as well. Email submissions can be less efficient and less transparent, and are more susceptible to scams and intellectual property theft.

Via: Dark Matter Magazine.



June 30, 2022