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Taking Submissions: UFO – Unidentified Funny Objects 4

April 30, 2015

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Deadline: April 30, 2015
Payment: $0.07 per word + contributor copy

Unidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. UFO4 Headliners include George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, Piers Anthony, Mike Resnick, Karen Haber, Gini Koch, Tim Pratt, Jody Lynn Nye.

For UFO4 we’re specifically seekingdark humor.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: April 1 – April 30, 2015

LENGTH: 500-5000 words.




PAYMENT: $0.07 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request
a check.

FORMAT: RTF or DOC. Standard Manuscript Format or something close to it (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier to Times New Roman or some such), except please remove your name and any other identifying information from the manuscript as all submissions are read “blind”.

SEND TO: E-mail submissions as an attachment to: ufoeditors @ gmail dot com

Format the subject line as follows: Submission: <Story Title> by <Author> (Approx. Length)

Example: Submission: You Bet by Alex Shvartsman (2000 words)




RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive rights to keep the anthology in print across different publishing platforms afterward.Preview sample contract.

POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. Do not send us any story we already considered for a previous UFO volume. We will respond to all subs within 30 days. If you don’t hear by then please check your spam folder, then query at the same e-mail address with the word QUERY in the subject of the e-mail. Please send only one submission per author.






We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams. We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over.




Unlike the previous volumes, UFO4 will feature the theme of “Humor with a touch of darkness.” This time around we’re seeking stories that are darkly funny rather than light and fluffy. Think along the lines of the more humorous tales by Neil Gaiman or Chuck Palahniuk, and some of the darker stories by Robert Sheckley or Fredric Brown. Sarcasm, black humor, biting satire are all welcome, but I’d like to steer clear of outright horror, even if it has a few humorous lines thrown in. Funny first, dark second.

We’re open to a relatively wide interpretation of dark humor, but each story must combine elements of humor with touches of darkness. Here are some examples of the kind of stories that fit the bill:

“We Can Get Them For You Wholesale” by Neil Gaiman
“The Monkey Treatment” by George R.R. Martin”Elections at Villa Encantada” by Cat Rambo (UFO3)
“Why I Bought Satan Two Cokes on the Day I Graduated High School” by Nathaniel Lee (UFO3)
“How You Ruined Everything” by Konstantine Paradias (UFO2)
The Alien Invasion As Seen in the Tweeter Stream of @Dweebless” by Jake Kerr (UFO1)
Wikihistory” by Desmond Warzel

The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume volume. You can buy it here and also read the online stories for free.


These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile and/or subjects already covered by one of the headliners. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

* Zombies
* Vampires
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.


See the UFO Publishing About Us page

OUR PROCESS: Each submission will be read and considered by 3 editors. They will read blind — they won’t have access to author names or publishing history. Any story with 2+ “yes” votes will be advanced to the second round, where all editors will read it. Stories that are well-received by the full editorial board will advance to the third and final round of consideration. At that point we’ll ask to hold your story until mid- to late May, when final decisions will be made.

We are writers ourselves and understand the value of prompt communication. You will be notified of each step, if and when your story advances.

Via: Alex Shvartsman.


April 30, 2015