CLOSED MARKET: Erotic Genre Flash Fiction For Circlet Press
The guidelines for this call no longer appear to exist.
for the web site, we are looking for 250-1000 word short-shorts of erotic sf/f and related genres (no horror, though) that can stand alone. Microfictions should be sex-positive. literary quality, and although they may be explicit should be tastefully written. Microfictions pay $5 per story. To submit, send your complete short-short story with your complete contact information to Jennifer Williams, Microfictions editor: circlet.microfiction @ gmail.com
Individual short story anthologies open and close throughout the year and are submitted to the individual editors as directed on each anthology’s call for submissions.
Okay, so people often want to know just what do we mean by “erotic science fiction?” What follows is as detailed a description as I can give.
1) Erotic Content: Erotica means sex. We reject many manuscripts because they do not have enough sexual content. No level of explicitness is required, but erotic interaction must take place! It need not be described graphically or vulgarly but it must be focal and integral to the characterization, plot, and conflict resolution. Also, the sex must be enjoyable for the characters–positive, celebrating sex and sexuality! No rape, exploitation, mutilation, suicide, or snuff. Most other manuscripts we reject are because they have a negative attitude toward sex and/or they portray not a sexy, enjoyable scene, but a terrible rape/exploitation.
2) Science fiction / fantasy: I don’t split hairs between sf and f. My main prerequisite is that the story not take place in the “real world.” Magical realism, alternate realities, other times and planets are all welcomed. (However, please note we do not publish horror! The rule is: no murder, dismemberment, rape, castration or other gruesome topics.) The best blendings of erotica and sf we have seen accomplish the mix by making the science fictional element inseparable from the erotic one. For example, in a story in which two telepaths fall in love, the telepathy sf-aspect could be what gives their erotic relationship fire. Merely transporting your erotic scene to a space station isn’t really enough.
Editorial Biases: We are strong supporters of “alternative” sexualities, including lesbian, gay, transgender, S/M, leather, other fetishes, and so on, but do not try to “queer up” your story for us if the characters are heterosexual. Though we admit we have a taste for the hot and kinky stuff, work need not be overly kinky to get our attention. We encourage works that are fresh & original, left of center, and so on. We admit to a certain bias away from the sometimes cliched aspects of all genres, including adult content. If it seems like it’s “been done before” we may not have a place for it. See below for some specific examples to avoid.
DONT’S: I’m really serious about these: Don’t send anything too long (over 10,000 words). Don’t send horror. Don’t send erotic stories that have no science fiction or magical element. Don’t send sf/f stories that don’t have a lot of actual sex in them. Don’t send stories with negative attitudes about sex and sexuality. Don’t send stories where the sex takes place “off camera.” Don’t send stories that lack plot or characterization. Don’t send novels. Don’t send anything centering on nonconsensual violence, rape, castration, murder, necrophilia, pedophilia, or other purposefully gross topics. Don’t send stories with homophobic, racist, or sexist messages. Don’t send stories that have no plot, pastiches of “images” or poetry. Don’t send stories featuring trademarked or copyrighted characters (Batman, Captain Kirk, etc.)
Please note that I’m almost certainly never going to buy any more stories that contain any of the following ideas, which have become cliches. No really, I’m sick of these plots and ideas even when they are good ones:
- Humans have sex with aliens as part of “diplomatic relations.”
- Aliens come to Earth in search of semen/life energy.
- Two people have sex and THEN we find out one of them is an alien/vampire/android/elf! (Who knew!)
- Vampire falls in love with a blood doctor/researcher/scientist.
- Dragon falls in love with “virgin sacrifice.”
- Human stumbles accidentally onto a faerie ring orgy.
- Artist falls in love with beautiful man or woman in a painting–turns out he or she’s a vampire, still alive and becomes his muse.
- Vampire picks up victim in a bar under auspices of sex, seduces victim, then kills victim. (Nor, Surprise Ending #1: The ‘victim’ is a vampire hunter! Nor Surprise Ending #2: Victim turns out to be a vampire too!)
- Lonely woman conjures perfect man out of magazine, off cover of romance novel, or her own dreams.
This isn’t to say that these ideas automatically make bad stories. Some of them were good–once. But we’ve seen them too many times already. Originality counts for a LOT.
I was on a panel at a convention once about the over-used ideas in erotic sf/f and the audience came up with an even longer list of things they have already seen and don’t need to see again. The list included: the “ghost sex” haunted house story, story of the last man alive/last woman alive getting it on, Adam & Eve references, naughty tentacles and alien anal probes, multiple breasts, the “interstellar whore,” a chemical or disease turns everyone on, time-travel leads to sleeping with your parent(s) to create yourself.
Use any of these ideas at your peril–even the readership says they are sick of them.
Via: Circlet Press.
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!