The Horror Tree Recent Markets, Articles, Interviews, and Fiction!

Trembling With Fear 05/31/20

This bit is going to stay here until the pandemic is over. Thank you to all keyworkers who continue to keep us going during the pandemic. As the UK and Europe moves out of lockdown, I hope the situation in the US is improving. I really hope that eventually we can get some sort of normal going around the world.

On the home front, I’m on half-term and managed at last to shorten my writing To Do list. I’ve just finished the draft of my novel, The Woodcutter and sent it off to its first beta reader. That particular book has taken over almost 2 years to write as it’s stopped and started due to a combination of work pressures and suddenly deciding to write another novel at the same time. The only reason I did the latter was because I couldn’t shake an idea which suddenly came to me and which I needed to get out of my system before I got back to my poor old Woodcutter. I will try not to do that again. How do you all cope with this sort of thing? Are you strict with yourself and finish what you’re on, do you change tack, or do you do both simultaneously?

One common link between these two novels is they were both born from NaNoWriMo. That is the month I use to get something new off the ground. Makes me wonder what’ll happen this year.

Publishing news this week includes congratulating an old writing friend of mine, Christopher Stanley, whose collection of flash fiction published via The Arcanist, The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales, is out June 1st . I had a sneak peak prior to publication and can really recommend it. I’ve always enjoyed Chris’s flash fiction and if you want an example of a master, he is it. He has been so supportive of many other writers, it’s lovely to be able to return the favour here.

Likewise TWF contributor, Mark Anthony Smith, who appears to be everywhere at the minute. His collection of fiction and verse, Something Said: Fictions and Verse is currently available and Red Cape Publishing’s anthology containing one of his stories, C is for Cannibals (A to Z of Horror Book 3) is available for pre-order.

It is also great to celebrate the work of other staff members of Horror Tree, particularly one whose work I have enjoyed in the past. Ruschelle Dillon’s novella, The Stain, published by Black Bed Sheet Books, is now available. Having read Arithmophobia, which I highly rate, I can’t wait to get stuck into this one.

And last but not least, look out soon for the charity horror anthology, Diabolica Britannica organised by Keith Anthony Baird which includes stories by TWF writers Alyson Faye, Janine Pipe and me as well as a number of other writers. There are two very famous horror authors in this line up but I am not at liberty to say who they are yet. This book is to raise money (in response to the coronavirus) for the wonderful National Health Service (NHS) over here in the UK.

This week’s Trembling With Fear starts with The Whispering Queen by Erick Mancilla and brings us the horror not just of the Devil on your shoulder but the impact an addiction can have on the family. To risk your family and its future, particularly the future of a child, can seem incomprehensible but is sadly a reality for many who fall into this trap. For me, it was the Henry’s weakness at a time when he was most needed which grabbed me. When you pose a situation asks the reader a question, in this instance, ‘How could he?’, you know you’ve got them and they’ll read through.

Awake by Janine Pipe is a premature burial with a twist. The missing teeth, and the reason, gives the trope a refreshing change.

Outback Carnage by Mark Anthony Smith makes the characters small and vulnerable against an expanse of wilderness. This is a question of survival.

Shadows in a Dark Room on a Rainy Night by D.J. Kozlowski is just creepy. Not by what’s there, but what’s not.

Take care

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

We’ve got some great stories this week and I think you’re going to appreciate your weekly dose of fiction!

Also, I have some good news! We’ve made some progress on the anthologies and it looks like we might be down to TOC’s and formatting for the most part. We’ll be working to try to make real progress in those areas in the next week. (Finally, an update that we’ve moved forward on these again!)

While we’re still a couple of months out on drabble, we’re always open to more and would love to see any come through possible.

While not directly TWF related, I would like to mention that we’re currently actively seeking:
– Guest posts for Horror Tree
– Write-ups on Horror Tree on your website (with what we do, fun facts about the site, etc.)
– Opportunities for the staff of Horror Tree to be interviewed.
If any of these are something you’d like to help out on, please be sure to contact us at [email protected] or by using our contact form.

Have a great last day of the weekend all!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Guest Post: Doomed From The Beginning

By: Jennifer Anne Gordon

If I look back on it now, with the clarity of adulthood, I know that I was doomed from the beginning…

Well, isn’t that a strange way to start a guest post, isn’t it?

You may be wondering what it is that’s happening, and who exactly I am, well I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Anne Gordon, I am a published gothic horror novelist, as well as a dancer and choreographer. But you see, I wasn’t always the person I am now, no, once I was much different than the person who is writing this.

Perhaps though I may not be so different than some of you.

You see I was a pale awkward child, that wonderful combination of allergies, asthma, and sun sensitivities kept me indoors for most of the summer (well and winter too, I’ve never been great with the outdoors with the bugs, the pollen, and the people).

I fell in love with reading and books at a young age and remember tearing through the entire collection of Nancy Drew while I was in first grade. I would go to our school library and check out as many books as they would let me.

At an early age, my parents told me that they would never say no if what I wanted was a book…though to be fair, they had no idea what they were getting into with me.

From Nancy Drew I quickly turned my attention to Christopher Pike, I loved that all of his books were basically just about a pack of upper class teenagers that did something wrong ,usually running over a homeless person while “joyriding” or accidentally killing a friend by switching out their insulin as a “joke”, and then having to pay the price sometime during the summer of senior year by being psychologically tortured.

I swear I read my copy of Chain Letter way too many times.

Reading these books made me feel edgy, and cool, so much cooler than the rest of the pale asthmatics at Catholic School.

Around the age 10 my uncle came to stay with us for a while, after he left New York. To me that sounded wildly cool. As I got older, I realized that it was in fact Buffalo, New York and that did take some of the allure away. But nevertheless, at age 10, my uncle came to live with us. He had a mustache and wore a jean jacket that had Native American embroidery on it. He smoked cigarettes and he and my mother would talk in French to each other when they were telling secrets.

I was enthralled.

I would sneak into his room and snoop through his stuff as much as I could. To be honest it was boring. He just had normal grown up stuff. Shaving cream, socks, a wallet with no money, the coolest thing was he had a driver’s license from TWO states. He was just a normal grown up, that is until I saw something precious.

A book.

Not just any book, but a book that was thick and heavy, it even had a cat on the cover. I didn’t know they wrote long books about cats for grownups. I snatched the book and headed upstairs to hide behind my giant Victorian Dollhouse to read.

I hoped with all I had, that this was not going to be another situation like the “Rabbit Book For Grownups” (Watership Down…frankly my parents should never have allowed me to read that when I was 8 I went to school with puffy eyes from too much crying for almost a week).

So, there I was, behind the dollhouse, it was almost like I was in the dollhouse. I was staring into the face of this angry cat, a rabid, angry, mangey, puff ball, and read the title Pet Sematary.

I remember thinking that the word was spelled wrong, and I got a snide little bit of only child “know it all” satisfaction about that. Nevertheless, I tucked into my hiding spot behind the dollhouse and opened the book. It was clear to me after a few pages that this was NOT a book that I should be reading…

This was when I got the taste for something a little darker, a little more tragic. Not only did King’s novel scare the hell out of 10-year-old me, it also broke my heart. I couldn’t go back to normal books or normal life, I wanted to be scared AND sad. I wanted to feel the emotional weight of fear clutch onto my heart and not let go.

Now, of course, I was too young to read these books, as far as my parents were concerned, so now I had to start being sneaky. A girl has to get her fix.

I would go to the bookstore with my mom and sneak into the horror section, and stare at the covers, I was too scared to even pick them up.  My mother would eventually grow bored with the magazine section and find me. She would escort me promptly back where I belonged. To the young adult section, which if anyone my age remembers was not nearly as cool as it is now. It was mainly made up of one large bookcase, and of that case at least three rows were “Sweet Valley High” books.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved the adventures of those two beautiful blond twins, hell sometimes they even went to parties and in book #5 All Night Long One of the twins let a boy with a mustache go to second base. They were risqué for a sheltered 10-year-old, but still not what I wanted, what I needed.

Sadness, and Scares.

I had to play my cards right to sneak those books back into my life.

Luckily, as it was summer, I found the perfect way.

There was a ratty old ramshackle flea market a mile from my house, and my mom loved to go there on the weekends. You see, my mother collected clown figurines (yeah, scary and sad, but not in the way I wanted), our house filled with 100’s of them. She would scour all the tables at the flea market every weekend, snatching up each on she could find.

This is when my plan took form. I remember passing tables and tables of books every time we were there. If I could just get my mother to hand over a few bucks while she was in the midst of a clown buying delirium, I would be all set.

She played right into my hands. She handed over the $3 and told me I could buy books, but she just needed to see them first.

Damnit.

I walked in defeat towards the book table. The man who ran it wore a straw hat and had a parakeet perched on his shoulder. He smoked Pall Mall cigarettes like my dad. He asked me what I was looking for, and I said, “something scary”.

He walked me over to the corner of his table and that is when I saw them, all laid out. These didn’t look like scary books to me. They were too pretty, all the covers had women on them, and castles…but, the women, they looked scared, and some of them looked scared AND sad.

I thought to myself, this is it.

I picked up one of the books, it was called Conjure Wife. It looked magical. “How much is this?” I asked him. He said the words that still ring with beauty in my ears.

“All the gothic books are a quarter each.”

I knew I needed permission before I dove in and bought $3 worth of these classics. So, I went to my mom, showed her the cover of Conjure Wife, told her there were more like this, and she said “go ahead”.

She looked at the cover, probably liked that it had the word “wife” on it. Saw a castle, a floaty dress, and assumed that these books were fine. I went back to the table and bought 11 more. It didn’t matter which ones, and to this day, really only Conjure Wife stands out.

You always remember your first.

What I can tell you, about my long hot Gothic Summer, of the year I was ten, almost 11, was that I read a pile of books, and all were the same. Tragically, none of them ever featured a woman running from an old manor house in the middle of the night, clad only in a chiffon robe or an evening gown.

In fact, Conjure Wife, I remember was about the wives of Professors in a college town in the 1950’s, who practiced “magics” and had jealousy issues. There were no castles, no running. There were just games of bridge and women being upset over something called “tenure”.

I found that the idea of these books, these “Gothic” beauties, was usually more entertaining than the books themselves. Now, maybe that is because I was 10 (almost 11!!) and didn’t really understand them.

Maybe I didn’t want to. Why would I want to be a bored professor’s wife when I could somehow get my wits scared out of me causing me to run along a rocky shore in high heels with marabou feathers, almost teetering to my fictional death…

Still, I read on, waiting, and hoping for the next book that would make me hide behind my dollhouse in delight and terror.

It would take a couple years before I found that next “big book”, the next fictitious naughtiness that would in turn change who I was as a person. The next book that unbeknownst to myself at an early age, would eventually shape me as a writer.

It’s Flowers in the Attic, just ask any woman of my age range, it’s ALWAYS Flowers in the Attic.

I never really got over my love for gothic, it has refined over the years, turning from the “gothic romances” that I was sold on a hot afternoon at a flea market. To a deep love and appreciation for the slow-burning almost Victorian tales the edged somewhere on the brinks of madness and terror. The books that swam in the depths of memories that may be better off forgotten but cannot.

That is where I live now, as I writer…you see, I was right when I said I was doomed. My past is coming back to haunt me…it always does.

Quick, I should run from my house in my fanciest gown.

(Actual photo of Jennifer Anne Gordon)

 

Jennifer’s latest release is ‘Beautiful Frightening and Silent’

Adam, a young alcoholic, slowly descends into madness while dealing with the psychological scars of childhood trauma which are reawakened when his son and wife die in a car accident that he feels he is responsible for. After a failed suicide attempt, and more group meetings that he can mention. Adam hears a rumor of a Haunted Island off the Coast of Maine, where “if someone wants it bad enough” they could be reunited with a lost loved one. In his desperate attempt to connect with the ghost of his four-and-a half year old son, he decides to go there, to Dagger Island, desperate to apologize to, or be condemned by, his young son. Adam is not sure what he deserves or even which of these he wants more. While staying in a crumbling old boarding house, he becomes involved with a beautiful and manipulative ghost who has spent 60 years tormenting the now elderly man who was her lover, and ultimately her murderer. The three of them create a “Menage-a-Guilt” as they all come to terms with what it is that ties them so emotionally to their memories and their very “existence”.Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent is a poetic fever dream of grief, love, and the terrifying ways that obsession can change who we are.

According to Reedsy Review: This book is dark, twisted, and lyrical. This story starts with grief. I felt so deeply for Adam and what he has experienced through the loss of his family and the guilt that follows him since the accident. This book is painful to read, but it also continuously gave me the feeling of running towards something. The story kept me on my toes sitting right between the real world and fantasy paranormal so that I was never sure where we would go next. There are twists and turns throughout that left me surprised each time while at the same time feeling like there was nowhere else for the story to go.

I absolutely loved the writing. Be ready, it is extremely poetic, flowery, and lyrical. Gordon’s storytelling felt like a caress while still giving you the creepy crawlies all at once. With that said, I don’t think Gordon’s writing will mesh with everyone’s preferences. It’s such a beautiful but specific way of writing and I think some will be put off by it. With that said, I’m a sucker for the flowery writing. It’s why Laini Taylor is a favorite author of mine.

Jennifer Anne Gordon is the author of the gothic horror novel Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent. Published with Breaking Rules Publishing. She is a ballroom dance instructor and choreographer, who loves and works in New England (where all the scariest books are written). She has a collection of her Mixed Media Artwork published entitled Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Gordon. Her follow up Novel “From Daylight to Madness” is set to be published in late summer of 2020. When not writing Jennifer enjoys traveling with her fiancé, Roman, and together they adore photographing abandoned or decaying buildings. She also has a silly dog, that keeps her from being gothic and creepy all of the time.

You can follow Jennifer on her homepage.

Unholy Trinity: Crossed by Terrance V. Mc Arthur

Our church worships at the altar of the Unholy Trinity. Its gospels are delivered as a trio of dark drabbles, linked so that Three become One. All hail the power of the Three.

Crossed

 

Crossbows

Crossbows, I understand.

People, I don’t.

Take Daryl. He shows up at Ace Crossbows, the day after he gets fired, goes into Wagner’s office. I hear shouting, a gunshot. I see red spatter the translucent office divider, and Daryl comes out with a gun, shouting and shooting. Patterson dropped like a wounded moose, bellowing.

I ducked behind a display case, grabbed a Wonderbow Special, loaded, and waited for Daryl to stop and reload. I took my shot. Got him.

What happened? Maybe there was too much pressure and Daryl snapped. 

Like a crossbow.

Maybe I do understand people, after all.

 

Cross Words

“Right hand, green,” Hal said.

How did Sibyl talk him into this? He came here, broke up with her, and now? Playing one last game of Twister, “for old time’s sake,” she’d told him.

Sibyl said, “Left foot, yellow.”

Pain shot up his leg as Hal’s foot hit the circle.

He said, “Right foot, green.”

“Left hand, red,” she said.

Hal’s arm snapped, and he crumpled, moaning, onto the game mat.

She stood over him, smiling in malicious triumph.

“Never play games with a witch, Hal. Don’t you know? Words can kill,” and she said, “Heart, Code Blue.”

Game over.

 

Cross Reference

The last library patron wouldn’t leave.

Mr. Edwards explained, “Sir, it’s past closing time. You’ll have to go.”

The shabby gentleman stood, proclaiming, “I must finish my work!”

“I’m sorry, sir, but the rules are the rules. I must ask you to leave.”

The man swept papers into his carpetbag, strode to the door, and snarled, “May the Drabeg rend your flesh!” and he left.

“Drabeg?” Mr. Edwards murmured. Librarians may not know everything, but they know how to find out. He walked to the card catalog, opened a drawer, flipped to a card, and read:

Drabeg

SEE:

Behind you.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a librarian, storyteller, puppeteer, and magician. He makes strange things, like dryer-lint art and playing-card sharks. His stories have appeared in Trembling With Fear and over a dozen anthologies from Thirteen O’clock Press, Untreed Reads, and Peculiar Pages.

Taking Submissions: Wolf Night (Rated R)

Deadline: November 30th, 2020
Payment: Royalties
Theme: Wolf shifters

Wolf Night (Rated R)

  • Deadline – November 30th, 2020
  • Publication – March 2021
  • Word Count – 5,000-15,000
  • Theme – Wolf shifters galore! We are looking for romantic tales of wolf shifters in any setting or genre. The spicier, the better.

Publisher INFORMATION (more…)

Friday Update: Pandemic Book Launches

Pandemic Book Launches and Hot Off the Indie Press  29.05.20

In addition to Jim McLeod’s Pandemic Book Launch group on Facebook – go here for more infomation – Joe Mynhardt has set up a collaborative Facebook group for the independent presses: Hot Off the Indie Press. This one carries all sorts of posts from indie publishers to ‘promote sales, sales and opportunities for authors’ amongst other things, if you want to see what they’re up to and what’s available, check it out here.  

If you buy, please also consider leaving reviews for the authors and even dropping them a line on twitter or their websites to have a chat with them about the book.

Pandemic Book Launches 

 *** Charity Anthologies ***

     Diabolica Britannica, ed Keith Anthony Baird. Raising money for the NHS. More details soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

     The Stain by Ruschelle Dillon, pub. Black Bed Sheet Books, 16th May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

          Crazy Times by Scott Cole, pub Grindhouse Press, 18th May 20202. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

     Dark Blood Comes from the Feet by Emma J. Gibbon, pub Journalstone, 22nd May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

   Strange Days: Midnight Street Anthology 4, ed Trevor Denyer, pub. Midnight Street Press, 20th May, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

 

Son of Grendell: A Battle for the Wastelands novella by Matthew Quinn, pub. 25th May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

      Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, pub. Crystal Lake Publishing, 26th May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

Nightfall: Nightmareland Volume One (Nightmareland Chronicles Book 1) by [Daniel Barnett]

 

 

    Nightfall: Nightmareland Volume One by Daniel Barnet, pub 31st May 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com

   Note: Daniel is donating all 2020 royalties to No Kid Hungry.

 

 

June

       The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales by Christopher Stanley, pub The Arcanist Press, 1st June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

A Stranger's Guide by [Charlotte Platt]

 

 

    A Stranger’s Guide by Charlotte Platt, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 2nd June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

What Hell May Come Cover

 

    What Hell May Come by Rex Hurst, pub Crystal Lake Publishing, 12th June, 2020.

 

Devil's Creek by [Todd Keisling]

 

    Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 16th June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.

 

 

   C is for Cannibals (A to Z of Horror Book 2) pub Red Cape Publishing , 24th June, 2020. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com

   Normal by Benjamin Langley, pub Bloodshot books, June 2020.

July

Slaves to Gravity by Wesley Southard and Somer Canon, pub. Silver Shamrock Publishing. Due July.

 

 

Curse of the Pigman by Asher Ellis, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing, 20th July, 2020.

August

Belle Vue by Cheryl Alleyne, pub Crystal Lake Publishing. 25th August, 2020.

 

 

 

Future Releases (note: dates not always available)

CF Final Front Cover

The Crying Forest by Venero Armanno, pub IFWG Publishing Australia.

 

 

Midnight in the Pentagram, ed Kenneth W, Cain, pub Silver Shamrock Publishing.

 

 

No photo description available.

Crossroads by Laurel Hightower, pub Off Limits Press, 10th August 2020.

 

 

 

 

Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

 

Taking Submissions: Women of the Woods

Deadline: June 30th, 2020
Payment: One cent per word
Theme: The lore, myths, and legends of women who dwell in the forest.

Women of the Woods is an upcoming collection about the lore, myths, and legends of women who dwell in the forest. Historically, it’s the witches, artists, and outcasts who make the dark forest their home. Whether you retell a piece of folklore or create something altogether new, Fabled Collective would love to see your story.

We are looking for spooky, eerie, gothic tales that leave out the gore and focus more on a feeling of dread and foreboding. We’re interested in stories with rich, haunting settings. Think dark fantasy or quiet horror. Give us complex characters, ghosts, witches, magical realism, and more!



Submission Guidelines:

  • Stories between 2,000-8,000 words.
  • Please format all submissions TNR 12pt, double spaced, with page numbers. Word documents preferred.
  • Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please let us know immediately if you’ve accepted publication elsewhere.
  • No previously published stories.
  • Only one submission per author.

Please Include:

  • A short bio.
  • Links to your social media and website.

Payment:

One cent per word to be paid upon acceptance.
​Examples:

  • 2,000 words = $20
  • 5,000 words = $50
  • 8,000 words = $80

Rights:

Fabled Collective is free to publish your work in ebook, print, and audiobook formats, but the author retains rights to sell, publish, and distribute their work in the future if desired.

All work must be original. Fabled is free to grammatically edit all works.


Send to:

Please send your work to [email protected]

Via: Fabled Collective.

Epeolatry Book Review: Dark Divinations: A Horror Anthology

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Dark Divinations
Author: ed Naching T. Kassa
Genre: Gothic Horror
Publisher: HorrorAddicts
Release Date: 1st May, 2020

Synopsis: It’s the height of Queen Victoria’s rule. Fog swirls in the gas-lit streets, while in the parlor, hands are linked. Pale and expectant faces gaze upon a woman, her eyes closed and shoulders slumped. The medium speaks, her tone hollow and inhuman. The séance has begun. Join us as we explore fourteen frightening tales of Victorian horror, each centered around a method of divination. Can the reading of tea leaves influence the future? Can dreams keep a soldier from death in the Crimea? Can a pocket watch foretell a deadly family curse? From entrail reading and fortune-telling machines to prophetic spiders and voodoo spells, sometimes the future is better left unknown. Choose your fate.Choose your DARK DIVINATION.With stories by: Hannah Hulbert, Ash Hartwell, Joe L. Murr, Emerian Rich, Naching T. Kassa, Michael Fassbender, Jon O’Bergh, Stephanie Ellis, H.R.R. Gorman, R.L. Merrill, Rie Sheridan Rose, Daphne Strasert, Alan Fisher, and Jeremy Megargee

This anthology contains fourteen tales all set in Victorian times; each story begins with the location (UK or USA ) and the year it is set. The authors are a mix of Brits and Americans too. The theme of the anthology is hinted at in the title – all manner of divination methods are explored in these tales. We have scrying, (mirrors/bowls), entrail reading, fortune-telling penny slot automata machines, seances, tasseography (reading tea leaves), human seers, animals who can prophesy the future and voodoo spells. The choice of ways in which the characters try to foretell their future or discover hidden secrets is rich and dizzying. 

This sort of read is very much up my dark historical alleyway- loving, as I do, all things Victorian, supernatural and gas lit. 

The stories are very strong on conjuring the era – some capturing the ‘voice’ of the times more effectively than others; I did read the occasional jarring line of rather modern speech or phrasing but overall I could happily believe I was back in the era of crinolines, tea parties, arranged marriages, horses and carriages, or the American Civil War.

Two of the stories, (one by the editor Kassa) and the other by Jeremy Megargee reference two of the most famous myths of the Victorian era; one fact, the other fictional. I won’t say more due to spoilers. I wasn’t entirely sure about including these in the anthology, as though both were well written, I think the other stories with freer range in material, worked better.

There wasn’t a story I didn’t enjoy in the anthology- a couple did seem to end a little abruptly and didn’t feel fully finalised to this reader. However I do want to mention a few of my favourites, always a personal choice I realise.

Alan Fisher’s “The Moat House Cob” is set in the Tower of London for a start which piqued my interest and is possibly the most unusual and original take on the anthology’s theme and is memorable, especially as I have, (like the main character) intense arachnophobia! The Cob is not what you might think it is by the way.

Hannah Hulbert’s opening story, “Power and Shadow” (set in my home town of Norwich!) – for the depiction of the dominating Mother and the rather nice clever twist in its ending.

Jon O’Bergh’s “The Bell”- don’t want to give too much away here but if you suffer from claustrophobia and/or taphophobia- be warned – this story will not make you feel better.

Stephanie Ellis’ “Romany Rose”- a fully realised world within this story, a lovely depiction of the street urchins and the ending packs a punch.

Shout out to the cover artist, Kladyk, for the stunningly gorgeous image which I’d have as a poster in my study no problem

Quick word about – I did spot a few typos and editing errors; in some of the stories more than others.                                                                                                                  

I would like to thank the editor for sending me an E-ARC for the purposes of me writing a fair and honest review.

4/5 stars

Taking Submissions: Terraforming Earth for Aliens – Global Warming Themed

Deadline: June 30th, 2020
Payment: $20 for stories between 300 and 8,000 words, $10 for flash fiction (under 300 words not counting the title), and $10 for poetry.
Theme: Global warming causing or exacerbating a global epidemic or pandemic.

The initial submission window closed on January 1st, 2020, but I’m briefly reopening the anthology (until June 30, 2020) for submissions of an additional, very specific type of global warming story:

I’d thought the anthology was complete, but recent events proved that there’s one type of story missing from the cli-fi anthology: a story or stories about global warming causing or exacerbating a global epidemic or pandemic.  For example, malaria mosquitoes have been moving farther north, but rather than using malaria, write about a fictional pandemic that’s caused or exacerbated by global warming.  You can build on what we currently know about COVID-19, or even mention that your fictional pandemic is “worse than the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020/the early 2020s/the 2020s” (God help us if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts the entire decade), but your pandemic story must also have a tie-in to global warming. For an idea of some real science behind such a story, read this article: “The Next Pandemic Could Be Hiding in the Arctic Permafrost“.

Please follow the guidelines below. Payment is $20 for stories between 300 and 8,000 words, $10 for flash fiction (under 300 words not counting the title), and $10 for poetry. Again, the submissions window is now open only for pandemic stories involving global warming.

To all authors who submitted works in 2019: Feel free to submit a second story involving an epidemic or pandemic caused (or exacerbated) by global warming.

All submissions from 2019 have been reviewed, and 36 stories and poems were accepted, written by authors from nine (9) different nations representing four of Earth’s continents!  All authors have been notified if their story or poem was accepted.  I’m now in the process of sending out contracts and payments to authors (payments will be sent after the contract is returned to me), then editing the submissions.

Again, public submissions have been reopened only for cli-fi stories about an epidemic or pandemic that’s caused or exacerbated by global warming.

Other than the specific topic, follow the original call for submissions below:

Call for Submissions!

Short stories (originals or reprints), poems, or song lyrics wanted for a Cli-fi anthology titled:

Terraforming Earth for Aliens

(a Cli-Fi Anthology of Global Warming Fiction)

Payment is $20 for short stories (300-8,000 words), $10 for flash fiction (under 300 words), poems, or song lyrics.  All profits from the anthology will go to environmental charities, including the Sierra Club.

Background:

Cli-fi stands for climate fiction, which is usually (but not always) science fiction.

Cli-fi stories can take place in the present day, near future, distant future, or even the distant past.

Why is an anthology of climate change fiction needed?

(more…)

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