The Big Time meets Icebergs in the Atlantic

Events are shifting into place, working towards a crunch of Titanic proportions. That iceberg is out there somewhere, but thus far, everything has been relatively smooth sailing. However, one or two dangers lurk off the starboard bow:

Work are bartering for my return.

In particular, the last office I worked at wants me back, even offering a 3-day/week part time deal. The same stipulations still constrain me from accepting their offer – very long travel time, really crappy customers, undue stress arising from understaffing and overworking. What’s more, I relinquish all leadership responsibilities, and get slotted in with people who were my subordinates. Not an exciting prospect, particularly as I can foresee a mighty dumping of workload onto my shoulders.

I will barter with closer offices, and see if they’ll take my 2-day deal, otherwise, its a letter of resignation. At least I have power over this decision, despite an uncertain future.

Submissions gone AWOL

Last I’ve heard, only The Rustle of Autumnal Leaves has been rejected lately. I’m expecting more on Firewall v1.1 within two weeks, but Ian and On Dark Clouds Borne are in their final reads for ASIM and Book of Dark Wisdom respectively. With any luck, they’ll fall my way. I also have high hopes for Alley of Dead Whores at the 3rd Alternative (or elsewhere), Hear No Evil at Weird Tales, Repaginator at ASIM, Plan Ni at Daikaiju anthology (they’re hanging onto it til later this year, when they finalise the shortlist), Dread Seasons Quartet at Surreal magazine, Blasphemy on Eight Wheels (for two competitions, one now, one later), Midnight on the jetty at Dark Animus, Moist Chrome on Void at Consensual a trois anthology, and Room Three at Borderlands.

Now I know many (if not all) of these markets are tough to crack, but such is my confidence in these stories, I have faith many (or most) will succeed. Of course, all of my digit’s are crossed for this! Now, I have several more stories out there in slushpile land, but these are the ones that I believe are the closest fit, or at least are damn fine tales. One last one I didn’t mention was Sobek’s Tears. Yes, I do believe this very hard working story (accepted by Aurealis magazine and Apocryphal Tales anthology) has a better than average chance of finding its way into the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #16. Rereading the two rejections I received for it, both were personalised, and both offered a lot of suggestions. In fact, on re-reading the Chizine rejection (a professional US webzine), it seems they were full of praise, and apparently rejected it because it was not contemporary enough for their tastes. That’s a fair rejection in my book. Roll on Aurealis awards, Sobek’s Tears and Hear No Evil await.

TAG Hungerford Award

This is the scariest iceberg floating out in that winedark sea. Today I did the unthinkable. After receiving advice that short story publications do not disqualify me, I called the publisher and asked them to withdraw my manuscript, Disparate Whispers. *gasp* I hear you say? Well, it wasn’t easy. Again, such is my faith in this collection of dark fantasy tales that I believe it will rate highly with judges for the award. If not, then I’ve set my chances back by at least six months for seeing the book in print. But still, the prize and prestige is absolutely worth the sacrifice. Even if I fail, I confirmed I can resubmit the manuscript. I have also picked out a number of genre publishers in the States who seem like a good fit. I guess the short story submissions floating around out there will prove pivotal in the final washup.

Onto less disturbing matters…

Shadowed Realms

A number of submissions have come in. While it is only a trickle so far, I’m still pleased we’ve received any at all, as the project has only been alive less than two weeks.

As for this post’s title – a quick glance on Ralan.com under the semi- & pro magazines, will show you our humble mag is sitting there non-chalantly with the big-boys, parked quietly next to Ellen Datlow’s Scifiction. Yes folks, we are paying 4c per word for flash fiction, so send them in! We’ve received a couple of short stories (longer than flash), so flash is what we wanna see – it is meant to be our forte after all!

Speaking of market lists – Michael Engen over in the US, with his excellent search engine promptly replied to my concerns over his listing of Shadowed Realms. Not only did he fix all issues in a matter of nanoseconds, he was kind enough to upload our banner and offer congratulations on our effort to pay writers for their dark fiction works. Good on’im I say!

The quality of this stories we’ve received thus far, all Australian I might add, is exceptional. Unfortunately, this makes the task of selecting stories difficult (especially short stories, as we only seek to publish one or two, as opposed to eight or more flash stories). But still, the signs are excellent.

Keep those short-shorts rolling in – we have a whole bunch of 4c coins just itching to transfer ownership from our pockets to yours.

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