Sunday, 28 February 2010

Midnight Echo #6: The Science Fiction Horror Special

Here is a heads-up about issue #6 of the Australian Horror Writers Association’s magazine Midnight Echo, which will be edited by Jason Fischer, David Kernot and myself.

The theme will be science fiction horror. Why? Well we just don’t believe there is enough science fiction published in Australia, and dark science fiction is even better.

Although we are not accepting stories just yet (when submissions will be open will be announced later here), we've included the themataic guidelines early.

What are we looking for? Well essentially we want stories that blend the science fiction and horror genres. We are especially looking for stories set on worlds other than Earth, or in deep space, and especially stories in the future. Themes might include contact with alien species that defie explanation, plagues or viruses destined to wipe out humanity, enslavement by an alien race, nanoplagues gone wrong, alien artifacts that are death traps, future totalitarian governments, gothic alien worlds, or enslaving technology are just some ideas. Films like Alien and 28 Days Later are obvious influences. Alternatively imagine what Iain M. Banks, Charles Stross or Alastair Reynolds might write if they got really dark - that’s what we are looking for.

We are not looking for fantasy stories. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, serial killers and zombies are unlikely to impress us unless you can deliver something outstanding within these guidelines. We will consider Lovecraftian or Cthulhu Mythos tales provided they meet the theme, and then we are likely only to select one such tale in this style at most. Remember, the key ingredient to getting your story picked up is to write a science fiction tale with horror elements, not a horror tale dressed up with science fiction references.

We will publish further details later in the year. Word count will be up to 5,000 words. Any questions, please post here (or on David's or Jason's) online journals, and we'll do our best to answer them for all to see, or email me, David or Jason directly.

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