Anthology Call for Submissions [UPDATED]

Posted: July 2, 2011 by damnationbooks in Call for Submissions
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Please note:  The submissions address is different than our normal email for submissions.

C O R R U P T S    

A B S O L U T E L Y ?

a    d a r k    m et a h u m a n   f i c t i o n    r e a d e r

e d i t e d      b y
l i n c o l n      c r i s l e r

Lord Acton originally wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts  absolutely.” Modern pop-culture is brimming over with stories of bright, polished men and women with iron wills and indestructible moral codes, who throw themselves into a life of public service after being graced (or cursed) with cosmic powers, a magic ring, puberty-activated  mutant genes or robot suits.

I call bullshit.

Suddenly discovering that you’re different from baseline humanity is certainly the sort of thing that could change one’s worldview overnight, but that just isn’t interesting, especially since it’s been done ad infinitum. How about the people that look out for ‘Number One?’ People with flaws? People with serious psychological issues? People that have been looking for a ticket out of their circumstances and finally lucked into it? People who’ve devoted themselves to their success and have reached it, at long last? The nerdy kid who doesn’t have to be pushed around and isn’t willing to hide anymore? The jealous girl that’s tired of being the ‘other woman?’ The disenfranchised homeless man? The bored housewife who wishes she’d made some different choices?

To some, this just screams ‘supervillain,’ or ‘antihero,’ and in many cases, you’d be right. But usually, these are stock characters without much substance. They’re the “bad guys.” Real
life isn’t that simple, and even the meatier, more realistic metahuman portrayals out there are seen mainly in comic books; rarely in a prose anthology.

Show me substance. Show me what would really happen if today’s people had superpowers.

I’m looking for stories of 3,000 to 5,000 words that handle the topic of superpowers and metahumans from unique, interesting and realistic perspectives. There are no limits regarding historical eras or futuristic settings, but remember to suspend disbelief. The stories don’t all have to involve bad guys or bad girls, but I do require that stories about heroes have a basis in something more than simple idealism. Your protagonists don’t necessarily have to have superpowers, even (think Ozymandias, Punisher, Batman, Catwoman). Elements of thriller, horror, noir, erotica and science fiction genres are all welcome, and if you have a good idea that doesn’t quite fit into those ranges, send that along too. And yes, there is room for hope, too…a little at least. After all, the title is in the form of a question. Does power corrupt? If so, is it absolute? Perhaps; perhaps not.

Send your stories to ­­­­­­­­­­subs@lincolncrisler.info in standard manuscript format. Submissions open on June 27th, 2011 and close on October 1st, 2011. Authors will be notified of acceptance soon after. Payment is in the form of shared royalties (40% electronic, 25% print). The anthology is scheduled for tentative publication in March 2012 by Damnation Books.

UPDATE: The deadline for this anthology has been extended to December 1st, 2011. Also, to address a couple of concerns: reprints will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, and we’re seeking one-time print and electronic anthology rights with two-years exclusive right to publish accepted stories.

UPDATE 30 JUL 11: I’ve accepted five stories to date. I have a War-on-Terror-inspired antihero, an imbalanced hero who’s also a villain, a guy with healing powers who thinks it’s a gift from Jesus, an arrogant bastard with reality-altering powers and a stranger who’s healing powers may only scratch the surface of his potential. So…I don’t need any more stories about people with HEALING POWERS, but I’d love to see the following:

— I’d like a couple of mech stories (a metahuman gadgeteer, like Tony Stark, or maybe a normal guy who has someone making his gear…that could lead to some conflict!)
— I’d like to accept 2-3 stories about TEAMS of metahumans (whether it’s a Justice League scenario, something smaller like Cloak & Dagger, whatever)
— I like the idea of Superman… an alien crashed on Earth, raised by humans, etc…but grounded in today’s image, not the clean-cut Boy Scout Clark Kent. And yes, I know how hokey it is that an alien could land on Earth that could still pass for human…but suspend disbelief, huh? I could handle a couple different metas of extraterrestrial origin, if done differently and if modern human social mores and culture are part of their character.
— I’d like to see a couple of stories with artifact powers, like Green Lantern, and of people gifted with power by someone else (again, Green Lantern, or DC’s Captain Marvel).
— FEMALE metas. I have none right now. And hopefully, some female authors.
— Superpowered siblings. Or families. I’d like one of each, ideally. They don’t necessarily have to agree on everything, wink-wink.
— A SIDEKICK story or two. Sidekicks are an important part of superhero mythos, and I’d love to see them here.
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Comments
  1. […] Benevolent Apocalypse Anthology – August 31, 2011 Corrupts Absolutely? A Dark Metahuman Fiction Reader – October 1, […]

  2. Donna G Omo says:

    “Submissions open on June 27th, 2010 and close on October 1st, 2010?” Do you mean 2011? I hope?
    Thanks!

  3. sounds VERY enticing as, outside of writing dark fantasy action-adventure, also have written “metahuman” superhero material…though the heroes are more human than hero…with great power comes great responsibility…yeah whatever. *evil laughter*

  4. […] Corrupts Absolutely – deadline extended to December 1 […]

  5. Cynthia Ward says:

    How firm are the word lengths?

    Thank you very much.

  6. Luke Rose says:

    Are submission guidelines the same as on Damnation’s home site?

  7. Cynthia Ward says:

    May I ask how firm your length limit of 3,000-5,000 words is?

    Thank you very much.

    Best,
    Cynthia

  8. Hmm…I’ve got a piece I’d love to submit for this – but it’s only 1,300 words and I don’t want to pad it. If you think you’d like to take a look at it, let me know. 🙂

  9. […] Damnation Books wants realistic portrayals of metahumans and superpowers for its ”Corrupts Absolutely” Anthology.  ”Modern pop-culture is brimming over with stories of bright, polished men and women with iron wills and indestructible moral codes, who throw themselves into a life of public service after being graced (or cursed) with cosmic powers, a magic ring, puberty-activated mutant genes or robot suits. I call BS…. [How about] people with flaws? People with serious psychological issues? People that have been looking for a ticket out of their circumstances and finally lucked into it?… To some, this just screams ‘supervillain,’ or ‘antihero,’ and in many cases, you’d be right. But usually, these are stock characters without much substance. They’re the ‘bad guys.’ Real life isn’t that simple…” […]

  10. […] Damnation Books wants realistic portrayals of metahumans and superpowers for its ”Corrupts Absolutely” Anthology.  ”Modern pop-culture is brimming over with stories of bright, polished men and women with iron wills and indestructible moral codes, who throw themselves into a life of public service after being graced (or cursed) with cosmic powers, a magic ring, puberty-activated mutant genes or robot suits. I call BS…. [How about] people with flaws? People with serious psychological issues? People that have been looking for a ticket out of their circumstances and finally lucked into it?… To some, this just screams ‘supervillain,’ or ‘antihero,’ and in many cases, you’d be right. But usually, these are stock characters without much substance. They’re the ‘bad guys.’ Real life isn’t that simple…” […]

  11. Anthony says:

    For those asking, the post has a link to the formatting guidelines they want. If you missed the link in the body, here it is again: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html

  12. And for those asking about word counts… if it’s shorter or longer, you’re really going to have to knock me on my ass. =D

  13. ccolson says:

    I’m currently writing character-study short stories on the “villains” for a novel I’m working on. Have one story on a woman that just tips over the 3k word mark. I’ll send it over.

  14. It looks like mine will be in the neighborhood of 5300 words. But I’m doing my best to knock you on your ass, as you requested with stories outside the suggested length. Plus, it’s female meta sidekick from a female author, so I’m hoping you’ll give me some bonus points–although I hope I won’t need them, since I’ll be knocking you on your ass and all.

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