As the World CyberBank finally seizes the last remaining free state in its neon grip, the world has become a peculiar place. The tramp of a million tiny feet echoes in the night as the internet pixies are put to work – polishing jpegs, stamping emails, churning bit-rate butter, and taking the frame-rates for a walk. Government spybots police the streets as currency finally gains self-awareness; money is now literally in control. Materialism is the new Art, and dollar-green is the only colour in this season. And just what is the Association for Fetishism doing with all those newly sentient garden gnomes?
To celebrate our glorious slide back into this double dip recession, Polluto is selling sex, money and slave-labour. Grab your wallet and head on over!
This theme does not necessarily require a sci-fi, fantasy, spec fic, or bizzaro response, though, of course, it never hurts! We prefer stories with a surreal, bizarre, or delightfully wicked edge, so you will have to work extra hard to impress us with a ‘real-world’ story. However, if you do decide to go down the real-world path, we do still want to see something different, something that pushes boundaries. We’re not interested in a generic rant about materialism in America, or a story/poem that shows a poor child’s day in the slums of a developing country. We’ve seen those done before, many times. Ask yourself if you can approach the issue in a fresh, new way, or if you can make the reader think about it from a completely different angle. And can you honestly say that cyborgs wouldn’t make the whole thing better? Fair enough, send it in! But don’t say we didn’t warn you...
Most of all, don’t give us typical genre sci-fi, fantasy or horror. We want stories that are out of the ordinary, surreal and twisted, or laced with dark, wicked humour. We want angry voices, new voices, voices that want to toy with the reader and teach them something new and exciting. Take us dark places, dirty places, and show us things to make us giggle, gasp or gag.
All submissions must have a countercultural element. By this we mean an engagement with, challenging of or subverting of popular cultures and ideologies. Many submissions lack this important point. If you want to know what that means in practice, pick up a copy and see how our mission statement and our themes come together. Read the editorial introduction. Read the stories. Read the poems. Look at the cover art. Then ask yourself, 'Can I really imagine myself alongside these works?
Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please DO NOT send submissions as PDFs. We will not even read them. A .doc is preferred, but most other file types are fine. If you are unsure, you can always email us with your question. Please also underline all italicised words in your story or poem.
All contributors will receive one comp copy, and one story each issue will be selected as the editor's favourite, receiving payment at 4p/word (capped at £200). Payment to non-UK residents is by PayPal ONLY. We cannot send foreign bankers drafts or send foreign currency. We require non-exclusive publication rights in all appropriate formats (print, ebook, audio) and reserve the right to publish excerpts for promotional purposes, including at Dogcast Central. Please let us know in advance if this creates a problem.
And as C. S. Lewis once muttered under his breath during a reading by Tolkien, 'Not another fucking elf.'