Pickman’s Press is accepting submissions for Corporate Cthulhu, a Lovecraftian horror anthology of ten short stories where the Cthulhu Mythos intersects with corporations or other private-sector bureaucracies. (If you have a great idea for a horror story involving the census bureau or the department of energy, have no fear — they’re planning a separate anthology for your Lovecraftian stories of public-sector bureaucracies. You just can’t submit it now.)
Stories should be 2,000–7,000 words. Pays 3¢/word for original fiction and 1¢/word for previously published fiction (query first on the latter) for exclusive global English print and digital rights for one year, and nonexclusive print and digital rights for term of copyright. Funding depends on a Kickstarter that has not yet been held. If the Kickstarter fails, the book will not be published and there will be no payment. Details:
We Need Ten Tales of Hierarchy Hell and Bureaucratic Nightmare!
Of all bureaucracies, corporations are the most powerful, seeming to have a life and will of their own. They’re privately held with a multi-national reach, seemingly bottomless resources, and armies of lawyers jealously guarding their trade secrets. Anything and everything is justified by the bottom line. Who needs a Cthulhu Cult when you’ve got Cthulhu, Inc.?
Into this insidious world are thrust our heroes—the curious, the puzzled, and the frustrated. Defying authority, seeking answers they’d be better off not knowing, the secrets they discover threaten their sanity and their lives. Will they become the next whistleblower media hero? Or disappear, leaving nothing behind but an empty desk and whispered rumors in the break room? Remember: it’s nothing personal—just business. …
What We’re Looking For …
• We’re particularly interested in submissions from writers traditionally underrepresented in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror fiction. This includes racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people living with disabilities.
• Stories must include at least a passing connection to the Cthulhu Mythos and/or Lovecraft’s other work. The stronger the connection, the more likely the story is to be accepted.
• Stories that make skillful use of Lovecraftian horror themes: insanity, helplessness and hopelessness, inherited guilt, old isolated locations, books of forbidden knowledge, ancient extraterrestrial influences on humanity, the risks of runaway science, civilization vs. barbarism, humanity’s insignificance on the cosmic scale of space and time, unanswered questions about what lurks behind the curtain of reality, etc.
• Although we’re expecting a lot of stories where management is a cult in disguise (and that’s fine!), we encourage writers to think outside the box. Other elements of the business cycle include labor (a union strikes over a bizarre demand) and customers (how far will a struggling company go to meet their biggest customer’s increasingly strange requests?).
• Although the primary focus is on corporate bureaucracies, ANY large private-sector bureaucracy is fair game. This could include (among others) charities, nonprofits, NGOs, private universities, for-profit hospitals, labor unions, large churches, fraternal organizations, youth groups, etc.
• Stories set in any time period during the modern industrial capitalist era (roughly 1800 on up). Query first for stories set in other time periods.
• Comedies, parodies, and/or satires are acceptable. …
Stories should follow the format laid out in the submission guidelines; if not, it may be automatically rejected. Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com with the story included as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, and must be received no later than midnight, Central Standard Time, June 1st, 2017. The email subject should read [Submissions: Story Title by Author Name]. If accepted, minor edits and revisions may be requested. The Kickstarter campaign will begin after the stories have been selected.
Check the original call for updates and details not included here: We Need Ten Tales of Hierarchy Hell and Bureaucratic Nightmare!
Note: I do not knowingly announce submission calls by publishers who do not fulfill their contractual obligations. However, readers are responsible for conducting their own due diligence when submitting work and negotiating contracts.
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