Call for Submissions — MOON: The Book of Lunar Horror

Deadline: February 28th, 2022.

Payment: $10 per story, in exchange for nonexclusive publishing rights. 

Theme: “Lunar horror and isolation.” See below for details. 

Word count: 2,000 to 5,000 words. This is very flexible, especially for longer stories, but please get in touch before sending something smaller or larger. 

Reprints: Yes! Please, for the love of God, send me reprints. $10 is just a token payment, and I know it. 

Simultaneous submissions: Yes. 

Multiple submissions: Yes—limit of 2 per author. 

“MOON: The Book of Lunar Horror” is going to be a bit of an art project, really. In addition to stories, I’m going to be looking for art and poetry (separately from this submissions call), working with neural nets, and trying to do some interesting things with the format and layout. 

I am working on a tight budget here, so reprints are completely acceptable. 

Theme

The theme for this anthology is “lunar horror and isolation.” 

What that means is flexible: “a team of scientists on the moon discovers something terrible” is as viable as “survivalist cult living in the backcountry, haunted by some monstrosity which comes out only in the moonlight” or “big city shut-in who is tormented by visions of the moon.” 

I am especially interested in Eugene Thacker’s contrast between “the world as humans interpret it” and “the world as it is, beyond human needs and human understanding,” and cosmic pessimism in general. I have a short primer on Eugene Thacker here, if that’s up your alley, but other approaches to the theme are equally valid

If your story doesn’t currently fit the theme, but you think that you can revise the story and introduce the necessary elements, then send it in anyway, with a note about your willingness to revise it. I can offer assistance if necessary. 

Content requirements: 

  1. Submissions must not violate U.S. copyright law. 
  2. Reprints are fine. Please, send me reprints. Stuff that’s never been published before is also fine, but think about whether you could get it published elsewhere for more $$$. Those first-print rights are valuable! 
  3. Simultaneous submissions are permissible, but please let me know if your story becomes ineligible for the anthology after you submit it. 

Submissions close on February 28th, 2022. 

Please send submissions to wmb.anthology@gmail.com, with “MOON SUBMISSION – [STORY TITLE] ” in the subject line. Please attach your submission as a file in .doc, .docx, .odt, or .rtf format.

If in doubt regarding the style of your submission, you will not be led astray by William Shunn’s Proper Manuscript Format guide

The “Cube” Trilogy: One Recommendation & Two Anti-Recommendations

I finished watching Cube for the first time in twenty years or so.

The short version: Strangers wake up in a collection of interconnected cubes. Some of the rooms have secret traps and will kill you when you pass through. Nobody knows why or how they ended up here, or how to get out.

Rating: ★★☆

Things I really liked about Cube:

  • how the film started out with A Dude in a Cube, with no explanation of how or why he’s there
  • people talking about why the Cube was built, and the ultimate conclusion (from a different guy who worked on it) that the Cube just exists, as a “perpetual works project” whose purpose was forgotten, and that it is being used because it’s there and not using it would be to admit that its construction was effectively pointless
  • the minimalism of each cube-room (something I didn’t know until a few years ago: the film takes place in a big cube composed of smaller cubes because they didn’t have a big enough budget to make more than a single room)
  • the vastness of the Cube itself, as an object composed of all the other cube-rooms

Cube has big “corporate Lovecraftian” vibes, in terms of this big huge cube-construct that exists because it can, like the brainchild of Azathoth in bureaucratic form. Ligotti, eat your heart out.

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Recommendation: “Potter Who and the Wossname’s Thingummy” by ForestUUID

Author’s summary: No TARDIS, no screwdriver, and no memory — on the plus side, an owl and a wand! May or may not be AU. “It’s all in the mind, you know.”

There are only a few Harry Potter / Doctor Who crossovers, so it’s a small thing to say, “This is the best of the lot.” It may mean more to say, “This is the best Doctor Who crossover of any fandom, of those I have read.” It may mean very little to say, “This is better than some Doctor Who episodes,” because of them are terrible, but I will say that anyway. This is better than some Doctor Who episodes. 

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BargCo’s Big Tour: Campaign Overview

This campaign’s settings and rules are highly derived from the Survival Paradigm posts on A Blasted, Cratered Land.

Setting

The Kaiju

Everything changed when the kaiju attacked. Even today, scientists don’t have a clue where they came from or why they’re here. They shouldn’t even be able to live, let alone move, but that’s colossobiology for you. The important thing is that they came, they attacked, and even though their activity seems to fluctuate in accordance with some years-long cycle, they’re still here and still attacking, and only the most cutting-edge technology can do anything about them.

Some countries responded to the kaiju threat by fielding vast national armies of mechs. The United States chose to throw the gig economy at them instead, because of course it did. There’s no “Grand Mechanical Army” like they’ve got in Europe, no “Volunteer Self-Defense Force” like in Japan, just a bunch of poor saps who gotta hope that they make enough cash from this week’s kill to cover the wear-and-tear and their medical expenses.

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Wizard School: Wizard of the White Hand

Roughly seventy-five years ago, there was war in Upper Thaumerica, and the armies of Eastron and the Lake Countries marched against those of the Southlands. The most dramatic and enduring consequence of that war, at least as some reckon these things, was that the Wizards of the Red Hand were broken utterly, and their order, their lore, and their power was divided among two successor organizations.

The Wizards of the White Hand trace their scholastic lineage from those who, when war came, sided with the Second Grand Alliance and chose to forever sunder the Red Handed Order. Their power is in the body, to heal it and to injure it, and they can target their spells from a great distance. However, between themselves and their counterparts, the Wizards of the Black Hand, it is they who may be the most restricted: they cannot eat meat, except it be carrion, nor accept gifts, nor ride mounts.

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Table: 2d20 Races

Just, you know, a table of races, like everyone and their dogling has.

There are three important components to each race. During character creation, each race can re-roll a particular ability and pick the better of the two results. They also get a bonus and a weakness, which, ideally, will come up in play on a regular basis and either open up new options (bonuses) or be terrible for your character in ways which are fun for you, the player (weaknesses).

Not everybody has flavor text. You’ll just have to live with that.

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