Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lost in Transit

Rene S of Durham, your special bonus postcard was returned marked "Insufficient Address" and my email to you bounced.

If you want your subscription delivered, please email me and let me know where to send it.

Arguments are Down the Hall, This is Abuse

Nick Mamatas, editor of Clarkesworld magazine, has a policy of banning authors who argue with his rejections. Me, I just throw them in the Lake of Fire. But Nick posts some correspondence from said sitting ducks/barrel fish here, here and here.

And they call me the editor from hell. How to pass a drug test for a job,
you can read here

I have but one thing to say to the shambling horde, when you send a story to Clarkesworld, or Postcards, or anywhere else, remember that it isn't called a submission for nothing. M'kay?

Meanwhile, go read this story for a lesson in how to match a submission to a market.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And then there were 10

I'm pleased to welcome two new residents to the black pit of despair.

Sherry Decker introduces us to an upstairs neighbor in "R.D.J". Sherry won First Place in the North Texas Professional Writers Assn. fiction contest, Honorable Mention in Writers of the Future, Finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference fiction contest, and is the author of “Hook House & Other Horrors” (Silver Lake Pub.) her first collection. Her short stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Cemetery Dance, Black Gate, City Slab, Dark Wisdom, Black October and Space & Time. Like almost everyone else, she is writing a novel.

Nick Mamatas takes us for a ride in "One Thumb Up." Nick is the author of the novel of neighborhood nuclear proliferation for children, Under My Roof, which the San Diego Union-Tribune recently declared a contender for the title of "the great American suburban novel." His early work includes the Lovecraftian Beat road novel Move Under Ground, which was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards, and was recently made available online under a Creative Commons license at . He lives near, but not in, Boston MA and has an underdeveloped website at

That leaves 10 slots on the menu. The pitiless iron doors of hell still yawn wide.

Art Order:

A bag of body parts. Duffel bag, grocery bag - you decide.
A popcorn tub from hell.

Feel My Pain

Being an editor is never easy, alas. Weep for me. I just rejected a bunch of good stories that have been lingering in my "Read Again" file for a while. Many of these are stories that, if I had more than 13 slots to fill, I'd gladly have published.

Now for the real torture. I still have 13 stories in my Read Again file that I have read again and again. But there are only nine slots remaining. All of these 13 stories are powerful stories, kick you in the butt and the gut stories, wake you up in the middle of the night stories, make you laugh your scorched ass off stories. And I'm going to have to reject some of them. And while I'm deliberating, I'm sure more really good stories are going to come in.

What these means for you, dear writer, is that time is getting short. I'm going to pick one of these thirteen stories today, which means that there will only be eight story slots left. If you have a story that you've been hanging onto, waiting for whatever, you'd better go ahead and send it now. The window of opportunity is closing.

What this means for you, dear reader, is that the quality of the stories in Postcards from Hell: The First Thirteen is going to be beyond what you could reasonably expect to receive for the tiny sum of $6.66. They are already beyond what I expected to receive. So be sure to purchase a subscription, because you really, really don't want to miss these stories. I expect this brief run to become a legendary event in the annals of genre publishing.

I shit you not.

And what this means for your dear editor is that he has the torturous pleasure of having to sift through some really first rate stories to choose the best of the best of the best. He couldn't be happier. An editor's dream come true.


As promised, the fifth story in the series has now been accepted for publication - "The Cabinet of Dr. Calamari." German expressionism as performed by the Batley Townswomen's Guild.

We are pleased to welcome its author, Andrew Ferguson, to our little corner of the nether regions. Andrew lives with his wife and daughter in Fife, Scotland, a backwoodsy kind of place where the coal dust in the water means the folks don't think so straight any more. He has published a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in various places in the UK and US, most recently in On Our Way to Battle (Carnyx Press) and The Shantytown Anomaly. Further details about him can be found in the 'Comrades' section at

Postcards from Hell

What kind of stories do we want for Postcards from Hell?

These are Postcards from Hell, so make your story hellish. No, we're not just interested in stories about demons and devils, or zombies or werewolves or vampires, although all these things are nice. Hell has many layers, each one unique, and several are often mistaken for real life. So hell might be a child's closet or the trunk of a car or the muddy bank of a river in India. But keep in mind that we have a sense of humor around here. The most interesting person in Paradise Lost was The Boss. If we couldn't laugh, this really would be hell. We're not especially looking for funny stories, but if your story makes us chuckle, we won't immediately toss it in the Lake of Fire. Senseless violence and gratuitous gore may be therapeutic, but they do not a story make.

Postcards from Hell is horror fiction, but we editors from hell have a broad interpretation of horror, and we are not easy to frighten. We laughed through most of Peter Straub's Ghost Story. Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House made us all nostalgic for our former existence. If the movie The Ring scared the pants off you, pull your pants up because we fell asleep an hour ago. Don't even talk to us about The Blair Witch Project or we'll consign your story to the Lake of Fire. Your job is to give us the creeps in ~500 words. Do that and you'll earn your pitchfork.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Subscription Drive from Hell


Thanks to everyone who has subscribed so far. We are 1/4 of the way to Postcards from Hell: The First 13 paying for itself.

Now, it's on to Iowa!

Communication is the Key to a Successful Relationship

If you are a subscriber and you did not receive a postcard with the story Dark Wine, please let me know as soon as possible.

Vol.3 - Better Nate than Lever

Some people say we have a bad attitude. Those people are stupid. We're just going through our blue-green period.

You know the hell of moving day? Imagine that day every day and you'll know why we're a bit behind. If you've sent us a story and haven't heard back, it's because we haven't read it. Never fear, we'll get to it.


Meanwhile, we have four excellent new stories for your reading pleasure, a mix of bizarre fantasy, science-fiction, and horror (with tentacles):

Leviathan's Last Show by Joshua Starr
Submerged by Tirumal Mundargi
Redemption by Fred Warren
Boom Bloom by Colin Meldrum