Title: Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations
Edited by: Eric J. Guignard
Publisher: To Be Announced
Release Date: Spring, 2012
I am looking for dark tales of Horror, Speculative Fiction, and to a lesser degree Science Fiction, relating to civilizations that are lost, or have been forgotten, or have been rediscovered, or perhaps merely spoken about in great and fearful whispers.
Arguably, the most famous lost civilization is Atlantis. Why did Atlantis sink? Was it under attack by shadowy creatures of the underworld or victim to spiteful Gods of mythology? Where is Atlantis today? Are there still undead denizens moving amongst the wrecked buildings in their gold togas, just waiting for a scuba diver to happen by? What is the real reason for the MOAI statues standing on Easter Island? Is it a landing strip for invading aliens, or perhaps each statue is really a living creature simply in slumber? The mysteries of ancient Egypt hold many tales of buried treasure guarded by mummies and spirits amongst the monuments and pyramids, still hiding in that bleak desert. Some of the most fanciful stories I have ever read involved stalwart English professors in the 1930's engaging in scientific archaeological excavations, that unearthed horrible curses rather than the prizes they sought.
Think of the great splendors and mysteries that have existed over many eras on our planet and even beyond! How many societies considered themselves to be the most advanced, yet now are barely remembered through legendary lore? How many of those societies are waiting to be rediscovered, hidden under jungle vines or even under the asphalt streets we walk upon?
This fiction anthology is craving to be filled with strange tales of discovery and explanation! I am very open as to the style and content. I prefer stories which relate to real historic places or that relate to common mythological societies (meaning Greek and Indian mythology, NOT "fantasy" as in societies of elves and ogres). However, I am also very open to you creating a lost civilization either on this world or another. The focus should be that the civilization is currently in ruins and what is occurring there now, along with back story of why that civilization crumbled in the first place. You may write about one person's experience among the ruins that they have discovered or the narrative of a diary found composed during their final disaster or the omniscient voice of a dying population. I open my hands wide to you, dear author!
Interested to participate? I would love to read your submission! Please just read and consider the following guidelines.
Word Count for each story is to be approximately 2,000 words to 7,000 words. I am not strict however. Less than this or more than this is perfectly fine, within reason (no flash and no novellas). Total word count for this book will be in the range of 88,000 words and I estimate to include about 22 short stories (assuming an average of 4,000 words per story).
Original works only (meaning unpublished; AKA "No reprints").
Payment is 1 cent per word and 1 contributor copy, payable upon publication.
Please no simultaneous submissions (meaning that you submit to me and another source at the same time), but if you do let me know right away.
No multiple submissions (meaning no more than one submission to me at a time). If I reject a story and there is still time during open call, you may submit a new tale.
Submissions are open until midnight, OCTOBER 31, 2011. This date may be extended, depending upon the quality and quantity of submissions. I also may slate stories for a second volume, being "Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations II", but I will let you know more about that (if applicable) as the closing date arrives.
This book will be available as trade paperback (available on-line and at a few independent physical store locations) as well as available in digital format (.pdf version).
I ask for first print and electronic rights to your story and exclusive rights for one (1) year after publication date, after which you are free to re-sell it.
This anthology is intended for a mature audience (i.e. "R" rating). Profanity and sexually-related material is acceptable, provided it is not excessive. What is not acceptable is anything relating to torture or sexual abuse of children or graphic sex or "erotica".
Send submissions as an attachment only; do not embed in the body of an e-mail. I should be capable of opening any attachments that you send, being .doc (preferred) or .rtf or .docx or other. You know who you are if you use a "special" word processing program - ask me in advance if you think I may have an issue opening something.
Include your real name (and byline, if using one), address, phone, email, story title, and word count on the title page of the submission.
Also include a short biography (about one to two paragraphs), written in third person P.O.V., which will be printed in the anthology if your story is selected for publication.
Format your masterpiece as it will be read, meaning use italics, bold, and underline when appropriate.
Use double space between lines.
1" margins all around.
No headers or page numbers.
Any font is fine; standard is generally Times New Roman or Courier or Verdana or Arial.
Questions about how to format a submission properly? Here are a couple of links that will enrich your career as an author:
I will confirm receipt of all stories within one week. I will try to read each story within 60 days and provide either a rejection or a short list nomination. I also may ask for a revision (rare and does not constitute a future acceptance). I will announce all acceptances within 30 days after close of submissions (thus November 30, IF October 31 remains the deadline). I also may accept stories at any time during the submission period if such story astounds me with its sheer brilliance! Note however, that I will compile most stories into the short list until all submissions have been received.
Please do not doubt your own writing genius if I should reject your story. I am putting this project together myself, so that means I am one sole opinion. What I don't find as a perfect fit for the theme of this anthology may go on to be the world's next most beloved piece of literature! Everyone has their own style of vernacular and their own potential fan base, as diverse as the colors of the cosmos (colors as an analogy of writing to be expounded upon later).
Here are a couple of websites detailing famous rejections:
Ready to submit?
P.S. - Additional Inspirations & Ideas:
Here are some additional general thoughts to spur the creative forces ready to be unleashed from your head. Whatever you decide upon, please remember that I am looking for stories written in the style of Stephen King, NOT J.R.R. Tolkien.
Aztec and Mayan fortresses hidden under wet jungle foliage (such as the movie "The Ruins").
Palaces found carved in the sheer cliffs of mountains.
Mystical towns drowned inexplicably by flood.
Immense cities discovered undisturbed in the deserts of the Middle East (such as Clive Barker's "Jericho").
Monuments explored in the arctic (such as H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness").
Sinking castles of wraiths in Celtic legend.
The effect of Plate Tectonics on cities; volcanoes, earthquakes, shifting land masses.
Cook Islands where ancestors of Captain Bligh's men founded their own society amongst the natives.
Ghost towns in American old west genre and Indian tribes.
King Solomon's mines and voodoo in Africa (such as Allan Quatermain series, penned by H. Rider Haggard and many others).
Remnants of statues or treasure found in icebergs or the desert or your cellar.
Zombies or vampires that haunt the temples in Pompeii or forts in Assyria.
An Interplanetary explorer that finds lost civilizations on a far reaching planet.
Species that live or lived underground, in the cavernous bowels of the center of the world.
A plane crash survivor that stumbles upon a warrior tribe hunting in the Amazon.
Tomes and manuscripts found in a book dealer's shop that provide clues or maps to vast riches.
The oasis mirage in the Sahara that is really a ghost for what once existed. Forgotten tales of men and curses in mighty Athens or haughty Jerusalem or wild Sri Lanka. Was Stonehenge built as protective runes against marauding demons?
What happens to those lost in the Bermuda Triangle?
What is the origin of the mystical healing practices at Anuradhapura? Where lies the famed city of El Dorado, sought by Spanish conquistadors? What happened to the Colony at Roanoke?
In addition, you may find inspiration even in the news we read today! Just remember, this is a FICTION anthology. I am not interested in your factual research conducted in world history class (although I am sure it is fascinating).
"Lost" Civilizations are even still thriving! Just recently, a new tribe has been discovered in Brazil that has never had contact with modern society.
(The news story also reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan's movie "The Village".)
Here is a list of 10 of the greatest mysteries of Lost Civilizations:
Here is a virtual encyclopedia of Lost Civilizations: