The second month of open call for "Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations" has just passed, and I wanted to provide a current update.
Well, it has been another month of reading outstanding submissions! I have received many dark and fascinating ideas, even though a few of them have explored similar subject matter. I am not at all opposed to including stories in this anthology that discuss the same legend or civilization, as long as each is unique and well-written.
With that being said, I did want to mention one niche that I am lacking a bit of. I would say that at least 75% of the submissions are involved with "discovering" the remains of a lost civilization, people, etc., such as an archaeological or anthropological expedition, or that which explores just a random crossing of times and worlds.
While I would never tire of reading such stories that I love, I am also looking to include a substantial amount of tales explaining "why" a civilization or town collapsed or vanished. I would love to read submissions which are alternative history or speculative fiction, detailing the last days of a nation or world before they were destroyed. What was the reason they failed or horrible fate that befell them? What was learned? For example, why did the Minoans survive for fifty years after a volcano devastated their
Island, only to then suddenly fade away? What occurred to the "Lost Roman Legion" that appeared inexplicably in the , 17 years after going missing? What happened to the Gobi Desert Indus Valley people, a culturally-advanced society that spanned from India to Afghanistan - they are considered 's oldest known civilization, numbering over five million in population, yet suddenly vanished at the height of their power! India
I am beyond thrilled to announce that one of my favorite authors has agreed to showcase an original story in this anthology!
Joe R. Lansdale - http://www.joerlansdale.com/todaysfeature.html
Joe R. Lansdale is considered one of dark fiction's greatest living authors. Having won last year's top honor at the World Horror Convention for category of best short fiction, Joe has also authored numerous novels, short stories, screenplays and comics in a wide collection of genres, spanning over forty years (he wrote the movie Bubba Ho-tep - c'mon!).
Besides Joe, I will also be including new fiction stories by a few other established authors that I admire and have invited to participate! I will announce more on who they are later.
As of Wednesday, August 24, I have responded to all inquiries and submissions.
I have so far received 75 submissions. I have accepted 4 stories immediately, added 36 to the short list and declined 35. (NOTE that most stories will be short-listed first and final acceptances offered 30 days after open call is ended.) The average word count so far is 4,304.
I am still expecting to receive about two hundred submissions by the end of open call and I am still initially short-listing about half of the stories. Each submission is graded on a rubric scale and so the ones which rank higher will ultimately displace the stories beneath them on the scale. Thus, as I receive more submissions, I will be reviewing stories from the short list and rejecting those which fall far enough below the others. It is a bit unconventional, but I find it to be a very fluid process and it keeps me involved as I continually go back to review stories received, in order to judge them against their peers.
Just a little over two months to get your submissions in! Open call ends midnight, October 31.
Besides updates which may be found at my blog, http://ericjguignard.blogspot.com, I have also set up a Twitter account, http://twitter.com/#!/ericjguignard.
Best of regards,