Searching for quality genre webzines for the latest installment in my Webzines series has been a morbid affair, in that the number of deceased zines I found far outweighs the number of healthy, thriving ones. Despite the high mortality rate, I bring you today another crop of markets for your science-fiction/fantasy/horror stories.
As before, I picked a recent short story from each zine to read to get a basic feel for the types of stories they are looking for, and I will share my thoughts on those as well. (I will read more stories before submitting my own, of course.)
You can visit my Links page for a list of all the webzines I have researched so far.
Strange Horizons is looking for science-fiction and fantasy, not horror or stories with twist endings. (See their Guidelines page for full details on what they want and what they don’t want.) They prefer stories of less than 5,000 words and pay 7¢/word, minimum $50.00. Response time is within 90 days.
For Strange Horizons, I read Beneath Impossible Circumstances by Andrea Kneeland. At its core, this story is about a fractured relationship, but there are hints throughout about the futuristic setting where natural anything, including childbirth, is the exception instead of the rule.
I quite enjoyed Second Suicide by Tim Britto, which is about an alien invasion that is derailed when they discover our arts and entertainment. But will music, paintings, and literature be enough to stave off Earth’s destruction?
FLURB is run by science-fiction author Rudy Rucker and has published stories by big-name authors but still seems to accept and work with new authors. FLURB is published bi-annually and there is no information about submissions for the next issue, but I am including it here because I think it is a webzine worth reading and one to check in on regularly to see if submissions open up.
For FLURB, I read Journey to the Center of the Flat Earth by William Highsmith. As you might suspect based on the title, it is a take on Jules Verne’s classic tale, except in this version, the Earth is a cylinder, not a globe. I couldn’t quite envision how this would play out but enjoyed the story nonetheless. The end of the story was… odd, but interesting.
From Planet Magazine I read Little Brother, by Gryffyd Eamonn Dempsey. I liked the amount of world-building that Gryffyd managed to pack in to this short story, about a fantasy world where aliens have intruded on royal politics. When the King’s son dies, is it a blessing or a curse that the aliens bring him back to life? As the story shows, it depends on who you ask.
A last note: As you might know, I am writing and releasing parts of a rough draft novel each week, about 1,000 words at a time. It has been a great way to get my creative juices flowing and at the same time, get some of my work out there for people to read. To that end, I found a great site called Tuesday Serial which basically exists to collect weekly serial stories like The Only City Left. I appreciate what they are doing and I encourage you to check it out, whether it is to find a story to read or to submit your own.