You know how chance remarks made by someone often spark off ideas? This is just such a case. Over the weekend, horror writer extraordinaire Adam Nevill posited the idea of industrial horror, which set off a chain-reaction in the sparking brain matter of Simon Marshall-Jones and, after his twitching, writhing body had stilled, he proclaimed that he was going to put together and publish an anthology of such stories. But, be warned, we don’t want the usual – no, we want stories that will push boundaries (not in terms of extreme gore and violence, necessarily), the entwining of flesh and stark machinery, techno-industrial dystopias, twisted conceptions of body and enhanced beauty, Cronenbergian nightmares, Kafkaesque metamorphoses, posthuman realities, the decay of body, mind, spirit and reason, innumerable sexualities. We want illogical extrapolations of present social realities, re-envisioning of industrial pasts, where factory and humanity become indistinguishable, where both lines and flesh are blurred. We certainly don’t just want the usual tired old tropes, if possible: what we want is the disturbing, the challenging, the absurdist, the blackly comedic, the infuriating, the horrific, the abnormal. Here, flesh is reshaped, both voluntarily and involuntarily, a world where gods and demons have assumed corporeality, where humans have either integrated fully into a seething mass of metal, electonics and skin, or have been rejected as the parasitic lifeform it is. In other words, just let your imagination run wild, be experimental with word and structure, and go into areas where the warning lights constantly flash an angry red and life is always a breath away from being extinguished.
Stories should run approximately anywhere between 8,000 to 12,000 words. The submission period is open now, and there is no deadline as such: Spectral will close to submissions when there are enough stories of sufficient quality to fill a good-sized anthology. It may take two months or it may take two years (and it will depend entirely on publishing schedules – Spectral is currently booked up until at least the beginning of 2015). This will be a paying market – we do not expect writers just to do this ‘for the love’ or just ‘for exposure’. Payment structure still to be decided – but, rest assured, it will be fair.
If interested or want to submit or even just submit a pitch for a story, contact us at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com…