Welcome to this week’s edition of Submit Your Stories Sunday! Every week I bring you a unique call for submissions to help you find a home for your stories or inspire a new one. Each call will contain a speculative element and will offer payment upon acceptance. Next, I’ll recommend a short story to help inspire your submission and finish off with a list of writing industry news and articles I came across this week.
This week we’re looking at Eibonvale Press’ upcoming anthology The Once and Future Moon and reading Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sentinel as well as Sheila Marie Borideux’s The Third Martian Dick Temple.
The Once and Future Moon
Eligibility: speculative stories from 1k to 5k words focused on the Moon. Roughly half of the stories will take a historical bend on how the Moon affects our lives and the second half will be near-future stories on the same theme.
Take Note: the editors offer a list of recommended reading to get a feeling for what they want
Payment: 10 Pounds plus contributor’s copy
Submit by: April 30th, 2019
A story to ignite your creativity:
For the purposes of this call, we’re going to look at a story in the recommended reading listed by the editors in the call, The Sentinel written by Arthur C. Clarke in 1951 and eighteen years before the Moon Landing (pdf available online by clicking here). We’ll compare Clarke’s story to one that appeared on Daily Science Fiction in 2018, The Third Martian Dick Temple by Sheila Marie Borideux.
The two stories are fun to compare because they share many ideals of exploration and discovery beloved to science fiction. Clarke’s story follows the awe of finding a moonbase far beyond human technology. Eager humans break it apart to study what they can learn from the alien culture and technology. In the end, wonder turns to fear.
In Borideux’s story, the human protagonist discovers her third temple on Mars. There is an initial, exciting moment of discovery, followed by abject disappointment. The temple is full of penis statues, just like the other two temples. The work of cataloguing the endless Martian dicks wears away at her. She doesn’t want to do this anymore, this is meaningless, demeaning, and this is such a let-down after all of our dreams of space.
What I like about these two stories side-by-side is that the first reflects the hope of space travel so prevalent in the 1950’s and the second perfectly captures the anticlimactic future we have found ourselves in seventy years on. Otherwise, these stories are essentially the same idea written on a different theme. We haven’t fulfilled the potential we dreamed of in the 50’s and our story got jaded. It’s our once and present Moon. These stories also show us how a shift in theme can change a story completely, and that is something we can use to build ideas of our future Moon.
Writerly links worth sharing this week:
David Simon posted an eye-opening expose of the business of writing-and agenting writers-in Hollywood. It’s worth reading before you get into film options for your work.
If you’re new to submitting short stories, SFWA president and prolific short story writer Cat Rambo has created a few excellent youtube tutorials to get you started.