Bring out your dead!
Welcome to DeadSteam, an anthology that aims to showcase the dark side of steampunk, the ghoulish and the gothic, tales of gaslamp and dreadpunk that embrace the macabre.
Ah, dreadpunk. Isn’t that just a new word for Victorian Gothic? Well, yes and no. Dreadpunk, according to the website, “is devoted to the horror and mystery of a bygone age, as well as newer works that continue those traditions,” and this anthology aims to do just that. I want your stories that embrace the traditional horror story-telling of the Victorian penny dreadfuls and gothic mysteries. Steampunk is certainly welcome here, but I’m more interested in Poe and Mary Shelley than Verne and Wells. I will happily accept tales that pair the gothic with the steamy mechanical contraptions inherent to steampunk. Give me fog-drenched dreadpunk Victoriana. Think Penny Dreadful.
“…classic monsters, and yes, the aesthetic touches like gaslamps and plenty of fog are all hallmarks of dreadpunk.”
About the anthology
Your tale should include at least one dead or undead creature, be it a ghost, a vampire, a zombie, or some creature of your own invention, and should fit into some alternate version of the Victorian era.
I want your chilling tales of haunted London, your ghastly stories of bloodthirsty murderers lurking in gaslit alleyways, your suspenseful tales of dead things coming back to life to consume the blood of the living.
Romance stories may be accepted, depending on the level of “steaminess,” but erotica will definitely be a tough sell. The emphasis should be on the dread and the macabre, and certain not on the happily-ever-after moments between the loving couple.
Stories should fall between 2,000-8,000 words. I will accept reprints, so long as you have the appropriate rights for republishing, and please let me know if it has been previously published.
$25 plus a contributor’s copy.
Note, because this is a publication from a small, start-up publisher, we are unable to pay more to contributors at this time (we hope to change that in future publications). I understand how hard writers work (I’m a writer myself) and would like to advise writers that I will be asking for Non-Exclusive Publishing Rights; however, you should be aware that most publications will not publish pieces that have previously been published (in print or otherwise). In other words, after your work has been published in DeadSteam, the market for it will be dramatically reduced. It is up to you to decide if submitting to DeadSteam (for only a token payment) is worth it to you. For what it’s worth, I hope that it is.
Stories should be sent to brycekraffle[at]gmail[dot]com and include “Deadsteam Submission” in the subject line. Please include a brief (no more than 400 words) author bio, a link to your website, Facebook, and twitter accounts (if applicable), and your story in .docx format.
Please use Times New Roman or Arial font, size 12, double-spaced (i.e.: standard manuscript format). Stories may be rejected based on formatting issues, although in such cases I will allow the author to resubmit. Multiple submissions are fine.
Deadline is December 1st, and I am aiming to release the anthology Halloween 2018.