No, not the dark side of the Force. We are the evil sibling in the Flying Island Press family.
All of the sorts of stories that you’ve seen in issues of Flagship or presented to you by Pirate’s Cove are welcome here, so long as they are presented by a fun house mirror. We want stories that will give you the creeps. We want to make you run to our sister publications to find light and joy. Where they are the play ground and the open seas, we are the midnight carnival and the fetid swamp.
I’ve received a number of stories since we first flung open the cellar door. Some of them were almost right. There were issues of quality and of tone. I am hoping that the former can be fixed and that those authors will resubmit. In cases where the latter is an issue, I hope that this post will serve as clarification.
We are not necessarily, as our name might imply to some, looking for buckets of gore. Blood has its place in stories, but don’t rely on it to scare us. We want you to elicit shivers of dread, not queasiness. I was reminded recently of a story we published in issue three of Flagship called “Worse Than the Disease”, a tale set in a world overrun by zombies. The truly scary thing about that story isn’t the Zeds though. You’d need to read it to find out where the horror comes from, but I’ll give you a hint. It’s what a world like that can do to people like you and I.
I’ve pointed to them before, but since they exemplify the sort of well written horror we want here, you should also read or listen to the works of Paul Cooley and Jake Bible. I’ll add James Melzer, James Durham, and Dave Sobkowiak to the list. You can find works at their sites that are well written, inexpensive, and horrific in all the right ways. We’ve also put up one story by Phil Rossi that fits the bill. (As a side note I’d love to hear about some ladies that write in this vein.)
So, go do your homework. Don’t send us the next Saw V or Hostel. We want The Exorcist or The Shining. And don’t be afraid to horrify us with pirates, or in space, or in a world where Tolkien’s elves would be welcome. As I said, we’re the mirror image of our fellow FIP publications and we approve of genre mash ups.
Thank you and I hope this clears things up a little.