The Diabolical Plots Year Five Fiction Lineup

written by David Steffen

Diabolical Plots was open for submissions once again for the month of July, to solicit stories to buy for the fourth year of fiction publication.  1288 submissions came in from 915 different writers, of which 26 stories were accepted.  Now that all of the contracts are in hand I am very pleased to share with you the lineup.

There is a lot of strangeness in this lineup, varying wildly in tone from humor to drama.  I hope you’ll like them as much as I do.

All of these stories will be published for the first time around March 2019 in an ebook anthology Diabolical Plots Year Five, and then will be published regularly on the Diabolical Plots site between April 2019 and March 2020, with each month being sent out to newsletter subscribers the month before.

This is the lineup order for the website.

April 2019
“Why Aren’t Millennials Continuing Traditional Worship of the Elder Dark?” by Matt Dovey
“One Part Per Billion” by Samantha Mills

May 2019
“What the Sea Reaps, We Must Provide” by Eleanor R. Wood
“Dogwood Stories” by Nicole Givens Kurtz

June 2019
“The Ceiling of the World” by Nicole Crucial
“Bootleg Jesus” by Tonya Liburd

July 2019
“Little Empire of Lakelore” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires
“Lies of the Desert Fathers” by Stewart Moore

August 2019
“The Inspiration Machine” by K.S. Dearsley
“Colonized Bodies, Dessicated Souls” by Nin Harris

September 2019
“Empathy Bee” by Forrest Brazeal
“Dear Parents, Your Child is Not the Chosen One” by P.G. Galalis
“Fresh Dates” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires

October 2019
“Tracing an Original Thought” by Holly Heisey
“Save the God Damn Pandas” by Anaea Lay

November 2019
“Consider the Monsters” by Beth Cato
“The Train to Wednesday” by Steven Fischer

December 2019
“Consequences of a Statistical Approach Towards a Utilitarian Utopia: A Selection of Potential Outcomes” by Matt Dovey
“The Problem From Jamaica Plain” by Marie L. Vibbert

January 2020
“This is What the Boogeyman Looks Like” by T.J. Berg
“Beldame” by Nickolas Furr
“Gorilla in the Streets” by Mari Ness

February 2020
“Invasion of the Water Towers” by R.D. Landau
“The Cliff of Hands” by Joanne Rixon

March 2020
“The Eat Me Drink Me Challenge” by Chris Kuriata
“The Old Ones, Great and Small” by Rajiv Mote

Diabolical Plots: Year Three Available for Pre-Order!

written by David Steffen

The newest anthology from Diabolical Plots, Diabolical Plots Year Three, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Kobo (other vendors to follow).  Pre-ordering is a great way to help ebook vendor algorithms promote it more, so if you think you would like a copy anyway pre-ordering is a big help.

Note the wonderful cover art, an original illustration by Amanda Makepeace, the same artist who made the awesome fox cover art for The Long List Anthology Volume 3 in December of last year.  She illustrated the story “For Now, Sideways” by A. Merc Rustad, and she did a wonderful job with it.  I love how a good illustrator can tell a story with an image like Amanda’s done here, how your eye is drawn to different parts of the image that imply the conflicts and resolutions of the story.  Cover layout was done by Pat Steiner, who has done all of the anthology covers for Diabolical Plots and continues to do great work.

Thank you, and have a happy weekend!

New Submission Grinder Features: Piece Priority!

written by David Steffen

A couple of new features were released over the last week on the Submission Grinder.  For those who don’t know what the Submission Grinder is, it’s a donation-supported website that helps writers finds publishers for their work, as well as providing submission statistics from user data.

The Advanced Search Engine can do a lot of things already.  You can search by various parameters like length or pay rate.  You can ignore individual markets so they never show up in your search results, or exclude markets where a particular piece has been submitted.  But it can only work with the data it has available to it, and sometimes that’s not the sort of data that a program can make sense of.  For instance, Beneath Ceaseless Skies takes secondary world fantasy only.  The search engine can base its search on genre, so it’ll find BCS in a Fantasy search, so if you search for your contemporary American fantasy you’re going to keep seeing BCS in your search results and you’ll have to remember to ignore that result yourself.  Or if you have a piece that doesn’t technically fit the specifications of a market but you have special permission to submit or something, then there would be no way to mark that for yourself.

Now there are things you can do to customize your search results!  Now, you can define “piece priorities”, which tell the site special instructions for a combination of a particular piece and a particular market.  Besides the default “no priority” setting, there are two other values you can set:

  1.  UNSUITABLE
    This priority indicates that you just don’t think this piece is a good fit for this market, even if it fits the defined search parameters.  If you set a piece as unsuitable for a market, then that means that when you search for markets for that piece, that market will always be excluded from the results.  And if you search for markets for that piece, that market will always be excluded from the results.
  2. PREFERRED
    This priority indicates that you think this is a particularly good fit for this market, even if it doesn’t fit the defined search parameters.  If you set a piece as preferred for a market, then that means that when you search for markets for that piece, that market will always be shown at the top of the results clearly marked as Preferred, even if it doesn’t fit the search parameters otherwise and even if the market doesn’t qualify for a listing or you’ve marked it as Ignore (but it won’t show up if you’ve already submitted it there).  And if you search for pieces for that market, that piece will always be shown at the top of the results clearly marked as Preferred.

I am very excited about these additional features, I think they will be useful in those corner cases the search engine just doesn’t quite cover.  Thank you!

You can mark these priorities by clicking the “Piece Priorities” link on any market page while you’re logged in.

2018 Publishing Schedule

written by David Steffen

2018 will mark some exciting new additions to the Diabolical Plots publishing lineup.  As well as publishing original fiction online, as Diabolical Plots has been doing since 2015, these stories will also be collected into ebook anthologies.  The main goals of this effort are twofold.  First, to find new readers for Diabolical Plots that ebook platforms like Amazon and Kobo will provide.  Second, to try to work toward the original fiction breaking even financially–which has not been the case in the past.  That will help ensure that I’m able to keep doing this long-term.

For this to work as well as possible, the ebook anthology will eventually need to publish stories before they’re available on the website.  So you’ll be able to read them early in the ebook, but you will be able to wait until they’re on the website to read for free.  But since the website has a few-year headstart, it’s going to take some catching up.

To this end, 2018 will mark a pretty busy publication schedule to get this plan on track.  Also, if you have been a donor or are thinking about being a donor, if you donate at a $5/month level, you’ll get the ebooks early as long you maintain that–and this will be a great year to do so, with an ebook every quarter through March 2018.

I am very excited to see how these changes work out, to make the whole publication more sustainable.  Thank you, as ever, for all of the support and feedback you all have given me over the years!

So, here are the books planned for the next 15 months:

1. March 2018:  Diabolical Plots: The First Years
–This will include all 25 stories published in the first two years (between March 2015 and March 2017) on Diabolical Plots, with newly commissioned cover art by Galen Dara.

2.  June 2018: Diabolical Plots: Year Three
–This will include all 24 stories published in year three on Diabolical Plots (between April 2017 and March 2018), with newly commissioned cover art by Amanda Makepeace.

3.  September 2018: Diabolical Plots: Year Four
–This will include all 25 stories published in year four on Diabolical Plots (scheduled between April 2018 and March 2019).  Note that this will be the anthology that overtakes the publishing of stories on the actual site, so for about 12 of those stories the first place to ever read them will be in the anthology.

4.  December 2018: The Long List Anthology Volume 4: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List
–Same concept as the prior three, assuming there is enough author buy-in, but these have moved pretty steadily, so I think it makes sense to keep going.

5.  March 2019: Diabolical plots: Year Five
–This will include all the stories that are purchased as part of this year’s slush window, which of course are yet to be determined.  Note that this anthology will publish before any of the stories have been on the site.

 

Long List Anthology Volume 3 Kickstarter

written by David Steffen

The Kickstarter for the Long List Anthology Volume 3 is launched as of this morning!  This is the third in a series of anthologies collecting works from the longer list of works that got a lot of Hugo Award nomination votes from the fans.

The art this year is a lovely piece by Amanda Makepeace.

 

The stories lined up are:

Short Stories (base goal)

  • “Lullaby for a Lost World” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “A Salvaging of Ghosts” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands” by Seanan McGuire
  • “Things With Beards” by Sam J. Miller
  • “Red in Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo
  • “Terminal” by Lavie Tidhar
  • “Razorback” by Ursula Vernon
  • “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline M. Yoachim

Novelettes (stretch goal)  

  • “A Dead Djinn in Cairo” by P. Djèlí Clark
  • “Red as Blood and White as Bone” by Theodora Goss
  • “The Venus Effect” by Joseph Allen Hill
  • “Foxfire, Foxfire” by Yoon Ha Lee
  • “The Visitor From Taured” by Ian R. MacLeod
  • “Sooner or Later, Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker
  • “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories” by Jason Sanford

Novellas (stretch goal) 

  • “Runtime” by S.B. Divya
  • “Chimera” by Gu Shi, translated by S. Qiouyi Lu and Ken Liu
  • “Forest of Memory” by Mary Robinette Kowal

 

I hope you are as excited as I am!  Thank you for your support!

 

Announcing the Diabolical Plots Year Four Fiction Lineup!

written by David Steffen

Diabolical Plots was open for submissions once again for the month of July, to solicit stories to buy for the fourth year of fiction publication.  1003 submissions came in from 720 different writers, of which 25 stories were accepted.  Now that all of the contracts are in hand I am very pleased to share with you the lineup, which will start as soon as the Year Three stories have wrapped up in March.

This year I think the overall submissions were more on-target to my peculiar tastes than ever.  Emphasis on the weird, with a lot of great stories that involve religion without preaching or demonizing it.  I am very excited to share these excellent stories with the world.

Since I accepted 25 stories instead of 24, there is one month that will have three stories (which I’d like to see as a regular thing if the recurring funding is there for it).

April 2018
“Giant Robot and the Infinite Sunset” by Derrick Boden
“Her February Face” by Christie Yant

May 2018
“The Efficacy of Tyromancy Over Reflective Scrying Methods in Divining Colleagues’ Coming Misfortunes, A Study by Cresivar Ibraxson, Associate Magus, Wintervale University” by Amanda Helms
“Graduation in the Time of Yog-Sothoth” by James Van Pelt

June 2018
“Tank!” by John Wiswell
“Withholding Judgment Day” by Ryan Dull

July 2018
“Crimson Hour” by Jesse Sprague
“Jesus and Dave” by Jennifer Lee Rossman

August 2018
“Medium Matters” by R.K. Duncan
“The Vegan Apocalypse: 50 Years Later” by Benjamin A. Friedman

September 2018
“Glass in Frozen Time” by M.K. Hutchins
“The Fisher in the Yellow Afternoon” by Michael Anthony Ashley

October 2018
“Pumpkin and Glass” by Sean R. Robinson
“Still Life With Grave Juice” by Jim Moss

November 2018
“The Memory Cookbook” by Aaron Fox-Lerner
“The Coal Remembers What It Was” by Paul R. Hardy

December 2018
“The Hammer’s Prayer” by Benjamin C. Kinney
“For the Last Time, It’s Not a Ray Gun” by Anaea Lay

January 2019
“The Divided Island” by Rhys Hughes
“The Man Whose Left Arm Was a Cat” by Jennifer Lee Rossman
“The Dictionary For Dreamers” by Cislyn Smith

February 2019
“Local Senior Celebrates Milestone” by Matthew Claxton
“How Rigel Gained a Rabbi (Briefly)” by Benjamin Blattberg

March 2019
“Heaven For Everyone” by Aimee Ogden
“The Last Death” by Sahara Frost

Poetry Features on the Submission Grinder

written by David Steffen

The most often requested feature on the Submission Grinder since it’s launch more than four years ago has been support for poetry listings.  This support has finally been published.  Most importantly the poetry advanced search page you can use to find new poetry markets here.

You can use the site without registering and use the search to find markets.  or look at individual markets.  If you register you will be able to track your submissions and from market listings search for your poems that fit the requirements that you haven’t submitted to that market before, and so on.

Of course, since poetry support has been a thing for less than 24 hours there are not many poetry listings filled in yet.  Over 200 poetry markets have stub listings that users have requested for poetry tracking over the last few years, so I need to fill those in with full details, and of course if there are any that don’t have listings feel free to suggest.

Some further development needs to be done for what I would consider full poetry support.  Notably missing at this point is support for markets that accept BOTH fiction and poetry (I know this is necessary, but because this requires some more development work I figured I may as well release the poetry-only market capability while I am working).

Let me know what you think, feel free to suggest new markets or new poetry-related features.

Long List Anthology Volume 2 Ebook Release Date!

written by David Steffen

long-list-antho-cover-art-ebook_edited-4-2Today is the release date for the Long List Anthology Volume 2 Ebook!  Check out our Books page for more information and links to the vendors which will be updated as more vendors post it.

A print version is on its way soon, and a shorter audiobook version in January.

Long List Anthology Vol 2 Kickstarter!

written by David Steffen

long-list-antho-cover-art-color-comp-lg-1The Kickstarter has been launched for the Long List Anthology Volume 2!

Same premise as last year, to put together an anthology of works from the longer Hugo Award nomination list.  This year, Galen Dara has been commissioned for original cover art–the art at the top of the post is not the final version, it is a color proof of the art, but the final version will be shared as soon as possible.

Check out the rewards, besides copies of the books there are critiques from Martin L. Shoemaker, Sunil Patel, Erica Satifka and myself.

Check out the Kickstarter page for additional information, but here’s the list of the stories that will be included if funding levels are reached.

Short Stories and Letters (base goal)

  • “Three Cups of Grief, By Starlight” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “Madeleine” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • “Pockets” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • “Tuesdays With Molakesh the Destroyer” by Megan Grey
  • “The Women You Didn’t See” by Nicola Griffith (a letter from Letters to Tiptree)
  • “Damage” by David D. Levine
  • “Neat Things” by Seanan McGuire (a letter from Letters To Tiptree)
  • “Today I Am Paul” by Martin L. Shoemaker
  • “Pocosin” by Ursula Vernon
  • “Wooden Feathers” by Ursula Vernon
  • “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong

Novelettes (stretch goal at $3900)

  • “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” by Elizabeth Bear
  • “So Much Cooking” by Naomi Kritzer
  • “Another Word For World” by Ann Leckie
  • “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” by Rose Lemberg
  • “The Deepwater Bride” by Tamsyn Muir
  • “The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild” by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Up to 1 other

Novellas (stretch goal at $5000)

  • “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” by Usman T. Malik
  • “The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps” by Kai Ashante Wilson