Hello good people of the world. I bear news.
I’ve updated my list of publishers of short fantasy fiction. There’s now a hefty seventy publishers listed on there. One of them is bound to accept a submission, right? I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.
Which leads me to other news.
I’m delighted to reveal that a non-fantasy story of mine called Death of the Empress has been accepted for publication by Alien Pub Magazine. It’s a relatively new publisher, and what appealed to me was what it’s all about: creative activism. Check them out if you get a chance, and why not try submitting a story there yourself.
Death of the Empress is a fictionalised account of a real event which took place in my hometown, Liverpool, back in January 1953. The story explores how life can so quickly change, swift as lighting a cigarette, and the search for belonging.
Weighing in at around 1,300 words, the story’s a short one. It’s due out in May, but I thought I’d share a little extract now.
Johnny always had a cig in his mouth. Sometimes it turned to ash without him taking a pull. Other times he held it there without lighting it. He always seemed more at ease, more focused, when he had a white stick between his lips. Johnny worked in the engine room. The captain didn’t like people smoking in there. One time he found a ‘prentice puffing away and threw him overboard. Heck, he complained about us smoking anywhere on the ship. A couple of years before they told us we couldn’t anymore. I remember the day they put the signs up. Pictures of cigs with a red cross over them. It only took a few days for them to be covered in soot and grime. We’d smoked on-board for as long as we’d sailed the seas. What was the problem?
Do you think Johnny paid any mind to the signs? Did he fuck.