To get a sense of what we publish, take a look at our first issue, “The War at Home”
Orthogonal is reading from January 15 to February 13, 2016, seeking submissions for the following themed issues:
Code: Explorations of cryptography, language, secrets, lies, and things better left unsaid. Everything from a couple sitting across the table not speaking to First Contact is an encoded exchange; decrypt it for us in fiction.
Criminal Variations: Cops, robbers, bandits and outlaws, any violation of the laws of man, the laws of nature, or the laws of physics will be considered.
There are a few full-length slots still open in each issue but we’re particularly low on flash fiction; if you’ve got sub-1000 word pieces you think might fit either theme we definitely want to see them.
And now we return you to our regular Submission Guidelines already in process…
When thinking about what to submit, you could do worse than a little Hakim Bey:
- Don’t write for other writers:
Kick the bastards out of your head; they don’t pay rent and they clutter up the place. If your writing group told you it could never be published, we want to see it.
- Avoid recognizable categories:
We can gum 31 flavors of repetitive predigested nostalgia anywhere. If there’s already a name, a magazine, or a pat cover image for it we probably don’t want it. Give us something that requires a little teeth.
- Avoid politics. (Or be clever enough to slip them through the back door.)
Don’t preach unless you’re moved to testify. We’re more than open to having our rafters shaken but prim sniffs and disapproving finger waggles will be a hard sell.
- Don’t be sentimental; be ruthless. Take risks.
Spare nothing. Leave everything on the floor and light it on fire behind you. Be safe and respectable with the professional markets; this is a chance to take your fiction over the edge and see if it will fly.
- Vandalize only that which *must* be defaced.
Lou Reed once said “I’m too literate to be into punk rock.” It wasn’t entirely true but it did make the point that iconoclasm isn’t cool if it’s dumb. Choose your targets with precision and *then* clog all their toilets at once.
- Write something children will remember all their lives.
A character, a phrase, a single idea. Make us remember why we fell in love with fiction in the first place.
- Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary.
We require that all submissions be anonymous. (Read more about the reasons for that here.) What this means is grab a free email account, strip your headers of any identifying information and leave your publication credits at the door. We want stories from every possible viewpoint; we have absolutely zero interest in knowing who you are. If we like the story we’ll ask. Then it’s up to you whether you want to remove the mask.
For stories we pay $100 as well as a small percentage of the sale of each e-copy. If you’d prefer, instead of the $100 we also offer the option to receive $80 (plus percentage) and a Worldcon supporting/voting membership. Ethically there should be no issue here. There’s no way in hell this project will ever be nominated for a Hugo. If it were we’d decline because it would defeat the entire purpose of the exercise.
For flash fiction (<1000 words), we pay a flat rate of $30, plus the small percentage of the sale of each e-copy. Alternatively, you can elect to receive the voting Worldcon membership (plus percentage) as your payment.
Word count is flexible, anywhere from 5 to 5000 words is the sweet spot with longer pieces accepted assuming they’re engaging enough to want to keep reading. As mentioned above, all submissions must be anonymized so make sure the only identifying information is an email address and send your work as an attachment in .rtf format to our gmail address: orthogonalsf. Use the subject “Fiction Submission: <Title>” The reading period opens January 15th and closes February 13, 2016.
If you want to send an anonymous cover letter with a word count, quotes from obscure feminist theorists, odd photographs, song lyrics, recipes etc., feel free but it’s in no way required.