Opening to Submissions 10/1/2017 – 11/1/17
Theme: Sex and Revolution
Let’s talk about sex.
It is the one human drive about which we go to war, intellectually, spiritually, and physically. Who you love, how you love, who you are when you do it: any of these can put you on the front lines against your will, struggling for your life.
So what if instead sex is the weapon with which you choose to fight? What if sex is the blunt instrument, the stiletto between the ribs, the counter-intelligence whisper campaign designed to change hearts and minds?
What if it’s the right fuck that levels cities, the explosive catalyst bringing the whole conflict to an end once and for all?
What would that look like? Let’s find out.
We’ll be open to anonymous submissions from 10/1 until the last candle gutters out on All Saints’ Day, looking for stories that dive deep into the subject of sex as a revolutionary act. Here are a few things that might help you in figuring out what we want, and perhaps more importantly, what we don’t.
- Stories submitted for this issue should be about sex and revolution, however you choose to define those terms.
- Stories will be chosen for their adult subject matter.
- They will *also* be chosen for their adult treatment of that subject matter.
- We are open to all genres in the pursuit of this subject, but plain erotica (or out and out porn) probably won’t make the cut.
- Unless it’s good erotica.
- (Or very, very good porn.)
- Unless it’s good erotica.
- As always, we welcome stories from across the entire spectrum of race, gender, and sexuality.
And with those thoughts in mind, we bring you back to our regular submission guidelines already in progress.
When thinking about what to submit to Orthogonal, 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 $70 (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>”
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.