These are the three anthologies RBE will be opening to submissions on January 26, 2019.
RBE's first anthology on immortality. Quite simply, we want Sword & Sorcery tales about immortals in the vein of Karl Edward Wagner's Kane, Barry Sadler's Casca, Steven Erikson's Rhulad Sengar and Kallor, and Dennis O'Neil's Rā's al Ghūl. Not a vampire in sight, right?
Dark tales of those who return from death, victorious over death's sting -- or horrifyingly despite! Do not be writing straight horror though; think dark and low and gothic fantasies as you devise your S&S tales. Obviously -- no matter how many times our protagonists die throughout your stories -- they'll die to live another day . . . and perhaps see another RBE anthology on immortality. RBE is seeking stories for DEATH'S STING that most closely deliver the dark sides of S&S more than its potential for humor or lightheartedness.
REACH FOR THE SKY
RBE's first Western isn't simply going to be filled with dusty tales of cowpokes and gunslingers no matter how romantic. Oh no -- you know better than that! REACH FOR THE SKY is all about cowboys and aliens!
Recall that movie under the same name? Well, something like that is what we're after. We want good ol' fun tales of the Wild West filled with shoot-outs and war paint and gold rushes and stagecoach robberies and alien technology. Tales wherein sometimes the denizens of the West win and sometimes the invaders from darkest space triumph. When you think of visitors from the sky, naturally be thinking of predators, humanoid ducks, green lanterns, extra-terrestrials, and elephant hearts.
This anthology is RBE's first foray into the scientific fantasies, and by rooting it in one of the oldest forms of storytelling the lone heroic figure, we aim to knock this title out of the galaxy! The requirements are simple: stories must be set in the American West (from the end of the Civil War to just before 1900), include some form of alien life, and employ the words "Reach for the sky" in some fashion.
SLAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE: AN HEROIC ANTHOLOGY OF MAYHEM & MIRTH IN MELEE
This one is exactly what it sounds like - pulpy battle royale with a smile! This anthology goes back to RBE's roots and seeks true Heroic Fantasy tales in the ways of Low Fantasy and Sword and -- well, any of the 'Sword and' genres (any questions on genre meanings, see RBE's handy reference list). There's only two requirements: edged blades are a must and three or more deaths must transpire in one fell swoop . . . or battle or ambush or melee . . . you get the idea, right? The more dead, the merrier, as they say.
One additional title will open for submissions during 2019:
This is a fantastical romance adventure sequel to RBE's fantastical romance adventure SOMEBODY KILL THE PRINCE! A continuation of our classical fairy-talish homage to THE PRINCESS BRIDE (book and movie by William Goldman). The theme to SKTP! was that of diabolical machinations defeated by ‘Last Boy Scout’ good-guy/gal-ism! The theme to MOSTLY DEAD! is that of diabolical tortures defeated by ‘Last Boy Scout’ good-guy/gal-ism!
Write all the mostly ‘good parts’ of fun heroic family entertainment. Include authorial asides, rhyming, inconceivable conceits, memorable characters, unique creations, and most importantly, true love and loyalty. Honestly—just have fun writing good old fun stories to share with all the members of your family. Remember the emotions you experienced reading or watching this story and write to put a smile on the readers face! In the true spirit of homage and theme, RBE is looking for a word count multiplier of Prince Humperdinck's spiteful desire to make Westley suffer greatly in his Pit of Despair. That’s right, only 50,000 total words -- ten times the number the evil prince pushes the lever all the way up to. This is the target total word count for the anthology, so write your stories accordingly, as submissions will be closed no matter story count once this total has been achieved. This does not mean flash. We are not interested in stories less than 3,000 words.
Publication of this title will be slightly unusual: MOSTLY DEAD! (just like SOMEBODY KILL THE PRINCE!) will not see publication as a standalone title. Both titles will be published together in an omnibus titled AS YOU WISH! once both TOCs are complete.
For all new 3 themed open calls, stories should be 2k-9k words in length. Nothing shorter will be read, and our sweet spot is in the 5k-7k range. Don't hold back - wow us with good ol' heroic storytelling! Submissions will remain open for all 3 anthologies until we find the stories we want or through the end of Labor Day Weekend 2019. Publication is intended for Christmas 2019. We will publish within months of closing, so depending upon acceptances, each title could appear any time before or after the target. Payment per story shall be rendered after publication. Authors will also receive electronic copies and permanent discount on print purchases.
**Cover art for DEATH'S STING and SLAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE is already in production, but RBE is seeking the right art/artist for REACH FOR THE SKY. If you are interested or know an artist you recommend, please drop me a query and let's discuss.
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