Beyond the Rift

Do you know what the first day of freedom smells like? It’s a beautiful May morning – the day after high school.

I loved that day. No more tests, no more getting up and dragging myself out of bed, no more going to a prison I didn’t enjoy. I felt the same thing every graduating teen feels – liberation.

Or so I thought.

I got the phone call around ten that morning. It was like a knife in my back. Someone had planted it deep, and they kept twisting it against my nerves and muscle.

“J.J., I’m just calling to let you know, that you didn’t graduate.”

It didn’t make sense. “But I walked. I did the whole cap and gown thing. Even took all the customary pics.”

“I know. But you’re a full credit short.”

I drove to the high school. My hands shook, and I had zero appetite. One thing kept popping up in the back of my mind. I couldn’t let anyone know about this.

My high school guidance counselor was a red headed woman who never liked me. Every time I walked by her office I got the feeling that she looked down on me. I was the skater punk with no ambition, but still, inside I wanted someone to care.

I sat across from her. Her small metal desk in a crowded office. She twisted her pencil around in her hand and never smiled. The printer buzzed and pushed out a large 11 by 17 printout.

“This is your transcript at the moment. As you can see, your GPA is below a 1.7, and you only have twenty credits. You need twenty-one.”

I shook my head. “How did this happen?”

“Well, that’s what happens when you fail four to five classes.”

Ouch. Talk about blunt. “Okay, what do I need to do?”

She shrugged. “There isn’t anything you can do. Sure, you could take a couple of correspondence courses and get the last credit. Although, I think you would be better just getting your GED.”

“Can I get into college with a GED?”

She frowned, folded her hands and leaned forward. “I’m sure you could. But, you would be so far behind it would take forever to catch up. If you want to go, then I say do it. However, I think you could find a really good job out at one of the plants in the industrial park.”

“You mean the paper plants? The manure plant? Those jobs?”

“Yes,” she said. “They pay decent.”

“That’s not what I want to do.” I had seen the toll those jobs took on my father, and I was determined never to go down that path.

“J.J. You do what you like. But you don’t have very many options. This is what happens when you don’t apply yourself. I say try, but you need to be open to the reality that it may be too late to fix this.”

I balled my hands into fists and left without a word. I’d had people belittle me before. Many who told me I couldn’t do things. But I never had anyone tell me that my life was already defined and set out.

I was angry. And I punched my car as soon as I got out in the parking lot. I knew she was being honest. In time, I became grateful for it. Right then? I felt alone. As if I was living in a glass house that was finally crashing in around me.

One thing was certain—I was determined to prove her wrong.

I just didn’t know how.

*******

My parents divorced shortly before my tenth birthday. Dad had moved out long beforehand. I know the truth about what happened—how my mom was harassed with late night phone calls from some pervert. That man managed to cross the phone lines with his neighbor, one of my father’s best friends. I know how my father confronted his friend, believing he was the one doing this. I also know how my father, being the humble man he was, later apologized when the truth finally came out.

I’ve known these truths for some time. And for years, because of situations neither of my parents created, their hatred for one another grew. Both of them were damaged by the church they loved, and scarred by the legalism. It would take years and my brother’s death before they reconciled their differences.

I say all that to say: I didn’t have the best life in high school. I know my parents loved me. But they will be the first to admit that they screwed up. They will be the ones to say that, in many ways, they were absent—maybe not physically, but emotionally, spiritually, and with very little encouragement for a teenager trying to find his way. Not because they didn’t care. They just didn’t know.

No one ever checked on my school. My mom packed up with my brother and moved away to get married. I moved in with my dad. And a kind man though he was, I don’t think he ever understood that I needed him to take an interest in my life.

The only time I ever felt connected to my father was when we rebuilt a 350 engine for my truck. We never talked during those late nights. We just ground away and cleaned the parts. The old black and white TV had science fiction shows playing all the time. The show Sliders had just started and we loved it.

That was the best season in my teenage life- watching Star Trek, Doctor Who, and whatever else happened to pop on while we got our hands dirty. Other than that, we never really had down-to-earth, heart-to-heart talks. Not until my brother died.

That makes it sound as though my parents were horrible. No. They had their own issues that took some time to work out, is all. My mother has found success. My father is a simple man who is happy. And despite the tormented past we three share, we can all agree—we are stronger today than we were yesterday. They love me, they believe in me, and I love them.

They live happy lives now, and though they may look at the past from a different lens than me, I forgave them long ago. I also stopped blaming them. My problems were caused by me.

I never tried in school.

For starters I didn’t really comprehend. I struggled with paying attention and keeping myself focused. I would be in college before I understood that I struggled with ADHD.

And the truth is: I was a fake.

I went to church. Did the whole youth group thing. Went on mission trips, went to church camp every year, worked at VBS in the summer. I did it all. But I was faking it. I didn’t have it all together.

My friends had families that went to church. I didn’t, so I always walked by myself, or prayed that one of my friends would talk their parents into swinging by and picking me up.

In truth I was dying inside. No one noticed.

I lived in books most days, devouring science fiction and dark fantasy.

My friends were the characters I found in those pages. They didn’t change or betray you like real friends did. I was the closet reader who stayed up until two in the morning, turning pages. To everyone else I was the skater who played in a punk band which went across the state, performing shows.

I secretly listened to Nine Inch Nails and, Marilyn Manson, and spent most of my classes scribbling new songs or writing stories. I was creative and never embraced that creativity. I never harnessed it. I never knew it was a gift and that I could use it.

I was wasting my life and blaming everyone else. And it showed in my songs. My stories were full of the pain I embraced and poured down on the pages. I kept those stories hidden. Afraid to hear what others thought.

But music, art, stories – they were the only thing I was good at.

No one cared. That’s what I told myself. After all, I was just “the-tag-along.”

*******

I have believed the lie that I’m just a little outcast, that I’m the tag along, that people only tolerated me.

In my home town, sixth grade is still in the elementary schools. We didn’t have middle school; we had junior high, which was seventh through ninth.

When I was in sixth grade I wanted to play football with all my friends. But a new state law had been passed that year concerning ages and sports eligibility.

Because my parents held me back and made me repeat third grade when they got divorced, I was a year older than the kids in my class. And as a result of this law, I was too old to play on the sixth grade football team.

I could play with the seventh graders. But their practice started at 2:30 and I didn’t get out of class until 3:30. Not to mention that I didn’t know any of those kids. They weren’t my friends. And that was the whole point of wanting to play to begin with.

One week my friends were going to have a pool party for the entire football team. It would be the last week before their parents closed the pool for the fall and winter. So one last swim was on everyone’s mind.

I remember my friend saying, “Hey, just because you’re not on the team, you can still come. We’ll let you know when it is.”

I waited around and never got the call. But one Saturday as I was out riding my bike, I heard a bunch of kids yelling in the back-yard at my friend’s house. I thought I may have missed the call. I peddled hard over to my grandmother’s house, then rushed in and phoned them.

I was ready to come, even changed into my swim suit. But, who goes without an invitation, right?

Their mother picked up. I asked if I could speak with one of them. She said sure just a second.

A few minutes passed and then I heard one of my friend say, in an annoyed voice, “What the heck does he want?”

Their mother replied, equally annoyed, “I don’t know.”

I hung up and didn’t call back. That Monday at school I pretended as if nothing had happened. I’m sure I may have misinterpreted the situation. Regardless, from then on, I always felt like the outcast. The one that’s there, but stuck in the outer circle of inclusion.

            I was a tag along. Nothing more. And that’s the identity I lived with for the next six years.

*******

I’m a firm believer that God has plans for each one of us. That He creates us unique, with gifts in order to glorify Him.

While my faith in God seemed to others to be strong, inside it was weak. As I noted, I was the tag along. No one ever seemed to give me a chance. So, why would God?

Looking back on my life, I see every door that opened. I see His divine sovereignty working. It amazes me to see where I have come. I shouldn’t be where I am, but I’m here all the same.

One of the first pieces of evidence was a family that came into my life at the exact time I needed someone.

They were the Fosters.

When I felt no one else cared, they showed me the love of Christ in ways I had never experienced before.

Shortly after I discovered I didn’t graduate, and had determined to keep it a secret, Mrs. Foster confronted me about it, not in a harsh way, but in a loving, caring way.

They were determined to help me succeed. I’m not sure why. Even looking back all these years later, I don’t understand their willingness to help me. But they did.

The lesson I learned from them is simple: Don’t ever rob someone of the opportunity to bless you.

I didn’t want them to. Maybe it was pride, embarrassment, or just plain inconvenience. But whatever excuse I tossed up- they managed to shoot down.

Kris and Christine Foster purchased two correspondent courses from the University of Oklahoma, each a half a credit a piece. Completing these would help me get my high school diploma.

And on Halloween night 1997, I graduated high school—albeit with a 1.87 GPA. But I did it.

For the first time in a long time, I felt as if someone cared. I felt I could do this. That somehow I would find a way to be successful and overcome the odds.

I had failed and was at the lowest point in my life. But I was on my way to success, and that was all that mattered.

My story doesn’t end there. I got into college, went to Roger State University, and then eventually transferred to Oklahoma Baptist University. I would go on to work in student ministry, where I eventually got burned out.

And over the next thirteen years I worked my rear off as I went from a guy pushing pallets of paper in a warehouse to upper level management for a marketing company in OKC.

I have continued to fail. I’ve failed as a husband, a father, a son, a supervisor, and a manager. Not a week goes by that I don’t screw it up badly. But over the course of the last twenty years I have managed to do one thing over and over—I’ve learned to pick myself back up again. I’ve learned to cast away the lie that no one cared, and that I was simply the “tag along.”

You see, I do matter. And so do you, dear reader. Everything about you matters. People do care about you. People do love you. And you have gifts you can harness and use.

You see, the definition of success isn’t measured by the final output; it’s based on how many times you stuck it out and got back up. Most leadership books will disagree with me on that. Let them. But rise up past your circumstances, trusting the plan God has in store for your life, and not the world’s plan. In may not make sense to those on the outside, but in God’s terms, it worth it.

The journey with Him makes it worthwhile.

Now go dream, go believe, and trust the path He has for you.

Doomsday Fiction & Cold War Movies

I’ve been on a End of the World / SHTF genre kick lately. It all started with my yearly rewatch of the cult TV show Jericho, then I picked up a Blue Ray copy of the classic Cold War movie: Red Dawn. I took time to read a pulp novel “Out of the Ashes” by William Johnstone. Not to mention that the book I’m currently working on is a Post-Apocalyptic story.

I love this genre- and it never seems to die. Sure there are sub genres of it: Dystopian, etc but for the most part- Pure Doomsday prepper fiction never seems to really die.

My father introduced me to the genre. With classic works like the Deathlands and David Brinns novel “The Postman.” I’ve grown up reading it. I think it was the 80’s Cold War drama- Always curious if the Soviets were going to nuke us. The old man loved to watch these and craved these stories. He introduced me to Fahrenheit 451- By far my all time favorite novel.

So here is a brief list of my favorite cold war movies… Comment on your favorites…

RED DAWN

ROCKY IV

SPIES LIKE US

THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER

WAR GAMES

Twitter & Me

Hello everyone, I’m JJ

If you are reading this then you have probably just decided to follow me on twitter. But, before you do, here is a little bit about how I use this platform…

1- I’m a high volume tweeter. Sometimes up 40 to 60 Times a day. Some of those are replies to others, so you might not see them. Regardless, I may be invading your feed quite often- You’ve been warned.

2- If I’m tweeting- it’s me. I hate automation and think it’s the worst thing for any author or other creative entrepreneur to ever use. I like authenticity in those I follow, so I don’t think I will be hypocritical.

3- I don’t automatically follow everyone back. If you follow me I will look your profile over. If your tweets are constructive and fun and you seem to be an interactive person- I may follow you. But if I see your just pushing some product every three tweets I’ll probably never hit that Engage button to follow you.

4- I’m a conservative / libertarian and an evangelical Christian. To my Christian Friends- I may tweet a few curse words- they’re just words- so simmer down… I may also tweet about whiskey or drinks I like- again- Let it go… To my left leaning liberal friends- don’t try and debate me- That’s the best way to get muted and or blocked. I don’t have time for that nonsense and life is to short. Which is why I don’t talk about politics or culture. I keep my views to myself.

5- Other random subjects I tweet about are Writing, publishing, food, kids, Movies, and comic books…

6- I’m pretty sarcastic and flippant in my sense of humor. I don’t take a lot of things serious… So don’t expect me to.

7- Most Days I will be interacting with Jason Joyner (@jasonCJoyner) We joke around quite a bit and in the Writing community, he is one of my closest friends. You are always more than welcome to join in- But please: Never Take it serious… We understand each other’s sense of humor and are able to take jabs at one another fairly easily…

Twitter is a snapshot of my life- My life is my brand- most social media experts will disagree with the way I use the platform but I think most SM experts are full of BS (except @RaleneB) who has a good grasp on how to use SM as a creative entrepreneur. You should follow her.

Now that you know how I do things- I hope you enjoy what I send out. And don’t be afraid to interact.

Marvel’s Secret Empire Review

Well – Marvels latest event story Secret Empire: written by Nic Spencer has come, and gone, and left me utterly disappointed.

I’m not going to get into the politics or cultural implications of this story, partly because I just don’t have to time to get worked up about it. But at the end of the day, Secret Empire undelivered for me.

What makes Secret Empire frustrating is that it started out so well, and even as recently as two issues ago still showed signs that it would ultimately live up to its promise.

To recap for those that don’t know what this event was all about- Captain America, secretly a true believer in the cause of Hydra, has turned his back on the Super Hero community. Using the trust and respect he has gained over the years he has ascended to a position where he can enact Hydra’s ideals. The death of Jack Flag, the trial of Maria Hill, the second Civil War, the alien Chitauri Queen. All of the domino’s of Captain America’s plan have been laid out — and it will take only the slightest push to set them into action! 

While some got fired up about Cap- I was somewhat intrigued with the idea and premise. What if your greatest ally was secretly your greatest enemy? 

I think this story had so much potential. The ability to show that heroes can fall. That evil can influence and even manipulate the minds of those we look to for hope and follow. I longed for the redemptive story where Steve Rogers would be woken from this mind control caused by a cosmic cube and rise to be the hero we needed… But no, what I got was a confusing mess and a mediocre climax.

In the end the memory of the real Steve Rogers we all love and adore is pulled out of this cosmic cube to fight the evil Hydra Steve in a fight that under-delivers and feels, Cheap. Leaving us with even more questions than answers. Which is the real Steve? The memory, or the Hydra version.

All things aside (Including Spencer’s personal political agenda which is evident) the world building on this story was incredible. And I appreciate how much work has been put into building this story from the beginning. But issue after issue I got character reactions to what was happening and little driven story. This thing could have been told in about half of the issues it was. But hey, it’s Marvel, and they continue to find ways to sink their ship with event stories that leave us disappointed and confused.

I think it’s time to get back to the basic of comic books- At least in my mind. Basic character stories of heroes rising up to fight evil. But hey- I’ve only been reading comics for 30 years- What do I know.

50 Short Fiction Markets

50 Short Fiction Markets, I honestly didn’t think I would find that many. But you’d be surprised how many there are out there, and how many are willing to pay some decent amounts.

I was first introduced to science fiction through the short works of Ray Bradbury. The Fireman, which later was expanded from a short story to become Fahrenheit 451, was one of the first by the legend I ever read. The Illustrated Man, the Martian Chronicles, The Rocket, Bradbury knew the art form better than most. So naturally, when I started writing that’s where I started.

I would write like fire, submit, then get rejected. This cycle continued and continued until eventually I got a few sales, but very little money rolled in. However, you’d be surprised how many authors write short fiction and walk away with $1,200 or more through out the year by selling three or four stories a year.

For some- That could be a trip to Realm Makers or your favorite con. Pay for editing, cover design, or just a nice vacation.

I love the art form- And in my mind it’s worth the effort. Especially if you make a couple hundred bucks. So here are 50 Short Fiction Markets I’ve learned about.

Note: This list was first given to me by H.A. Titus: Over the past two years I’ve added to it off and on as I come across a new market. Also- please read each markets guidelines- They can change from time to time. So I hope you enjoy.

Analog: Science fiction: 2,000-7,000 for short stories; 10,000-20,000 for novelettes, and 40,000-80,000 for serials. NO REPRINTS. Pays 7-9 cents/word up to 7,500 words, $525-675 between 7,500-10,000 words, 7-7,5 cents/word for longer material, and 5 cents/word for serials.

http://www.analogsf.com/contact-us/writers-guidelines/

 

Aliterate: science fiction, fantasy, westerns, pulps, thrillers, horror and romance. Has a sci-fi/fantasy lean. 2,500 and 8,000 words pays 6 cents per word.

https://www.aliterate.org/submit/

 

Asimov’s: Science fiction up to 20,000 words. NO REPRINTS. First English Language serial rights plus non-exclusive rights. 8-10 cents/word up to 7,500 words and 8-8.5 cents/word for longer material.

http://www.asimovs.com/info/guidelines.shtml

 

Aurealis: Science fiction, fantasy, and horror between 2,000-8,000 words. NO REPRINTS. Buys First Electronic Rights and non-exclusive anthology rights. Rights revert back to the author 1 year after publication. Pays $20-$60/1,000 words.

https://aurealis.com.au/submissions/

 

Apex Magazine: Science Fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine. Up to 7,500 words. Pay $0.06 per word.

https://www.apex-magazine.com/submission-guidelines/

 

Beneath Ceaseless Skies: accepts fantasy with a strong emphasis on the literary feel of a piece. NO REPRINTS. First World Serial rights, First World Electronic rights, non-exclusive World Audio rights, and an option to purchase non-exclusive World Anthology rights, up to 180 days after publication. Pays 6 cents/word.

http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/submissions/

 

Betwixt Magazine: Speculative fiction. NO REPRINTS. 1,000-30,000 words range, but preferred length is 4-7,000. 3 cents/word up to $225. Reading periods: Oct 1–Nov 30; January 1-Feb 28; April 1-May 31; July 1-Aug 31. (Not sure if this Mag is coming back)

http://betwixtmagazine.com/submissions/

 

BuzzyMag: Science fiction and fantasy up to 10,000 words. ACCEPTS REPRINTS. 10 cents/word for first rights, 2 cents/word for non-exclusive reprint rights.

http://buzzymag.com/submissions/

 

Castlepod: fantasy. ACCEPTS REPRINTS. Audio and electronic rights, and a Creative Commons license. 0.05/0.03 cents per word.

http://podcastle.org/guidelines/

 

Canadian Science Fiction Review: science fiction between 500-3,000 words. NO REPRINTS. Buys First Serial, First Electronic, and non-exclusive audio rights, and a Creative Commons license. Pays 6 cents/word.

http://aescifi.ca/#submit

 

Cicada: A YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens’ truths. Flash fic to novellas; up to 9,000 words – pays up to 25 cents a word.

http://cricketmedia.com/cicada-submission-guidelines

 

Clarkesworld: Science fiction and fantasy between 1,000-8,000 words (preferred is 4,000). NO REPRINTS. First world electronic rights (text and audio), first print rights, and non-exclusive anthology rights. 10 cents/word for the first 4,000 words, 7 cents/word after.

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/submissions/

 

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores: Science fiction, fantasy, etc, 1,000 words and up though shorter works will be preferred. 6 cents/word for original fiction, 2 cents/word for reprints.

http://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/

 

Crossed Genres: Science fiction and fantasy following a theme, between 1,000-6,000 words. NO REPRINTS. First World e-book and print rights as well as non-exclusive anthology and online rights. Pays  6 cents/word.

http://crossedgenres.com/submissions/magazine/

 

Compelling Science Fiction: Publishes Science Fiction between 1,000 – 10,000 words. Pays up 6 cents a word.

http://compellingsciencefiction.com/submit.html

 

Daily Science Fiction: Science fiction and fantasy up to 1,500 words. Accepts flash fiction series. NO REPRINTS. First worldwide rights and nonexclusive reprint rights with an option to be included in an anthology. 8 cents/word with additional payment if included in an anthology. http://dailysciencefiction.com/submit/story/guidelines

 

Diabolical Plots: A sci-fi/fantasy zine – 3500 words or less- 8 cents per word (more than the minimum professional rate as deemed by SFWA)

http://www.diabolicalplots.com/guidelines/

 

Deep Magic: Accepts clean fantasy and science fiction stories. Pays 8 cents a word for up to 5,000 words and 6 cents per word from 5,001 – 16,000.

http://deepmagic.co/submissions/

 

Escape Pod: science fiction. ACCEPTS REPRINTS. 2,000-6,000 words. Audio and electronic rights and a Creative Commons license. 0.05/0.03 cents per word.

http://escapepod.org/guidelines/

 

Everyday Fiction: All genres up to 1,000 words. NO REPRINTS. First rights with an option for First Anthology rights. $3/story with an additional dollar if chosen for an anthology. http://www.everydayfiction.com/submit-story/

 

Fantastic Stories of the Imagination: fantasy and sci-fi up to 3,000 words. REPRINTS ACCEPTED. Pays 15 cents/word for original stories, and 1 cent/word for reprints, min of $25 and max of $100. Licenses rights for web, print, and anthologies.

http://www.fantasticstoriesoftheimagination.com/submission-guidelines/

 

Fantasy and Science Fiction: Fantasy and science fiction up to 25,000 words. NO REPRINTS. First North American and foreign serial rights, and an option for anthology rights. 7-12 cents per word. http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/glines.htm

 

Far Fetched Fables: pays $50 flat rate per story. Fantasy stories.

http://farfetchedfables.com/submissions/

 

Fireside Fiction: We accept flash fiction of up to 1,000 words, and short stories from 1,000 to 4,000 words. pays 12.5 cents per word

https://firesidefiction.com/about/#submissions-guidelines

 

Farstrider Magazine: accepts fantasy with a sense of humor. NO REPRINTS. 500-4,000 words. 3 cents/word. First electronic rights as well as inclusive in an annual anthology. http://www.farstridermag.com/submit.html

 

Flash Fiction Online: Any genre between 500-1,000 words. REPRINTS ACCEPTED. $60/story, 2 cents/word for reprints. First electronic rights, including audio. Non-exlcusive one-time anthology rights.

http://flashfictiononline.com/main/submission-guidelines/

 

Flame Tree Publishing anthology calls: Flame Tree Publishing anthology calls- only accept short stories for specific anthologies which are announced on our website, our blog and through Facebook, Twitter and Google.

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/submissions.html

 

Gamut: An online magazine of neo-noir, spec fic with a literary bent. word range is about 500-5,000 with the sweet spot being 3,000. Pays 10 cents per word.

http://www.gamut.online/about

 

GrimDark: GrimDark fantasy and science fiction between 1,500-4,000 words. Serials are accepted but must be completed before acceptance. NO REPRINTS. First World rights, reverted 1 year after the contract is signed, after which they maintain non-exclusive distribution rights. Pays 6 cents/word. http://www.grimdarkmagazine.com/submission-guidelines-for-grimdark-magazine/

 

Havok: Science fiction and fantasy between 500-1,000 words. NO REPRINTS. First rights for six months and reprint rights for perpetuity. Small stipend for payment depending on length of story. Issues are themed.

http://splickety.com/submission-guidelines/

 

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly: epic/sword and sorcery fantasy up to 10,000 words, though willing to serialize a max of 50,000 over four issues. NO REPRINTS. First World English electronic rights, exclusive electronic rights for 90 days, archival rights for 12 months, and excerpt rights. Submission periods are: March, June, September, December. Pays $100 for stories.

http://www.heroicfantasyquarterly.com/?page_id=39

 

Inscription Magazine: speculative fiction for teenagers 500-9,000 words in length. 6 cents/word. First worldwide rights and exclsuive reprint rights. ACCEPTS REPRINTS. http://www.inscriptionmagazine.com/submissions/

 

Intergalactic Medicine Show: Science fiction and fantasy of any length. ACCEPTS REPRINTS if obscure. All rights exclusive for one year, nonexclusive rights in perpetuity, as well as non-exclusive print and audio rights for anthologies. Pays 6 cents/word, with advances and royalties if included in an anthology. http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=content&article=submissions

 

Kasma Magazine: speculative fiction. 1,000-5,000 words in length, though consider longer stories (and shorter in very rare cases).2 cents/word. REPRINTS ACCEPTED. Non-exclusive digital rights.

http://kasmamagazine.com/submit.cfm

 

Lamplight Magazine: A literary magazine of dark fiction, both short stories and flash fiction. Accepts originals and reprints up to 7,000 words and pays 3 cents per word or $150 max.

http://lamplightmagazine.com/submissions/

 

Lightspeed: science fiction and fantasy between 1,500-7,500 words, stories under 5,000 preferred. ACCEPTS REPRINTS, but only if not online in any form. Pays 8 cents/word for first rights, 2 cents/word for reprints.

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/about/guidelines//

 

Liminal Stories: An online literary magazine publishing the beautiful, heartbreaking and strange. Will consider up to 10,000 words, and pays 6 cents a word.

http://liminalstoriesmag.com/submissions/

 

Metaphorosis Magazine: science fiction and fantasy. 1,000-6,000 words is the sweet spot. NO REPRINTS. 1 cent/word.

http://magazine.metaphorosis.com/guidelines/

 

Mothership Zeta: speculative fiction stories, emphasis on fun/funny stories. Flash fiction length to 6,000 words, though there will be only one flash fiction story per issue. payment is 6 cents/word. NO REPRINTS (reprints only from Podcastle, Escapepod, and Pseudopod).

http://mothershipzeta.org/submission-guidelines/

 

New Myths: all speculative fiction exept graphic horror up to 10,000 words. NO REPRINTS. First publication rights. $50/story. Reading periods: June 1-July 31st; January 1-Feb 28th.

https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/submissions

 

Nightmare: a horror and dark fantasy magazine edited by John Joseph Adams. We are open to stories of 1500-7500 words. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred. Pays 6 cents per word.

https://johnjosephadams.moksha.io/publication/nightmare/guidelines

 

Penumbra: Science fiction and fantasy of 3,500 words or less. NO REPRINTS. Pays 5 cents/word. Has issue themes—check website for open themes.

http://www.penumbramag.com/up

 

Shimmer: science fiction and fantasy, but more drawn to things like contemporary fantasy, up to 7,500 words, with 4,000 being preferred. NO REPRINTS. First Print and Electronic Rights, with rights reverting back to the author after 4 months, though rights to sell back issues of the magazine/have the story online remain. 5 cents/word. http://www.shimmerzine.com/guidelines/fiction-guidelines/

 

StarShipSofa: Science Fiction. From soft, social science fiction to weird pulpy stuff to vigorous hard SF and YA. Pays $50 flat rate per story

http://www.starshipsofa.com/submissions/

 

Strange Horizons: Science fiction and fantasy under 9,000 words, under 5,000 preferred. NO REPRINTS. Buys First English rights, including audio rights. Pays 8 cents/word. http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelines/fiction.php

 

Strange Constellations: speculative fiction between 3,000-7,500 words. Non-execlusive electronic and anthology rights, distributed under a Creative Commons license. REPRINTS ACCEPTED. Flat rate of $30. Reading periods: July 1-Aug 31; Jan 1-Feb 28th.

http://www.strangeconstellations.com/?page_id=8

 

Superversivepress: Has open calls for anthology shorts- Check their blog.

http://www.superversivepress.com/submissions/

 

Tor.com: accepts all science fiction and fantasy under 17,500 words—under 12,000 preferred. NO REPRINTS. First electronic, translation, audio, and anthology rights, exclusive for one year, non-exclusive after that. 25 cents/word for the first 5,000 words, 15 cents/word for the next 5,000, and 10 cents/word after that. Additional royalties if chosen for an anthology.

(Very Challenging to get into)

http://www.tor.com/page/submissions-guidelines#Fiction%20Submission%20Guidelines

 

Uncanny Magazine: Science fiction and fantasy between 750-6,000 words. NO UNSOLICITED REPRINTS. First rights including first audio rights. 8 cents/word. Responds within 30 days. http://uncannymagazine.com/submissions/

 

Universe Annex: A section of the Grantville Gazette that publishes general science fiction and fantasy short stories. prefer stories under 15,000 words, with a strong preference for under 10,000 words. Pays 6 cents per word.

http://grantvillegazette.com/wp/universe-annex-submissions/