Announcing the JDP Victorian Mash-Up Special Issue

penny dreadfulPeanut butter and chocolate. Marshmallows and graham crackers. King Kong and Godzilla. Spanking and Stratego. If you’re anything like us, you enjoy taking two things that are awesome on their own and mashing them up to make something even more incredible.

If you’re further like us, you’re a) a bipedal humanoid and b) a fan of the great fictional characters that populated the Victorian era and essentially created genre literature. Sherlock Holmes. Dracula. Doctor Frankenstein. Captain Nemo. H.G. Wells’ unnamed time traveler. We’re looking for stories and poems that combine two or more of these and other literary legends from the Victorian era in tales and verse perfect for JDP’s peculiar vibe. Use anyone you want from that era as long as they’re in the public domain. We’ll even stretch the time period a bit to accommodate Lovecraftian types who are dying to see Phileas Fogg go up against a Cthulhu cult.

Just for this issue, we’ll give you up to 8,000 words to tell your story, but we’d also be quite content with something much, much shorter. Set your stories anywhere and anytime you want. Back in the 1800s certainly works, but so does a thousand years in the future on the Saturnine moons or anytime in between. (Dracula vs. Dr. Moreau in the Sixties? We’d read that.)

Use whatever voice you’re comfortable with. If you think you can pull off full-blown pastiche, go for it. But we’re also more than cool with a modern take on these classic characters.

Finally, we inherently love stories with strong female leads, so if you want to give some of the women of the Victorian era their due, have at it. Been itching to write that story where Mina Harker and Irene Adler kick Jack the Ripper’s ass? Now’s your chance.

Submissions must be received by 11:58 p.m. EDT on July 7th. Accepted stories will be published in our August Issue. Send your story or up to three poems through this dedicated portal on Submittable only. (Only one submission per person please.)

That’s it. And if you’re wondering, yes, yes, we really do miss Penny Dreadful.

Snuggle up with our February Issue!

Blowy

As the winter wind sets garbage cans rolling like tumbleweeds and snowdrifts bury parked cars along with all hope of an early spring, we invite you to maximize your hygge quotient with a hot toddy and our eighty-sixth issue.

According to G. K. “T-Biscuit” Chesterton, “Folk lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels.” Well, each of this month’s four stories features an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances. Becca Borawski Jenkins describes a world of sideshow performers where the regular dude is the odd one out. Daniele De Serto lives the dream of being a basketball superstar, with amusingly surreal results. Isaac Teile’s low-ranking henchman beats the odds, much to everyone’s annoyed surprise, and Hamdy Elgammal dares to imagine a world where humans and giant insects can fall in love. Speaking of sweet things, the charming cover art from Borda D. Adrian will melt the icicles right off your heart.

Hug it online or squeeze the .pdf.

We needed this . . .

The earth is doomed.

The earth is doomed.

and we thought you might need it, too. We usually shy away from topical pieces, but Joanna Arnow’s “First week after the election” is a powerful exception.

We’re presenting it today, on its own, to spotlight its timeliness, but a large part of what makes it so effective is how it transcends the particulars of a single event and its aftermath and evokes feelings of uncertainty, helplessness, and longing–of needing to understand and be understood, and the frustrations of having those desires thwarted by internal and external forces–in a way that is timeless and profoundly, painfully human.