Peanut 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.
Spend a couple months editing an issue of Sherlock Holmes stories and you’ll encounter a strange truth: for a character so famous for his asexuality, lots of people want to fuck him. (Or, at least, know who he’s fucking.) Fortunately, the writers in this month’s issue explore the subject with both grace and skill.
Not surprisingly, Irene Adler figures prominently in many of our tales, appearing as a time traveling researcher scientist in Jill Hand’s “Killing Sherlock” and returning to Victorian London with an unexpected surprise for Messrs. Holmes and Watson in “Bohemian Soul” by Abra Deering Norton. “The Woman’s” presence is also hinted at in Robert Perret’s whirlwind “A year in Sherlocku,” and she could very well be the true author of Catherine Wald’s excellent elucidation of Holmsian desire, “Sexing the Detective.”
A second thing you learn editing a Sherlock Holmes issue is that it’s not really about the mysteries or the deductions, it’s not the deerstalker or the magnifying glass. What made Conan Doyle’s stories so special was just going along for the ride with Holmes and Watson to wherever adventure might take them. Pat Woods understands this perfectly and throws in a dash of the mystic (for JDP-good measure) as he constructs an absolutely beautiful lost tale from the archives of John Watson. “The Adventure of the Etheric Projection” closes out our issue.
We hope you can read it somewhere foggy.
If you’re anywhere near Red Bank stop into the excellent Secret Stash
. They’ve got a very limited supply of our 2015 Anthology in stock, plus it’s just about one of the coolest shops you’ll ever set foot in. (But whatever you do, don’t look up at the Tusk suit
that now hangs from the ceiling.) If you’re not near Red Bank, you can, of course, always pick up a copy of the anthology here
Our Sherlock Holmes Special issue turned out pretty darn well, if we do say, and we’ll have it up for you on Friday. It’s a double-sized extravaganza so it’s taking a little longer, but
Supreme Leader Snoke our Production Editor Sam Snoek-Brown is working hard on it. Some goofball might’ve got him the text at the last minute, but that’s guest editors for ya.