by Bruce Bethke
Last updated: 01/22/2012
STUPEFYING STORIES is continuously open for submissions. We do not have reading periods.
We are looking for great stories, period.
However, since this answer never seems to be sufficient, allow me to elaborate. In my career I've sold science fiction to mystery magazines, political satire to horror magazines, and straight-up pirate and vampire stories to self-proclaimed "hard SF" markets. I honestly cannot see the impermeable genre barriers that others claim to see with such remarkable clarity. Therefore, I refuse to acknowledge them.
Tell me a great story, is what I want. Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, adventure, comedy, some mash-up of two or three—I don't care. Show me a story that grabs my attention, takes me away to an interesting place populated by interesting characters, keeps me turning the pages to find out what happens next, and at the end leaves me feeling that the time I spent reading your story was time well-spent. Do this, and you'll make a sale.
As for what marketing labels I'm looking for: remember, I'm the guy who wrote "Cyberpunk." The marketing label of "cyberpunk" did not exist until I wrote that story.
That's what I'm looking for now. By my reckoning, I figure we're about ten years overdue for the next big paradigm shift. Somewhere out there, some writer no one has ever heard of before is working on a story that is going to make everyone who reads it sit up and say, "Wow! I've never read anything like that before! I don't know what the heck to call it, but I want to read more stories like that one!"
One of my goals with STUPEFYING STORIES is to be the editor who finds and publishes that story. I'm perfectly content to let someone else worry about what sort of marketing label should be slapped on it later, after it's been published.
It can be done. I'm living proof. I did it, and I believe that you can do it, too.
Now show me what you've got.
P.S. Of course, the best way to get a good sense of what we publish is to BUY AND READ THE BOOK! However, we recognize that many writers are short on cash, and others are just plain flaming Luddites who don't yet own an e-reader, so if you contact me and ask politely, I'll send you a PDF copy of a recent edition. Fair enough?