Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor of Love Weekend Promo

This weekend only, and for the Kindle only (sorry, Nook and iPad fans) we’re practically giving away STUPEFYING STORIES 1.6 at the low, low price of just $0.99! It’s all part of the LABOR OF LOVE promotion cooked up by Elle Lothlorien, with assistance by Michele Winkler, author of “Family Magic” (which not coincidentally, you’ll find in SS 1.6), and a cast of.... many!

Tell your friends! Tell your mom! Tell everybody!  

Friday, August 17, 2012


Edited by award-winning writer Bruce Bethke and featuring stories by twelve outstanding American, British, and Irish authors, the STUPEFYING STORIES "Weirder Homes & Gardens" edition is filled to overflowing with all-new tales of the fantastic, funny, and frightening things that can happen in that most mundane of places: the home, with attached garden. Includes:
  • "No Onions" by M. Bennardo
  • "The Growing" by Sylvia Hiven
  • "Family Magic" by Michele Winkler
  • "Mission Accomplished" by Peter Wood
  • "Helen Went Beep" by Erin Entrada Kelly
  • "The Prototype" by Judith Field
  • "Colorful Caps" by JC Hemphill
  • "Lifesource" by Barbara V. Evers
  • "The Centaur Bride" by Eric J. Juneau
  • "Rooting for You" by Michael Heneghan
  • "Security" by Chris Bailey Pearce
  • "The Garden" by R. L. Bowden
From practical advice on raising homunculi to the difficult magic of raising a happy family; from things that go bump in the night (or in this case, the kitchen) to things that go beep in the bedroom; from the magical, mythical distant past to two very different visions of our technological future; and from the primal temptation to be found in a stolen paper clip to a tale of lost love that can't be described, only read: you'll find it this time out in STUPEFYING STORIES!

Available now for Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Reader App:

The Barnes & Noble Nook link is now live!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Slushpile Survival Guide

I've recently had an interesting exchange with an author. On further reflection, the highlights of this dialog seem worth presenting to a wider audience. Ergo and without further ado:


Dear Editor,

Attached please find my story, [title redacted].

I am not sure if I am eligible to submit, as I have already had one story accepted and scheduled for publication in Stupefying Stories this year. Please advise if this is the case.

[author's name redacted]


Dear [author]

Excuse me for asking, but where the heck did you get the idea that once we've accepted a story by you, you must wait until we publish it before you can submit another? When I accept a story from you, it means I like your writing and want to see more of it!

So no more of this "I am not sure if I am eligible to submit" silliness, okay? Trust me, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein didn't wait until John Campbell published their last story before sending him their next story, and if that modus operandi was good enough for Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein, it's good enough for us.

Kind regards,
Bruce Bethke


Dear Mr. Bethke,

[...] I asked because recently some markets have made unambiguous statements about not wanting concentrations of particular authors in relatively slim time frames. [...]


Dear [author]

Hmm. That must be another of those goofy ideas that's come out of some creative writing program somewhere. "Let's all play fair and take turns and give everyone an equal chance." It seems akin to:

    "Now class, let's all try to find something nice to say about Sally's poem."

    "Er, I used to fear death, but as I listened to Sally read her poem, I longed for it?"

Luckily my dad was a basketball coach, not a liberal arts instructor, so I don't believe in any of that equalitarian nonsense. Every writer who pitches a manuscript to me gets an equal opportunity to impress me with their work as they come in the door, but I have absolutely zero interest in forcing equality of outcome. I run a brutal meritocracy here. I want to put my best players in the game, every chance I get, and keep them in the game for as long as I can.

I mean, let's switch to the reader's point-of-view, for just a moment. When you read a really terrific story, do you think:

a.) "Wow! I really loved this story! I'd better not read anything else by this author for a while!"


b.) "Wow! I really loved this story! Where can I find more stories by this writer!"

Not wanting concentrations of particular authors in relatively slim time frames? Sheesh. What madness.

Now go write more stories!

Kindest regards,
Bruce Bethke