Christmas Zombie Bought for Kazka Press Antho; Untreed Reads “CyberMonday Sale” Nov. 26 Only

It was another one of these last minute submission deals, something I don’t really recommend since anthologies sometimes get filled early, but there it was, a call for submissions from Kazka Press for AT YEAR’S END:  SFF HOLIDAY STORIES (not to be confused with Untreed Reads Publishing’s YEAR’S END anthology with “Appointment in Time,” for which see October 17, 19).  “500 word (or less) stories set against year-end holidays (Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Samhain, Bodhi Day, New Year, Chinese New Year, Watch Night, Pancha Ganapati, Saturnalia, The Invincible Sun, etc.) . . . Science Fiction/Fantasy (SFF) themes. . . .”  Heck, I’d never even heard of half those holidays!   But I did have a 750-word story called “The Christmas Zombie,” actually written a few years ago from an illustration by Marge Simon for NITEBLADE depicting a fanged Santa and disreputable-looking elves stirring a cauldron which, when I sent it to that magazine, was quickly (and probably rightly) bounced.  The thing is, though, the story had poetry in it which could be cut out, and several details from the drawing that could be omitted too since it would not be published with the illustration now.

Anyway, why not?  After all, it was a Christmas story, the one holiday all the other submitters might be avoiding since it’s, well, so common.  Worth a try, yes?  Especially since the anthology offered “professional” rates (granted for a very short story, but still enough to buy several pizzas).   So I rewrote it to just under 500 words and the day before Halloween, three days before the anthology closed, off it went.

Today the contract came for “The Christmas Zombie” along with a note that “we cannot wait to share these wonderful stories (21 in all . . . out of 143 submissions),” planned to be published in ebook format on December 9.

Then, speaking of Untreed Reads Publishing, I just received a notice today that they plan a one-day-only CyberMonday sale, November 26, the Monday after Thanksgiving.  This is a yearly tradition for them and, unless other distributors wish to match the sale terms, it will amount to 50 percent of all Untreed Reads titles bought through the Untreed Reads store only.

Titles by me that will be included are steampunk/mystery VANITAS, Christmas horror tale I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., and, as of last month, near-future science fiction novelette PEDS.  “Appointment In Time,” however, a steampunkish horror short to be in YEAR’S END (not to be confused with Kazka Press’s AT YEAR’S END:  SFF HOLIDAY STORIES 😉 ) will presumably not be out until the sale is over.



  1. Wow! That’s simply amazing that your story literally arrived on the dot of the twelfth hour and made it into the anthology! Congrats! I’m glad to hear that illustration of mine inspired yet another Christmas Zombie Story! : D

  2. ‘Twas a pleasure. Thank you for the illustration 😉 (And so “The Christmas Zombie” joins “The Christmas Rat,” “The Christmas Vulture,” and the as yet unpunlished “The Christmas Cat,” the last also starring guest protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge.)

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