Labyrinth Chosen for Insidious Assassins; Extinctions Contract from Voluted Tales

We may recall UNCOMMON ASSASSINS from 2012 (cf., most recently, February 7, et al.) with my Saharan story of “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE — my first story there! — in November 1991 as well as reprinted in my first collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES.  So publisher Smart Rhino insidious_assassins_frontcvr_small_mockupPublications is doing it again, this time with INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, “stories in which an insidious character/villain intends to kill someone,” with an accent on stealth, treachery, or deceit in varying genres — as long as the end game is focused on murder.

As a veteran, as it were, of the earlier book I received an invitation to submit before it opened to the general public, and while the premium is on original stories (though with some exceptions for “established writers”) I had a reprint which I thought might work.  Originally published in A. J. Budrys’s TOMORROW SF in its first electronic edition in March 1997 (and also STRANGE MISTRESSES four years later), “Labyrinth” is a fantasy of romance and ghosts and betrayal set on the island of Crete.

Thus two tales with exotic locales and nasty deeds, and the gamble paid off:  the word came yesterday afternoon from Editor Weldon Burge.  “I love the intrigue and mythic elements in this story, and it’s a perfect fit for the anthology!  I’d love to accept it for INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS.”  Tentative publication will be in early 2015 with general submissions being read until October 30 “or until the antho is full,” for more information on which one may press here.

Then, also yesterday afternoon, the contract came for my story “Extinctions” from Australian publisher Voluted Tales for its special edition, THE DARKNESS INTERNAL (see May 27).  This one will be another reprint, originally published in THE BLUE LADY in Autumn 1996, an apocalyptic tale of sorts — or is it all only in the narrator’s imagination?  As of now the issue is set for release in “late September/early October” so we’ll find out then.


  1. You’re placing everthing sent out this year in good spots! Bravo and carry on, Jim! I know your readers will be delighted!

  2. Well . . . the secret is I don’t post about the ones that come back. 😦

  3. You must submit a ton of things, then. Had I submitted the same amount as your successes, maybe I’d have placed at least one!

    • I do, I try to get an average of about 15 things out per month, either new or reprints. This month, for instance, I’ve submitted 6 stories/poems so far (well, one’s a review to HWA Halloween Haunts of ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE — with a recommendation of a good quality red port served in aperitif glasses as an appropriate refreshment while watching) and already had one rejection and one acceptance (the latter, from INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, which has been posted). Granted holding my nose a little, I subscribe to Duotrope too, especially for the column of themed markets nearing their deadlines, often (if I have something that seems like it might fit the theme) submitting to places I’d never have dreamed of sending to, but occasionally getting an acceptance as well. (Of course, it’s a lot easier now than when we had to make submissions by US mail.)

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