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The Off-Season: An Anthology of Coastal New Weird
Dark Matter Magazine

The Off-Season is an anthology of disquieting and disturbing New Weird horror set in landscapes and communities on the edge of the sea. These coastal stories defamiliarize the ordinary, evoke dread even in the daylight, and haunt like half-remembered nightmares.

Think ocean-loving cults, crumbling seaside mansions, empty resort towns, strange fisherwomen, beachside arcades, eerie lighthouses, literal tourist traps, jellyfish swarms, red tides, oil spills, intertidal zones, salt marshes, gaudy luxury hotels reclaimed by sea, the cosmic indifference of capitalism, creeping urchins, thousand-yard stares, wrecked cruise ships, weird biotech, evening dock workers, and slippery marine metamorphosis.

I’m especially looking for uncanny ecology, uneasy atmosphere, and strange characters who are either transcending their environment or subsiding into it. I’d love to see unusual coastal settings from around the world, or traditionally romanticized settings transformed into places of unfamiliarity and subtle wrongness. Most of all, I’m looking for fiction that makes the reader feel uncomfortable dread mixed with intense curiosity.

Not sure if your story is New Weird?

New Weird is a subgenre of horror-fantasy that slides along the margins of other speculative fiction genres, subverts old tropes and conventions, and/or plays with form, style, and ideas. Its roots are in the subtle ambiguity and mystery of Weird horror and the subversive playfulness of New Wave science-fiction, but it is constantly innovating itself. For me, the best of New Weird blends the mundane with the sublime, the grimy with the divine, and the grotesque with the beautiful. It seduces and horrifies at the same time, filling the reader with a quiet kind of dread-fascination. While the genre dwells more in the realm of strange tales than overt splatter horror, by nature it is always breaking boundaries and doing new things. You too should make it your own.

This market is temporarily closed.

Market Genres
Science Fiction

Market Types, Lengths & Pay Scale
Short Story
2000 to 4000 words
8 cents/word

Market Submission Types
AI Submissions?: Unknown Policy
Electronic Submissions?: Yes
Postal Submissions?: No
Multiple Submissions?: No
Simultaneous Submissions?: Yes
Translations: Original Language Only
Estimated Response: 60 days

Market-Provided Data

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There are 37 completed reports in the past 12 months.
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Min: 2 | Average: 37.93 | Median: 39 | Max: 51
89.18% - avg 37 days (0.00% of rejections are personal)
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Listing added: 30 March 2023

Last officially checked: 30 March 2023

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