A New Magazine

January 22, 2017

I am gathering and editing material for the first issue of my new story magazine, to be entitled The Gold-Bug Magazine. I have chosen that title for two reasons. First, it is the title of a story by Edgar Allan Poe, and I like the idea of recognizing Poe as a progenitor of not only weird fiction but also of detective fiction and science fiction in America. Weird Tales, The Black Cat, and I'm sure other magazines have done this before me. Second, I like the idea of having the name of a color in the title, as color, in more than one sense, is so important in weird fiction. Many other names of colors have been taken--The Blue Book, The Red Book, The Green Book, The Yellow Book, The Black Cat, etc. I didn't want to resort to The Puce Book or The Mauve Book (although the color mauve is evocative of the 1890s, the decade in which H.P. Lovecraft and popular culture in America were born). So The Gold-Bug Magazine it will be.

The letters column in The Gold-Bug Magazine will be called "Cryptograms." I invite and welcome letters of comment. If I receive any prior to publication, I will be happy to publish them. You may send them to me either as part of the main body of an email message or as an attachment thereto at:


Or by regular mail to:

Terence E. Hanley
P.O. Box 5622
Athens, OH 45701

Please do your best to observe the rules of proper English, including of spelling, grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and word usage. Please also refrain from vulgarity and profanity. Remember, this magazine will be for a general readership. I reserve the right to edit letters for content and brevity.

Right now, I have in mind the publication of four to six stories, plus editorial content, a letters column, at least two regular departments, and at least one essay. I also intend to have original art, including New Yorker-style gag cartoons and spot drawings, in the magazine. You may make submissions as described above. One of the departments I have planned is to be called "Tricorder." This will be a feature on Star Trek, a television show that still interests me and still offers opportunities for analysis, interpretation, and commentary, even after half a century.

I'll keep you posted.

February 9, 2016

Today is the 153rd anniversary of the birth of Anthony Hope, author of The Prisoner of Zenda (1894). I read The Prisoner of Zenda several times when I was a teenager and young adult. It was one of my favorite books. A couple of weeks ago, the idea came to me to write a Ruritanian romance. I have been working steadily on the plot and its characters since then. I would like to think that I'll have a completed story sometime this year. If that happens, I'll have something of my own to put into a story magazine.

Speaking of this idea for a story magazine, I have changed my plans a  little. I would still like to issue a magazine about characters in the public domain. I would like to call this magazine Five Star Stories and tie it to our comic book, Five Star Comics. But I have decided to separate out genre stories unrelated to public domain characters for inclusion in their own magazine, an old-fashioned story magazine to be entitled The Gold-Bug Magazine. I am beginning to collect material for the first issue, but I need more to fill it out and to fill out subsequent issues. With that, I'm asking for submissions of:

Fiction
  • Novellettes
  • Serials
  • Short stories
  • Short short stories
  • Vignettes
Poetry
Essays
Cartoons (New Yorker-style gag cartoons)
Illustrations

These should be in the pulp genres of:
  • Adventure
  • Crime fiction
  • Detective stories
  • Fantasy
  • Gothic romance
  • Historical adventure
  • Historical romance
  • Horror
  • Mystery
  • Science fiction
  • Space opera
  • Suspense
  • War
  • Weird fiction
  • Weird war stories
  • Weird Western stories
  • Western
I'm willing to consider other genres as well.

Stories should be well written, engaging, exciting, interesting, creative, inventive, or otherwise worth reading. I'm not interested at all in stories that are negative, nihilistic, misogynistic, pornographic, or extremely or excessively cynical, ironic, or violent. Also, I don't want any stories that demean any person or group of people or hold anyone up for belittlement or ridicule. And, I don't want any overtly political, religious, or propagandistic work. That's not to say that religion, faith, and politics have no place in your story, but these topics should serve your story and not be the purpose of your story.

Here are more things I don't want: stories made up mostly of dialogue; stories with one- or two-sentence paragraphs; stories about your favorite movie or television show, however disguised they might be; stories that are basically video games in prose form; or stories without plot, point, or purpose.

Here is what I can offer:
  • All contributors retain the copyright to their work and grant to the publisher (me) rights to print and reprint their work only in this magazine and in no other form, either on paper or in any electronic or digital format.
  • All contributors receive credit for their work, and all works are accompanied by the author's byline and copyright notice.
  • All contributors receive two contributor's copies of the issue in which their work appears.
  • All contributors can also purchase from me, at my cost (printing plus postage), as many copies of any issue in which their work appears to do with as they please.
  • All contributors recognize and agree to uphold the rights of all other contributors.
If you are interested, please send hard copies of your submissions in a standard and accepted manuscript format to me at:

Terence Hanley
P.O. Box 5622
Athens, OH 45701

If you would like your submissions returned to you, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. If you have any questions, please contact me by mail or email at:


Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

January 1, 2016

I'm in my fifth year of writing this blog and in 2016 I'm planning to expand into print. I hope to see works on Lee Brown Coye and Allison V. Harding soon in book form, both to be issued by other publishers. Something on Nictzin Dyalhis may follow. In addition, I would like to publish my own small book on Weird Tales. If all goes well, I'll have that ready in time for PulpFest next summer. Finally, after a couple of years and a lot of thought, I would like to go ahead with a story magazine. I'll start small, and I'll tie it to a comic book I write and draw with my friends Larry Blake, Gary Gibeaut, Matt Marshall, Tom Ahearn, Mike Tuz, and Kip Creel. Our comic book is called Five Star Comics. The story magazine I have in mind will be called Five Star Stories. In it I hope to combine genre fiction--science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, and suspense--with stories of characters in the public domain. I would still like to read contributions from writers outside our circle, and I am especially looking for artists who can illustrate prose and perhaps contribute to our comic book as well. If you're interested, please contact me at:


Here's a to productive 2016 and a Happy New Year to all!

January 24, 2013

Several months ago, I wrote that I am considering publishing a magazine in the spirit of the story magazines of the pulp era. That idea has been in the back of my head for a long time and it won't go away. If I were to publish such a magazine, I would have to have material to fill it. I'm an artist and a writer, and though I would not want this magazine to be a vanity project, I can provide some of the material myself. I have friends who are artists and writers as well. I'm sure I could ask them for submissions. But to make this magazine the best that it can be, I should cast my net into the wider world. There is risk in that to be sure, but there are also possible rewards.

I should warn you first: if I publish a magazine, it would be on a shoestring budget. I can't afford to pay much if anything. The model I have in mind is the model that my friends and I use for our Five Star Comics (of which we are preparing a fourth issue): Each of us creates a story. We combine those stories into a book. I pay for the printing and my friends reimburse me for however many copies they want. They can then do what they want with their own copies--give them away, sell them at whatever price they want, or just hold onto them as their own cherished work. I sell my copies however I can, mostly at conventions, festivals, and other events. The good thing about this model is that we are able to share the costs of printing. Some of us might not get into print otherwise. A possible downside is that other people stand to gain from your work. As an artist and a writer, that hasn't bothered me a bit. If it doesn't bother you, maybe you will consider submitting something for this new magazine.

Like I said before, this is to be a real book on paper. I can't say that it would never be digital, but for a start, we'll pretend that the computer is still a science-fictional gadget. That will be true also of submissions. I don't like to read long works on an electronic screen. Call me an anachronism. I also don't like to see digital artwork on paper. Digital artwork has its own domain. There it belongs. Artwork that is printed on paper should also be drawn on paper (or board or canvas), by hand (or foot or mouth), with a pencil, pen, brush, crayon, or stick of charcoal as the only intermediary between the artist's mind and the finished work.

Here is what I propose:
  1. Today I request submissions of stories, poetry, illustrations, cartoons, and essays in the realms of fantasy, weird fiction, horror, and science fiction of the speculative kind--no space opera, please. That means no galactic federations, galactic empires, space warps, interstellar spacecraft, blasters, or princesses in peril. Also, no fantasy in the manner of Tolkein or any of his countless imitators. Also, I will accept adventure, suspense, crime, and historical fiction with a strange, creepy, or weird element. Your work should be original. That means that it has not been published or printed before in any format. It also means that you can't use Sherlock Holmes or the crew of the Enterprise in your story. Likewise, this is not Weird Tales. I don't want any pastiches, imitations, copies, etc., of Howard, Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, or any other of your favorite writers or artists. And I don't want any tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.
  2. This request is merely an exploration. I would like to see how much material there might be, and of what quality. I am not under any obligation at all to evaluate, edit,  comment on, publish, promote, pay for, or act as an agent for your work. I don't even have to read it or look at it. If you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and request that I return your work to you, I will do so. If you do not enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope, I will assume you do not want the material returned to you. You can also send a self-addressed, stamped postcard or envelope for my reply.
  3. You can send me whatever you like and as much as you like, but please do not send me anything by email or other electronic means; that includes a disk of any kind. Your work must be on paper. Please do not send me your one and only original. Send only copies. Stories, poems, and essays must be typed or printed from a computer, unless your work--such as a poem--is written in a calligraphic hand and illustrated and/or decorated as a whole work of art. I will not read handwritten prose, no matter how neatly you write it. Also, please do not send me your novel, or your trilogy or tetralogy or dodecalogy or any other large work. Remember this is a magazine. There isn't any room for that kind of thing. A novella or novelette with a maximum length of 15,000 to 20,000 words is the limit.
  4. Just as I don't want to receive anything electronically, I will not respond electronically. You can send your email address if you want, but don't expect an email message from me in return. Again, you are welcome to send, with your submission, a self-addressed, stamped postcard or envelope for my reply.
  5. Please include with your submission a cover letter telling me a little about yourself and your work, including when and where you have been published, your experience and interests as a writer or artist, etc.
  6. Unless you specifically request that your material be returned to you AND include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for its return, I will assume you are allowing me to keep what you send me. That being said, your work is your own. You retain all rights. I shall not publish, print, trade, sell, or in any other way transfer what you send me to another person without your written permission, except for staff readers of my choosing. On a related note, don't let your submission to me keep you from submitting your work somewhere else. You should take every good opportunity to get your work published. 
  7. I shall not pay for what you send me. Again, this is merely an exploration. If I decide to go ahead with the publication of a magazine, you and I will negotiate that as a separate matter. Those negotiations will go into writing as a signed agreement between us.
  8. The readership for this magazine is all ages and all walks of life. If you would be ashamed or hesitant to show your work to your children or your nieces and nephews, don't show it to me, either. I will not accept or read anything that is pornographic or that has any obscenity or extreme profanity in it. A few hells and damns are okay, but otherwise no. Also, I will not accept or read anything that is insulting to or demeaning towards any person or category of people. There isn't any need for that in life or in fiction. That's not to say that this magazine will be politically correct. I despise political correctness and see it as a threat to human freedom. You should not have any worries there. Likewise, your work should not advance any particular political, religious, or other cause nor any person or category of people. Remember, this is a story. Tell a story. Forget about tracts, screeds, and propaganda.
  9. Your work should be well written and well drawn. Read and follow Strunk and White or Ambrose Bierce or some other reputable writer on writing. I don't want purple prose full of adjectives and adverbs. (If you use the non-words "oilily" or "blackly," I will immediately shred your story, then burn the shreds to ashes, then scatter the ashes in an undisclosed location.) The pulp era has passed. If you had wanted to write pulps, you should have been born fifty years before you were born. That's not to say you can't write stories set in a historical period, because you can. Just don't try to write like Lovecraft or Howard or Raymond Chandler. Write like yourself. Likewise, don't try to draw like Frazetta. There was only one Frazetta and he's it. Draw like yourself. Be your own artist. Be your own writer.
  10. Tell your story with vigor. Make it clear, concise, and well structured. Make it readable and enjoyable. Remember that a work of art is not only a form of expression but also a form a communication. Be kind to your readers. Hit the enter key every once in awhile (but not too often). Write like you have read something other than Internet content. No single-sentence paragraphs, no stories made up mostly of dialogue, no digital acronyms, etc. If I see that kind of thing, your submission will go to the bottom of the pile and may not get read at all. Remember, a page in a book is not an electronic screen. If you want to see an electronic screen, look at one. Don't look for a substitute on paper. 
  11. More than anything, your story should be human. It should have meaning--not a message, but meaning. There should be a point to your work, and your characters should be recognizably human. I will accept works with a religious perspective, but they should not be essentially religious works and they should not advance a religious cause. On the other hand, if you believe that your life is horrible and people are horrible and the world is horrible and everything is horrible, I am disinclined to read what you have written. Even H.P. Lovecraft at his bleakest provided some kind of hope. A story doesn't have to be all sunshine and flowers, but it should be realistic, which is to say, not nihilistic.
  12. Some of the things I have written here are rules. They cannot be broken. Others can be taken as guidelines. If you decide to discard them, you should have a good reason for doing so.
  13. I encourage anyone and everyone to submit, even if you're a beginner. I especially encourage beginning artists to make submissions. By "beginning," I mean even an adult who has drawn mostly or wholly as a hobby.
  14. You can send your submissions to:
Terence Hanley
P.O. Box 5622
Athens, OH 45701

I'll keep you informed on how things are going.

Copyright 2014, 2017 Terence E. Hanley

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