Brian M. Sammons

Author, editor, and reviewer of dark things.

Brian M. Sammons

Welcome and thanks for coming. I am an author, editor, and reviewer of all things horror, sci-fi, or just plain old dark. Please have a look around.

Voices in the Darkness - Guidelines

Voices in the darkness, scream away my mental health. - Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman.

Welcome to the guidelines for Voices in the Darkness, a new horror anthology I am doing for Ulthar Press. This is unlike many of the books I have done in the past, and thatís exactly why I am so excited to do it. First, it is NOT about Lovecraftian horror/The Cthulhu Mythos. I have done a few non-Mythos books before, but itís been a while so Iím excited to get back to it. What kind of anthology is this, then? Horror, pure and simple: horror. I want you to scare me. Period. If you donít do that then you wonít make it in this book. Itís that easy, but let me further clear that up for you.

What I donít want.

Extreme violence, as in thatís all your story has going for it. Now donít worry, Iím not squeamish and I love a bit of splatterpunk, but the best splatterpunks out there (in my book that is David J. Schow, John Skipp and Craig Spector) had more in their stories than just gore gags, and you must too. You canít gross me out, so donít think you trying to do so will impress me at all. Feel free to make your story as violent as it needs to be, but gratuitousness is not what I want.

Extreme sex. Look this isnít a porn book. Itís not being labeled as Ďeroticaí so we donít want that. And like the gore above, I am not a prude, I have even written erotic horror before, so youíre not going to shock me. Anything that leans toward the graphic for the sake of being graphic wonít fly here.

Abuse (sexual or otherwise) of children. Do I have to explain that one? Yes kids can be put in danger, yes bad things can happen to them, but you know what I mean when I say donít glorify the victimization of  children. If you donít know what that is, it is best for you to stay FAR away from that element in your story.

No violence towards animals. I think a story can be plenty scary without killing off the family pet.

No horror/comedy. I like that, sometimes, but thatís not for this book. Yes, something funny can happen in your story, but thereís a big difference between a horror story that makes you laugh on occasion but still scares the hell out of you (for a cinematic example think John Carpenterís The Thing) and an outright comedy that has some horror trappings.

No Cthulhu Mythos. Look I really like that stuff, that should be obvious if you know my books, but thatís not for this book.  

No urban fantasy. I like it, but againÖwell you know.

No pulpy/heroic/adventure horror. I like that. Hell I really like that, but itís not what I am looking for yadda yadda yadda.

What I will consider.

Weird fiction. There is a lot of weird fiction that would NOT be classified as Cthulhu Mythos/Lovecraftian. If you do something like that I will consider it if it is truly horrifying.  

What I want.

It should be obvious, no? Horror. I will take all flavors of horror. From cold, quiet, creeping dread to hot, vicious, screaming terror. As long as itís good and scary I want to read it. And yes, even with all the horror entertainment I consume in my weird little life, I still get scared at stuff I read if itís done well and THATíS what I want.

I want to be surprised. I want stories where the author explores and breaks conventions in style and themes. I donít want ďbizarroĒ but Iím not looking for the same old, same old either. If itís a trope, stay away from it, unless you can do something new and unexpected with it.

Direct from the Ulthar Press: ďWe want this to be the DANGEROUS VISIONS of horror fiction, in that we're looking for that kind of genre busting, trail-blazing fiction.Ē Ė Thatís what they want, thatís what I aim to deliver. So if youíre up to the challenge, send me something,

Technical stuff.

New stories only. No reprints or simultaneous submissions.

Double line spacing, use double quotation marks (ď  =  yes Ď  =  no) for dialog, italics for italics, NO double spacing after periods, and please use Times New Roman or Calibri font.  

Max word length: 5,000. Longer might be fine but query first.

Send submissions to:

Pay is .03 a word and 1 copy of the finished book. Other copies can be bought by contributors at cost plus shipping from the publisher.

Reading/Submission Period: from 12/1/17 - to - 2/28/18. We are striving to get this out by summer of 2018 so that it can be available for the convention circuit.

And thatís it. If you have any questions please reach out to me and good luck.

Hello darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again Ė Simon & Garfunkel Ė The Sound of Silence.