Editor Scott Colbert says, “Dead West: 13 Tales of Murder and Mayhem is the working title for a new fiction anthology being published by Bandersnatch Books. Set in the Old West and its environs, I’m looking for tales of horror and suspense that use the Western genre and give it a dark twist.

“Rather than tell you what I’m looking for, it might be easier to say what I don’t want …

  • Zombies. Not going to happen. I don’t care if you think it’s the best zombie story ever written, zombies hold little interest for us.
  • Vampires, werewolves, etc. While I won’t dismiss those out of hand, they’re going to be a very hard sell. If you feel the urge to write one, please make it unique and different.
  • Clichéd characters. No whores with a heart of gold, strangers with no name, troubled lawmen, or drunk cooks need apply. It may be the old west, but it’s not necessary to bring the old standbys with it.
  • Extreme violence is okay, so long as it’s germane to the plot. Violence for the sake of shocking a reader is a fast way to a rejection. The same goes for gratuitous sex. We’re not prudes at Bandersnatch, but story will always come first (you should pardon the pun).

“Okay, I will say I’d like to see ghost stories, maybe something with a Lovecraft feel and maybe a mummy or two. Some Native American folklore would also be a great way to get accepted.

“Setting and realism is every bit as important as story. Keep the dialogue in context with the time. For that matter, keep anything you describe in context. Not sure if something was around? Google it! For the purposes of this anthology, any technology in existence after 1850 is fair game.”

1000-5000 words; pays $75 + copy. Submissions should be sent as a .DOC or .RTF attachment only, in standard manuscript format. E-mail: Colbert@bandersnatchbooks.com.

Deadline: Open until slots filled.

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