SHREDDED: A SPORTS AND FITNESS BODY HORROR ANTHOLOGY

This fiction anthology from Eric Raglin (writer of NIGHTMARE YEARNINGS, editor of ANTIFA SPLATTERPUNK) will feature stories of body horror in sports and fitness. Submit your most grotesque, strange, frightening, and thought-provoking stories—ones with complex characters, unapologetic weirdness, and horror that takes bold narrative risks.

Submissions are open to all writers, but I especially encourage submissions from writers of marginalized groups. Note that some writers have specifically been invited to contribute. The anthology will be a mix of solicited stories and stories selected from the open call submission period.

Stories should be between 2,000 and 4,500 words.

Multiple submissions are not allowed. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but withdraw your submission immediately if it gets accepted elsewhere. No reprints.

Open for submissions March 1st, 2022 – March 31st, 2022.

The extended submission period for writers of marginalized backgrounds related to race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, religion, and other identity categories is April 1st – 7th, 2022.

I will announce accepted submissions by April 15th, 2022.

Anthology will be published as both an electronic and print book in July 2022.

OTHER SUBMISSION CONSIDERATIONS
If you’re retreading old ground and well-established tropes, make it fresh.

I’m fine with horror that has erotic elements, but emphasis should be on the horror.

Don’t be moralizing. I want nuance.

Stories that deal with bigotry are fine, but bigoted stories are not.

I don’t want stories with graphic depictions of sexual violence.

It’s a body horror anthology, so I’m fine with gore and extreme elements. Just make sure they serve the story.


FORMAT
Use standard manuscript format. Send a doc/docx attachment. Do not copy-paste your story into the body of the email or submit it in any other format. We won’t read it if you do.

Please send submission to shreddedanthology@gmail.com. Include your name, story title, and word count in the subject heading (e.g., Firstname Lastname— “Story Title” — #### Words”).

Include an author bio of under 100 words and no more than two links to accompany your story.


PAYMENT
$.03 USD per word via PayPal for a short story after contract signing and final edits, and a free e-book copy of the anthology following publication.


RIGHTS
Exclusive First Worldwide Publication, Print, and Electronic Rights for three months, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.

Great books, albums, podcasts, and movies of 2021

Numbered rankings have always felt arbitrary to me, which is why the first word of this post is “great” rather than “best.” Here, I’ll recommend a novel, novella, short story collection, anthology, nonfiction book, album, movie, and podcast. If a particular 2021 release isn’t mentioned here, that’s not because I disliked it. In fact, there are plenty of releases I loved this year that I’m leaving out. But I want to keep this post short and sweet, so here we go!

A GREAT NOVEL

David Demchuk’s Red X rocked my world. It combines true crime with supernatural horror and authorial diary entries with up-close histories of the AIDS crisis. In other words, it felt like it was made just for me. The book is ambitious, strange, queer, and utterly unique. I look forward to devouring all of Demchuk’s future releases.

A GREAT NOVELLA

Samantha Kolesnik’s Waif explores many of my favorite things: bizarre body horror, complex queer characters, and people on the fringes of society getting by any way they can. I read this book in a single sitting, and without spoiling anything, can tell you it has the greatest last two lines I’ve read in a long, long time. This one will stick with me.

A GREAT SHORT STORY COLLECTION

I’d heard great things about Michael Cisco long before I read this collection, but I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to his work than Antisocieties. Cisco operates on a level of weirdness that feels pulled directly from a dream, resisting interpretation and yet inviting endless satisfying speculation. I adored this collection.

A GREAT ANTHOLOGY

Sam Richard is a phenomenal writer, editor, and friend. His newest anthology, Cinema Viscera, takes movie theater horror to hideously bleak places. Every story oozes with nightmare–sometimes literally. A couple highlights include Charles Austin Muir’s “A Marriage of Blood and Pus,” a bizarre, dark, and intensely personal story that only Charles could tell. Another is Jo Quenell’s “The Reassigned,” which at times feels physically painful to read–and I mean that as a compliment. Overall, a killer anthology! Not a dud in the bunch.

A GREAT NONFICTION BOOK

Okay, this one isn’t a 2021 release, but I didn’t read much nonfiction this year, so cut me some slack, will ya? Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook is without a doubt one of my favorite political history and organizing strategy books. It’s a book I’m certain I will read again, and at the risk of sounding dramatic, it deserves a place on the bookshelves of all committed antifascists. Utterly fascinating and full of indispensable wisdom.

A GREAT ALBUM

I have long preached the gospel of Kayo Dot. The band is endlessly inventive, and even when a song of theirs doesn’t quite work for me, I’m always appreciative that they tried something new. This 2021 album, Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike, is their best since their 2010 release Coyote. It’s brimming with catchy riffs, badass lyrics, and explosive creativity. Any metalhead with a taste for adventure should pick it up.

A GREAT PODCAST

At the beginning of this year, I was worried that I was getting dumber and less politically engaged than I’d been in years. That’s still a little true, but Behind the Bastards made me a little less dumb and a lot more angry. Robert Evans’s journalistic research is top-notch and his presentation of “the worst people in history” always keeps me engaged. There’s plenty to learn about the past and present hideousness of our Hellworld.

A GREAT MOVIE

I regret that I never got to see Julia Ducournau’s Titane when it came to theaters (in Nebraska of all places. Nebraska!), but even watching it on the tiny screen of my laptop, I was entranced. Two films deep into her career, Ducournau already holds the 21st century throne of body horror film directors. Her penchant for weirdness, playfulness, and brutality make this film an utterly captivating experience. Don’t miss it!

ANTIFA SPLATTERPUNK

This summer, I’ll be editing ANTIFA SPLATTERPUNK, an anthology dedicated to–you guessed it–anti-fascist splatterpunk stories. In addition to pure splatterpunk, I’m also open to extreme horror with weird, bizarro, historical, or science fiction elements. Just keep it anti-fascist. 

The anthology is open to all writers, but I would especially like submissions from antifascist writers of marginalized groups. Note that some writers have specifically been invited to contribute. The anthology will be a mix of solicited stories and stories selected from the open call submission period.

Stories should be between 2,000 and 4,500 words.

Multiple submissions are not allowed. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but withdraw your submission immediately if it gets accepted elsewhere. No reprints.

Open for submissions July 1st, 2021 – July 31st, 2021.

The extended submission period for women and non-binary writers is August 1st – 7th, 2021.

I will announce accepted submissions by August 31st, 2021.

Anthology will be published as both an electronic and print book in winter 2021.

OTHER SUBMISSION CONSIDERATIONS

If you’re retreading old ground and well-established tropes, make it fresh.

I’m fine with horror that has erotic elements, but emphasis should be on the horror.

Yes, make it anti-fascist, but don’t be moralizing. I want nuance.

Stories that deal with bigotry are fine, but bigoted stories are not.

I don’t want stories with graphic depictions of sexual violence.

This is a splatterpunk anthology, so gore and extreme elements are encouraged, but make sure they serve story, character, and theme.

FORMAT

Use standard manuscript format. Send a doc/docx attachment. Do not copy-paste your story into the body of the email or submit it in any other format. We won’t read it if you do.

Please send submission to antifasplatterpunk@gmail.com. Include your name, story title, and word count in the subject heading (e.g., Firstname Lastname— “Fascism Bad” — 3,500 Words”).

Include an author bio of under 100 words and no more than two links to accompany your story.

PAYMENT

A flat $100 via PayPal for a short story after contract signing and final edits, and a free e-book copy of the anthology following publication.

RIGHTS

Exclusive First Worldwide Publication, Print, and Electronic Rights for three months, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.

Top 5s of 2020

Here are my favorite books, short stories, movies, albums, songs, and podcasts of 2020. Note that not all of these came out in 2020, but 2020 is when I was first introduced to them. Also, I haven’t ranked these favorites in any particular order.

TOP 5 BOOKS

TOP 5 SHORT STORIES

  • “In the Hills, the Cities” by Clive Barker: there’s a reason this short story is a classic. Unforgettable strangeness, imagery, and agony.
  • “Skin Like Honey and Lace” by Gwendolyn Kiste: this story has so many potential layers of interpretation — pun intended. One of the best uses of body horror I’ve seen in fiction.
  • “The Penance Lake Roadside Wax Museum” by Max D. Stanton: this story blew my mind the first, second, third, fourth time I read it. I can only assume it will do the same on my fifth reading. Surreal, frightening, and tense all the way through.
  • “Cellar Door” by Emma J. Gibbon: I love ghost stories, and I love weird, hallucinatory tales. This is the perfect combination of the two. Some truly excellent storytelling here.
  • “Deathlike Love” by Sam Richard: this story is tough to read by design. Every sentence I read felt like an intrusion on a deeply private moment, but that’s what makes this one so powerful. If you can stomach it, it’s absolutely worth your time.

TOP 5 MOVIES

  • Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig: this film is the strangest one of the list. I’ve never read the book it was based on, nor did I go into the film with any expectation that I’d love it as much as I did. Greta Gerwig nailed it, and the casting was perfect.
  • The Invisible Man directed by Leigh Whannell: the scariest film of the year. I was terrified within the first five minutes of the film, and it didn’t let up. An astounding reworking of a classic story.
  • Relic directed by Natalie Erika James: dementia stories mess me up, and this one did exactly that. A phenomenal horror film rooted in a reality I’m all too familiar with. Highly recommended!
  • Possessor directed by Brandon Cronenberg: I love body horror and near-future hyper-capitalist dystopian stories, so it’s no surprise I dug this one. The Cronenberg legacy is in good hands!
  • How to Survive a Plague directed by David France: I’ve wanted to learn about the AIDS epidemic for a long time, but I’ve shied away from it out of fear for how much it would devastate me. This documentary is a fascinating look at AIDS activism during the height of the epidemic. Tragic and inspiring in equal measure.

TOP 5 ALBUMS

  • Signature by Teton: I love gloomy music, and this band brings the gloom…but makes it catchy! I also got a chance to play with them when my metal band was still active. I love everything they’ve put out, but this album is their best yet.
  • Lesions of a Different Kind by Undeath: I’m super picky when it comes to death metal, but this album checked all the boxes. Intensely catchy, groovy, and fun!
  • Vacation Man by Adrian Knight: I know I’m not ranking these top 5 lists, but this is for sure my album of the year. Very rarely do I get as obsessive about an album as I got about this one. Virtually every track is revelation. I love Vacation Man to death.
  • Take a Chance on Rock ‘n’ Roll by Couch Slut: my go-to feel bad album of the year. This is the perfect album for when I want to embrace life’s grime and negativity. Sometimes it feels good to feel bad!
  • Wilting in Mauve by Gláss: this album was an unexpected surprise, and I stumbled upon it purely back accident. Every track has a gloomy, punk catchiness to it. I’ll still be spinning this one well into next year.

TOP 5 SONGS

TOP 5 PODCASTS

  • 2.0: this was a dark year, and 2.0 made me laugh when things got rough. Bless them for that.
  • Against Everyone with Conner Habib: I can’t always intellectually follow where Conner’s big brain goes, but his conversations are consistently interesting and perspective-altering.
  • Spooked: beautifully produced true ghost stories perfect for nighttime walks in the woods.
  • My Friend Chuck: I’m bummed that this is no longer an active podcast, but Chuck and McKenzie brought a smile to my face countless times this past year. I’ll miss hearing their kind, funny words!
  • Dead Headspace: Patrick and Brennan are lovely hosts, and their interviews with horror writers are always a blast to listen to. Maybe we can collab someday???