Anthology curated by Peter Rawlik
“I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with its beautiful stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth…” ~Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow
Robert E. Chambers’ The King in Yellow features a being, the King in Yellow himself, who is embodied in the play of the same name, and in the color yellow.
We want to follow in the footsteps of Chambers, invoking links between specific colors, the mythos deity they might represent, and what influence they might have on the various arts.
For example, what terrifying things are hinted at by the titles the Black Goat, the Green Man, the White Worm, and the Red Queen, and to what arts are they linked?
Give us tales that invoke the chromatic avatars of the Great Old Ones and the impact they have on the arts, but as we all know the arts are open to interpretation, and could easily include architecture, literature, cuisine, pantomime, and haiku. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and color is only an abstract concept, but fear and terror are very real, and so are the Great Old Ones.
What We Want
Fresh takes on the Cthulhu Mythos, Chambers’ mythology (the Yellow Mythos), and Cosmic Horror. This isn’t the place for Lovecraftian clichés. The more it feels like a “lost” Lovecraft story, or relies on the clichés of the genre, the less interested we are. Creativity is the watchword.
While we are open to straight horror, we much prefer submissions closer to Chambers’ style and tone. Which is to say, we’d greatly prefer dark fantasy with a cosmic horror undercurrent. If you’re unfamiliar with Chambers: The Twilight Zone and Manly Wade Wellman’s fiction are excellent examples of that sort of tone and sensibility.
We want complex tales of cosmic horror, the arts and artists all properly hued. To avoid overlap of colors, monsters, titles, and arts story pitches must be made to the curator first (at firstname.lastname@example.org). We already have a King, and we already have a Prince; help us a fill the rest of the court.
In addition to unique and clever takes on the Chromatic Court concept, we’d prefer strong, developed characters.
We recommend reading Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, the monumental work of dark fantasy that started everything. It’s the foundation of so many of the above ideas and mythology. Lovecraft linked the King in Yellow—both the entity and the play—to his own revised elder god Hastur.
T.E.D. Kline’s Black Man with a Horn linked Nyarlathotep to jazz and horned instruments, making Kline’s story an early forbear of this concept.
My own story The Sepia Prints, featured in my novel Reanimatrix, establishes Cthulhu as the Sepia Prince, and intrinsically links the being to opera.
Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story. These payments will be issued to you at quarterly intervals. Stories under 1,500 words will only receive 4% of the gross profit.
Rights: First World Digital and Print.
Deadline: June 15th
Word Count: 4,000-16,000
How to Submit your Story:
- Send your pitches to the editor at email@example.com.
- All stories should be sent, as an attachment, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The file must be formatted in .doc or .docx.
- The interior of the document must be in double spaced Times New Roman (12 point font).
- Indents must be placed through your system’s Paragraph function; do not set indents by pressing tab or space. If you already have tabbed or spaced indents, please remove them first. Please use full em dashes (—).
- At the top of your document, please include William Shunn’s submission header.
- Tell us a bit about yourself in the body of your email. Don’t stress this, it won’t make or break your submission.
- Place the collection you’re submitting to, your name, and your story title in the subject line of your email. For example, “Speakeasies and Spiritualists / Rose Mackenberg / So You Want to Attend a Séance?”
Peter Rawlik is the author of the novels Reanimators, The Weird Company, and Reanimatrix, and the co-editor for the anthology Legacy of the Reanimator. His fiction has appeared in Tales of the Shadowmen, The Lovecraft eZine, Talebones, Morpheus Tales, Crypt of Cthulhu, and Innsmouth Magazine. The concept for The Chromatic Court evolved out of his story The Sepia Prints, which became a key chapter in Reanimatrix.