Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Afterburn SF


  • Zine: Afterburn SF
  • Editor(s): Karen L. Newman
  • Pay rate: $30 via PayPal upon publication
  • Response Time: 60 days
  • Description (from the editor): We are looking for action-oriented, well written stories in Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. We want action-driven short stories that present a complete, well rounded tale, with strong characterization, clear description, and clean prose. Length should be between 1K and 10K words. (More in guidelines.)
  • Submission Guidelines:
NOTE: Horror author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking; however, most editors are open to ideas outside of the preferences discussed here, as long as they fit the basic submission guidelines.


1) What authors do you enjoy and what is it about their writing that captivates you?
The first horror author I read was Edgar Allan Poe, when I was in about the eighth grade during summer break; the collection was entitled Tales of Mystery, published by Longriver Press. His fear factor hasn’t been easily matched in other works I’ve read. Another favorite is, of course, Stephen King. The first book of his I read was Firestarter. His work is very readable and he makes his characters identifiable.

2) What are your favorite genres? Which of these genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?
That’s what’s so great about Afterburn SF--we publish science fiction, fantasy, and horror, which are all my favorite genres.

3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?
The settings don’t really matter as long as the story is good.

4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
I like fast pacing throughout, and this especially applies to Afterburn SF submissions.

5) What type of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
I like real characters, meaning flawed ones, because in real life people are flawed.

6) Horror and violence can be blatant or suggestive. Which one do you prefer and why?
These days, blatant horror has been relegated to the absurd, where it’s of entertainment value and no longer frightening. Suggestive horror leaves more to the imagination where it can germinate into the reader’s greatest fear.

7) In fiction and in life, what do you find most horrific?
Medical procedures gone horribly wrong and trusting in someone only to get hosed to the point of total annihilation.

8) What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?
First, submitters should avoid sending in stories that are slow-paced. Afterburn SF is an action market. Second, send in only PG-13, PG, or G-rated tales. No erotica, no R-rated. Last, please, please, submitter, run a spell check. If I see tons of grammatical and spelling errors, I get so mad I reject the story.

9) What trait are you seeking most in submissions to this market?
Fast-moving, action-packed stories in the horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres.

10) Any last advice for submitters to this market?
To see what I like, go to and read the stories published there every other Friday. I have been known to take some submissions that are hard fits in other magazines. Thanks for the interview.

For more scoops, go to

D.L. Snell is an Affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, a graduate of Pacific University's Creative Writing program, and an editor for Permuted Press. Snell's first novel, ROSES OF BLOOD ON BARBWIRE VINES, pits vampires against mutating zombies in a post-apocalyptic setting. David Moody, author of the Autumn series, calls it "violent and visceral...beautiful and erotic," and Jonathan Maberry, author of Ghost Road Blues, says, "[I]t has all the ingredients needed to satisfy even the most jaded fan of horror fiction." For more information and to read sample chapters, visit

This article may be freely reprinted in any e-zine, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, website, etc. as long as all links and this message remain intact, as well as Snell's byline and bio. The formatting may be adjusted to fit the venue, but the content of the article must not be altered without written permission from D.L. Snell.

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