Finally got round to making a piano tutorial for the main theme from the movie 'Carrie' (1976):
I've uploaded videos of piano solos and compositions to YouTube for a few years now, and had a few requests for tutorials. I decided to make one today for Pink's Just Give Me A Reason, and hope to make more in the future. My next will be the theme tune from Carrie, which is often requested!
Here's a list of paying markets that publish short stories in the horror, science-fiction, fantasy and crime genres. ALL accept email submissions or use an online submission form. Please let me know if you find any dead links. 'Sim sub' = simultaneous submission (submitting the same story to more than one publication at the same time).
Do be sure to check out my proofreading services. £4 per 1,000 words using MS Word tracked changes.
Also, be sure to check out my highly rated thrillers, MEMORIES UNSPEAKABLE and SHARK BAIT! SHARK BAIT was a finalist in A.M. Heath's Criminal Lines Competition 2015 and reached the acquisition boards of both Orion and Harlequin Harper Collins.
Horror, dark fantasy. No sim or multiple subs. 500-7000 words. Pays 3c/word up to $35.
Fantasy/sci-fi/horror. Sim subs and reprints accepted. 100-10,000 words. Pays $10 flat.
Fantasy/sci-fi/horror. No sim or multiple subs or reprints. 2,500-8,000 words. 6 Euros/1000 words
Sci-fi. 2,000-7,000 words preferred for short stories. Also publishes serials up to 80,000 words. Pays professional rates.
Sci-fi, fantasy. No sim or multiple subs. Up to 10,000 words. Pays 1.25c/word (Australian)
Fantasy, Sci-fi, horror. No sim or multiple subs. 30 days response. Up to 5,000 words firm. Pays 5c/word.
Sci-fi. No sim subs. up to 20,000 words. Pays 7-9c/word.
'Dark' genre fiction. Sim and multiple subs and reprints accepted. Check reading periods! Pays $10 flat.
Literary fantasy. Sim subs accepted. No multiple subs or reprints. Up to 10,000 words. Pays 5c/word.
Genre fiction. No multiple subs. Sim subs and reprints accepted. 1,000-8,000 words. Pays 5c/word. CURRENTLY CLOSED.
Sci-fi. 500-3,000 words. Sim subs accepted. No multiple subs. Pays 6c/word (Canadian).
Sci-fi, fantasy. 1,000-8,000 words (4,000 preferred). 2 days response. Pays 10c/word to 4,000 words, 5c/word after.
Sci-fi, fantasy. 100-10,000 words. Especially keen on flash fiction. No sim or multiple subs or reprints. Pays 8c/word.
Crime, mystery. Any length, but 2,500 -8,000 words preferred. 3 months response. Pays 5-8c/word
Genre. 250-7,000 words. Sim subs accepted. No multiple subs or reprints. Consider reading periods! Pays $20 flat.
Sci-fi, fantasy. Up to 5,000 words. Accepts reprints and sim subs, but no multiple subs. Pays 1c/word.
Sci-fi, fantasy. 1,500-7,500 words. No sim or multiple subs. Reprints accepted. Pays 8c/word. CURRENTLY CLOSED.
Sci-fi, fantasy. Up to 10,000 words. Sim subs accepted. 60-90 days response. Pays $50 for shorts, $20 for flash.
Horror. Up to 3,000 words firm. Sim subs accepted. No multiple subs. Pays 5c/word.
Fantasy, sci-fi. 2,000-4,000 words. No multiple subs. Pays 60 Euros flat. CURRENTLY CLOSED.
Crime, mystery. 750-4,000 words. Sim subs accepted. Response time 4-6 weeks. Pays 1c/word
Fantasy, sci-fi. Up to 5,000 words. Sim subs and reprints accepted. Pays $5.50 flat.
Horror, dark fantasy audio podcasts. Shorts 2,000-6,000 words, flash up to 1,500 words. Sim subs and reprints accepted. No multiple subs. Pays $100 for short stories, $20 for flash.
Genre. Up to 7,500 words (4,000 preferred). No sim or multiple subs. Pays 5c/word.
Dark fantasy, horror, crime. Up to 5,000 words. Sim subs accepted, no multiple subs. Pays $10 for flash and $25 for short stories. Response time 2-4 months. CURRENTLY CLOSED.
Dark fantasy, horror. Up to 5,000 words. Reprints accepted. No sim or multiple subs. Pays 5c/word.
Sci-fi, horror. 2,000-8,000 words. No sim or multiple subs. Pays 7c/word.
Speculative fiction. Up to 9,000 words (5,000 preferred). No sim or multiple subs or reprints. 40 day response. Pays 8c/word.
Speculative fiction, must be 'family friendly'. No word limit, accepts flash to novellas. 60 day response. Pays $50.
The Last Of Us, a video game for the PS3 by Naughty Dog, really made an impression on me (as it did with many other people). Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the Cordyceps fungus (responsible for the real-life 'zombie ant') now infects humans, the game's protagonist, Joel, encounters a 14-year-old girl, Ellie, who is immune to the infection. He is charged with leading her across America to some scientists so they can try and develop a cure.
Joel lost his daughter at the start of the outbreak, and doesn't want the responsibility of escorting Ellie. Indeed, he tries to pass her off on his brother half way through their journey. This is where The Last Of Us really excels - the plotting and characterisation is simply sublime. Along the journey Joel grows to love Ellie and cannot give her up. So when the scientists reveal that the neccessary surgery will kill her, Joel kills them all and rescues her.
And so the first moral dilemma. Did Joel do the right thing? It's a tricky one. The scientists themselves surely thought they were in the right; killing one to save mankind is the ultimate in utilitarianism, and who can rationally disagree? And so was Joel wrong? I don't think so. Ellie never agreed to sacrifice herself, and there was no guarantee the scientists would even find a cure. And Joel didn't even really have a choice - he'd already lost one daughter, he wasn't going to sit back and lose another. A rational part of me argued, "Just look at the stats - one death to save millions..." whilst the emotional part of me punched the air when Joel rescued her. People aren't just statistics when you know and love them.
The second moral dilemma, The Lie, came when Ellie awoke. Joel told her the scientists had worked with hundreds of immune people, that nothing had worked and so they'd given up looking for a cure. Even when she displayed signs of Survivors Guilt Joel swore he was telling the truth. Why did he lie? Because he was scared of losing her. He was scared she'd choose to go back and give up her life, and so he took the decision away from her. It was selfish of him, and lacked the poetic scenes of self-sacrifice I'd been expecting, but it was more real. Joel is a survivor, and he decided he couldn't survive without her. It's the only thing he could do.
And hey, hopefully it'll mean a sequel.