Market Report: The Dark

August 6, 2013

8/27/13 Update: Stories under 1000 words are no longer considered. Sean Wallace has joined the editorial team.
8/25/13 Update: Please wait at least 1 week after receiving a rejection to send another submission.
8/18/13 Update: Mr. Fisher is no longer considering reprints for “The Dark.” Please send original submissions only.

Click here for detailed guidelines.

Genres: Dark science fiction & fantasy, magical realism

Length: Up to 5000 words (query for longer)

Pay rate: $0.05/word

Rights: First North American Serial Rights

Editor: Jack Fisher

The Dark is a new magazine from an experienced editor Jack Fisher. The magazine’s web site is not up yet as of this writing, but he is already accepting submissions and is responding promptly. There’s an IndieGoGo campaign to help raise additional funds for the magazine.

Mr. Fisher answered some questions about The Dark, below:



You’ve been an editor and publisher before, when you ran Flesh & Blood magazine over 10 years ago. What prompted you to start a new magazine now? Why start a brand-new publication instead of resurrecting Flesh & Blood?

I’ve been mulling the idea of “coming back” for a few years now. I missed the work, the scene, the people. F&B had its run as F&B – it was time to start something fresh and new.

In your IndieGoGo campaign you describe _The Dark_ as the “dark fantasy and dark SF magazine” that is “not necessarily horror.” What, in your opinion, separates dark SF/F from horror?

I believe there are many variations of horror. What may be “horrific” to some, may not be to others. I so happen to like the softer side of horror, the more subtle horror. Like the supernatural, for example, or anything with a dark bend to it, not necessarily blood-and-gut horror.

Can you name a few published short stories you would have loved to discover first and print in The Dark, given the opportunity?

I’ve been out of the field for so long, I really can’t say. I had been reading a lot of China Meiville’s work (I especially loved his short stories in “Looking For Jake: Stories”), and a lot of mainstream, non-genre stuff.

What’s your take on flash fiction? Do you enjoy very short stories, and do you anticipate accepting that length for The Dark or do you prefer longer tales?

I think that flash fiction can be very powerful if done right. Those little stories have the power to pack a lot of punch.

Will you consider dark humor?

No, I have no desire to laugh when reading dark fiction.

Will you consider reprints that are more than a year old but are still available on the web site of the original publication?

Yes, that is fine, but it should be noted that despite considering them, they’ll still be a hard sell. They’ll have to be exceptional.

What’s your slush process? Will you read all the submissions yourself, or rely on slush readers/associate editors? You’ve been responding very quickly to the early wave of submissions. Do you expect to be able to maintain that pace in the future?

I read everything myself. If I’m on the fence with something, I reach out to others for their opinions. Sean Wallace of Prime Books is one of my go-to-men, for example. He provides valuable feedback and opinion. I try to keep up on submissions as they come in otherwise I will drown. I expect to maintain swift turn-around’s.

So far, is there any one thing submitting authors commonly get wrong? What is it, and how should they fix it?

Study the guidelines, study the magazine. I have a precise vision and idea in mind, and I think I make this crystal clear in my guidelines. You will also see this reflected in the fiction I buy.


If you’re an editor of a new speculative magazine or anthology paying semi-pro or professional rates and wish to be interviewed for the Market Report column, please contact me.