Category Archives: Editorial

A Voice from the Grave

The second and final Acidic Fiction anthology is now available!

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Acidic Fiction #2: Toxic Tales is a collection of 14 stories originally published on the site in 2015. The anthology is available as a paperback (US $11.99) and Kindle eBook (US $3.99). Any purchase of the paperback from Amazon.com will include a free copy of the eBook. Here is some additional info:

Acidic Fiction #2: Toxic Tales

ISBN: 978-0692537381
ASIN: B017KZU65Q

Paperback on Amazon.com
eBook on Amazon.com

I’d like to thank all the authors and readers for making this possible. I also hope that people who enjoy the anthology will look through the other stories in the archive and support all the authors whose work has been published in Acidic Fiction.

The Slow and Painless Death of Acidic Fiction

After nearly a year of working on Acidic Fiction, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this magazine will not be viable in the long term. There are a few reasons—the most obvious of which is a lack of funding—but my biggest concern is that it’s preventing me from focusing on my own projects. My own career (such as it is) will have to become my primary focus again.

I do think the magazine has been a good use of my time, and I also think I have done a good (or at least adequate) job of supporting authors with token payments and constructive feedback. The stories on the site are all excellent, and I plan to continue maintaining the archive for current and future readers to explore.

However, I will no longer be considering new submissions. Once I finish reading my current backlog of submissions, I will publish a few more stories on the site before the end of June, depending on how many I decide to accept.

I still intend to release a second anthology this fall, containing the best short stories published on the site in 2015. The anthology will probably come out in August or September, depending on how much time I have to devote to other projects once June is over.

After that, the world will be a little more basic.

A Madness to the Method

On Tuesday, the official Acidic Fiction submission form officially crapped out. It seems that Google Forms has reduced the size of form responses to 10,000 characters, which meant the existing form could only accept stories with fewer than 1,000 words or so. I’m not sure if this is a new bug or a new “feature,” but it’s enough of a problem that I have to revamp my submission system if I want to keep getting longer submissions (and I do).

Before now, the submission system worked as follows: Authors would submit their short story and some personal information on a Google Form separate from this site. The form responses  were stored on my personal Google Drive account in the form of a Google Sheets spreadsheet, which I would download and save as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Using a mail-merge template I had created in Microsoft Word, I would import the data from the spreadsheet and organize it into individual story submissions contained in one large Microsoft Word document. From this document, I would copy each story submission into a blank document. At that point, I finally read the story.

After I read the story and made my decision, I would copy and paste one of four pre-written response emails from EditPad Lite, inserting the relevant information into the email as necessary. At the end of the email, I would type some notes to the author about why I made that particular decision. I also included the text of the original submission for reference. Once the email was ready, I would copy and paste it into a new message from my dedicated Gmail account, which I would then send to the author. I repeated this story for each of the 50 or so stories I received every week.

Although the process was extremely inelegant (the technical term is “kludge”), it worked fairly well. Most of the actual effort came from setting up the system last fall, and the roughly 1,000 story submissions I’ve received since then have all gone through this system. However, because Google Forms is no longer cooperating, I will start using an entirely new system tomorrow.

The new form will be hosted on acidicfiction.com using a WordPress Plugin called Ninja Forms. This system will send confirmation emails to authors and send the submissions directly to my Gmail account, where I can reply to them directly. Because this system is new, I will still be adjusting to it in the next few weeks, but it shouldn’t be nearly as difficult or complicated than my previous method. It’s also free of charge, which is still my highest priority in selecting a submission system.

If you’ve had trouble submitting to the site in the past because of issues with Google Forms, I hope you’ll try submitting through the new system. We can all discover the inevitable glitches with this system in the days to come, but at least they will be new and improved glitches.

Starting May 1, the link to the form will be available the official submissions page: http://acidicfiction.com/submissions/. Make sure to read the guidelines before you submit anything, or all my hard work (and yours) will be in vain.

Presenting …

The very first Acidic Fiction Anthology!

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Acidic Fiction #1: Corrosive Chronicles is a collection of 14 stories originally published on the site in 2014. The anthology is available as a paperback (US $11.99) and Kindle eBook (US $3.99). Any purchase of the paperback from Amazon.com will include a free copy of the eBook. Here is some additional info:

Acidic Fiction #1: Corrosive Chronicles

ISBN: 978-0692403471
ASIN: B00V5C3L1W

Paperback on Amazon.com
eBook on Amazon.com

Furthermore, Acidic Fiction now has an official Patreon page! Any donation of $4 or more will earn readers a digital copy of the newest anthology in PDF, EPUB, and Kindle formats.

For future reference, links to anthologies and the Patreon page will be available on the “Support” page, which is now listed in the menu at the top of the site. Please check out the new anthology and continue to support Acidic Fiction by reading all the new stories every Monday and Friday!

Anthology Announcement

I have officially purchased 14 short stories for the first Acidic Fiction anthology. These stories were chosen from the stories published on the site in 2014; stories published in 2015 will not be eligible until the next anthology. In addition to their quality and originality, these stories feature a wide variety of different genres, settings, characters, and voices. I feel that they provide a good representation of the first few months of the magazine.

The first anthology will be called Acidic Fiction #1: Corrosive Chronicles and will contain the following stories:

Lester and The Doctor
H. C. Duncan

Roll the Sky
Yegor Chekmarev

Better
Fredrick Obermeyer

Divine Organ
Madeline Popelka

Settled
Julio Toro San Martin

White-Out
Sean Moreland

Stowaway
P. R. O’Leary

Healer
Jean Davis

Plastic Teeth
A. P. Sessler

Hauntings
Charles Ebert

Clinical Trial
Daniel Devine

Her Father’s Eyes
Simon Kewin

Swamplands
Sierra July

The Deal
Aline Carriere

I haven’t chosen cover artwork yet, but I will begin laying out the interior and post another update in the next month. The anthology should be available as a paperback and Kindle eBook by the end of March.

The State of the Site

Now that Acidic Fiction has entered its second calendar year, I have begun the process of preparing the first Acidic Fiction anthology. My plan is to publish two anthologies a year containing the best stories published on the site in the previous six months. The Spring 2015 anthology will contain stories from July to December 2014, the Fall 2015 anthology will contain stories from January to June 2015, and so on. Any of the 32 stories that were published on the site last year will be eligible for inclusion in the first anthology.

The Spring 2015 anthology will be released simultaneously as a paperback and Amazon Kindle e-book. I am looking into other e-book formats and distribution channels, but I haven’t decided which ones I will use. I also haven’t decided which stories to select (or how many), but I imagine the anthology will contain about 13 stories. When I choose the stories, I will notify the authors of those stories via email with more information. After the authors are paid the flat anthology rate for their stories, the remaining proceeds from anthology sales will go toward maintaining the website and payments for future authors.

Since I’ve now said “anthology” nine times, I will address a couple of other things.

First, I have been receiving a consistent stream of good stories and I’ve been responding to each submission with as much feedback as I feel I can reasonably provide. I’m very pleased that the site has been able to draw in so many submissions. Second, I’ve finally caught up with the holiday backlog of magazine work (and my own work), so I can continue making progress on several different projects, including Acidic Fiction.

Finally, there is the matter of finances. When I started the magazine, I set aside a budget for one year of stories, including the additional cost of one anthology. This year, my goal is for the magazine to begin earning money with anthology sales, and if necessary, other sources of income like donations or advertisements. The next six months will essentially determine the short- and long-term future of the magazine. In the meantime, I am slowly but surely drawing in more readers and followers on social media.

I’m always available to answer reader questions, so feel free to contact me if you have any other concerns: Contact the Editor

Founded in 2014

Three score and six days ago, Acidic Fiction brought forth on this website, a new story, conceived in a contemporary setting and dedicated to the proposition that all stories should be free to read, and all authors, paid. Since then, the site has published 24 additional stories, drawn from a pool of 316 submissions by 232 different authors. Since its inception on August 24, 2014, the website has received more than 4,600 page views from more than 2,000 unique readers.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers and writers who have been willing to read this magazine and submit stories, even though it is brand-new, unproven, and relatively low-budget. I’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of writing in the stories I have received, especially considering the wide variety of other magazines and online venues the authors could have chosen instead. And of course, Acidic Fiction draws in only the most intelligent, friendly, and attractive readers on the entire Internet.

The magazine will continue its twice-weekly schedule until Christmas, when I will take a winter break until after New Year’s Day. I’ll continue accepting submissions during that time, but responses will be a bit slower due to the holidays. In early 2015, I will begin assembling an anthology of the best stories published on the site in 2014. I’ll provide some more information about the book next year.

In the meantime, I’m grateful to everyone involved with making this magazine as terrific as possible, even after just three months online. Thank you very much.

From Thrice- to Twice-Weekly

Even though I’ve been writing and editing for a long time, I’ve only been running an online magazine for a couple of months now, and it’s a complicated learning experience still in progress. Yesterday, I had to acknowledge that although it would be awesome to continue publishing three new stories a week, it’s too ambitious.

Starting in November, I will only be publishing two stories a week, on Mondays and Fridays. This is just a schedule change; the submission and publication processes will stay the same.

If I were running Acidic Fiction as a full-time job, I would have no trouble publishing three new stories a week. Unfortunately, there are several other projects that require my attention, so I have to budget my time a bit more carefully. I’m still looking forward to reading and publishing more stories, and I encourage all new readers to check out all the excellent stories already available on the website.

Prepare for Launch

After some effort, the site and social media pages are finally up and running. I think most of the issues have been addressed, but readers should contact me if they find any bugs, errors, or typos.

I’m going to post the first short story tomorrow morning. In general, stories will be posted by 12pm, US Central Time. Whenever I publish a story, I’ll announce it on the magazine’s official twitter and facebook pages. I will also post a link to the story on the subreddit for discussion and commentary.

For other questions or concerns, email me at editor.

A Launch Date and a Word Count Update

I’m finally going to be revamping the site over the next few days to prepare for the magazine’s official launch on September 22, 2014. I’ve been receiving a bunch of good submissions, and I have a few weeks’ worth of stories ready to go after the magazine launches.

Before the launch, I’ve decided to make one change to the submission criteria: All stories must now be shorter than 6,000 words. The submissions page and official form will reflect this change. I have a few key reasons:

First, I’ve found that the best stories I’ve received so far have been relatively short. Second, although I pay $35 per story regardless of length, the type of sale is determined by word count. Whenever I buy a story that’s shorter than 3,500 words, it’s considered a semi-professional sale, which benefits the author more than a token sale (i.e. for a story longer than 3,500 words). I want to encourage more authors who are trying to make semi-pro sales. Finally, Acidic Fiction publishes 3 complete stories each week, and casual readers might not invest their time in reading 30,000 words every week.

There are still plenty of excellent fora on the internet for longer speculative fiction stories, and many of them even prefer stories that are longer than 10,000 words, so I recommend writers keep looking out for those opportunities. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to receiving even more excellent stories.