Star Ship Sofa
What do we want?In a word: science-fiction. From the soft, social science fiction to the weird pulpy stuff to the vigorous hard SF and YA adventure. We welcome all sub-genres and all variety of punks in all their colours. From high-octane action to quiet philosophical stories, we’re after it all.Science fiction is a rich and diverse genre, push it’s boundaries as far as you can go.
We welcome translations and are very interested in stories that take place/written by authors outside the US/Anglo-sphere, as well as as alternative movements and styles. These include (but not limited to) “non-Western” science fiction, Chinese SF, Soviet speculative fiction, Afro-futurism, etc.
The exception is that the SF element must be the backbone of the story. It cannot be an afterthought, or simple window dressing. It can be subtle, but it has to be the story’s foundation. If you take away the speculative element and the story still stands, then it’s not science-fiction and it is not for us.
We are also not interested in fantasy or supernatural horror stories. Genre labels are loose, but if the coal in the story’s engine is magic or supernatural based, we don’t want it. But if there are science-based elements, however soft, then it can be considered. If in doubt, send. Ultimately the best way to get a feel for what we want is to listen to the podcast itself. We favour rich world building, tight prose, complex characters, engaging dialogue and strong pacing, however you define it.
Although we will consider all types of SF, second person is a very tough sell, as are stories that are preachy and didactic in nature. We’re not the place for fanfiction, fetishistic torture-porn, or total erotica (more stuff on that below). We don’t take well to gimmicky stories that lack a narrative, and as for yarns about werewolves, zombies, vampires… don’t even get us started. Seriously. It won’t end well.
Adult contentFiction should be free to explore any themes it wishes to, and that means going to some very dark places. There are no levels to the amount of violence, themes, sex, swearing, drugs, or otherwise adult themes in our stories. If it’s done right, nothing is taboo. If it’s part of the human experience, then it’s applicable to fiction.
However, we are not an erotica market, and torture-porn is unlikely to impress us. We don’t take well to blatant shock value. Whatever you’re sending, just make sure it’s thematically justified.
Rights and payment
StarShipSofa pays $50 USD flat rate per story. We only require nonexclusive, one time audio rights to play your story. Authors are paid for their stories on the 7th of the proceeding month.
What to send?We publish both original and reprint fiction on StarShipSofa. We are not biased either way, we love a time-tested story as much as we love discovering fresh voices.
For reprints, please do not send anything self-published, published at a vanity press. We are especially interested in seeing stories published in print anthologies, or stories not available publicly online. Please mention where the work was originally published in your cover letter. However, we cannot take any stories that have been previously published in audio. If the fine folk at EscapePod, Podcastle, Pseudopod, Far Fetched Fables, Tales to Terrify, or any other podcast, have picked you up, then we can’t use it. This does not include anthologized audio books. If in doubt, query.
Paid story length runs from 3,000 words up to 9,000 words.
Multiple and simultaneous submissionsMultiple submissions are not allowed. One submission is allowed until acceptance or rejection before you are eligible to submit another artwork. Any multiple submissions while the initial one is still under review will be ignored. Sim-subs are also allowed, for both original and reprint submissions, but please tell us if another market gets to you first.
How to sendPlease include a bio and the venue where your story was originally published. If it’s an original story, just put “Original” or something to that degree in the field box. Use standard manuscript formatting (12-point, Times New Roman, double-spaced). We will try to respond within thirty days, but we will aim for a much shorter time. Query within sixty. The longer we hold your story, the better your chances. Please do not re-submit rejected stories, argue with rejections letters, and especially do not hurl abuse the staff because we said no to your story. Ever. If you do, make it good, because it’ll be the last time you’ll do it here.
To get a feel for what we’re truly after, give our podcast a listen. And if you could support the show and help us pay our authors and narrators, that would be marvelous. Let’s make that happen. Our Patreon page is here.
You can submit your stories via Moksha, here.
Good luck! We look forward to reading your submissions.