Hello all,

You’ve probably noticed the lack of posts on this blog since we’ve been on hiatus and it is with some sadness that I have to make this announcement.

After thorough consideration, it has been decided that Speculative Mystery Iconoclast will close its doors. As such, all submissions (stories as well as artwork) are hereby released from consideration for publication.

We would like to thank all those who have thought of our publication as a possible home for their work. It has been an honour working with such talented people over the last two years.

Thank you for your support.


The Editor, Speculative Mystery Iconoclast


The headline says it all…Yes, we’re very excited 

Some details:

The issue comes in at 85 pages (65 pages of short fiction + 12 pages of non-fiction features + 8 pages of other interesting info and a very cool cover by a supremely talented artist):

The fiction portion of the Table of Contents looks like this:

Ping by Victoria Witt

The Three Fingers Case by Stuart Jaffe

The Revenge of the Past by Jeffery Scott Sims 

Not much more to do than plug the link:  http://www.specmystery.com/buy.html


Issue # 2 update

Rejections and final acceptances are going out over the next few days.

Yay! Well, for the acceptances, that is…Although, I have given some encouragement or notes where time has allowed it.

Keep writing and keep submitting (to ours and any zine for which  your story is a good match)

I decided to have a post consisting of links to sites, articles and blogs that might be useful for potential submitters to our little zine (and submitting stories in general). I’ve taken the liberty of listing these links in easy-to-follow categories:


Writing craft:







Why are these important?

Writing fiction (short stories or novels) isn’t a pursuit that you will ever fully master. Its universal mantra goes something like this: “Lifelong learning is your friend.”



The business of writing:





Why are these important?

You want to be knowledgeable about this writing thing, don’t you? And by writing I mean everything that goes with the physical act of typing your fantastic tale.








Why are these important?

First impressions are important, right? What should you do (or not do) to create that first impression? Click the above.




http://www.writingexcuses.com/2009/03/29/writing-excuses-season-2-episode-25-the-seven-deadly-sins-of-slush-stories/  (THIS IS NEW!)








Why are these important?

This may be a reality check for some out there. Cold. Brutal. Helpful.



Author fan site-blogs:









Why are these important?

These sites can be fun but are also venues where issues of our industry are debated. Check them out regularly and you’re bound to find something 









Why are these important?

Some might ask, “Why should I read reviews for stories I didn’t write and zines or anthos I’m not in?”


Well…Short answer: One, you’ll get a taste for the type of stories a specific zine publishes (without buying/reading said zine). Two, if you pay attention, reviewers can highlight what works and doesn’t work in specific stories they review.



Genre news:

http://charles-tan.blogspot.com (especially his daily “Links and Plugs” post)



Why are these important?

You want to be in the know about the field, don’t you? You don’t want to trawl the whole internet yourself, do you?



Editors skulking around the blogosphere and the wider internet:






Why are these important?

If you have to ask, then I want you to go to the principal’s office. Now!


Note: Some of these resources provide “lessons” in more than one of the above categories. There may be overlap, but rarely duplication of learning.


That’s all – for now.


Keep writing and submitting!

Here are Speculative Mystery Iconoclast issue #2’s slush pile percentages at the time of writing this post:

Science Fiction / Mystery = 23.8%

Horror / Mystery = 2.7%

Fantasy / Mystery = 17.6%

Dark Fantasy / Mystery = 4.3%

Science Fiction / Horror / Mystery = 1%

Science Fiction / Fantasy / Mystery = 23.1%

Dark Fantasy / Science Fiction / Mystery = 2%

Iconoclastic Speculative Fiction = 12.1%

Missed the mark (Did not read or simply ignored the guidelines) = 13.4% (These writers especially should really buy issue #1 – on sale at www.specmystery.com)

The first batch of rejections and hold responses have been sent to authors .

Keep writing and keep submitting! (Hint: mystery with a horror flavour is what we’re missing the most!)

I was inspired to start writing speculative short stories after reading Fondly Fahrenheit by Alfred Bester. The story broke a lot of preconceptions I had about short fiction and the limits that were inherent to the form. For example, before reading the story, I had gotten it into my head that because of the length he setting, scope, and pacing had to be limited and slow.


The story contained several characters that reminded me of people I had encountered in real life. Coincidentally, Fondly Fahrenheit also involved subject matter from my academic life and interests of mine. All of this prompted me to research Alfred Bester and I soon discovered some real life commonalities. One of these commonalities was that Alfred Bester left short story writing to write comic books for a while, penning one of my favourite superhero comics, Green Lantern.


One of the most interesting bits of weird trivia is that Alfred Bester was often credited with composing the Green Lantern Oath that went a little something like this:


In the brightest day,

In the blackest night,

No evil shall escape my sight,

Let those who worship evil’s might,

Beware my power,

The Green Lantern light!


I’m writing this from fanboy memory, so I could’ve gotten some of the words wrong – my apologies to the more scholarly fans out there. The weird part is that he had been quoted as saying that the oath existed before he began writing the comic.


A recent post over at Boingboing.net about a Magic Lantern museum got me thinking about Green Lantern again.


The result of my musings is my conclusion that Green Lantern should be every writer’s favourite superhero.




Well, for those of you not familiar with Green Lantern, he or she (there used to be a GL Corps with hundreds of these appointed space-policing Green Lanterns) derives his / her power from a ring which he/she needs to charge with a green lantern (hence the name). Once charged (yes, like a cell phone), he /she is able to fly and create just about any weapon / vehicle / whatever out of solid green light.


You’re probably thinking: Hey, mildly interesting, but why should GL be adored by us writer folks?


Okay, sorry for all that background (infodump). The reason for my contention can be found in Green Lantern’s limitations and weaknesses, namely:

  • A green Lantern’s creations are only limited by his / her will power and imagination. This holds for writers too.
  • A Green Lantern ring must be recharged regularly, because it can only hold finite charge of energy. This holds for all writers (even the full-time ones), because we need to recharge our writing batteries with outside interests and real life.
  • The original GL Corps rings were all weak against the colour yellow / gold. To translate into writer language: Never pay too much attention to your own press and praise (gold). Keep striving to be better.
  • Alan Scott, the first GL, possessed an older GL ring that was weak against wood. However, even with the risk of flying into a tree during a low air chase, he soldiered on with the mission as his successors would one day do. Writers should keep in mind that although technology has changed, the mission (to write) stays the same.
  • The GL corps was comprised of heroes from different worlds across the universe and each guarded different sectors of space. Although, we’re all writers, each of us occupies a different point in “writing-space’. Learn from each other but follow your own path.


Wow, I surprised myself with how motivational this post has become. This is where my ‘charge’ has run out on this topic. Do you have a favourite superhero? Does he / she embody an ethic that you feel can help in your writing?


As always, keep writing and keep submitting!

The magazine’s first issue is 94 pages long (88 pages of which is short fiction) and contains the following short stories:
Mirror, Mirror  by Lindsey Duncan (Fantasy/Mystery)
The Time Phone by Richard Zwicker (Science Fiction/Mystery)
The Terror at the Woodruff by Michael Penncavage (Supernatural Horror/Mystery)
Ferrit and Faux by Justine Graykin (Fantasy/Mystery)
As always, keep writing and keep submitting!