The SFWA list of qualifying markets is here.
Print and Digital. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: SF dominates the fiction published in the magazine, but we also publish borderline fantasy, slipstream, and surreal fiction. No sword & Sorcery, please. Asimov’s pays 8-10 cents per word for short stories up to 7,500 words, and 8 cents for each word over 7,500. We seldom buy stories shorter than 1,000 words or longer than 20,000 words, and we don’t serialize novels. We pay $1 a line for poetry, which should not exceed 40 lines.
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Print. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: We are looking for stories that will appeal to science fiction and fantasy readers. The SF element may be slight, but it should be present. We prefer character-oriented stories. We receive a lot of fantasy fiction, but never enough science fiction or humor. We publish fiction up to 25,000 words in length. We prefer not to see more than one submission from a writer at a time. Allow 8 weeks for a response. Payment is 7-12 cents per word on acceptance.
Print and Digital. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: We publish science fiction stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so integral to the plot that, if that aspect were removed, the story would collapse. Try to picture Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein without the science and you’ll see what I mean. No story! Analog pays 8-10 cents per word for short fiction (up to approximately 20,000 words), 6 cents per word for serials (40,000-80,000 words), 9 cents per word for fact articles, and $1 per line for poetry.
Digital – and then later Print. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: Science fiction need not be “hard” SF, but rigor is appreciated. Fantasy can be folkloric, contemporary, surreal, etc. Horror can be supernatural or psychological, so long as it is frightening. 1000-16000 words, no exceptions. Pay Rate: 10¢ per word for the first 5000 words, 8¢ for each word over 5000.
Cast of Wonders – Audio (and at least some written online). Guidelines as of 4/13/18: “Stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without gratuitous or explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.” “Cast of Wonders is open to submissions for stories of up to 6,000 words. We will reject unread any submissions exceeding the 6,000 word cap if you haven’t previously contacted us for permission. We prefer: short stories between 3000 and 4500 words in length: they best fit our target episode length of 30 minutes.” Pays $.06/word.
Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
Digital. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: We are looking for science fiction and fantasy stories of up to 17,500 words. “Science fiction” includes hard science fiction, science fiction adventure, alternate history, near-future, far-future, psi, alien, and any other kind of science fiction you can think of. “Fantasy” includes heroic fantasy (based on any culture’s mythology), fairy tales, contemporary fantasy, and “horror” in the sense of supernatural suspense (not gory blood-fests, thanks). We pay 6 cents a word.
Digital. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: Speculative fiction, broadly defined. Up to 10,000 words (under 5000 preferred). Payment of 8¢/word USD. We prefer stories under 5,000 words, but we consider stories up to 10,000 words. Note, however, that the longer the story is, the less likely we are to be interested. However, we have no minimum wordcount requirement; we consider short-short stories.
Lightspeed – As of 4/14/18 they are closed to submissions. “Lightspeed is seeking original science fiction and fantasy stories. All types of science fiction and fantasy are welcome. No subject should be considered off-limits, and we encourage writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope.” “We are open to stories of 1500-10,000 words. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred. Pay Rate: Lightspeed pays 8 cents per word for original fiction, or 2 cents per word for reprints.”
Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores
Digital. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: Science fiction, fantasy, myth, legend, fairy tales, and eldritch (“weird and sinister or ghostly”). Also Stories for Young People from 4 to 400. Pays 6 cents per word. Four open periods a year for submissions.
Apex Magazine – Digital. “Apex Magazine is an online prose and poetry magazine of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mash-ups of all three. Works full of marrow and passion, stories that are twisted, strange, and beautiful. Creations where secret places and dreams are put on display.” Guidelines as of 4/13/18: “Maximum word length is a firm 7,500 words. Anything more will be auto-rejected. Payment for original fiction is $.06 per word up to 7,500 words. If we podcast your story, payment is $.01 per word up to 7,500 words.”
Fireside Fiction – Guidelines as of 4/13/18: “Fireside accepts original, previously unpublished submissions of short fiction, of any genre, up to 4,000 words.” Pays 12.5 cents per word.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies – Literary Adventure Fantasy
Digital. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: Beneath Ceaseless Skies publishes “literary adventure fantasy”: stories with a secondary-world setting and some traditional or classic fantasy feel, but written with a literary approach. We want stories set in what Tolkien called a “secondary world”: some other world that is different from our own primary world in some way. It could be different in terms of zoology (non-human creatures), ecology (climate), or physical laws (the presence of magic). It could be set on Earth but an Earth different from our primary world in terms of time (the historical past) or history (alternate history). It could have a “pre-tech” level of technology, or steampunk technology, or magic as technology, or anything else that’s not advanced or modern technology. However, the setting should contain some element that is in some way fantastical. Characters: We prefer stories that focus on the characters. We strongly prefer characters who yearn for something, external or internal, and feel driven to attain it. Our favorite characters are “round characters”: ones who grow and change over the course of a story instead of remaining the same. Narrative Style: We prefer styles that are literary but readable. We love gorgeous, poetic prose, but in genre fiction it’s vital that the style be clear enough so the reader can understand what’s happening. Our favorite styles are lush yet still clear. Pays 6 cents US per word.
Digital – and Podcast. Guidelines as of 3/15/18: Escape Pod publishes in both text and audio; you are offering both of those one-time and archival rights to us when you send us your story. Escape Pod is a science fiction market. We are fairly flexible on what counts as science (we’ll delve into superheroes or steampunk on occasion) and are interested in exploring the range of the genre, but we are not looking for fantasy, magical realism, or more than a tinge of horror. If your story isn’t centered on science, technology, future projections, alternate history, and how any or all of these things intersect with people, we’re probably not the right market for it. Wordcount: 1500-6000 words. Payment: $0.06 per word for original fiction; $100.00 flat rate for reprints of any length.
Daily Science Fiction – Published via email and then put on their website. Guidelines as of 4/13/18: “Daily Science Fiction (DSF) is a market accepting speculative fiction stories from 100 to 1,500 words in length. By this we mean science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, etc. We will consider flash series–three or more flash tales built around a common theme. If you are submitting a flash series, please note that it is a series in your cover letter and at the top of the submitted text in the submission box. Each story does need to stand on its own.” Payment: “We pay 8 cents per word for first worldwide rights and for nonexclusive reprint rights. Additionally, we reserve the right to pay you more money for additional reprinting in themed Daily Science Fiction anthologies.”
Diabolical Plots – Published via email and then put on their website. Guidelines as of 4/13/18: Genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror (everything must have speculative element, even horror). Word count: 3500 words or less. This is a firm limit. Pays 8 cents per word.
For a very short story in a highly respectable venue – check out Nature Futures. As of March 22, 2018, “Futures is a venue for very short stories or ‘vignettes’ of between 850 and 950 words. The subject is typically near-future, hard SF, although this can be interpreted liberally.” They only pay $130, but you get to be published in Nature!
An interesting place to submit is TTA Press – they have three magazines, one for science fiction (Interzone), one for horror (Blackstatic), and one for crime stories (Crimewave). Their webpage says if you submit to one they will consider it for all three – so a good place to submit if you have a story that seems to fall into two or all three of these categories (which I do). Interzone at least seems to be well regarded. The downside is, they don’t seem to be an SFWA qualifying market.
Future Affairs Administration – As of April 14, 2018, “is a professional science fiction publication based in China that publishes short stories, reviews, interviews, and articles both in English and Chinese. FAA was accepted as a SFWA Qualifying Markets in June 2017. We opened for original and reprint short fiction submissions in July 2017. For the past four months or so, the number of submissions has been unexpectedly high and keeps increasing rapidly. We would like to apologize for much delayed responses to the authors due to our limited ability to handle these submissions for the time being. Therefore, we decided to close the submissions temporarily. ” Hmmm – Seems like maybe acceptance as an SFWA qualifying market can drive the submissions!
As of 3/15/18: Galaxy’s Edge does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Participation is by invitation only. We will not respond to unsolicited submissions.
Cosmos is closed to submissions of science fiction, as of March 22, 2018.
Compelling Science Fiction is closed to submissions as of April 13, 2018.