LitReactor Community Spotlight: Solarcide
We’re broadening the scope for this week’s Spotlight and shining it on an entire website!
Solarcide.com is the creation of Martin Garrity and Nathan Pettigrew, who met way back in the olden times before LitReactor. I believe they said it was 2010. They became friends at The Cult and together created a site that was part portfolio, part publisher, and part playground.
The idea was that the site would fulfill all the goals of a regular author page, with the added bonus of guest story content and interviews with authors that were making their mark on the writing community, content that ultimately would make the site a whole lot more fun to visit. One thing that was laid down with the very first foundations, was that this was a site interested in exploring the seedy underbelly of fiction, the darker content and weird writings that many other websites seemed to shun.
The rest is history. The site grew faster than the guys thought possible and soon enough they had regular readers and tons of interest in what they were doing. As everything grew, it also progressed. Guest authors are no longer personally invited to send work over but are instead invited to submit to a more traditional 'lit-mag' section of the site. Also, as of 2013, authors selected for the guest slot are paid for their contribution. Sounds pretty cool. So if you want to submit something of your own, you might be curious about what the editors are looking for.
There are two key buzz-words I associate with our kind of fiction. Those words are dark and weird. We like horror, sci-fi, bizarro, literary, action stories, magical realism, supernatural, and pretty much anything else along the way, but, if it's going to have a chance at grabbing our monthly slot, it is going to have to draw pretty heavily from one of those two magical pools I mentioned. The dark and the weird. Stuff that reads well when the sun is dead and gone.
But the biggest new thing to come out of Solarcide are the anthologies they have/are putting together. In 2012 they had their first release, Nova Parade.
In many ways, Nova Parade was the transition point for the old site and the new, the Amazon Kindle release featured work from both editors and twenty three other good friends of the site, and was visualised as a celebration to mark the passing of the website into adulthood.
Then in 2013 the second anthology came along, and this time in print! The book, appropriately titled Flash Me!: The Sinthology, is full of nothing but flash fiction. The idea started in the LitReactor community as a monthly competition that was judged by member Chester Pane, a good friend of the Solarcide editors since the old days over at The Cult. The old Flash thread came to an end, as all good things must, but it was decided that it had been too awesome to go quietly into that good night. And what better way to pass on than with a flash fiction collection themed around the wicked and wonderful world of sin?
The Sinthology was definitely a challenge to put together. Our first anthology project, Nova Parade, was mostly an invitation based affair, whereas Flash Me! was the traditional open season for submissions. So there were a ton of submissions to read. Which is nothing new for the site these days, but our regular slush pile reading is for a single monthly story slot. Which sort of means that each month the job of picking a story from the batch boils down to: which is our favorite? And at the end of the day picking favorites is pretty easy. With this new collection the slush pile had to be cut down considerably, but it couldn't be reduced to: which one do we like best? There was theme and style across the whole book to consider. Was one element of sin being grossly over-represented next to the others? Was there a nice balance of short, micro-fiction style pieces to mix in with stuff that ran closer to the word limit? Were we getting a nice mixture of first, third, and even the occasional nod to second person perspectives? We are used to having to turn decent work away, when there's something else come in that month that shines more, but this time there were lots of new factors to consider. It was a lot of fun though, diving in the deep end and having a go.
Aside from the site, Martin and Nathan both have their own personal projects as well such as WIP novels and story collections. You can find a full list of their exploits on Solarcide in the biography sections.
Looking to the future, there already plans in place for the next big feature release—-a paperback release for a Best-Of Collection which will feature fiction from fifteen authors that were featured by the site in the first eighteen months of operation. This next project should escape captivity in early 2014 and is going to be the biggest and best project to come from Solarcide to date. (I can’t wait)
Keep an eye on Solarcide for their monthly updates and new projects. The team is always hard at work coming up with new ideas and displaying some of the best interviews, special features, and stories on the web.
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