This is a Call for Proposals for an anthology set in the Dreamer’s Syndrome universe, entitled NEW WORLD NAVIGATION. What follows below is a brief overview of the Dreamer’s universe (a fuller Bible can be sent if you are interested), the anthology prompt, the submission process, and complete contact information. This is the first time I’ve opened up the Dreamer’s world to other authors, and I hope to publish this collection in Summer 2014 with a mix of established and new authors. Thanks for taking a look and email me with any questions.
THE DREAMER’S SYNDROME BIBLE
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An ordinary fall night in our ordinary world gives way to a fantastical New World with the breaking dawn. God has gone missing and the angels have reordered the world according to his will – that every human on Earth become their childhood dream. With no warning, humans who had gone to bed as bankers, janitors, and cashiers awoke dressed as astronauts, robots, and superheroes.
It was not just the humans who were changed, either. The entire world was remade according to popular dreams, with every nation recreated as an amalgam of its most famous eras from the past and present. In the United States, the New York City region has given way to the Superhero Corridor, the Midwest remade as the 1950s, the southwest to the Wild West, New England has become the Kingdom of New England, a mix between Elizabethan England and modern America, and on through every last neighborhood in every last corner of the world.
And that is the New World, our world dressed in the trappings of fantasy made real. But with every last soul given a new chance to start again, how many will find comfort in their childhood dreams and how many have forever left their childhood behind?
The Story So Far
DREAMER’S SYNDROME: INTO THE NEW WORLD
God is missing and the angels can’t find him. Word reaches the Host that God wants to see Earth undergo the Reorganization, an event that will see every human on Earth transformed into their childhood dream overnight.
Austin McNamara and Kelly Reed go to bed as a Literature Professor and Painter/Photographer, but wake up as a Pirate and Princess. Their new destinies force them apart, and what starts as an amusing vacation turns into a battle to save the world from the machinations of Damien, the Son of Satan.
New England becomes the centerpiece for their adventure, a land now caught halfway between our contemporary world and a medieval kingdom. Joined by King Bradford Regent, Ruggedly Handsome Ranger Frederic Kornell, Southern Princess Samantha Dixon, Mollug the wise-cracking parrot who wants to be human, and a wild array of Olympians, angels, pirates, princes, princesses, ninjas, and astronauts, Austin and Kelly’s most powerful ally comes in the guise of … Satan?
God returns on what has come to be known as New Sabbath Day, but not until after Damien has broken the Gates that hold God’s worlds separate and freed the Nightmares, the humans whose childhood dreams were deemed too evil to be a part of the New World.
God realizes that his worlds are for all his creations, and he allows the Dreamers and Nightmares and the entire New World to remain. He leaves this existence to head into the Holy Lands, leaving his children to now fend for themselves.
Welcome to Zero Year, where everyone starts to get on with the rest of their lives.
New World Geography
There is room for other corners to be filled in, and room for additions to be made to these individual regions. The United States is run by the 142 Presidents of the United States, which is to say, it’s not really run at all. Each region has the power to set their own policies. We are still in the early days of the New World, after all, and everyone is finding their way. This means things like cell phone towers are still working in more places than not.
The angels are still overseeing the world, though they attempt to not interfere too heavily since they have their own issues to deal with with as they have to manage their own affairs without God. They will step in to try and keep the regions mostly pure – superheroes are forbidden from taking their superpowers into the less technological regions surrounding it. But that does not mean they won’t try.
I have concentrated my stories in the Kingdom of New England, but in the RISE OF THE FIRST WOMAN anthology, I wrote stories in the following regions:
New England: “Ugly Faces in the Rain” – a detective story featuring Wells the Werewolf
The Wild West: “Waiting for Iron & Steam” – a western featuring Lucy No-Longer-McManus
The Great Forest: “The Ravening Night Horse” – a dark fantasy featuring Lopez Slocum
With Damien defeated, the main villain in the New World universe is Lilith, the First Woman, who also seeks revenge against God and Heaven. She is gathering the Nightmares to her in Quebec City, though this will be covered in the next full-length novel and does not need to be covered. The idea in the Dreamer’s world is much like that in a comic book universe, where the world is being saved countless times over every month.
I am looking for stories that flesh out the New World. While I am not prohibiting the use of the Kingdom of New England, it is an area that’s been more fully realized and authors will have far more freedom in other regions. None of the major Cast of Characters from the published Dreamer’s Syndrome books can be used without my permission, as they have fully detailed stories in the pipeline.
All stories for this collection should have as its focus people making the transition from the Old World into the New World; that is, from the life they had into the life the ten-year old them thought they wanted. The New Sabbath (the day the world changed) occurred in September, and ideally every story will take place in the four-month period between September and January, though this is negotiable.
Stories may be silly or serious, though they should be written at a PG-13 or “soft” R level. That is, no explicit sexual content. No excessive swearing. As a publisher, I reserve the right to ask/suggest you tone down any explicit content or risk not appearing in the collection, and as a writer, you have the right to pull your story if any suggested changes are not to your liking. I will NOT publish any story the author has not approved.
To submit for DREAMER’S SYNDROME: NEW WORLD NAVIGATION, please send a 2-3 paragraph proposal to Mark Bousquet (email@example.com) by December 31, 2013. Please include your name, story title, primary characters, and story setting.
If your story proposal is accepted, I will send you a .PDF for all previously published DS materials and any relevant information to your particular story setting.
Full drafts will need to be turned in by February 28, 2014, and if the story is accepted, we will start the editing and revision process. Final drafts will need to be submitted by April 31, 2014 with an anticipated publication date of June, 2014. It is expected that stories will contain between 7,500 and 10,000 words, though my primary interest is good stories, so if those parameters need to be stretched by the needs of the story, I am willing to stretch that length.
The goal is to release a 70,000-80,000 word collection, containing between 7 and 10 stories. Authors will be paid with 2 physical copies of NEW WORLD NAVIGATION, plus a percentage of the book’s royalties. Before final contracts are signed, authors will know the exact production costs incurred by Atomic Anxiety Press so they may make an informed decision about potential profits. Several anthologies of which I have been a part have yet to generate any royalties, even after being available for several years.
If there is not enough proposals for NEW WORLD NAVIGATION to realistically hit at least 60,000 words, authors will be notified the project is DOA by January 7, 2014. If there is enough interest to warrant two collections, the publisher will endeavor to release one volume in June 2014 and the second in August 2014.
Release dates are subject to change, based on the availability of publishable stories. Which is to say, if everyone gets their story in early, we can publish early.
Authors will have the copyright and ownership of any character they create, though the rights to the Dreamer’s Syndrome world and concept remains with me. You may not publish a story under the Dreamer’s Syndrome banner or set in the DS universe without my permission. Exclusive print and digital publishing rights to your story will be held by Atomic Anxiety for a period of one calender year after the publication of NEW WORLD NAVIGATION. After that year is over, while NAVIGATION will remain in print, you may anthologize your short story elsewhere if you so choose, though you must make mention of the story’s original publication data.
About Atomic Anxiety Press
Atomic Anxiety Press has served as the imprint for my own stories. I am happy and thrilled to open up the world of Dreamer’s Syndrome to others, just as I am happy to begin the transition from a strictly personal press to one that publishes the work of others.
It is my hope that NEW WORLD NAVIGATION will not only be the first of many books published containing the work of authors not named me, but that the collection will contain a mix of established writers and new writers.
Best of luck to those submitting proposals and stories. For a fuller Bible, please email me and ask for one.
Publisher, Atomic Anxiety Press
Creator, Dreamer’s Syndrome
October 26, 2013