All Clear

The Final Anthology is now available at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/243335.

There.

I think The Final Flashshot sums this up pretty well:

“He hit the SEND key with a finality that seemed almost surreal. Ten years of psychotic killers, cheating hubbies, alien invasions, criminals caught and uncaught, monsters, housewives, Santa Clauses, leprechauns and New Year’s celebrations. Ten years. 73,000 minutes, 1217 hours, 50+ days of his life…Made a lot of friends, not so much money.

He waited. A little anti-climactic. No explosions. No ten-ton ACME weights falling with deadly force. FLASHSHOT ends not with a bang, not even a whimper.

Just a last slurp of coffee, as he turns to the headlines on Yahoo and a thought, what adventure will I turn to now?”

This site’s going to stay up, but don’t expect Jake’s Monthly to return. It’s time that we all move on to even greater projects. And don’t worry about me, because I’m not going anywhere.

To keep track of me and whatever new projects I’ll be doing, check me out at http://experimentsinwords.wordpress.com/

It’s been fun.

-Jake Johnson

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September- The Final Anthology

Welcome back. The Slipstream Anthology will be out shortly, and a link will be posted here when it becomes available.

EDIT: The Slipstream Anthology is out now, here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/232811

Now- you sitting down?- our last anthology’s open. We’ve had our fun, but we’ve accomplished everything Jake’s Monthly was set out to do, and now it’s time to lay this project to rest with the greatest stories out there.

This month: any genre. This is the endgame. Send Bizarro, SF, Fantasy, Slipstream, Lalalandpunk- anything, but make it awesome. Let’s sing this project to its rest and give it the strongest finish possible.

I look forward to your stories.

-Jake

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August- Slipstream

Welcome (back) to Jake’s Monthly. This is our next-to-last collection, and it commemorates a years’ effort on my part and on the part of every one of our amazing authors. Thank you all.

Magic Realism has not yet been published, but we’re prepared to shove it out the door as soon as possible. A link to it will be added here when it has been published.

EDIT: (I’ve never done that before. It feels interesting.) Here’s a link to the finished collection.

Now, this month’s genre is Slipstream, which can have a lot of different meanings. So, before anything else, let’s define it:

Slipstream is, most basicaly, a blending of different types of stories. This can be a clash between genres or it can be a mixing of speculative fiction and literary fiction. A lot of Slipstream has a literary flavor to it, so feel free to exercise the old lit-muscles, but make sure to keep it interesting.

All of the regular guidelines are available under Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines, as is my email address. I look forward to your stories.

-Jake (The Staff)

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July- Magic Realism

Greetings! Welcome (back) to Jake’s Monthly. The Alternate History anthology is out now, here. Also, in light of the fact that they’re already dirt cheap, the prices have been changed to “Set your own price.” Frabjous day.

Now, onto Magic Realism. Magic Realism is, in a sense, a milder flavor of fantasy; for example: dragons, elves and goblins exist, but they exist in the real world. Magic Realism works on being as realistic as possible, but including Fantasy elements- ones which science cannot explain. Take it into the past and you can end up with classic Sword-and-Sorcery Fantasy. Take in into the future and you end up with Science Fantasy, which we’ve already done an excellent collection on.

For these reasons, all stories submitted here must have some fantastical or supernatural element, and be set in the modern day. In this case, “the modern day” means “any point in the last 20 years”, so feel free to exercise some freedom there. For an excellent example of this genre in action (as well as a great study of how to create and portray a flawed protagonist), try Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files.

You’ll find the general guidelines and my email address at Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. I look forward to your stories.

-Jake J. Johnson

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May-June- Alternate History

Greetings! Welcome (back) to Jake’s Monthly. The Thriller anthology has not yet been published due to a number of last-minute submissions which are still being perused.This message will be updated with a link to the book’s page when it is published.

UPDATE: And here it is!

Due to these extra submissions and a maelstrom of finals, exams, and standardized tests which will comprise the majority of May for me, the next anthology, Alternate History, will have a two month submission period. The last time this happened was at this project’s genesis, and it led to the jam-packed, amazing Science Fiction Anthology. I hope that this collection can match it.

Alternate History is basically what it says on the tin. Write a story about, in, or involving a world where history turned out differently. Feel free to write historical fiction, like an alternate Wild West where Rome never fell. Feel free to write any form of punk, although those stories should be kept to a minimum, since they already had their own collection. You can even write far-future SF, if you like, but the event or events which happened differently have to be set in our present or past, like “SETI contacted and managed communication with intelligent extraterrestrials in 2006”.

Feel free to take it slow and put a lot of extra effort into your story, since you have double the normal time. Feel free to submit multiple stories even if you usually don’t, or send longer stories than you typically do.

You can find the submission guidelines and my email address at Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. It’s basically guaranteed that I’ll respond to you before the end of June, and it usually takes about a week, although with my current schedule, I make no promises.

I look forward to your stories.

-Jake J. Johnson (Editor)

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April- Thriller

Greetings! Welcome (back) to Jake’s Monthly. Locked-Room Mystery’s been published, and is available on smashwords here.

Now, the next volume is going to be Thriller. “What kind of thriller?” I hear you ask. The answer? All kinds: eco-, apocalyptic, SF, fantasy, paranormal, spy, fantasy, political, and so on. Any kind of Thriller will be accepted. However, the best stories will be those where there isn’t a single dull moment. High-quality thrillers typically feature daring escapes, chases, countdowns, and likeable protagonists facing incredibly powerful enemies. Feel free to go full-on action movie, but make your readers care and give them a ride well worth the price of admission.

You can find the submission guidelines over at Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. It’s guaranteed that you’ll receive a response before the end of the month, and it normally takes less than a week.

I look forward to your stories.

-Jake (Editor and Publisher)

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March- All Clear, Aprl- Coming Soon

The Locked-Room Mystery collection is now closed, and will be compiled and published shortly. Full guidelines for next month’s collection will go up when this one is published, but here’s the main idea:

Thrillers are pretty straightforward. Make a countdown. Put someone’s life in danger. Pit a man against a massive conspiracy, or a crime syndicate. Every moment is tense, every action dangerous, and the protagonist risks life and limb. Pick up some Dean Koontz or James Patterson for the typical popular thriller. Thrillers may contain supernatural, historical, bizarre, fantastical or SF elements.

-Jake (The Staff)

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March- Locked-Room Mystery

Hello, everyone! Welcome to Jake’s Monthly. The explosion of Bizarro is done, and now that I’ve finally coaxed it all into sitting still, it’s up on Smashwords, right here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/140926

Now, onto the next collection, Locked-Room Mystery. Locked-Room Mystery is a subgenre of the Mystery genre which I’m sure everyone’s read at least one example of. The elements are simple: a crime or event, usually a murder, which can’t possibly have happened. This isn’t just a case of “no one lacks an alibi”, this is “the man was murdered and died of a gunshot while sitting in a locked room with only one entrance”. The main character works throughout the story, and the reveal shows how the crime was committed. A really good Locked-Room story has an “impossible” mystery which an observant reader can solve before the detective.

If you can write a good mystery that does that, you’re in. Feel free to be imaginative, if you don’t typically write mundane stories. Set it in the distant future, or the far past. Noir, horror, fantasy, science fiction- they’re all great, and both originality and variety are highly encouraged. Have fun with it!

Guidelines and my e-mail address are found in the tab labeled “Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines”.

I look forward to your stories.

-Jake Johnson (The Staff)

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February- All Clear, March- Coming Soon

The Bizarro collection is closed, filled to the brim with odd stories, and will take a lot of time to compile. Still, it’s going to be worth it. Full guidelines for the next collection will go up when this one has been published, but here’s the gist of March’s collection.

A Locked-Room or Locked-Door Mystery is a specific type of mystery story. In this story, the death/crime/event is apparently impossible (“He died of a gun wound in this room and the only door in was locked!”) but actually has a clever solution. It’s brain-teasers meeting detective fiction. Feel free to take this to the stars, into the realms of sword and sorcery, or to the gritty days of noir, as long as the mystery’s “impossible” and there’s a satisfying explanation for it. Bonus points for a clever, likeable protagonist, unless your protagonist isn’t the one solving the mystery.

-Jake (Staff)

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February- Bizarro

Hello, all. Welcome to Jake’s Monthly, where we’ve hit the halfway mark and are celebrating the resulting anniversary. We’re delving into what might be the most fun out of any literary movement- Bizarro!

Before we get into that, here’s a link to the just-released Punk collection: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/129822.

Now, onto Bizarro. Bizarro is a relatively recent movement in writing, and it’s difficult to explain well. Bizarro is usually profane and profoundly weird. A good Bizarro story will freak you out, and a great one will make you scream “What am I reading?!”.

Bizarro is fiction which is interesting and entertaining even at the cost of sanity and good taste. Because of that, you can ignore the guidelines about mature content- but please do so reasonably. I’m sixteen, and while society’s fine with me reading about language and gore, sexual issues are somehow still taboo. If you’re too extreme, go moderate; these stories can be inappropriate, but they shouldn’t be so offensive or vulgar that no one would want to read them.

There you go. Click on “Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines”, read through, get my e-mail, and send me your Bizarro stories. I look forward to your submissions.

-Jake (The Staff)

Addition: The biggest issue with Bizarro is getting one’s head around it, so here are ten summaries of high-quality, published Bizarro, for anyone unsure of what to write. I apologize for the sudden increase in the size of this post.

House of Houses

        There once was an odd reclusive little man who was in love with his house. He loved this house not in the way that normal people love their homes. His was a more intimate love, like the love between two humans. He loved his house so much that he asked it to marry him, and he believed that his house happily replied with a yes. Unfortunately, their love was to be torn apart the day before their wedding, on the day of the great house holocaust. On this day, every house in the world collapsed for no explainable reason. It was as if they killed themselves, and took many of their occupants with them. Distraught and despairing over the death of his fiancée, this man must go on a quest to find out what happened to his beloved home. On his quest: He will meet Tony, a self-declared superhero, who looks kind of like a black Man-At-Arms from the old He-Man cartoons and claims to protect the world from quasi-dimensional psychopomps with his powerful sexpounding abilities. He will meet Manhaus, who seems to be part man and part house. And, finally, he will venture to House Heaven, a world where houses live inside of bigger houses made of people.

 Zerostrata

        After ten years, Hansel Nothing returns to his boyhood home, unable to remember anything that has happened to him since he left. Back home, he stays in Zerostrata, a treehouse in the backyard. The Nothing family is as dysfunctional and depressed as ever. His mother keeps a cat on her head and incessantly munches prescription medication. His father has left the house to pursue a career as a superhero. His brother wants to be the dad’s superhero sidekick and thinks he can fly.

Hansel’s life is changed forever when he meets Gretel, a free-spirited woman who runs naked through the woods every night. She teaches him about a world of magic and beauty. They travel to the moon together via a rope ladder, sail back to earth in an air balloon, and wander through a graveyard that allows them to view the dreams of the dead all while trying to escape Gretel’s evil Grandmother.

Featuring: a gingerbread house surrounded by bear traps, lettuce pirates, The Amazing Dr. Blast, a one-legged pogo stick man, a giant orange trampoline, and Tricky the cigarette smoking cat who lives on Hansel’s mother’s head.

 Teeth and Tongue Landscape

        Our protagonist returns to his village once day, in a world made completely of meat, to find the village empty. Terrified of being alone, he strikes out into the meaty landscape, hiding from demons underneath scabs where a beautiful metal woman rescues him. He can’t understand her, but he loves her anyway, though her fingers are sharp as razor blades.

Together they travel until they meet a Themroc who gives him a note making him a Themroc and directing them to the city of Themroc, populated by a people who all use the name Themroc. Along the way they pass a dangerous city of strange jellyfish that chew electricity as they fall from the sky and try to capture human souls with their charged tentacles.

Our protagonist becomes unhappy in Themroc, especially after his metal wife is cooked and eaten, and discovers from Themroc that there is one last remaining society of humans living underground. The Night Serpent takes him there, and now he must find his happiness among humans again.

 Fishy-fleshed

        The citizens of Ocean City are so technologically advanced that everyone possesses the ability to walk on water, cure diseases, clone food, and raise the dead… They are like an entire civilization of Messiahs. When a team of researchers travel back in time to the days of Christ, they discover the past is a lot different than they ever imagined. It is an illogical flatland lacking in dimension and color, a sick-scape of crispy squid people wandering the desert for no apparent reason.

 The Destroyed Room

        In a near-future city where automobiles have been outlawed and exotic animals roam the streets, a man wakes up one morning to discover that everyone in the world is a marionette. Now his wife is dead and he must find the answer, or else lose everything to the Great Shark Head in the Sky.

The Menstruating Mall

        Ten ridiculously stereotypical consumer victims (a yuppie, a housewife, a retiree, a jock, a bible thumper, a cowboy, a preppy, a gamer, a goth, and a white suburban gangsta) find themselves unable to leave the mall one day. There is nothing stopping them. The doors are unlocked. Other shoppers are able to come and go as they please. But for some inexplicable reason, these ten people cannot pry themselves away from their shopping miasma. The mall closes, and they won’t leave. Days pass, and they’re still there, eating meals in the food court and sleeping in department store bedroom displays. Then they begin to die off, one by one, murdered by a mysterious killer, and they still won’t allow themselves to escape. Then they discover that the only way to survive is to stop being stereotypical.

The Brothers Crunk

        Brothers Divey and Reynold Crunk are two traveling breakfast burrito salesman just trying to make a living in the post-apocalyptic world of Planet Japan. After discovering a mutilated robot corpse in the middle of the desert, Divey mysteriously transforms into something abominable, setting a bizarre series of events into motion. Reynold follows his brother into the dark underworld of Tokyo, where there are no rules and old video game accessories are used as real weapons. THE BROTHERS CRUNK is an 8-bit fack-it-all adventure in 2D. Please consult a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms while reading: convulsions, eye or muscle twitching, altered vision, involuntary movements, disorientation, or loss of awareness.

Jack and Mr. Grin

                Jack Orange is a twentysomething guy who works at a place called The Tent packing dirt in boxes and shipping them off to exotic, unheard of locales. He thinks about his girlfriend, Gina Black, and the ring he hopes to surprise her with. But when he returns home one day, Gina isn’t there. He receives a strange call from a man who sounds like he is smiling—Mr. Grin. He says he has Gina. He gives Jack twenty-four hours to find her.
What follows is Jack’s bizarre journey through an increasingly warped and surreal landscape where an otherworldy force burns brands into those he comes in contact with, trains appear out of thin air, rooms turn themselves inside out and computers are powered by birds. And if he does find Gina, how will he ever survive a grueling battle to the death with Mr. Grin?

Bucket of Face

        Thirteen years after a police officer searching a suspected child molester’s home spilled a vial of silver pollen, America is still struggling with how to recognize its sentient fruit population. Charles is just a normal guy working at a doughnut shop until an apple and a banana shoot each other in a mafia dispute, leaving a briefcase full of foreign currency and a specimen bucket at the corner booth. When Charles turns the wiseguys into doughnuts and steals their luggage, hoping for a better life for himself and his kiwi fruit girlfriend, he finds himself in the middle of a mafia war. As his girlfriend travels the DC metro area, selling off the contents of the bucket, Charles finds he is the target of a seasoned hit-tomato, who happens to be the biggest Michael Jackson fan who ever lived.

Love in the Time of Dinosaurs

        DINOSAURS! LOVE! WAR! MONASTIC LIVING! Three days after his partner is bitten in half by a brachiosaur, a nameless monk meets the love of his life. Her name is Petunia. She is a dinosaur. But a twenty-year war between their species is about to come to a head, and only one will survive. To be together, the monk and the dinosaur must fight their way through hordes of pterodactyl samurai, anti-aircraft stegosaurs, gigantic kamikaze moths, and machine gun-wielding tyrannosaurs. Love in the Time of Dinosaurs is a surreal war tale of forbidden love, betrayal, and magic kung-fu. Forget Jurassic Park, this is the greatest dinosaur story ever told.

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