I’ve started taking submissions for Thrilling Tales quarterly — our guidelines, which have been echoed in various places, clearly state:
Hero Pulp tales of up to 20,000 words. Query for longer material — we will consider standard-length pulp novels (60K words), but primarily as serialized fiction or stand-alone book releases. We want tales that are true to the spirit of the pulps — as such we prefer that they be set during the “pulp era” — the 1930s.
So far, I’ve been mailed about 20 submissions. All have included SASEs, cover letters, notes as to whether the manuscript is disposable, etc……
….and not a single fucking one of them is a hero pulp tale set in the 1930s.
Not a one. Not a SINGLE BLOODY ONE.
It’s so bad, it’s gotten to be a joke here — the_themiscyran hands me the day’s mail, saying “here’s more stuff from people who haven’t read the guidelines” — even before we’ve opened a single envelope.
That’s not even going into the people who have emailed submissions (against the guidelines), or emailed queries asking if we were interested in Cthulhu stories or Swords-and-sorcery (hell, at least those are from the pulps — but not hero pulps). One guy wanted to know if we published modern gothic vampire stories.
Jesus Fucking Christ.
So yeah — frustrating. On the plus side, though, completely outside of my work as a publisher — this experience is filling me with a lot more confidence about my future as a writer, given what the competition out there seems to be like…. :)