Strange Machines: An Anthology of Dark User Manuals1 min read


Apex Magazine
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We are looking for your darkest, strangest microfiction in the form of user manuals, FAQs, and how-to guides for the use of (or by) robots!

Tell us a story while guiding humans through the use of a strange machine, or guiding sentient robots through human activities they may not understand. Reveal deep yearnings and dark secrets between the lines, show us fascinating futures or weird horrors, and don’t be afraid to mix biology with machine. Let your imaginations go wild to create beautiful, surreal, and dark user-guides for strange machines!

Please no simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions. We will aim to have first responses back within 30 days of closing to submissions.

Word count: Up to 250 words

Payment: $10

Submissions open: April 01

Submissions close: At midnight US central time on April 30.


1) Submit your work in Shunn Standard Manuscript Format (Modern or Classic) and attach as a DOC, DOCX, RTF, or ODT file format. 

2) Maximum word length is a firm 250 words. Anything more will be auto-rejected.

3) Payment for original fiction is $10 and a digital copy.

4) Please include a brief bio in the body of the email; we ask that bios are kept short and sweet, considering the size of the piece being published.

5) If the work you are submitting is an English translation, please include the translator name and email address either in your cover letter or within your manuscript. By submitting, you are verifying in good faith that you have the right to have your translated work published in Apex Magazine.

6) Strange Machines welcomes and encourages submissions from writers of all races, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, and military status. We want diverse voices. We value diverse voices. Saying that, please be aware that we do not collect any information that might clue our editors to any of these attributes other than your name, email, address, and cover letter before any decisions are made regarding your submission.

Go here to submit.

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