On the rest of this page, everything in boldface green is a link.
Bewildering Stories — known informally as “BwS” — is a weekly electronic publication featuring speculative fiction as well as non-fiction, namely poetry, articles, essays, reviews, and art.
What is “speculative fiction”? We have no hard and fast rule. Theoretically it’s not contemporary realism, but we’ve cheerfully published contemporary realism, too: it was sent to us, and we liked it. If your submission — whatever it may be — meets our guidelines, we’ll be glad to consider it.
About Bewildering Stories
Since its inception in late June, 2002, Bewildering Stories has been intended mainly to encourage new writers, namely those who are not yet “rich and famous.” Its mission is primarily educational, but “BwS” is not a writers’ group.
Bewildering Stories borrows a lot in some ways from an on-line university course: in particular, our feedback to contributors; the biographies and welcome messages; the Challenges; the Critics’ Corner; the on-line schedule; the articles in the Writer’s Craft department; and the Submissions guidelines, which are formulated as a reference work. Our Reviews page represents mostly a permanent forum of critical essays.
The Review Board and Associate Editors are the “faculty,” and even the Quarterly Reviews can be viewed, after a fashion, as the results of mid-term exams.
Universities are degree-granting — not job-granting — institutions. Likewise, Bewildering Stories is not a success-granting institution; contributors must all define success in their own ways. What we do grant is an opportunity in the form of an audience and a reader-friendly presentation.
Bewildering Stories itself appears only on line, not in print; but it does have a print division: Bewildering Press. It was launched in 2006 and is devoted to the print publication of novels and anthologies.
Any author published or scheduled by Bewildering Stories is eligible for consideration by Bewildering Press. Submissions to Bewildering Press need not have appeared in Bewildering Stories, although many have.Inquiries about Bewildering Press should be addressed to the publisher, Jerry Wright or to Bewildering Stories’ Managing Editor, Don Webb.
The Bewildering Stories CrewJerry Wright — Publisher
Don Webb — Managing Editor; founder and originator of the Bewildering concept.
Bill Bowler — Coordinating Editor
Carmen Ruggero — Editora de Español e Inglés
The Review Board
Michael E. Lloyd
Marina J. Neary|
Lewayne L. White
Review Board members ex officio: Bill Bowler, Carmen Ruggero, Don Webb, Jerry Wright, and Michael E. Lloyd, who is also creator and manager of the Titles, Authors and Genres index.
Sheila M. Murdock|
Rachel V. Olivier
Danielle L. Parker
Cheryl W. Ruggiero
Jenny Claire Rutherford|
Editors ab officio
Bewildering Stories is grateful to editors who have previously served on the Review Board or as Associate Editors: Katherine Allen, Ian Donnell Arbuckle,
Fiona Davis, Bertil Falk, Oonah V. Joslin, Mary King, Harry Lang, RD Larson, Sheila M. Murdock, Robert L. Sellers, Jr.,
Tamara Sheehan, Tim Simmons, Sarah Ann Watts, and The Invincible Spud, who designed the original website and is the self-designated Official Vegetable of science fiction. We are also very appreciative of Clyde Andrews’ work as managing editor of story contests 2, 3, and 4.
Fonts and sizes: Bewildering Stories prescribes fonts and sizes for special items such as headers and footers and reduced-size text when it’s needed. Otherwise, texts are displayed in the fonts of your own Net browser’s preferences.
Early issues prescribed the Times font and green text on a black background. If any contributor to an early issue would like to update the display of his or her submission, please ask; we’ll be glad to take care of it.
Reading: Bewildering Stories is designed primarily to be read on line. For that reason we take our “long road” guideline very seriously. We also tend to be very strict about limiting pages to 3,000 words at most. Our Submissions page gives more details about works longer than that.
We are also mindful of a verse that Omar Khayyam crossed out:
Bewildering bliss beneath the bough:
A glass of wine, a laptop computer, and Thou.
We encourage readers to print out pages of their choice, perhaps file them in a loose-leaf binder, and then curl up beneath the bough, etc. Handy tip: Select the text on the pages desired and copy-paste it into a word-processor file. Format to taste and print.
In general, our scheduling priorities are:
- flash fiction (shorter than 1,000 words)
- non-fiction (articles, interviews, review articles, reviews, guest editorials and essays)
- short stories (shorter than 9,000 words)
- serials (longer than 9,000 words)
- drama and art
More information about lengths can be found in our all-important Submissions guidelines.
We classify prose fiction as either flash fiction, short story, drama, serial, novella, or novel. We do not use the term “novelette”; it is not a literary genre, and the word is entirely too cutesey-pie for our taste anyway.
Poetry, Essays and Reviews: Prose poetry is classified simply as poetry. We consider all these genres non-fiction, but reviews of fictional works may be classified as short stories.
Serial is a generic term that applies to a work appearing in more than one issue.
- “Serial” is also a category that we apply to a work appearing in two or three issues.
- A novella normally appears in four to seven issues.
- A novel is anything longer.
But please don’t hold us to an exact application of these definitions. In practice, they can be somewhat elastic.
Once begun, serials continue until completed.
Incomplete serials cannot be considered. These especially include novels in progress. However, we do publish intermittent serials, especially where the chapters can be considered stories in their own right.
Novels: If you’d like to send us a novel or other work longer than 9,000 words, your submission will be welcome; but please send the whole file; we can’t consider sample excerpts.
The issue’s overall length affects the total number of titles and installments it contains. Since each issue is made up week to week, not in advance, submissions may have to be rescheduled. When that happens, the only notice given is in the semi-official preview, “In Times to Come.”
We consider seven fiction titles the maximum for an issue, depending on the length of the contents. Simultaneous installments are considered one title. We prefer to limit the total number of non-departmental pages in any issue to between twelve and fourteen.
Title Limits by Genres:
- Flash fiction: the normal limit is two titles in any one issue. The number may vary according to issue length.
- Poetry and Art are considered non-fiction. The normal limit is three titles in any one issue.
- Minimalist literature: Bewildering Stories welcomes short poetry. However, we are unreceptive, as a rule, to minimalist poetry such as haiku, senryu and the like. The same is true of microfiction (under 100 words in length). Other websites specialize in those genres; Bewildering Stories does not.
Simultaneous appearance by one author: Any author may contribute more than once to the same issue. However, simultaneous appearances are limited to three: once in the fiction section, once in non-fiction and once in the Departments. Exception: the same author may contribute more than once in the fiction section under different names or if one of the works is a novel.
We actually have two menus: the “menu column” on the home page and the “menu bar” on interior pages. The following describes both.
|Issue Index||A list of authors and titles by categories within an issue. The link is not accessible from Departmental pages.|
|Readers’ Guide||A description of the contents of an issue; also a bulletin board for news items. Not available in issues of Year 1 and part of Year 2. The link is not accessible from Departmental pages.|
|All Issues||Also known as the Archive. Links to all previous issues of Bewildering Stories. You can also search for authors’ names, titles, and content in all the issues.|
|Titles, Authors, Genres Index||Michael E. Lloyd’s comprehensive index by authors, titles, and genres.|
|Personal sketches from most of our authors. Almost all the “bios” have bibliographies that are linked to the authors’ contributions. We try to update the bibliographies as we go, but it’s a big job, and we need the help of authors and readers. Please e-mail us reminders if anything seems to be missing. Just say “Please add (title) in issue (number) to (author’s) bibliography.” We take it as constructive reader feedback!|
|Reviews||A linked bibliography of book and film reviews from issue 1 to the present.|
|Editors’ Choices||Editors Choice selections from recent issues. They appeared semi-annually as Retrospectives beginning with issue 53 and then as Quarterly Reviews, beginning in 2006. The Annual Review was added in December, 2008.|
|Special Features||Indexes to novels for which no table of contents appears elsewhere on the website. The home of Ray Cummings’ The Girl in the Golden Atom and of Cyrano de Bergerac’s The Other World (also known as Voyage to the Moon), the only complete English-language version on the Net.|
|Bewildering Info||This page. A general guide to the website.|
|Contact||For sending us e-mail; helpful hints about e-mailing submissions.|
|Submissions||Our Bewildering esthetics and mission statement; helpful tips about sending files. This page answers a truly bewildering array of questions.|
|Style Manual||How to format a submission to Bewildering Stories. The gist: keep it simple!|
|Writer’s Craft||An linked index of Bewildering Stories essays on writing.|
|Links||Other websites of interest. We have exchanged links with most of them.|
|Art Gallery||Original graphic art and photographs. Contributions welcome! This department is currently under reconstruction.|
|Bewildering Press||Books in print and forthcoming at our print division.|
|Story Contests||The entries and results in our short-story contests.|
The opinions and ideas published on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Bewildering Stories or its editors. For that matter, works of literature do not necessarily reflect the personal opinions of their authors. Bewildering Stories will correct errors of fact but will not remove anything on the basis of objections to opinion; rather we invite discussion of anything we publish.
The Publisher takes sole responsibility for everything that appears in Bewildering Stories. If you find anything that constitutes a personal offense to you, explain why and the Editor will remove it forthwith.
We accept contributions on the presumption of good faith, that they are the original work of their respective authors. If you believe anything we publish is plagiarized or published without permission, please let us know; we will conduct an investigation and take the appropriate action.
Lemures ex caverna|
The Invincible Spud’s Imaginary Staff
Frogz Balonium, Assistant Editor
Hakuna Matata, Art Director
Holly Schmidt, Music Director
Provolone Smithzok, Wildlife Manager|
Robert Thibde, Resident Bewilderologist
Emile Potash, Crash Test Dummy
The Bewildering Blob, Figment of Our Imagination|
Jessica P. Glurki, Resident Xenopsychosociophysicobiochemist
Copyright © 2004-present by Bewildering Stories
Page last updated: July 31, 2012