Abyss: Stories of Depth, Time and Infinity

Exciting news! Following the success of our first anthology, Vast, Orchid’s Lantern is opening its doors once more. Abyss: Stories of Depth, Time and Infinity will be our second anthology, and this time we’re seeking fiction that explores these metaphysical topics in any way you choose.

We want high-impact experimental pieces, streams of consciousness, unusual perspectives and fictional accounts of altered states. We want extrapolations and interpretations of our present reality, or visions of drastic changes. We want the literary and the speculative. The entertaining will be juxtaposed, or combined, with the philosophical. We do not want highly fantastical settings unless they explicitly link back to the theme. We want complete stories, not chapters of something bigger.

Please do not send us:

  • Stories of a racist, sexist or bigoted nature
  • Stories promoting particular religions or political stances
  • Vampires, werewolves, superheroes or magic
  • Erotica

We like: Maniac, Russian Doll, The OA, Mr Robot, Black Mirror, The Matrix, Philip K Dick, Mark Z. Danielewski, Franz Kafka, Clarice Lispector, Sylvia Plath, Hermann Hesse, Jean-Paul Satre, Kurt Vonnegut, Anna Kavan, Robert Anton Wilson, Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts and Terence McKenna.


  1. All submissions should have fewer than 7,500 words. There is no lower limit because we are fans of flash fiction, so long as it is strong and impactful. We aim to have a variety of lengths in the finished publication.
  2. The initial deadline is 30th June 2021, but we reserve the right to extend this should we not receive enough quality submissions by this date.
  3. We will acknowledge receipt of all submissions, and respond with an accept, decline, or request for discussion within 30 days of the closing date. Please do not send follow-up emails unless you wish to withdraw your submission.
  4. Simultaneous submissions to other publishers are allowed, but please let us know straight away if you receive an acceptance so we can remove you from our list.
  5. Each author may submit only one piece for consideration.
  6. Submissions may have been previously published online, but must be removed prior to the publication of this anthology.
  7. We expect to publish the anthology early in 2022.
  8. Contributors will be compensated with a one-off sterling payment of 0.5p per word (£5 per 1000 words) and two paperback copies of the anthology.
  9. All stories will be checked for grammatical consistency (using British English as we are a UK publisher) and proofread prior to publishing, but we ask that all submissions are in a polished, complete state when you send them to us. Excessive errors or poor form will result in your submission being declined.
  10. A 50-word bio will be required for inclusion in the final anthology. It is not a requirement to send this with your initial submission, but you may do so if you wish.
  11. We are committed to diversity in literature, and as long as they follow our guidelines, we will give all submissions equal consideration. Whether you’re a new or established writer, we welcome your submissions.
  12. If selected we will request exclusivity on the story for a limited period, but copyright will remain with the author.

Abyss will be edited by C.R. Dudley, author of metaphysical collections Fragments of Perception and Mind in the Gap and editor of Vast: Stories of Mind, Soul and Consciousness in a Technological Age.

Submissions should be emailed to with ‘Abyss’ as the subject line. Documents should be clearly marked with the author or pen name and story title on each page. By doing so, you accept our guidelines detailed above.

The Blog

If you would like to contribute to the Orchid’s Lantern blog, we accept submissions in the following areas:

Reviews – we are mainly interested in book reviews, but will consider covering music, art, podcasts and events. We specifically want to showcase creative items that are thought-provoking in nature, particularly those that are not getting mainstream coverage. For books, this can include both fiction and non-fiction, literary and genre. Things with philosophy, psychology, mysticism, occult and science angles are our mainstays.

All our reviews are in-depth, with a minimum of 400 and an average of 700 words. We like reviews that not only say what you liked/disliked about the book, but also how it affected your perception or way of thinking. Comparisons to other works, discussion of the wider implications of issues raised, and technical points to note are also welcome.

We no longer give books a star-rating at Orchid’s Lantern because we want your words to do the talking.

We don’t accept free copies of anything in exchange for review, because we want to ensure bias-free content; and we don’t provide reviewers with their copies. That said, if you have something you would like to appear on the site, you may drop us suggestions by e-mail. If you do this we will gladly take a look and blog about it if it fits, but please be aware we may have a lengthy queue and will not respond to impatient follow-up e-mails.

Interviews – if you are the creator of something that fits the criteria for review above, or have already been reviewed on our site, we would be interested in interviewing you. All interviews are in a written conversational format, and questions will be tailored to the creator. If you would like to be interviewed, or to interview someone on our behalf, please pitch it to us on an e-mail.

Articles – we love to publish articles on the following topics: philosophy, psychology, sociology, dreaming, consciousness, spirituality, mysticism, occult, mythology, neuroscience, quantum physics and technology that impacts our ontology. We are looking for informative, thoughtful or personal takes on the way the subject you have chosen affects the way people think and live. We don’t have word count guidelines for articles, but if you are writing specifically for us we would suggest getting in touch first to make sure it fits.

Flash Fiction/Poetry –  we love weird, thought-provoking, high impact flash fiction and poetry. Similar themes to our reviews and articles are what we’re most interested in publishing here. There’s no minimum word count, but we tend to cap it at around 1,000 because that’s what our blog followers seem to prefer. Keep your longer stories aside for when we next open for anthology submissions!

We are not able to pay contributors to the blog at this time, but we will gladly include a brief author bio and links to your products or websites in the footer of your post. We don’t ask for exclusivity on anything, so you are always welcome to publish what you write on other sites too.

Please mark any e-mails clearly with Blog in the subject, and attach your submission. We will respond more favorably to those who talk to us. In other words, introduce yourself and your subject in your e-mail!

It’s helpful if you have an image or two to go with your article (that belong to you or are not copyrighted, of course), but we can source some if you are unable to.

If you have an idea of something you’d like to write, but don’t know if it fits, just ask. 

We regret that we can’t accept all submissions for the blog, but we will always reply.

The Press

Submissions to the press are open!

We publish:

– Novels
– Novellas
– Prose
– Short Story Collections
– Experimental works – streams of consciousness, blends of fiction and non-fiction, unusual literary forms
– Philosophical Speculative Fiction
– Metaphysical and Visionary Fiction
– Weird Speculative Fiction
– Occult and Mystical Fiction

Please take some time to check out our website, social media and other releases to get an idea of what we are about before submitting.

We are not a vanity press, and as such we will never ask for money from our authors for editing, cover design, marketing or anything else. Instead, we operate on a shared royalty basis.

We are an inclusive press, and love to hear from authors however they personally identify. We will never reject a manuscript based on factors such as race, gender, sexuality or disability.

We will not tolerate abuse – any email that we consider abusive to us or anyone else will result in an automatic rejection.

We are fine with simultaneous submissions to other publishers, but please let us know if the work is accepted elsewhere so we can remove you from our list.

If you have something you think we might like, please send an email to Caroline at with ‘Press’ in the subject line. Tell us about your book in the email and attach the manuscript as a Word document, with your name in the header or footer of each page. You can also use this email address to ask any specific questions you might have about what we are looking for.

We will acknowledge receipt of all submissions, but after that please allow 3 months for a formal response.

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