Preannouncement: The Monsters & Mormons Anthology

UPDATE: Call for Submissions

As Terryl Givens documents in The Viper on the Hearth (Amazon), from Zane Grey to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mormons served as stock villains in the early days of genre fiction (both pre-pulp and pulp heyday). We propose to recast, reclaim and simply mess with that tradition by making Mormon characters, settings and ideas the protagonists of genre-oriented stories to appear in an anthology simply titled Monsters & Mormons.

A formal call for submissions will be posted in early April, but we wanted to pre-announce the project now in order to get the creative juices flowing and test if this is of any interest at all to AMV’s readers (and anyone else who gets wind of it).

Three things that I will note now:

  1. Theric Jepson and I will serve as co-principals on the project. It will be published by Peculiar Pages. We don’t have all the details hammered out, but we’re fairly far along, and I’m confident you will own a copy of this book by the end of next year.
  2. We will provide more specific direction in the call to submissions, but we intend for the concept (Monsters & Mormons) to be interpreted across a wide range of genres and art forms and high/low/middle-browness-es.
  3. However, we also envision the project as very much coming out of the key pulp authors and riffing on, building upon, paying homage to and perhaps even satirizing their work. Which doesn’t mean that we are abandoning the literary, either. We hope to build a hybridized anthology with a pulpy core.

Any thoughts? I don’t know that Theric and I will be able to answer all of your questions (assuming ya’ll even have any), but if you have strong desires, radical middle ideas, or simply yeas or nays, cheers or hisses, make them known.

Finally: Yes, this is a project of cultural re-appropriation. I could go on at length about all the reasons I dig the conceptual underpinnings of this concept. But I won’t (and I’ll try to keep things brief in the call for submissions). Because it really doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that we all have fun, and that’s the primary reason I decided to take this project on — it’s time for us to cut loose in the world of Mormon letters.

35 thoughts on “Preannouncement: The Monsters & Mormons Anthology”

  1. .

    Lest anyone get the wrong idea about my last comment, please feel free to contact other writers who you think might not normally see an announcement like this but would be good to invite to this project. Pugmire, for instance.

  2. maybe this will be addressed in the formal call, but a quick question. Since much pulply goodness can also delve into abundant luridness, will there be any encouraged limitations or restrictions on how far graphic content can be pushed for a “Mormon” anthology?

  3. David suggested I come check out this project. This is the first time I’ve heard of the Mormon villain in pulp fiction (never read A Study in Scarlet until today). I think I’m a little annoyed at Arthur Conan Doyle. Just for that, I’ll send a story. So there, Mr. Doyle. 🙂

  4. It will be addressed in the formal call to submissions, but in short: we will be operating under standard AML operating guidelines — broadly appropriate, PG-13 — whatever term you want to use.

    We’re also going to enforce the classic Mormon double standard of allowing more graphicness with violence than with sex and language. Although I would note that up until recently that same double standard has been dominant in many genres as well (and still is to a certain extent).

    Part of this is the (possibly slim) hope that we can gain some readers in the Mormon market. Much of it is my own personal preferences. And part of it is that I’d rather see the emphasis on transgressing genre and brow-ness boundaries than graphic-ness boundaries. This project is meant to solidly fit in to the field of Mormon/LDS literature as presently constituted albeit as the weird cousin.

  5. Yes. I like it. Everyone has these story ideas, but no one has an excuse to write them. This is an excellent excuse to finally put those stories down on paper, so to speak.

  6. I have to say that I love this idea.

    But I do see a potential problem — sources. I’m not really aware of an easily available list of pulp stories that might serve as inspiration. Do you intend to publish a bibliography, or some links to sources?

    I don’t think you want a volume of riffs on A Study in Scarlet.

  7. That’s a good idea, Kent. We were already planning to include a whole list of authors, works by most of whom should be easily found at the local library, in the call for submissions.

  8. This is a fascinating idea. I am extremely interested in participating. Is this a genre anthology, or are you looking for tales of any genre (western, horror, romance, sf, Star Trek) that has a strong LDS character as protagonist? The possibilities are endless, but I feel that the cvharacter’s Mormonism should be central to plot/theme. Nu?

  9. .

    We’ll be more specific in the call for submissions, but at this point, the key words are monsters and Mormons. So, for instance, a western would be great. If, you know, one cowboy’s Mormon and his posse’s attacked by vampire coyotes. That sort of thing.

    (Star Trek though — branded properties are out. But a similar brand of science fiction is definitely in. IMHO, we don’t have nearly enough Mormons in deep space.)

    (Also worth mentioning given who asked the Q, Lovecraft is on our list of example genre authors to consider.)

    But to get back to your question, Brother Pug, Mormonism should be more than incidental, yes.

    I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to immediately have such a positive response. I can’t wait to see what you all put together.

  10. What, you can’t give us something new, Eugene?

    To be honest, Theric and I haven’t talked about excerpts, but my inclination is to say no. I’d like the pieces to stand on their own as much as possible.

    But who knows. We’ll try to answer all the questions and set the parameters and anticipate things in the formal call for submissions.

  11. The weird cousin of LDS Lit, huh? Sounds like me! I’m definitely interested in this, and I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing the submission guidelines.

    Must now start thinking along the lines of Planet of the Zombie HighCouncilmen or Day of the Relief Society Triffids, I guess.

  12. I am not a fan of horror or Lovecraft or paranormal or SF/F or beasties, but this

    Day of the Relief Society Triffids

    could make me one.

    Add “vagina dentata” and I would swoon and go all cosplay on it.

  13. Three questions–

    Is this open to anyone?

    What about proto-Mormons (ancient settings, Nephites and/or Lamanites and/or Zoramites and/or pre-American Israelites)?

    How explicit does the Mormonness need to be? In other words, does Mormon culture or worldview have to drive the action, or is it enough that one or more characters are evidently Mormon and that Mormonness affects their thought and action (as opposed to driving the primary action) relative to non-Mormon monsters?

    Just curious.

  14. Of course it’s open to anyone — assuming, of course, that authors comply with the submissions guidelines.

    Your other questions will be answered more specifically in the call to submissions but the short answers are Yes and Yes.

  15. In fact, I’d say that we definitely don’t want all the stories to be driven by Mormon culture or worldview in terms of the action. This isn’t about grand statements or explorations of Mormon thought (although if done right some of the stories may say some interesting things about Mormonism).

  16. Please include AML venues and the Nauvoo Workshop for LDS Writers (on Orson Scott Card’s website) when you send out the call for submissions?

    By the way, I’m convinced that Mormons can claim credit for getting Sherlock Holmes started, since A STUDY IN SCARLET was the first book about him.

  17. Of course. And yep, that why Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is mentioned in the announcement above.

  18. I’m defiantly interested in this project. I think I’ll have a go. Can’t wait to see the formal call fro submissions. 🙂

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