Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat's going on with Darker Matter? Where's it gone?
What is Darker Matter?
Who set this site up?
What do I do if I want to write for Darker Matter?
What kind of stories do you publish?
What is science fiction?
Is Darker Matter a horror magazine?
How much do you pay?
If I sell you a story, who owns it?
Who can write for Darker Matter?
When is the site being launched?
How much money are you going to be giving to charity?
What else will there be on the site apart from stories?
Where's your blog?
Can I copy the stories?
What if I want to print the stories out?
Who designed your logo?
How often will the site publish stories?
What are the Darker Matter Stores?
How can I help?
Unfortunately, Darker Matter is no more. Issue 5 will be the last issue. There's a detailed explanation on the blog.
Darker Matter is a free online science fiction magazine that publishes high quality sf short stories and pays professional rates to authors.
The site was set up in January 2007 by Ben Coppin, who is based near Cambridge in the UK. If you want to email Ben, use the contact form and he'll get back to you.
Darker Matter is no longer accepting submissions.
If you are a science fiction writer, and would like to write for Darker Matter, or would like to give (or sell) us one of your stories, please see our submission guidelines.
We publish science fiction stories. We prefer short stories (500 - 4,000 words), but also publish stories up to 6,000 words. The name of the site is Darker Matter, which reflects a slight editorial bias towards darker science fiction stories. That doesn't mean horror stories - it just means science fiction that's a bit melancholy or that tells a downbeat story. We are also perfectly happy to consider very upbeat or even humorous science fiction.
That's a good question. Science fiction is also called SF or Sci-fi. It is also sometimes called speculative fiction, although that is sometimes intended to include fantasy and horror. Some people define science fiction as fiction in which the science plays a key part. Others define it in contrast to fantasy - science fiction is about things that might happen, one day, while fantasy is about things that as far as we know could not happen.
This site publishes science fiction, but will also consider stories that are closer to fantasy, but with a strong science-fiction basis.
No. Darker Matter is a science fiction magazine, with a willingness to stretch the definitions of sf somewhat. It's absolutely not a horror magazine. See this blog posting for a discussion on this.
We pay 5-10 cents per word. We also pay for original artwork, at rates agreed with the artist.
As the site is not being run for profit, and is planning to donate a share of profits to charity, we will also be grateful to any author who is willing to donate a story. We would also consider other arrangements, including paying a share of advertising revenue to an author, or advertising an author's site in lieu of payment.
Darker Matter just buys the rights to publish the story on the site. You continue to own the story and all copyright in it. You can publish it elsewhere, if you want to. Darker Matter is buying first serial rights only.
Darker Matter will consider stories from any author. We are keen to publish stories both from established authors and first-time writers.
It's launched! Issue One was published 1st March 2007. It's here: http://www.darkermatter.com/issue1. Issue Two was published on 1st April 2007. It can be found here: http://www.darkermatter.com/issue2
The site is Copyright, and Copyright in the stories rests with the authors. If you want to make a copy of any part of the site, please do not do so without seeking written permission in advance. If you want to link to the site, you're more than welcome to do so. In fact, please feel free to tell everyone about the site, particularly if you like it!
The stories should all print straight from the browser. If you have any trouble with this, or with any other aspect of the site, please contact us and let us know. As of issue 2, each story has a "Print" button at the top that loads the story in a printer-friendly format.
The logo and banner were designed by Scott Millar. He retains copyright in them.
Darker Matter is published monthly, on (or about) the first day of each month. The first issue was published 1st March 2007. The second was published on 1st April 2007. The third issue will be published early early May 2007.
These are links to an associate site on Amazon. If you buy any books or other items through these stores, Darker Matter gets a small commission. This is one of the ways we're hoping to fund the site, and keep it free for readers while still paying competitive rates to authors, so please do buy your books through these links! (See the menu at the bottom of each page, and also specific links on some of the story pages).
If you can write good science fiction, send us a story. If you have something to say, join our forums. If you are an artist, and would like to produce original artwork for the site, please let us know. If you have a science fiction site, please consider linking to Darker Matter. If you would like to support the site and help ensure its continued survival as a free science fiction magazine, you can make a donation.