Sauúti Terrors: The Dark Side

Editors: Eugen Bacon, Stephen Embleton, Cheryl S. Ntumy

Call for Submissions

Submissions deadline: 1 July 2024

There’s much to love in the Sauútiverse with its sounds, music, language, biologies and histories, but everything is not perfect in the federation of planets. From legends and folktales to inheritances, gods, ancestral spirits, sacred prey, sentient creatures, beings of unreality, sonic storms, solar flares and meteor strikes, perils infest the planets. Sauúti Terrors: The Dark Side is the newest anthology, fresh in the wake of Mothersound: The Sauútiverse Anthology, and invites you to tell of the doomed, the damned, the shunned, the cunning, the destroyers, the noxious, and more, in the worlds of the living and the dead.

We’re crazy about the darkest stories set in the deepest parts of our five-planet system with its two suns, and orbiting a binary star:

  • Zezépfeni— – the self-appointed leader with its twin suns
  • Ekwukwe – the echo planet with its hollows, caverns and tunnels
  • Wiimb-ó – the Earth analogue with its five continents and spirit moons
  • Órino-Rin – the dense planet with its sonic storms
  • Pinaa – the low-gravity inhabited moon of Mahwé, the dead planet, hosting AI and other populace in fortified clusters.

Perhaps it’s Juah-āju, blazing the Mother’s wrath on its twin sun Zuúv’ah, and the people of Zezépfeni. Or an a’bata (bat) or a tso’tso (termite) infestation in Pinaa. Or a tikolokolo, the spirit gremlin, roaming rife in a wave of devastation in Ekwukwe. Unfurl fate, mishap, calamity, disease, obsession, wickedness, greed, malice and manipulations lurking in this Afrocentric intergalactic world with its space travel, humanoid and non-humanoid creatures, artificial intelligence and intricate magic system based on sound, oral traditions, and music.

We’re committed to diversity and engaging with difference. We are open to experimental ideas, formats and exciting new ways to explore this shared universe, but we are also passionate about building a world that is inclusive. We will not accept works that promote prejudice against others based on gender, religion, race, colour, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, etc. If you’re uncertain, send us your pitch and we’re happy to give you feedback that will help your work fit better with the Sauútiverse ideals.

Word count: up to 6,000 words max.

Payment: 8 cents per word for a story (may be more, depending on publishing agreement). We’ll pay a fixed standard rate for poetry.

Sauúti Terrors—story ideas, if you need a muse!

  • Curse: Xhova-hvā’s curse, the mountain god that nightly births a replica of itself in Wiimb-ó. 
  • Massacre: What happens when the Nududu (sacred prey) on Mahwé revolt?  
  • Body horror: A random creature or corrupted sound magic dismembers or body snatches the people of the Sauútiverse, in particular, those who are with child…  
  • Hostile climate: Arozo-zóra, the god of thunder, rides a chariot full of mischief into Ekwukwe…
  • Beasts:
    • Pinaa: What is the fury of Orisirisis, the goddess of war in a trinity of woman, bipedal and jackal among the Yaaba people of Pinaa? 
    • Ekwukwe: Our protagonist is thrust into encounters with the flesh-eating beasts of Ekwukwe. Here is the impudu-pudu (lightning bird), the mamba’ba (giant snake), the p’hobawawa (one-eyed bat), the tikolokolo (spirit gremlin)…
    • Órino-Rin: Da’ida, the god of torture is on a hunt for sorroweating in Órino-Rin.  
    • Wiimb-ó: Sinànsi-òsi, the shape-shifting trickster god is up to mischief in Wiimb-ó. 
    • Zezépfeni: An ancient bioform plant, bearing magic to grow humans on its branches, is very hungry… 
  • Pandemic: What brings about the gradual spiral into psychosis that befalls a whole populace, in a sound calamity arising from too much sound (or the lack thereof)…
  • Sound language as horror: What brand of spoken language turns people against each other, an existential threat in the malice of words (real physical and emotional harm)…