We fell silent here for a few days due to writing commitments, Chilli’s attack of the runs, and a new project hatching at the Doomed Meddlers’ secret base in the Antarctic. So here’s the scoop on that last one. Electric Pentacle Press is announcing a brand new ODQ Presents anthology, devoted to the psychic, paranormal and down-right odd investigators that we love.

(A scoop was also needed for the lurcher problem, but you probably don’t want much more detail on that one. Let’s just say it was mostly a Category One, if you know your ‘Lurchers for Beginners’ chart.)


Occult Detective Quarterly launched in print in January 2017, and has had some fantastic reviews (you can get copies through the link on the right-hand side). We had been receiving submissions since the middle of 2016, and a lot of them. Every so often we received a story far too long for the magazine, or a detailed proposal for a novelette or novella length piece of fiction. We’re talking anywhere from 8,000 to 28,000 words. As we went through the process of story selection, and then started reading submissions for Issue 2, due April, we felt that we had a creative conundrum.

The conundrum arose because more than enough classy tales in the typical 3,000 to 6,000 zone were coming in to meet our forward needs for the magazine itself. In fact, a number of the 2nd round submissions were superb. The long stories we’d seen would take up two, maybe three, of those slots – but some were very tempting.  We wanted a wide range of tales in each issue, and yet we liked the bigger stories as well. Um.


So, we came up with an idea which would also be an experiment. Was there a genuine appetite for meatier (or tofu-ier) stories, typically 10,000 words or more? The obvious way to find out was to publish some, and see what happened.

Cunningly, we combined Sam Gafford’s enormous creativity, John Linwood Grant’s willingness to follow orders, and Travis Neisler’s blood-lust for publishing. We prodded our experienced Consulting Editor Dave Brzeski with a stick in case he passed out at the idea, and eventually came up with…

Occult Detective Quarterly Presents

ODQ Presents No. 1 will be an anthology of longer occult detective fiction, showing off a wide range of talent. The stories inside will run from 10,000 to 30,000 words. They have been chosen from the queries, samples and proposals  mentioned above (even then we couldn’t take everyone). These will be accompanied by two or three additional long tales that we’ve been discussing on the quiet.

As we had most of the material in hand, and this was a trial venture, we decided against an Open Call for submissions. Asking writers to compete for maybe only one new fiction slot would be time-consuming for everyone, and frankly not very much fun. 99% of it would have involved sending out rejections to jolly good stories that wouldn’t physically fit in.

However, if ODQ Presents works, such an anthology would become a regular event, and a way of writers getting out that longer material. So we’ll need people to support the experiment, buy copies and spread the good word.

ODQ Presents – Contents

What’s going to be in the first ODQ Presents? Some of that will be announced in Doomed Meddler Central on this site as we go along. What we will say is that we are delighted to be anchoring the premier issue with a brand-new novella by Adrian Cole, a rollicking and wild occult adventure.

Adrian was with us in ODQ #1, and has had lots of success with his Pulpworld stories (amongst others). His latest gritty collection Tough Guys was released in 2016. A prolific short story writer, his Nick Nightmare series already has many occult detective fans in its grip, and a collection of those stories, Nick Nightmare Investigates, won a British Fantasy Award for “Best Collection”.


Without ODQ Presents, we had no way of offering this novella to the readership. Look forward, therefore, to AT MIDNIGHT ALL THE AGENTS…, possibly the maddest Nick Nightmare escapade yet.

And to complement it, we will be including six or seven (yes!) exciting occult detective novelettes with very different settings and themes. We have some terrific authors lined up, and some of their contributions may well surprise you. We’re doing this because we want to show how weird and varied the occult detective field can be.

Our time-scale at the moment is to have all the final material together by early Summer 2017. This allows for agreement on the direction of proposals and drafts already received, cover and layout decisions, ongoing edits and so on, to produce the finest end-result we can.

Publication is planned for Autumn 2017, and the book will be made immediately available on Amazon UK and US. As we said, should it sell well, we would be keen to do ODQ Presents No. 2, this time with an Open Call for new submissions.

So there we are. Be an Occulteer, and a member of the coolest gang in town. You can find current status, guidelines and general ODQ content details in Doomed Meddler Central to the right. You can also join our active Facebook group, where news and views are shared regularly:

odq on facebook


What passes for normal service on greydogtales will be resumed next week, dear listener…

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