Last week EDGE opened up to an interesting anthology, 'Fantastic Trains: Fantastic Trains: An anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders':
Does a train whistle in the distance make you excited, wistful, or afraid? Trains have fired the imaginations of many people, especially writers. Anna Karenina, Night on the Galactic Railroad, The Signal Man, Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes, Murder on the Orient Express all use trains as their main setting, not to mention the trains in children’s books—like Thomas the Tank Engine, The Little Engine that Could, and The Polar Express.
They're after speculative fiction up to 5,000 words, paying $50CAD flat for the first 1,500, and then an additional few cents per word (it's 20c/7 words, if you want to get really technical). Max pay is $150CAD but preferences are for shorter works.
There's a (fun, in my opinion) thematic requirement beyond Trains, too:.
THE TWIST: The Locomotifs
We’re looking for an author to choose one or more archetypal minor characters from the following list and interpret them through the lens of their story (their time, place, genre, etc.) as purely background characters, or, if you want, a main or POV character.
They can be combined too into a composite type character. An author would not HAVE to choose more than one, but one of these must pass through your story. (You will need to mention who you’ve chosen on your submission, under your contact information, using the letter(s) appropriate.) These characters are not named, nor is there any requirement for nationality, gender, race, ability/disability, gender expression, etc.
[List of 10 archetypes goes here - check the site out for details]
Also, do not think that you need to try to fit in all ten. That’s like trying to meet everyone riding on your train. You can do it, but it takes too much time away from you. Authors, of course, are free to develop their story on their own—but they should allow one of these kinds of characters to board their train, even if for a fleeting reference.
They're open until end of September 2017, so get choo-choo-choosing.
(Note: I do not apologise for that pun)
Literarium listing can be found here: https://literarium.net/market/edge/fantastic-trains-an-anthology-of-phantasmagorical-engines-and-rail-riders