Formally, they're searching for:
"Beautifully-written fiction, characters that grab us by the throats and refuse to let go until their stories have been told, worlds that draw us in and demand to be explored…and bugs. Genre isn’t particularly important to us—speculative, mainstream, slipstream, and the unclassifiable tales in between—we’ll read anything; all we ask is that something pertaining to bugs is integral or significant in your story. The bug element can be literal or metaphorical, hallucinatory or behavioral or metaphysical, or any combination thereof. Note, our definition of bugs is flexible and includes, but is not limited to: Insects, arachnids, scorpions, lobsters, BEMs of pulp science fiction fame, centipedes, trilobites and were-ladybugs—basically pretty much anything with bug-like qualities: multiple legs, stingers, feelers, or an exo-skeleton. Not quite sure what we’re talking about? Think of The Metamorphosis, Ender’s Game, Angels and Insects, Naked Lunch, A Recipe for Bees, District 9, and Eight Legged Freaks. Basically, think bugs, and let your imagination run wild. There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, but be sure to use them well if you do use them."
Alas, they would be doing this just as I'm hitting a writer's block regarding unusual stories about bugs, but it is just the sort of thing I would encourage people to send work to.
You would think, given all of the unusual things I've written about over the years I'd have a significant number of pieces on bugs besides my poem "Maggots," which many of you may recall appeared in my collection, On The Other Side Of The Eye. It was inspired in part by Yusef Komunyakaa's poem "Ode to the Maggot." I suppose I do also have the poem 'Today's Special at the Shuang Cheng,' which appeared in BARROW and the Mid-American Poetry Review. But I should probably write more about bugs.
I've got entries on the Laotian Rock Rat, the dreaded Popobawa, and the Mongolian Death Worm, but those hardly count:
We even have a rare baby picture of future rock and roller Yu Zhenhuan, but no bugs.
As a quick side-note, I found myself in a conversation with A.C. Wise about whether one had 'arrived' on Twitter when one was plagued by pornbots. I personally think the results of the google image search are far more amusing, given what strange things can become associated with you. Tweet led to tweet and the next thing I know, the question of the Lizard People came up. As opposed to the horror of a Newt-Romney '12 ticket.
Now, the Lizard People are an elusive group, as noted in this blog about the search for them back at the start of the 20th century. On the other hand, in Minnesota elections, we are starting to see them as viable candidates compared to our other options:
There are moments lately where I suspect had I known they were an option, I would have voted for them too. Hindsight getting me.
Anyway, among the things I discovered while searching for a good image of the lizard people was the fact that Minnesota is home to Rogue Taxidermy, whose artists go far beyond jackalopes. Among the ones I found particularly interesting was the work of Takeshi Yamada, whose work is consistently jaw-dropping, to say the least:
However, for my colleagues at the Horror Writer Association, it's definitely worth a look for some interesting inspiration.
So, as a nod to A.C. Wise, I'm going to go with one of my favorite pictures of the evolved dinosaur / dinosauroid / lizard people who never were, from a theoretical sculpture by Dale Russell and Ron Seguin made in 1982. It was on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada, and may yet be:
Who wouldn't vote for this guy?
Who wouldn't vote for this guy?
In the meantime, be sure to submit your bug-related stories to The Journal Of Unlikely Entomology! And say hi to A.C. and Bernie for me.