I heard about Machine of Death II from a friend in my writing group, the COWRDS. At first, the premise didn’t really catch me. All the stories were to include a machine that took a blood sample and accurately told people how they were going to die. Not a shared universe, just a shared premise.
I checked out the website anyway and I was impressed with how the editors wanted to handle it. They had already produced one Machine of Death anthology and it was well respected in the community. Their plans for the second were almost identical to the first, but with an aim to not repeat any stories or ideas.
Look at their excellent website for a more complete list of what they were looking for, but the basic gist of their attitude that I found compelling was this: We’re not a bunch of twelve-year-olds looking for a bunch of decapitation stories. These stories about death should also be about life, and about how knowing your death can change the way you live.
Their sane was of approaching such a daring topic struck a chord with me and I decided to enter. The other exciting thing about the anthology is that it’s going to be printed in hardback. It seems like most other spec fic anthologies are invitation only so a new writer should probably jump at the chance to be included.
I’ll hear back in October if they liked my story enough to include it.