Rampant Loon Media LLC is a small, privately owned Midwestern company dedicated to the seemingly radical proposition that if we produce high-quality work, conduct our business dealings in an open and ethical manner, and always treat authors and artists as we ourselves would wish to be treated, we can successfully bootstrap a new publishing company from the ground up. Rampant Loon Media LLC is the parent corporation that publishes a variety of media products, mostly under the Rampant Loon Press (RLP) imprint.
Stupefying Stories is the name under which Rampant Loon Press (the imprint) publishes a variety of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and we-don’t-know-what-to-call-it-but-we-like-it short story collections. Since 2013 RLP has also published a free webzine, Stupefying Stories SHOWCASE, so the second-best way to get a sense of what Stupefying Stories is all about is to click this link and go read SHOWCASE: StupefyingStoriesSHOWCASE.com
The best way, of course, is to buy and read a few issues of the magazine. The following issues are currently available on Amazon.com, in a mix of print and ebook editions. Most are available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
If you’re an obsessive completist, we still have a few copies left of our original 2010 prototype issue. It was produced only in print and contains Bruce Bethke’s semi-legendary demi-classic, “It Came From the Slushpile,” which has been anthologized many times but as far as we know is currently available only in this book.
If you want to buy this book, be sure to buy a New copy from kandbbooksellers. Some used book dealers seem to believe this is a valuable collector’s item worth an irrational amount of money.
Stupefying Stories has an official website at StupefyingStories.com, but you’ll probably learn more from StupefyingStoriesSHOWCASE.com or facebook.com/StupefyingStories. See the Stupefying Stories or SHOWCASE web sites for the latest information about reading periods, submission guidelines, submission email addresses, and so. We do not consider paper submissions, so please do not send stories to the Rampant Loon Media mailing address. Submissions sent to the mailing address will be rejected unread.
From the creators of Stupefying Stories comes a new sister publication, THEIAN JOURNAL. It’s a bit unearthly—a bit alternative—these are decidedly *different* SF/F stories, reflecting a different editorial philosophy, yet brought to you with our same dedication to finding excellent stories by writers you may not have read before. Issue #1 features:
• THE FISSURE OF ROLANDO, by Judith Field
• ADROIT, by David Williams
• TAKING A BREATHER, by Jean Davis
• A SCORPION WITHIN, by Alison Grifa Ismaili
• PLAINFIELD, NEW YORSEY: 2114, by Angele Ellis
• WHEN WE ARE WHOLE, by Gary Emmette Chandler
We think you'll agree: sometimes different can be very good.
“Nice collection! One of the better anthologies I’ve read as far as liking most of the stories.”
From the creators of Stupefying Stories comes an exciting new anthology series: PUTREFYING STORIES! Sixty-four pages of pulse-pounding, shuffling, moaning, brain-munching zombie action! Issue #1 features:
• FRUITING BODIES, by Eric Landreneau
• DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL, by Julie Frost
• FROM COLORADO, by Rose Blackthorn
• TWO ZOMBIES WALK INTO A BAR, by A. A. Leil
PUTREFYING STORIES: So terrifying, it could make a vampire’s dessicated heart start beating again!
Our first attempt at a sampler -slash- “best of” book. The print edition turned out much better than the ebook edition because we tried to use Amazon’s automatic PDF-to-ebook converter, and the results left much to be desired. We really should redo the ebook files, one of these days.
• FIRST IMPRESSIONS, by Aaron Bradford Starr
• SENNACHERIB, by David W. Landrum
• TEACHING WOMEN TO FLY, by Guy Stewart
• THE KING OF ASH AND BONES, by Rebecca Roland
• RETURN TO EARTH, by Ryan M. Jones
Created as a design experiment for our “EP” concept, we keep forgetting that this one is out there and keep being surprised that it continues to sell. This little wonder features awesome cover art by the legendary Phil Foglio and two of Bruce Bethke’s favorite (of his own) short stories: “Jimi Plays Dead,” which originally appeared in Amazing Stories and made a nice run for the Nebula Award in the year in which it was eligible, and “Buck Turner and The Spud From Space,” which was published in Tales of the Unanticipated and immediately sank into undeserved obscurity.
“Great science fiction book about death, music and points south. Bruce Bethke is one of the most readable writers today, and this is one of his better efforts, short and sweet and funny. Highly recommended.”
Watch for more EPs, coming soon.
A mad scientist. An army of zombies. And three plucky teens who just might be able to save the world.
San Francisco, 1904: Thirteen-year-old Percival Drew expected to spend the summer doing little more than tinkering with those new-fangled gasoline-powered motorcars. But that was before an insane scientist took an unhealthy interest in his cousin Quincey's very rare blood type... Before people began vanishing from the streets, to reappear as the mad doctor's undead minions... Before the villain's infernal devices gave him the ability to strike at will, destroying all who opposed him!
With chaos descending on San Francisco, only Percy and Quincey know the secret to defeating the undead doctor. But can they act in time?
From the Amazon.co.uk product page. Inexplicably, reviews posted by UK readers don’t show up on Amazon’s North American sites.
“Judith Field celebrates the extraordinary. It lives in every line of her stories alongside Magic. friendly ghosts and paranormal entities. Each tale also contains Human Beings who are warm, full of sentience and often conflicting emotions. Allow yourself to be whisked away to ordinary suburbs where incredible things happen all the time.”
“This is an excellent read. Entertaining short stories with memorable characters. Highly recommended.”
“A smashing read. A mix of styles, sometimes hilarious, sometimes moving but always entertaining. More please!”
“A collection of tales of the fantastic that manage to be sweet, poignant and laugh out loud funny all at the same time.”
“Judith Field's talent, or rather one of her talents, for she has many, is the ability to come up with an idea that's almost laughably simple, then plonk that idea in the most prosaic of settings, and somehow end up with a tale so unique and so eldritch that it stays with you long after you've finished reading it.”
“These stories present a refreshing fusion of styles. Life, wonder, and magic, sums it up—often the fantastic and magical meets the reality of everyday life in a way that I’d imagine fans of Pratchett and Gaiman might appreciate. There are also hints of magic realism and a depth of characterisation that makes the writing truly engaging and a pleasure to read. The fact that some characters make repeated appearances across the stories is very welcome because they are so well drawn that they stay with you. This collection is by turns funny, absurd, and poignant, and never less than thoroughly entertaining. Highly recommended.”
When Terran Scout David Rice climbs from the wreckage of his starship’s escape pod, he finds himself transported from the space age to the steam age in the blink of an eye. Now, marooned without hope of rescue, he is swept into a world of steam-powered airships, treacherous pirates, brutal savages, bloodthirsty monsters, royal machinations, and plots within plots, where matters of strength and honor are most often settled with the clash of swords.
Told in a relentlessly fast-paced style, the best-selling Scout series is an exciting modern homage to the classic tales of planetary romance made famous by writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs and Leigh Brackett, as well as the cliffhanger-driven energy of the early science fiction movie serials. If you like your heroes unabashedly heroic, your heroines feisty and true, and your plots filled with dangers, twists, turns, and double-crosses upon triple-crosses, you’ll love the Scout series.
But don’t take our word for it. Read the reader reviews!
“Pulp fiction in the best meaning of the term. The story moves along at a cracking pace and you care about the characters. If you like your heroes heroic, your heroines beautiful and strong-willed, and your villains villainous, this is the book for you!”
“This is the kind of scifi story that made me fall in love with science fiction long ago. It’s got space ships, extraterrestrial people and animals, lots of action, bits that make you laugh out loud, and a satisfying ending. Not that nothing bad happens, but in general good triumphs over evil and the hero gets the girl.”
“Clive Cussler meets Edgar Rice Burroughs...”
“This is a fun ride similar to John Carter of Mars. The characters are well developed and easy to relate to.”
“Very crisp and well-paced, I can understand and agree with the comparisons to Burroughs and Brackett. I'll go out on a limb and take it one step further... I could extend the comparison to E. E. "Doc" Smith and the Lensman series as well”
“Scout's Honor is exactly what I wanted: short chapters detonating like bombs, relentless pacing, far future action on alien worlds. Scout's Honor is a distillation of all the reasons why I started reading science fiction to begin with.”
“It’s not lip service to say that Henry’s books have proven that I’m not broken as a fan of speculative fiction, which is what I was starting to believe before I read Scout’s Honor. I just needed something that reminded me of why I love the genres. His books are glorious love letters to the fun and optimism that draws us in when we're young.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed this very well written story. How can you go wrong with a story containing blood thirsty barbarians, dastardly villains, pirates, a rascally rogue, heroes and fierce marines, and for good measure a beautiful princess?”
“A great YA adventure, but it’s not childish. Buy it, read it, and give it to a kid!”
“Scout’s Law finishes answering the questions left hanging with the other books of the series, and does so enjoyably. New characters are introduced and their stories are told, and how their stories entwine with everyone else’s And especially, the conundrum of what makes a hero: doing what needs to be done, regardless of the cost to yourself.
Captain Nancy Martin expects a lonely death. Passing out as her battle-damaged starfighter bleeds the last of its air, she comes to in the cavernous and deserted docking bay of an unknown starship. Leaving her crippled fighter to seek help, she finds she’s been scooped up by a gigantic generation ship inhabited by the descendants of the original crew and passengers—people whose entire universe is the ship!
Mistaken for the vast ship’s long-lost and near-mythical Captain, Nancy is welcomed as a savior. She believes she’s found the allies she needs in her desperate fight for survival. But an even greater menace lurks in the shadows of the ship—one that controls every inch of the ship and every life aboard it. One that will stop at nothing to destroy—
The Counterfeit Captain.
Set in the same universe as Vogel’s best-selling Scout’s Honor and Fugitive Heir series, The Counterfeit Captain further expands the stage for Vogel’s exciting brand of star-spanning science fiction adventure.
“A well crafted, engrossing, totally believable story, fully of life, love, heroism and all the little things that add up to show the author's substantial talent. Rock on Dude!!!!!”
“I’ve greatly enjoyed all of Henry Vogel’s literary work so far, and this book is no exception. The style of writing is very smooth and tight, with the level of character development quite superb.”
“This is an honest-to-goodness old-school space opera, complete with a Clarke-ian kilometers-long colony ship, Dalek-like evil robots driven by a scheming AI, space pirates and mutineers, enslaved children, primitive cargo-cult villages of humans who think their Ship is the world, and a running battle fought with lasers, blasters and bow-and-arrow through dark passages lined with blinking lights and shadowy machines. There's even a strong modern woman/strong primitive man romance, with a tasteful off-screen consummation.”
“This is Vogel’s best book yet! It is an excellently crafted story that will appeal to readers of all ages. The main characters are complex and intriguing. I found myself completely immersed in the story and I could hardly put it down. Even when I did manage to put it down, I found myself thinking (and even dreaming!) about the characters. I sure hope Vogel will write another book about Captain Nancy!”
Funny you should say that...
Unwillingly drawn out of her annual drunken stupor, Captain Nancy Martin, retired, finds herself involuntarily reactivated. Her assignment—to help Special Agent Erica Hampton solve the disappearance of an entire school’s student body. Hampton’s superiors suspect a slaver ring has kidnapped the children, to sell them on a rim world beyound the Terran Federation’s borders.
When Nancy and Erica discover the truth behind the abductions, they realize their deadline is quite literal—and much closer than they thought. When the gloves come off, the missing children couldn’t have anyone better fighting for their lives.
It will take every bit of skill Nancy and Erica have to track down the villains behind the disappearances. Defeating them will be a different matter entirely...
“I am reading it a second time, and hoping it comes out on audio! I love Captain Nancy Martin already, from The Fugitive Heir book, so I really enjoy reading the book and imagining her voice. I can’t wait to hear it.”
Funny you should say that, too!
The Counterfeit Captain - Audio Book. Complete and unabridged, and narrated by Heidi Cox, star of the web series, Stalking LeVar. Free with Audible.com trial subscription.
“My parents are not dead!”
Everyone thinks I’m in denial, and have been ever since my parents vanished seven years ago. Everyone thinks I should just shut up, and accept the vast inheritance coming my way. Everyone thinks I should let it go, and get on with my life.
Everyone is wrong.
I know my parents are still alive—but if I reveal how I know, I’ll be drafted into Psi Corps. But my inheritance can fund my search for them.
I didn’t count on deadly opposition from the board of the very company I’m about to inherit. There are powerful people involved who will go to extreme lengths to protect their dark secrets and silence me forever. But those people don't know about my three wildcards—my rebuilt spaceship, my best friend who doubles as my bodyguard, and the psychic powers I've kept secret my entire life.
My parents are alive, and I'm going to find them and save them—whatever it takes.
“If this novel was around when I was young, it would have been one of my favorite books.”
“The book is a fun, fast-paced read, eminently enjoyable from page 1 onward. The author’s style that reminds me very much of Robert Heinlein’s young adult science fiction stories (Red Planet, The Star Beast, Citizen of the Galaxy).”
“The Fugitive Heir is an imaginative and entertaining story with something for everyone. Adventure, action, love, pirates and spaceships! The story is very well-crafted and is hard to put down. What more could anyone ask for?”
“The action of the story is tightly woven, moving the two main characters from one danger to the next with skill and care, and I enjoyed the fact that they don’t always ‘defeat’ their antagonists so much as ‘outwit’ them.”
“I just got this book and finished it in three days. The book is great and and an enjoyable read. It’s entertaining and easy to follow, and I would recommend it to anyone; preteen, teen, or adult. There’s plenty of adventure and humor to keep you interested all the way through. Can’t wait for the movie version.”
While you’re waiting for the movie, may we interest you in the audio book?
The Fugitive Heir - Audio Book. Complete and unabridged, narrated by Daniel Halley. Free with Audible.com trial subscription.
Matt Connaught wants nothing more than to enjoy life with his new wife, Michelle, and to catch up on lost time with his parents, who were held captive for seven years. As a member of one of the wealthiest families in the Terran Federation, this should be easy.
Because Matt is psychic. If anyone outside of his family discovers his secret, he’ll be taken from his family and forced to serve in Psi Corps. When Federation agents come looking for him, Matt and Michelle have only one choice—to go on the run.
But how can they hope to escape from Psi Corps, when the Corps has the full might of the Terran Federation behind it?
“The Fugitive Pair takes off like a bat out of –well, never-mind. It’s fast paced, full of action, and filled with surprises. And the climax is truly fitting After all, if there is no place in the universe for you, you have to make your own. The only downside is the story caused me to read another story with pleasure and anticipation. I recommend you read The Counterfeit Captain to fill in background. Actually, it’s worth the read on its own. Get the book; you’ll be glad you did!”
“Henry presents a story that is aimed at a maturing readership. The complexity of his writing style is similar to some of the juvenile Heinlein novels, and holds the reader’s attention in the same manner. I would encorage parents of younger readers (say 12 - 16) to use Henry’s novels to hook these young readers into a lifetime of reading. The Fugitive Pair and its predecessor, The Fugitive Heir, are great entrants to the field of science fiction for young adults, while still being accessible to the older crowd.”
“A great second book for the series. Fairly fast paced and exciting. Would like to see another book about them if possible”
The Fugitive Pair - Audio Book. Complete and unabridged, narrated by Daniel Halley. Free with Audible.com trial subscription.
From the creator of the acclaimed Campbellian Anthology series comes STRAEON: a new quarterly exploration of stories that are longer, more complex, more mature, and more challenging than the norm. If you’re looking for space unicorns, sexy vampires, or short comedies that end in bad puns, you won’t find that here.
But if conventional genre stories don’t quite fit you—if you aren’t comfortable with the genre you’ve been wearing, or have grown too comfortable with the way it hangs upon your frame— if you sometimes wonder why you never see stories that speak to who you are, and are looking for fiction that is new, different, and not entirely safe…
Maybe you should try on STRAEON.
• “Lady Sakura’s Letters” by Juliette Wade
• “Avenzoar’s Dilemma” by Pat MacEwen
• “Rains of Craifa, Figure 1—Girl with Shavlas” by Lara Campbell McGehee
• “The Art Teacher” by Gillian Daniels
• “Kelly’s Star” by Ian Creasey
• “The Splintered Stars” by Jenny Rae Rappaport
• “Cupful of Sunshine” by Anna Yeatts
• “Sunira’s Daughters” by Robert Dawson
• “Signal” by Renee Carter Hall
• “A Kernel of Truth” by Heather J. Frederick
The Campbellian Anthology series was a noble idea that moved an enormous number of free e-books for us, but it also consumed equally enormous amounts of time, money, and other resources. Therefore, while in the future there may be a similar anthology of works by prospective Campbell Award nominees made available to the public, absent major corporate sponsorship this is a project best handled by a non-profit.
In short, Rampant Loon Media LLC has discontinued publishing the annual Campbellian Anthology series and will not resume publishing it, so please stop sending us email asking either a.) where to get this year’s edition, or b.) how to get your story into it.
All domain names and such related to the Campbellian Anthology series are for sale, by the way, if anyone is interested.
Fiction Submissions and Queries about the Status of Current Fiction Submissions
To submit a story to Stupefying Stories or SHOWCASE, or to query about the status
of a current fiction submission:
submissions [at] rampantloonmedia [dot] com
To submit a story to STRAEON, or to query about the status of a STRAEON submission:
submissions [at] vintageseason [dot] com
Note: Before sending a submission, please read the submission guidelines for the publication in question. Many of our publications have limited reading periods, so please confirm that the publication is open to submissions before sending anything.
For general business matters and queries not related to specific submissions:
queries [at] rampantloonmedia [dot] com
Rampant Loon Media LLC
P. O. Box 111
Lake Elmo, MN 55042
Please note that we accept submissions by email only. We no longer accept printed submissions sent by mail.
While we’re on the subject...
Rampant Loon Media LLC is a virtual company, which means that while we have a mailing address and a tendency to make jokes about our palatial offices in the mighty Rampant Loon Media Corporate Headquarters building, the truth is our staff is spread out over three thousand miles and four time zones. We have never all been in the same place at the same time.
What this means to you, then, is don’t expect to pop into our office for a friendly chat and a cup of coffee, or to impress us by hand-delivering your manuscript in person, or to drop off your résumé and apply for an internship. We work almost exclusively by email. Email is good. Email is your friend.
Stupeyfing Stories, Stupefying Stories SHOWCASE, Stupefying Stories Presents, Rampant Loon Press, and the Rampant Loon colophon are trademarks of Rampant Loon Media LLC. All rights reserved.