by Tristan Kneschke
Like Richard Thomas, we at Across the Margin see other magazines and websites of our ilk as “family, not as competition.” And so we take a minute to shine a light on, Gamut…
Richard Thomas, the neo-noir fiction author, keeps himself busy. He has written over one hundred short stories and has penned three full-length novels (Transubstantiate, Disintegration, and Breaker). He is editor-in-chief at Dark House Press and as an editor he has published three anthologies of short stories (Burnt Tongues, The New Black and The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers). Thomas has also won contests at ChiZine and One Buck Horror, and received five Pushcart Prize nominations.
Now, Richard Thomas is trying to push things further by starting Gamut, his own literary journal currently raising money all February on Kickstarter. Gamut will focus on neo-noir, speculative, and hybrid fiction, concentrating on dark, transgressive, strange, and subversive tales. Thomas aims to pay writers better rates for publishing with Gamut, because at the end of the day, he’s in the trenches himself, dealing with the competitive submission and rejection grind like any other writer. “It’s something I wanted to do for a long time,” Thomas says. “I think we could create something really cool here, working together to be a part of the landscape to work closely with other great magazines and websites. I see them as family, not as competition. I think there’s room for all of us out here.”
My first intersection with Thomas came with the purchase of the excellent anthology, The New Black, featuring his curated list of many of the darkest writers in the game. It was the kind of collection I had to have, being drawn to the morbid, surreal and sinister for as long as I can remember. Many of the writers were completely new for me, and the collection served as a springboard for exploring their greater body of work.
Thomas is also a regular contributor to the writer’s website, LitReactor, where he occasionally teaches several classes. Like I said, he keeps busy. Here, I read his craft essays detailing the harrowing process of navigating submissions to journals. Being new to the literary world, it was intimidating to build a tiered database of potential journals to submit to, and there were tons of suggestions within Thomas’ articles. Due to these positive experiences with Thomas’ words, it became a no-brainer to donate to Gamut, a magazine I would have subscribed to either way.
Gamut has over fifty writers already signed on to contribute to the magazine and is poised to solicit outside work later in the year. Many heavy-hitters familiar to the genres in which Thomas finds himself entrenched within have supported Gamut’s release. “I’m excited to see what Richard Thomas brings to the game,” says Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk. Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, says “Gamut will be cool, and it will be out there, right on the edges of fiction. I can’t wait.” You can probably tell, I can’t either.
There are a bevy of bonuses for contributing to Gamut, including a subscription to the magazine and detailed editing sessions from Thomas himself. Visit his Kickstarter page to find out how you can support the project.