This anthology concept came from a variety of inspirations. Mostly, we love the eighties. They were just so campy. We remember them through the lens of being kids, which is to say, we remember them in many ways through the movies and shows we watched growing up, like most 80’s kids. A great many of those shows were crime shows; Magnum P.I., Miami Vice, Hunter, Cagney and Lacey, Jake and the Fatman… there were way too many to list them all, but you get the idea.
What we love about the eighties is that there’s perhaps never been a decade in history where western culture was so simultaneously aware and unapologetic of how commercialized and consumption-driven it had become. People were taking themselves VERY seriously at a time where it was hard to take anyone serious if you considered how they were dressed. The default mode of the nineteen-eighties was loud, fast, fashion forward, and almost always over the top.
So when we say Neon Noir, we’re partially using it as a slant on the more familiar term “neo-noir,” in the context of eighties crime shows like Miami Vice or Magnum P.I., or a whole host of eighties crime movies as well.
Now for the details:
In the context of this anthology’s guidelines, we look at the term “neon noir” like this: When we think of neon, we think of colorful, bright and lit up. The same goes for the eighties—bright colors, big hair, in-your-face. Everybody and everything taken to twelve on a scale of ten. When we say noir, we mean dark themes, or dark acts, outsider characters doing dirty things.
That’s the tone we want to see in the submissions for this anthology. Colorful, lit-up stories of crime and depravity, set in the nineteen-eighties. Outsiders, whether by choice or by circumstance, engaging in anti-social or criminal behavior. Stories that capture not only the moment in crime, but the place in time. Stories where setting and “costume” become character. If done well, this will be both in-your-face and subtle, as paradoxical as that sounds.
And when we say “fast” women, we don’t mean it in a derogatory way, so don’t send us a bunch of misogynistic garbage. We mean femme fatales and savvy career girls getting their hustle on, empowered women who don’t take shit from yuppie scum. Sexually empowered women on the hunt. Women going out and getting theirs. Oh yeah, and also lots of big hair and shiny shit, too!
And we don’t mean that you only have to write about women, or that women have to be present at all. Men either. We leave those details totally up to you. Just send us stories that pop.
We want you to try to capture the feeling and culture of the nineteen-eighties in your submissions. That can be funny, it can be dark, or it can be campy, but whatever the angle, we want it to feel like the eighties, with eighties flare. And we want it to be criminal as fuck. Seriously, don’t forget to make it criminal. As fuck.