The Robots Weren’t Wrong: Tales of Unstoppable Technology — An Interview With Weird Little Worlds

Horror Tree
5 min readMay 14, 2024

The Robots Weren’t Wrong: Tales of Unstoppable Technology

Weird Little Worlds Kickstarter

By Angelique Fawns

Weird Little Worlds wants to give ALL authors an equal chance at selling a story to their latest anthology. They are looking for 20 stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres that explore: “Ghosts in the machine. Robot armies. Artificial intelligence that outsmarts even the most genius human mind. The robots are here and it’s no secret that they think we’re not capable of managing the world by ourselves.”

Calling the vibe Black Mirror meets Twilight Zone they are funding the project through Kickstarter. Check it out here.

I asked the editors a few questions:

AF: Can you give us some hints as to what kind of stories are most likely to be successful?

WLW: We are really excited about creepy, weird science fiction, science fantasy, and science horror. Great storytelling, great characters, and we’re always looking for unique voices. Stories from unique perspectives, twisty tales that surprise us. We really just love great short fiction, and we’re excited about what we’ve seen in the slush pile so far.

AF: Tell me about your inspiration for “The Robots Weren’t Wrong: Tales of Unstoppable Technology”?

WLW: Well, we felt like it’s a topic that’s on everyone’s minds. The advent of AI-infused art, fiction, etc…it’s all so dystopian that it’s hard to believe it’s real. At the same time, technology has allowed for incredible new levels of communication, healthcare, and interconnectedness. That’s one of the reasons we’re really not focusing solely on the negative aspects of technology. Our CEO, Willow Becker, is a cancer survivor largely in part because of technological advances in the field of breast cancer treatment. At the same time, we still get scam submissions written by AI-generated scammers every week. It’s terrifying and wondrous all at the same time.

AF: Can you talk about the feature art in the anthology?

WLW: We love hiring skilled new artists that maybe no one has seen in a featured book before. For this anthology, we are looking to hire someone specifically with a style that will reflect the stories that end up in the anthology. We have talked with Rashed AIAkroka, who has a huge following on ArtStation and is a Kuwaiti comic-style artist. We have worked with MM Schill and several other incredible artists in the past. But until the project funds and we know the stories we’re working with, we are still keeping our final artist pick in pocket.

AF: You are planning an audio book featuring a diverse cast of voiced and author readings. How will that work?

WLW: It’s going to be a fantastic element of the project, and we’re so excited for our first-ever audio book. We are huge fans of audio drama, and this book will have some of that flavor, to be sure. And then some of the entries will just make more sense to be voiced by a single voice and we will go to the authors first. The goal is to set up local studio sessions for authors who want to do their own storytelling and then get professional voice actors to do the rest. It’s an epic endeavor, and we’re so excited about it!

AF: Weird Little Worlds is part of the Indie Horror Collaborative. What is it, and how does it help authors?

WLW: The Indie Horror Collaborative is a group of indie horror presses that just work together to bring additional eyes on the indie horror community. The goal of the IHC is to combine so that small presses with growing libraries can provide additional options to readers by mutual support and marketing. Through cross-promotion in newsletters, on social media through sharing, and shared assets like NetGalley and Instagram advertising, we have a wider reach and hopefully sell more books for authors represented by smaller presses.

AF: What is the genesis story of your press?

WLW: Actually, we were born out of the Covid era. Our CEO, Willow Becker, had been tagged to edit an anthology for another small press that only paid a split royalty fee, and she just thought that wasn’t a great way to pay authors. That kind of model ends up being a token payment structure, at best, and she just wanted to build a place where authors of short fiction were getting paid real money to write. So, she backed a Kickstarter by a local editor, Michael Cluff, with the same basic premise — paying well for good stories — and thought that the strategies he’d used were really entertaining and effective. She reached out to him after the Kickstarter ended and asked if he would be interested in running another one as a means to pay pro rates for short fiction writers. He was immediately interested and suggested that she start a press with her own personal brand, Weird Little Worlds.

Since then, we’ve published four books and a coloring book, and we’re slated to release new fiction by award-winner Dan Coxon, as well as four more novellas, a novel, and a new coloring book later this year. Not to mention that we were short listed for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology in 2022 and the winning short story, “Fracture,” by Mercedes M. Yardley, was included in that anthology. It’s been a great ride so far, and we’re excited to see what the Weirdies (our fans) will help us create next!



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