Announcing A New Yearly Anthology. Afterlives: The Year’s Best Death Fiction

Written By Sean Markey

Sean lives in an old farmhouse in northern Vermont, and is pretty sure the house isn’t very haunted… He works as a marketer during the day and is also the publisher of The Deadlands, a little magazine about beginnings and endings you may or may not have heard of.

Psychopomp publisher Sean Markey is excited to announce a new yearly anthology that will collect the best death-focused fiction published each year.

Afterlives: The Year’s Best Death Stories will be curated by a new editor each year, under the management of series editor E. Catherine Tobler, tentatively scheduled for publication in July 2024.

The editor for stories published in the year of 2023 will be Vajra Chandrasekera.

For more information on the specific details of how the stories will be considered, how to submit, etc., check out the guidelines page here.

From Year 2023 Editor Vajra Chandrasekera:

I’ve been very excited about The Deadlands ever since the first announcement, and honored to be among its earliest contributors. As a writer and reader obsessed with death, I am a natural part of the Deadlander ecosystem; I feel at home here. So when Sean and Elise approached me about this anthology project, I could hardly get the words “yes, of course I’ll do it” out quickly enough. I’m thrilled to be working with Elise as series editor, because as we all know she’s one of our very best editors of short-form speculative fiction, and I’m very much looking forward to reading all of your stories. There are many year’s best anthologies, but this one stands out, like an indistinct and skeletal figure glimpsed out of the corner of your eye, in the gloom of dusk just after the golden hour has ended. There is something terrible standing there, waiting. Tell it your stories of death as the light fades.

From Series Editor E. Catherine Tobler:

Just when you thought you couldn’t get more death stories, we’re about to find more for you to enjoy! Every time I see a story about death in another publication I want to shout “don’t they know about the Deadlands!” Now we can get our greedy little hands on those stories, too. I look forward to working with fellow editors and writers in the field to assemble the best collections for everyone’s shelves.

Sign up to be notified when Afterlives: 2023 is published

Join the newsletter to get notified when this year’s best anthology is released, as well as the cover art reveal, fun bonuses, and more!

    About Vajra Chandrasekera:

    Vajra Chandrasekera is from Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has published over fifty short stories in magazines and anthologies including Analog, Black Static, and Clarkesworld, among others, and his short fiction has been nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. His debut novel The Saint of Bright Doors is out now from Tor. He is online at and probably on whatever social media still exists at the time you’re reading this.