Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clarkesworld Magazine Poll

Clarkesworld Magazine is holding a poll where you can vote for your favourite Clarkesworld Magazine stories of 2007.

You can vote for up to three stories.

Obviously, my story "Qubit Conflicts" is one of them, and if you really liked it, you could even vote for it (a little egoboo here, where Blue Tyson selected it as one of his personal year's best).

Also, the more votes get in, the better the feedback for the Clarkesworld Magazine people.

Interzone November Email Submissions Update

Quick Update: I've read through about some 240 of them, but am about 100 behind in replying. Now I am trying to catch up on my replies, but have had two replies to two email addresses that give me permanent failures. Both are netzero email addresses (one netzero.com and one netzero.net).

It's strange, because my 'receive acknowledges' went fine to these email addresses a couple of weeks ago, and now I've tried resending my response several times and get nothing but permanent errors.

Anyway: Bruce Golden and Luke Jackson: if you read this, please contact me at Jetse (dot) deVries (at) gmail (dot) com.

UPDATE: I got through to Luke Jackson on an alternate email address. However, in the meantime there's another netzero bounce: Scott Rollsen, if you read this, please contact me as well, as my reply to you bounced, as well.

Also google itself is blocking some of my replies, thinking I'm sending out spam! They do get through on a resend, but it surely can't be the idea to repeatedly resend messages. This happened four times today (December 22), and it's quite annoying.

I struggle onwards.

UPDATE 2: signs that your brain is trying to tell you to stop writing responses for the night sometimes manifest as typos.

  • comaprison (when I meant 'comparison);
  • meatfiction (when I meant 'metafiction');
Those are the ones I caught. So do please bear with me if you see a funny (and most likely unintentional) typo in a personal reply from me.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Zencore! and Nowhere

The names have been connected to the stories.

And I won the competition by guessing 8 (out of 17) right.


To summarise, dear Watson:

--The ones I had correct:

MMM -- Delicious by Reggie Oliver

England and Nowhere by Tim Nickels

(Typically, these two were, for me, the hardest to guess. But I'm quite happy that Tim Nickels indeed wrote "England and Nowhere", which I rate very high indeed.)

Undergrowth by Mark Valentine

Red Velvet Dust by Ursula Pflug

(I was pretty certain of these two. However, I was also pretty certain of others that I had quite wrong.)

Blue Raspberries by kek-W

Berian Winslow and the Stream of Consciousness Fortune Teller by Dominy Clements

(Quite happy that I got those two right, as well. After "MMM -- Delicious" and "England and Nowhere" these were the second hardest to guess. And I love "Blue Raspberries".)

The Secret Life of the Panda by Nick Jackson

Upset Stomach
by M. P. Johnson

(I was fairly sure of "Upset Stomach", and in retrospect am a little bit proud of my sleuthing for "The Secret Life of the Panda": also a very tough one. But then, of the remaining 9 I thought I was pretty much on the money. Those seven are now laughing...;-)

The ones I had wrong:

Word Doctor by Daniel Ausema

I thought it was Scott Edelman! Scott must have been laughing all the way to the bank -- that is, the same bank on which he sits with the panda, discussing his secret life and the fugly truth about the circus, like a stream of consciousness word doctor, eating delicious blue raspberries (mmm) until his stomach was upset, releasing a coughin torsion that plunged into the undergrowth like red velvet dust -- a nightmare to this reader, I tell ya.

The Awful Truth About the Circus by Scott Edelman

I thought it was Patricia Russo! That'll teach me to a) automatically assume that stories with a female protagonist most probably have a female author; and b) to assume that Scott writes mostly metafictional stories.

Ze egg is on ze face.

I'll buy you a drink in Denver, Scott!

Fugly by Patricia Russo

I was doubting between her and Ekatarina Sedia, and gambled wrong. Part of the game (I gambled correctly in two similar situations, so can't really complain). Congrats to Patricia for writing such a fine story.

The Coughin Coffin by Charles Black

I so expected this to be Steven Pirie. I wasn't the only one: two others thought the same thing. Against stereotype, Steven Pirie wrote something quite different. Good on him!

Terminus by S.D. Tullis

Which I so cleverly thought would be by Charles Black.

The Plunge by Brian Rappatta

And I attributed that one to Scott Tullis. Quite bad, as it now appears that Scott has *two* stories in Zencore! (that evil mastermind of a DFL tossing in a false anonymous to throw my blood hound off scent. What will he think of next?)

The Nightmare Reader by S.D. Tullis

And I attributed it to Brian Rappatta. If I had only made a last second switch, but the truth is that I was just guessing very hard, here.

Marie's Gift, the Stars and Frank's Pisser by Steven Pirie

I had really not even the faintest notion of who could have written that one (even after considerable sleuthing), so I threw in the towel and called it 'anonymous'. But it's Steven Pirie, and I'll congratulate him on writing a fine tale.

Torsion by Ekatarina Sedia

I guessed Daniel Ausema, and was wide off the mark. Again, here I am punished for assuming that a story with a male protagonist is written by a male author (a tactic that did pay off with other stories, but you just can't assume it all the time, of course. Which is definitely a good thing). Still, I'm quite happy that authors keep surprising me with their versatility.

Which brings us to "Cone Zero". My first tactic is to send Des a story for that one (hope I'll have one ready, as I'm way too busy now. Hopefully in the new year), thereby trying very hard to have myself automatically disqualified for the next guessing game.

Otherwise, dear Watson, we must sharpen our wits.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Saving the Magazines, the Mob Way

A couple of weeks ago, people like Warren Ellis, Cory Doctorow, Paolo Bacigalupi (good name, wrong advice, see below), Lou Anders, Jason Stoddard, Adam Rakunas, and more were discussing how to save the SF (short story) magazines (or not).

Problem is, their ideas are not quite radical enough.

At WFC in Saratoga Springs I had a very enlightening conversation with an estimable man -- let's call him 'Al Golden' -- about this very subject. We worked out the solution:

  1. An SF magazine should be run by the mafia: this not only provides excellent coverage in North America, South Italy, Japan, Russia, and China; it also means a backer with deep pockets;
  2. Subscription policy: "Subscribe, or your spouse (or kids) get it";
  3. Subscription policy, continued: "and be happy that we've only raised our rates by 10% this year."
  4. Submission policy: not all those whimpy cents rates: $100 dollar per word on pre-acceptance;
  5. Submission policy, continued: we don't reject stories, but shoot unsuccessful authors(*)
More as the capo de capi thinks of it.

(*) = while 4 might lead to a slushpile the size of Mount Vesuvius, 5 should ascertain that this is only a one-time occurrance. Although an informant who prefers to remain incognito remarked that 'there are not enough bullets'.

Mafioso SF: an offer you can't refuse!

More IZ November email stuff

Sorry about the extended silence on this blog (to the ones still checking it): it basically means I've been extremely busy and just couldn't wrangle the time off for some posts. Maybe I'll do a few quickies (which are not really my style).

Anyway: Interzone November email stats: 404 stories adding up to some 1931100 words.

I'm reading through some 150 of them, while having been under the weather this week, and hope to send out responses over the weekend. The plan until Christmas: work, read slush, send out responses, and build up lack of sleep.

Oh well.

But I've already read one story that (almost literally) twisted my guts -- in a good way -- and one that made me laugh out loud. Good signs!