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      CommentAuthorLucifal
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1609.121)
    my two current projects, Burst Fiction and the Trajectory Progressive Scifi Festival
    I've been meaning to get off my Second Life ass and actually start my adventures there, but reality keeps getting in the way. Trajectory sounds interesting.
  1.  (1609.122)
    Also, the American market is just plain weird. I mean, I know Gordon Van Gelder knows the good stuff, but still there's all these mediocre genreheads extruding plastic.

    I've been in two minds as whether or not to reply to this, because internet bullshit spreads so fast. Friends of mine in the publishing biz were delighted when he took over F&SF, and told me he was a good and smart man. Which I'm sure is true. He kindly sent me some issues of F&SF recently.

    It could well be me that's out of step, because the stuff in there that I thought was plastic got nominated for awards.
  2.  (1609.123)
    It could well be me that's out of step, because the stuff in there that I thought was plastic got nominated for awards.


    I often feel the same way when reading a year's best anthology.
  3.  (1609.124)
    ETChevalier - Burst Fiction looks really interesting; me and a bunch of others have been doing weekly flash fiction pieces of sub1000 words, so that's right up my street. Expect a plug on Futurismic real soon! :D
  4.  (1609.125)
    More shorts to read, nice one Mr Chevalier. I really like the pop-up scrollbars - nice detail.
  5.  (1609.126)
    Whoa, wasn't actually expecting that much of a response, thanks! The festival is still in early stages of development, trying to find sponsors and secure a solid real world location. I was holding off from really promoting it until its a bit more concrete but I will definitely post here when it gets to that point.

    The Second Life fest area might end up attached to the scifi sim Saijo City, which I'm a co-developer of. Again I'm waiting until I secure funds to hire some badassed builders that I know can make the environment worthy of all your time.

    As for BurstFic, I'm glad you all like. Please submit any suitable burst fiction of yours that you think I should post or any suggestions for the site/fest.
  6.  (1609.127)
    Ah, Saijo City - you must know Eric Rice of the Twitter firehose, then. Interesting guy from what I've read of his. What's going on with the Saijo project? I've not been in world for ages.

    re: BurstFic - do you take reprints? Myself and the other Friday Flash Fictioneers have quite a back catalogue between us ... and I can try to hustle you more flashers on Futurismic, too. I'll make it tomorrow morning's post, in fact. *makes note*

    Reciprocal linking always welcome, BTW. ;)
  7.  (1609.128)
    Eric Rice is a nice but strange man obsessed with his gadgets & social tools.

    Saijo is under extensive development in the meta fiction department, although the SL version is actually shrinking. In the last few months its gone from 4 whole sims (1 private) down to 1 full sim and one empty one waiting for deletion. Rice got a bit sick of all SL's bugs and billing issues so he's trying out other metaverse platforms instead now.

    Sure on reprints. Almost everything on there now was first posted to Ficlets. For being an AOL community Ficlets is really quite a cool concept and well executed. Any reposts of your, or the other FFFs, will get linkage back to the author's page or originating post. I should probably come up with some sort of agreement for writers to sign but haven't gotten that into it yet. Considering maybe doing a printed collection eventually... but nothing on the immediate horizon in that vein.
  8.  (1609.129)
    Heh - we did a printed collection of our stuff, too. :)

    I'll give BurstFic the full plug tomorrow a.m.
  9.  (1609.130)
    Warren wrote: I've been in two minds as whether or not to reply to this, because internet bullshit spreads so fast. Friends of mine in the publishing biz were delighted when he took over F&SF, and told me he was a good and smart man. Which I'm sure is true. He kindly sent me some issues of F&SF recently.

    It could well be me that's out of step, because the stuff in there that I thought was plastic got nominated for awards.


    I was right there with them. It's completely right that he's a good and smart man. And yet, there it is; bog standard subpar same old dodgy writers. I don't know. Maybe Gordon knows his market is what it is. Maybe he's got a stockpile of old stories he can't afford not to use.

    I am currently reading Steve Aylett's Lint. This is helping take the edge off.

    "The typical editor was a broken man yet to realize he was in need of repair."
  10.  (1609.131)
    I am currently reading Steve Aylett's Lint. This is helping take the edge off.

    That is a wonderful fucking book.
    • CommentAuthorspin
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1609.132)
    I heard my name. /smirk. Hey, wanted to point out that QuillPill.com is like Twitter but for fiction, which is the whole reason I came to Twitter ages ago. "Fake blogging" is fun and gives the finger to all the nuclear pompom-wielding crazy people with iPhones who run 2.0 shit. Firehose INDEED. Any Saijo: SL stuff, hit up ETChevalier, I'm too buried with building the FDK for Saijo (fiction dev kit). Saijo ain't an SL thing.

    This writing thing is ridiculous.
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      CommentAuthorWordWill
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1609.133)
    A question that keeps pestering me, when I consider the paper pubs and the electric venues: What constitutes publishing for the purposes of short fiction, now? Specifically, I'm wondering if self-publishing a story in that we-three-guys-have-an-e-zine way renders that story ineligible to be sold to a magazine with a boilerplate contract asking for first world-wide rights of this sort or another. (Obviously it does not constitute "print," but questions linger.)

    I ask because I come back, periodically, to this idea of reversing the short-fiction submission process. The idea goes like this:

    I put up a site hosting my unsold fiction, and on that site I say, "The following stories are available for sale. If your publication is interested, please contact email@address.is." What if the fiction were good? (Let's pretend.)

    The job of the magazine, then, is not to get choose the best of the stuff it gets in the mail, but to seek and publish the best stuff being offered out there, and to put it into a package that demands to be held and handled and wanted and bought. The magazine might end up with work that you've seen somewhere online already, but like the best blogs and news venues, the reason you come back to them is that they are better than you are at finding the good stuff and putting it in a handsome get-up. Yes, they're finding the stories on the same internet that I could, but they're doing the leg work and the layout. Even better, the magazine turns that online story into something papery and tangible, which is not essential but is worth paying for.

    This method would also benefit the author, potentially, by creating a capitalistic market around her own works. Bizarre Screed writes and says, "We'll give you $150 for your story!" to which she says, "I'm interested, but Lovecraftian Anecdote is offering $200. Counter offer?"

    This is a writer's fever dream, yes? Can a smarter or more successful person make something out of these bits I've got?
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      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1609.134)
    The job of the magazine, then, is not to get choose the best of the stuff it gets in the mail, but to seek and publish the best stuff being offered out there,
    HAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh... jesus... I think I pulled something.
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      CommentAuthorWordWill
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1609.135)
    Maybe I misunderstood what "science-fiction magazine" means. You mean the magazine itself is not supposed to be fantastical? Did I mention the part where you don't read it but swallow it like a pill?
  11.  (1609.136)
    No, no, Ariana has just been paralysed by her own Sarcasm Organ.

    You're absolutely right. The job of the magazine is not to get choose the best of the stuff it gets in the mail, but to seek and publish the best stuff being offered. However, the reality is that no-one has the time to deal with a slush pile and wander around the web looking for stuff.

    My personal opinion is that a magazine that wants to be successful needs to be commissioning at least 75% of each issue's content directly from invited writers. To pervert a line from Aaron Sorkin, a professional magazine is not writer's camp and it's not important that everyone gets to play. I imagine I'm in the minority.
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      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1609.137)
    No, no, Ariana has just been paralysed by her own Sarcasm Organ.
    It's true, and apologies -- it's been a long day. It's a brilliant ideal, but it's so fucking far from what's likely to happen any time soon that it's either laugh or cry. Warren's right -- mags should be building stables of regular writers (and paying them something nearer to a food-buying wage for it), but the first one that tries is going to get crucified for being elitist. So it's a little harder than just saying it's a good idea -- there are rocks that need to be moved out of the road, first.
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      CommentAuthorkaolin
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1609.138)
    @WordWill - This method would also benefit the author, potentially, by creating a capitalistic market around her own works. Bizarre Screed writes and says, "We'll give you $150 for your story!" to which she says, "I'm interested, but Lovecraftian Anecdote is offering $200. Counter offer?"

    Many mags do accept simsubs. That amounts to much the same thing, I think, except you still have to send your stuff out. E-subs make that easier in general. And Duotrope will pretty much tell you how much any mag is going to offer for your piece, generally, by word count (or whatnot)

    @Warren Ellis - My personal opinion is that a magazine that wants to be successful needs to be commissioning at least 75% of each issue's content directly from invited writers. To pervert a line from Aaron Sorkin, a professional magazine is not writer's camp and it's not important that everyone gets to play. I imagine I'm in the minority.

    GUD hasn't had much trouble finding amazing stuff in its slush pile--we're not necessarily doing that "to make things accessible to everyone" (though why not if it's easy enough for us to sort through?) but because, well, it's easiest that way. Mind you, we _do_ trawl deviant art and whatnot for visual works, much like WordWill suggests for written works... so it's not entirely out of the question. But we do that more out of desperation than anything else, to be honest.

    Also @WordWill - This is a writer's fever dream, yes? Can a smarter or more successful person make something out of these bits I've got?

    I think many middlemen have tried to do something as such along the years, but publishers to date haven't been so interested--slush piles have plenty of diamonds. Well, excepting the whole economy of "agents" for non-short works. There are, I hear, even bidding wars that occasionally happen, there.

    Jason Stoddard would argue that the "elitist pickers and choosers" of the magazine world ought to shove off and let "the public" pick the content, ala YouTube. (I think; if I'm putting the wrong words in his mouth, I apologize).
  12.  (1609.139)
    Specifically, I'm wondering if self-publishing a story in that we-three-guys-have-an-e-zine way renders that story ineligible to be sold to a magazine with a boilerplate contract asking for first world-wide rights of this sort or another.

    We (Clarkesworld Magazine) would consider that story ineligible. It hasn't come up much, but I know of at least one story we passed on because of this.

    a magazine that wants to be successful needs to be commissioning at least 75% of each issue's content directly from invited writers

    I agree. Currently, half the fiction we publish is solicited. It's harder to get those stories, but well-worth the effort. As we grow, the percentage of solicited fiction will increase, but we'll always have space reserved in each issue for the slush pile survivors.
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      CommentAuthorLucifal
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2008 edited
     (1609.140)
    warrenellis - a magazine that wants to be successful needs to be commissioning at least 75% of each issue's content directly from invited writers
    Clarkesworld - I agree.
    I guess if I we were doing that at Murky Depths I'd agree too. But we're not. With publishing deals seemingly becoming harder to acquire we can act as a showcase for budding writers and artists, and give them a target to aim for. Our choice to make the magazine a quality production (rather than pay professional rates - we pay token amounts) was to give writers a desire to appear in, and a pride to have their work in, Murky Depths. We've featured Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Stan Nicholls and are hoping to attract further names in the future. Our budget isn't infinite, and, to be honest, if we don't break even on an issue within a couple of years we could go the way of other SF mags, but that won't be through lack of trying. You might argue, if that's the case why, did I start Murky Depths in the first place? I believe it is different enough to have a niche of its own and, so far, barring a contentious cover design(!), we have received excellent reviews, and I'm confident that we're going to make our targets and be around for a long time. Naive? No!