My Bad

It has been pointed out here and here that, back in late 2007, when I put together a roundtable on POC in Fantasy, I linked coffeeandink’s real name to her blog on the second post in the series.

I do not actually remember the circumstances under which I did this.  If my recollection is correct, back then I didn’t know that C&I wanted to keep her sf/fan activities seperate from her real name.  This may account for the linkage.  What I can’t account for is why there was linkage on part 2 but not part 1.  This indicates that there may have been a mistake on my part.  I am honestly not sure.

I, however, take full responsibility for doing so.  I removed the link, as I was asked to (I wasn’t aware of those two posts until after I did it), and was happy to do so.  My apologies to coffeeandink for that blunder.

I am highly amused to find certain parties waving a flag around about this.  It would certainly be a really bad thing if I had purposefully linked the name to the LJ knowing coffeeandink didn’t want me to.  It would also be a bad thing if, after being asked to remove the link, I stomped all over the internet like Godzilla raging about how horrible everyone is for even hinting that I should do so.  Or demanding someone should throw me a parade because I complied.  Really now.

Farewell, Realms of Fantasy

Farewell, Realms of Fantasy

I haven’t commented on the news that Realms of Fantasy is closing yet, and I feel as though I should for several reasons. So, I will.

Way back when I was a wee!Tempest I was very much unaware of fandom and the wider SF world. I liked Star Trek. I liked Narnia and other SF/F YA and children’s books I’d read, I liked The Martian Chronicles. I didn’t know that this could all coalesce into an identity.

I don’t know how exactly this happened, but at some point I came across the magazine Science Fiction Age and just fell in love. I still feel like SF Age was one of the best genre magazines ever. I was attracted to it due to the big, glossy covers with awesome images but what held me was the stories inside – I read the thing from cover to cover.

During this time – late high school – it was pretty hard to find SF Age. This was before the explosion of B&Ns everywhere and such. I had to beg and cajole and blackmail my poor mother to drive me to the only newsstand in town where I knew I could reliably find it. And one day I happened to notice another mag sitting on the same shelf. Instead of a cool spaceship on the cover, there was probably some woman in chainmail or whatever, but I remember immediately recognizing that this magazine was related to SF Age. It had a similar cover sensibility – a design that said “This is the fantasy version of that magazine you already like.” So I picked that up, too.

I was not disappointed.

Through reading SF Age and Realms of Fantasy I decided to join the SF Book Club which led to me reading every Dozios year’s best (along with some other stuff, but mostly just that) which led me to read beyond the Star Trek novels I’d been devouring for years which, by many turns, led me to writing science fiction and fantasy.

The first time I ever saw Scott Edelman at a con I stood paralyzed 10 feet away from him for 20 minutes until I worked up the nerve to go and say, “HiMrEdelmanmynameisKimandIamabigfanofyours SFAgewassoawesomeanditchangedmylife andIhavealwayswantedtomeetyouandsaythatbecausereallyitchangedeverything Iwouldn’tbeawriterifnotforyouIthink.” Or something like that. I’m sure Scott was completely scared of me, but he did smile when I mentioned SF Age (which Sovereign totally killed before its time and I will never forgive them for that, omg).

Since SF Age died before I got my writing chops, I always had a notion in the back of my mind that I might be published in Realms someday. For a long time it was my whole short fiction world, except for year’s bests. And I loved every story I read.

Yes, this changed over the years. I stopped sending to Realms long, long ago because, really, I’m not all that in to sending stories off to a black hole from which they’d never return (the price I paid for being passed up to Shawna so many times). I stopped reading it after the story that ended with two people having sex on top of a dead unicorn (and no, I am never going to get over that. I like Carrie Vaughn a lot as a person, but ye gods, dead unicorn sex? Booo!). But I will always, always be grateful that it existed, and that it introduced me to so much wonderful fiction and so many amazing authors.

I read Theodora Goss and Hilary Moon Murphy for the first time in Realms and now I’m happy to call them friends. I saw many friends I knew to be amazing authors get published there for the first time – Tim Pratt, Sarah Prineas, Samantha Henderson, Eugie Foster (these are the names coming to me right this second, there were many more).

I still treasure my old copies from high school and the stories I loved therein. I still treasure my memories. And I hope that there will still be great magazines that high school girls who love Star Trek and Martian Chronicles and Narnia can stumble upon that will change everything for them and open up a new world of awesomeness.

Taking Stock

Taking Stock

So, things are looking un-good for a lot of publishing houses right now and more than one person has commented that it really sucks to be a debut novelist at this time.  But Justine notes that children’s books are still doing okay, comparatively, and not just the Twilight series.  I guess this means I should put a pause on the Egypt book and get to rewriting my YA novel.

I hope the agents I query are into gay sex…

Just Wondering: How Many Webzines Offer Downloadable Versions?

Just Wondering: How Many Webzines Offer Downloadable Versions?

Like the title says. I’m a mobile gal, and most of my reading is done on my commute or while out. I don’t mind whipping out the netbook for reading, but doing so on my phone would work, too. I’d like to read more short fiction, therefore I’d like more of it to be mobile. So, this got me wondering how many online magazines even offer a downloadable version of their fiction. Anyone wanna enlighten me?

Impatient!

Impatient!

My story is coming out over at Strange Horizons next week.  Up until a week ago I was being very mellow about it.  But now that it’s so close, I want it to be up NOW OMG!  I’m impatient.

You would think I’d be used to this by now, as I have stories coming out in other markets that won’t see the light of day for months, maybe even a year.  I have no particular problem with that (especially as in one case I knew upfront it would be a long while), but it makes me do the little ‘I have to pee’ dance in my head.  Wait, the: ‘I have to see my fiction published NOW’ dance.

Ah well, I’ll get over it.

…omg 5 more days.

Fiction n’ Things

Fiction: The Plagiarist by Alex Rose.  Very interesting piece this week.

Thing: In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re back to doing an author spotlight for every story that goes up.  The lovely Ellen B. Wright has been in charge of those and is doing an excellent job of taking them beyond the standard questions I’d been asking before.  Very interesting stuff, particularly from this week’s author.

Fiction: Nine Sundays in a Row by Kris Dikeman. Fellow Altered Fluidian Kris has a story up at Strange Horizons this week. Check it out.

Thing: I just said “oh noes” on national radio.

Some Friendly Advice

Some Friendly Advice

All you authors out there, we need to have a talk.  Sit down.

Tell me, if someone were to Google your name, or the name you write under, right now, would they be able to find you?  Would your website come up on the first page of hits?  Do you even have a website?  No, I am not talking about your LJ, I am talking about a website.  A place where people can find out where you’ve been published, what is coming up, maybe a little bit about you?  No?  No, no, no on all counts?

Then you FAIL, author.

Look, I understand that not everyone is all about being all up in the internet and revealing their whole lives all the time.  I really get that.  However, if you plan to sell some stories and make a name for yourself, you need to be out there a little bit.  You need to have some kind of web presence, even if it’s just a very simple group of pages that list your published works and maybe your favorite soup recipe.  There needs to be a way for people who enjoy your work to keep up with you and maybe read more of your stories.  You need to have a presence on the damn internet.

And no, LiveJournal is not enough.  Because LiveJournal or any other social networking site — Facebook, MySpace, whatever — is generally only useful to those already on it.  People who are just on the internet, or just looking for some casual information, or just looking to read more by you, are not interested in your LJ.  Not that they aren’t interested in journals or blogs, but they want something that feels open, inviting, and not like they have to have a password or be a part of a community.

So, I will say it again: Get a website.  Seriously.  If you have sold one story or five or however many, you need a website.

I just spent several minutes trying to track down the contact info for about 7 authors and 5 of them did not have a website or just had an LJ.  A lot of them had distinctive names, yet show up no where on Google.  No  No, no, a thousand times no.

Go get one now.  (Or find someone willing to make you one.  I know several people who charge reasonable rates.)

Magazines That Want (More) Diversity

Magazines That Want (More) Diversity

I often talk about the need for markets and their editors/publishers to do more to up the diversity in their slush pile and, consequently, in the publication itself. And one of the steps toward doing so is making sure that people know about your intentions in that direction. It does help to make the statement outright, but you still must back that statement up with results. Editors sometimes ask me how they get the word out, and, as I said in my Mind Meld contribution the other week, one of the ways is writer to writer to writer. Since I’m a writer whose blog is read by other writers, I guess I should do my part. :)

I recently sent this list of magazines looking for more POC authors and stories with POC characters and non-standard cultures/settings/etc to the Carl Brandon mailing list. I know that the editors of these markets want more because they told me so (which is as good an indication as any).

Fantasy — Any magazine I’m involved with definitely cares about this issue. One would hope it goes without saying, but not everyone is aware of who works for what and the goings on behind the scenes.

Sybil’s Garage — Before the last reading period, Matt Kressel and I had several discussions about how to draw in more diverse submissions. We edited the guidelines to make that desire clearer and I encouraged authors I knew to apply. I believe the next submission period is in early August, so keep an eye out and, yes, send your stuff in. Matt also says not to make any pre-judgments on what a Sybil’s Garage-type story is.

PodCastle — Rachel Swirsky is definitely on the look out for great stories by POC authors. I gave her some names and stories to check out, but you increase your own chances by submitting. PodCastle, like EscapePod, takes reprints. And it doesn’t matter how long ago the story was published, just so long as it’s good (and fantasy — for SF stuff, submit to EscapePod).

Asimov’s — Sheila Williams has mentioned to me a couple of times that she’d like to see more women in her slush (particularly with SF stories) and I suspect that she could use more submissions from POC and/or with POC characters and under-represented cultures.

As always, none of these markets is likely to publish a story just because it’s written by a POC or has POC characters. But in order to have a chance, you need to send the story in!

There are probably markets that I’m missing or editors who want more diversity but haven’t mentioned it to me. If so, mention it in the comments. I’ll add it to the main post as we go along.

Other markets looking to increase diversity (as indicated in the comments):

Fantasy Magazine Launches New Website

Fantasy Magazine Launches New Website

On July 17, 2008 Prime Books announces the launch of the new Fantasy Magazine website.

The site design is by Matthew Kressel of Senses Five Press, which publishes Sybil’s Garage and Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy.   The artwork is by New Zealand-based artist Sanjana Baijnath.

Fantasy Magazine’s authors have included some of the best new and established voices in the fantasy genre, including Stephanie Campisi, Paul Jessup, Richard Parks, Holly Phillips, Ursula Pflug, Ekaterina Sedia, Rachel Swirsky, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, and Jeff VanderMeer. The magazine publishes a new story each Monday, with commentary, interviews, reviews, and essays appearing throughout the week along with Friday’s Blog for a Beer! feature, which allows readers to unleash their creative talents. The new site will add audio and video content, previews of Prime and Juno books and new contests.

“Fantasy Magazine … [has] already shouldered their way into the ranks of the most prominent fiction e-zines on the internet”—The Year’s Best Science Fiction

“Fantasy Magazine is one of the most promising new fiction publications to launch in the field in years.”—Locus

“We hope to continue bringing innovative and enthralling fiction and features to fantasy lovers across the globe . . . and this is just the first step in many to come. Keep reading Fantasy Magazine!” —Cat Rambo and Sean Wallace

The magazine’s staff includes co-editors Cat Rambo and Sean Wallace, managing editor K. Tempest Bradford, and intern Nivair H. Gabriel.

Upcoming content in 2008 includes works from authors such as Jim Hines, J. MDermott, Ursula Pflug, and Erzebet Yellowboy. This week’s story is “Watermark” by Michael Greenhut, accompanied by an audio version read by Cat Rambo.


On a personal note, I’d really like to thank Matt for the hard work he did setting up the site.  That’s a custom theme you see, which he made from the ground up.  He incorporated all of the elements I asked for and offered suggestions and improvements of his own.  I can’t recommend (or thank) Matt enough.  It’s really beautiful work and he’s a hell of a programmer.

I’m also super, super pleased that Sanjana allowed us to use her art.  I fell in love with that image the first time I saw it.