o I’ve reached an unexpected writing milestone this week: being banned from submitting to a publication after pointing out some questionable business practices. I’ve posted this elsewhere but I decided I’m going to post the email transcript of my conversation with Collidor’s Ray Taylor which ended with me being banned from his publication. I have never done this kind of thing before, but I haven’t said anything in the email conversation I’m ashamed of and I’d rather that people make their own decisions with the words in front of them rather than taking my word for it.
written by David Steffen
It’s award season again! If you’re eligible to vote for the Hugos, you have until the end of March to decide on your picks. I wanted to share my picks, as I always do, in plenty of time so that if anyone wants to investigate my choices to see for themselves they’ll have plenty of time.
Can you believe it’s been a whole year since we officially launched The Submission Grinder? At that time the Grinder only had its base functionality , the minimum required feature set to make it basically useful. We had just launched, so of course we didn’t have any submission data yet apart from the data of its founders. The Grinder site was pretty unreliable as well, down almost as often as not. And the choice of Courier font for everything on the site, while chosen with the intention of giving a nod to the typewriter-based standard manuscript format that is somehow still used today, managed to almost universally annoy everyone who visited the site.
In my constant quest to find new sources of short audio fiction, I’ve listened to quite a few episodes of Decoder Ring Theater who describe themselves as the “home of all-new audio adventures in the tradition of the classic programs of Radio’s Golden Age. Here you will find full-length, full-cast tales of mystery and adventure to fire your imagination”. Their two main recurring features are The Red Panda and Black Jack Justice, but every summer they have different features that aren’t in those two main series.
This is a copy of the newsletter sent out to users of The (Submission) Grinder who have opted in for the newsletter as of Monday, November 10, 2013. We have included it here to let people who might be interested in hearing about the upcoming newsletter feature, but who are not users or who have not opted in.
We’ve posted here from time to time to point out useful writing websites and tools, but it occurs to me that I have never posted about Codex, which I’ve found to be extremely enjoyable and useful in a variety of ways.
So what is Codex? It is a website which serves as a resource and gathering place for neo-pro speculative fiction writers. The primary draw of the site is the forum.
I had never heard of the musician who calls himself Amadeus X. Machina until I went to WorldCon in Chicago last year and stumbled across one of his performances. He is a musician of the most eccentric variety, eschewing the commonplace for his own forms of expression. He laughs at the traditional definitions of “audience” or “distribution”. If you so much as mention iTunes, he will slap you so hard your teeth will rattle (I learned this the hard way). He has an avid fanbase of people who devote large portions of their lives to figuring out where he will play next, and largely failing to do so. I have yet to speak to anyone who has seen him play twice, and the first time always seems to be a random coincidence, though he seems to always appear at times of need.
I’ve spent the last several months reviewing award nominees. I decided to take it one step further and post the final decisions that I plan to post to my Hugo ballot with explanations (where I deem them necessary) about why I voted the way I did. I encourage anyone reading this to post discussion in the comments about how they voted, why I am wrong in my choices, etc.
What makes this more interesting is that the Hugo Awards use an instant runoff voting system. You rank your changes from 1-x, and can also set a number to the “No Award” category. You can find all the nitty gritty details at the Hugo Page explaining votes. I like the system a lot, much more than just a simple single-cast vote, because if your primary vote is for the least popular story, your other preferences still count for something.
Now I have only a few months before the renewal comes up, and the rates have gone up to $90. I am a pragmatic person and I don’t intend to pay that kind of money without considering the cost-benefit tradeoff. So, I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the money to renew my membership or whether I should just let it lapse. So I’m going to list out what I’ve seen as the benefits, to decide whether or not those are worth $90 to sign up again.
Almost three weeks have passed since Anthony Sullivan and I launched The Submissions Grinder, a web-based tool for writers to find markets, track submissions, and look at market response statistics. At the time of launch the site was very simple, with a limited set of features, and yes some stability issues.