written by David Steffen Yes, con season is in full swing once again.Â As usual, over Easter weekend, Minicon has come to the Twin Cities.Â Charles Stross was originally scheduled to be the writer guest of honor, but family medical emergencies caused him to bow out (good news:Â according to Stross’s blog, the prognosis is … Continue reading MiniCon 46, Con Report
On the day I am writing this, Daily Science Fiction is marking its 7th month of production. The online publication is listed with 41 other pro-paying publications on Ralan. I counted only 6 that offer a better rate for its authors (8 cents a word). Most have a guideline that is narrower on the type of speculative fiction they want, a few have a word count ceiling as high (10,000), and none publish as much as they have. After reviewing four months of DSF, I can’t help but notice the brightest and freshest writers in speculative fiction today have graced its pages (or web pages if you prefer).
Last month’s review started a bit of controversy. I am delighted Daily Science Fiction received extra attention because of it. They deserve it. Here’s hoping the editors and magazine get recognition in the form of nominations and awards. As one who has read and reviewed an issue of almost every major publication, I can say after reading the first three months, they consistently produce the strongest material in the market today.
If you’re looking for a new magazine to read, and you’re a fan of some quality worldbuilding, you’ve got to check out Beneath Ceaseless Skies. They have a neat little niche market, focusing on worlds that are “other” in some way, either a past time period (with speculative elements added in) or an alternate world; no contemporary, no futuristic.
Time for my yearly review, Yippee! Last year I wrote a very long analysis on the winning story and another that I really, and of the authors that wrote them. A few took my comments as needlessly personal. I regret that. I was only attempting to illustrate the first impressions I had of Jordan Lapp and Emery Huang, which were swept aside when I read their stories. I by no means meant that either of them acted or did anything wrong. In fact, I think every author is entitled to a little self-promotion and should take full advantage of their fifteen minutes of fame in hopes of stretching it out into a life-long center stage.
One of the aspects of the craft writing that never seems to get much discussion is the choice of title. Now, certainly there are lots of other things you need to work on, endings, the beginning hook, characterization, so on. And those other things are more likely to affect your chances at making a sale. But titles do matter. At the very least they can be the icing on the cake. At the most they can make the story itself more memorable and thus easier to recommend and discuss (always an important thing). Their value is less obvious and harder to measure.
Sha’Daa: Tales of the Apocalypse is the brainchild of Michael Hanson. He enlisted the help of ten other authors to bring his idea to life. The Sha’Daa is a forty-eight hour window in which the barriers between our world and the Hell dimensions become thin. The event happens once in ten thousand years. Old myths and superstitious have made a few wary of the hidden portal openings spread over our world. One mysterious man, Johnny the Salesman, is the only one aware of the oncoming doom. Eleven authors have written stories on a few of the collapsing portals and of the lone man selling salvation to an unsuspecting human race.
As I said in my last months review, an editor for a respectable review publication explained that the reason why he wasn’t reviewing Daily Science Fiction was because they had too much to cover. He may have been right, but every problem has a solution. With the help of four great and wonderful writers from my favorite writers workshop, Hatrack, a complete review of October is done. So thank you Todd Rathke, Louis Doggett, Ismail Rodriquez, and Ian Synder for your help.
And here’s the last of my Best of 2010 lists. This’ll be another short one, covering a bit more than half a year (the rest of 2010 after the last Best of Drabblecast) covering episodes 169-193. Big news for Drabblecast this year: they won a Parsec award!
And, on to my next list. Again, I’ll be picking up where I left off from my previous Best of Escape Pod list, and running to the end of 2010. This’ll be a short one because I posted that list in May. For this list I considered episodes 240-273, and here’s my 5 favorites.