Earlier today, the contents for Night Shade Book’s Best Horror of the Year 1 was listed on editor Ellen Datlow’s blog. The following stories from semiprozines were selected:
It is said by some that semiprozines are publishing some of the best new writers. Who are the authors people should be on the lookout for?
Robert Neilson, Albedo One
The Albedo One authors who have impressed me most in recent times are Philip Raines & Harvey Welles, Colin Harvey, Nina Allan, Julian West, Will McIntosh and David D. Levine (his story in Albedo One is far better than his Hugo winner). I have also been mightily impressed with Dutch author Teis Teng but unfortunately most of his work is in Dutch. You can find some of his work in English in a collection from Babel Books called Systems of Romance (he wrote half the stories). Modesty forbids mention of my editorial colleagues.
Beth Wodzinski, Shimmer
A year or so ago I would have called out Aliette de Bodard — but she’s already well on her way, and is a Campbell nominee this year. I think she’s right at the beginning of a great career.
I’ve got my eye on Angela Slatter and Shweta Narayan; they seem to me to be poised for really broad success, and are terrific. Also terrific: Becca De La Rosa, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Vylar Kaftan, Caitlin Paxson, Alex Wilson, Josh Storey, Claude LaLumiere, and Amal El Mohtar. Well, I think everyone we’ve published is terrific.
If I can call out a few artists, too: Chrissy Ellsworth, Sandro Castelli, Aunia Kahn, and Carrie Ann Baade are amazing.
Hildy Silverman, Space & Time
There are some great ones out there. Maurice Broaddus is a terrific writer who I don’t think the Big Three have published yet, but are bound to discover at some point. Aliette de Bodard is popping up in a lot of places, and has been nominated for the 2009 Campbell award. Oh, and keep an eye on multiple-workshop grad Larry Hodges, who is finally getting around to sending out more of his work.
Sean Wallace, Fantasy Magazine
Where to start? Fantasy Magazine has a lot of new, exciting talent, between what was published last year and this year, or soon to be published: Camille Alexa, Erik Amundsen, Stephanie Campisi, Becca De La Rosa, Willow Fagan, Berrien Henderson, Darja Malcolm-Clarke, Gord Sellar, Rachel Swirsky, Genevieve Valentine, and many more. However, the field is full of new authors being published all over, and the zines listed on this website are a great start for a reader to dive right into!
Scott Andrews, Beneath Ceaseless Skies
I think there are lots of very good neo-pro short story writers being published these days in semiprozines. Beneath Ceaseless Skies has published a number of up-and-coming writers who’ve been Finalists or Winners of the Writers of the Future award, including Tina Connolly, Sarah L. Edwards, and Erin Cashier. Our stories from other newcomers such as Matthew David Surridge and Grace Seybold have also received strong reviews. And we’ve published two authors who are nominees for this year’s Campbell Award for Best New Writer–Tony Pi and Aliette de Bodard.
Please remember to vote for the 2009 Hugo Awards!
Via the Hugo Website:
Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, has released the ballot for the 2009 Hugo Awards. Members of Anticipation can vote online at the convention web site. Paper ballots are included in the convention’s latest progress report, which the convention recently mailed to members. You must be a supporting or attending member of Anticipation to vote. If you are not a member, you can buy a membership online.
The deadline for voting is midnight (2359hrs.) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) July 3, 2009. All ballots, paper or electronic, must be in the administrator’s hands by that time.
I asked a few of our semiprozine editors and publishers if they had any advice for someone considering starting a semiprozine of their own. I was originally going to run these all at once, but it turns out their answers are best served separately. This installment is by Sean Wallace from Fantasy Magazine:
Run. Run as far and fast away as you can! However, if you’re seriously considering launching a semiprozine, I would advise doing thorough research on every aspect of magazine publishing, including the four p’s of marketing: product (print or online), price (fee- or free-based), place (distribution), and promotion. With those in hand, you should be able to approach this with a bit more understanding and preparation, but something to keep in mind strongly, that I have posted on my wall:
“I learned a long time ago that the two quickest ways of going broke are:
1. flushing your money down a toilet
2. running a small press
Running a small press is more fun, but it is faster—there’s always the chance the toilet will clog up and stop for a while.”
Please, before you go down this road, find out why you want to do this thing, and make certain that you’re comfortable with the time, energy, and expense that it’s going to take up. Yes, it can be a lot of fun, and rewarding, but only if your expectations are realistically met. Other than that, have at it!
The 2008 Sidewise Awards for Alternate History finalists for Best Short-Form Alternate History were recently announced and two of the final six were from semiprozines:
- “A Brief Guide to Other Histories“ by Paul McAuley from Postscripts #15, September 2008
- “Night Bird Soaring“ by T. L. Morganfield from Greatest Uncommon Denominator #3 (Autumn 2008)
The winners will announced at Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, the week of August 6-10, 2009, in Montréal.
I asked a few of our semiprozine editors and publishers if they had any advice for someone considering starting a semiprozine of their own. I was originally going to run these all at once, but it turns out their answers are best served separately. This installment is by Scott Andrews from Beneath Ceaseless Skies:
Have a vision for what you can bring to the field, and make sure you understand the commitment involved in running a ‘zine.
I think the best ‘zines are like the best stories. Great short stories come from a burning need the author has to tell that specific story, some insight they have into that character or that theme or that world. Great ‘zines come from an editor or editors who are passionate about a certain kind of fiction and therefore are dedicated to promoting it.
I love “literary adventure fantasy”–fantasy with cool worlds and exciting plots like the great fantasy of past decades, but written with modern literary flair. The whole reason I started Beneath Ceaseless Skies was to create a home for that type of fantasy short fiction. It helped that there was no existing magazine dedicated to fantasy of that type, so our specialization has given BCS a unique identity. And because I’m passionate about that kind of fiction, running the magazine is a labor of love.
But even a labor of love can be a ton of work. Anyone starting a ‘zine should give serious consideration to whether they can handle the work load. Some amateur ‘zines have gone under after only a few issues because the editor(s) had no idea how much work it is. ‘Zines can get over 200 submissions a month, and behind each one of those submissions is an author who is counting on you, the editor, to send them a prompt reply. If you get in over your head, you will end up leaving a lot of writers annoyed that you didn’t live up to your commitment. So make sure you understand and accept that commitment before you start a ‘zine.
I asked a few of our semiprozine editors and publishers if they had any advice for someone considering starting a semiprozine of their own. I was originally going to run these all at once, but it turns out their answers are best served separately. I’m starting the series off with Beth Wodzinski from Shimmer Magazine:
Wow, there’s a lot to say for someone who’s considering starting their own.
First, I’d point them at John Klima’s series on starting a zine. It starts here: http://blog.electricvelocipede.com/2007/08/so-you-want-to-start-zine-pt-1.html and has a lot of sound advice, and is also encouraging.
Second, Shimmer’s been very much a joint project. Find some other people who a) are awesome, b) share your vision for the project, and c) you can work productively with. The fabulous Mary Robinette Kowal was officially Shimmer’s art director for several years, but she was so much more than that, and helped shape what we are at every step. It as terrific and much better than anything I could have come up with on my own! We’ve also benefited enormously from the generous help and advice of other publishers and editors–John Klima, John Joseph Adams, Sean Wallace, Patrick Swenson, Gavin Grant, Jason Sizemore, and a host of others. I can’t imagine doing it alone.
Third, I’d warn them that it’s a hell of a lot more work than they’re anticipating (especially if they’re planning a dead tree edition). The editorial aspects are fun, but they’re also only one part of it — they’ll also need to figure out how to handle marketing and accounting and production and a dozen other things. And it never stops — prepare for a marathon, not a sprint. I’m still figuring out how to get it all done without feeling overwhelmed, or letting it push the rest of my life out of balance.
Fourth, I love doing it. I enjoy the challenge of the constant learning curve, the hunt of finding amazing new stories, and admiring the final copies of an issue. It’s worth it, in the long run. So, learn as much as you can about all the challenges involved, and then do it anyway.
Editors: Kaolin Fire (founding editor & editor-in-chief), Sue Miller (founding editor), Sal Coraccio (founding editor), Julia Bernd (editor & copyeditor), Debbie Moorhouse (editor & copyeditor)
GUD (pronounced “good”) is a print/pdf magazine with two hundred pages of literary and genre fiction, poetry, art, and articles. Modern in business, method, and execution, but timeless in message, GUD is published twice a year, for your reading pleasure.
GUD is FOR THE WRITER or ARTIST. A simple submission process, and the potential to earn royalties. Our issues never go out of print.
GUD is FOR THE READER. We print the best of the best. Our business model is built for artists and consumers, not for ourselves. And GUD is flexible—buy the whole magazine or a single .pdf of the story, poem, artwork, or article you just have to have.
Awards and Recognition:
2008 Aurealis Award for Best Horror Short Story (Painlessness by Kirstyn McDermott, Issue 2)
Nebula Recommendation (Night Bird Soaring by Traci Morganfield, Issue 3).
BSFA Best Short Fiction Recommendation (ditto).
Three Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008 (Twenty-First Annual Collection) (Songs of the Dead by Sarah Singleton and Chris Butler, Issue 0, Unzipped by Steven J. Dines, Issue 1, and Max Velocity by Leslie Claire Walker, Issue 1)
2008 Locus Recommended Reading List (Offworld Friends Are Best by Neal Blaikie, Issue 2)
Other Items of Interest:
We publish reviews of books and magazines on our site.
Information provided by Debbie Moorhouse.
Editors: Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link
LCRW is a paperzine — although we’ve been selling ebooks (on our site and fictionwise.com) for a couple of years now. We’re also going to go back and release the back issues as ebooks in the near future (i.e. when Fictionwise catches up with its submissions!).
When I started the zine, it was in frustration at not being able to find the kinds of things I wanted to read. This isn’t true any more, but as long as we get great stuff in the mail, we’ll keep publishing.
Small Beer Press publishes 4-6 books a year but it’s fun to keep things simple with LCRW. It basically pays for itself, no small feat for a magazine of any size. We do black and white covers and legal sized paper because it’s affordable and a good page size.
Awards and Recognition:
LCRW was a Hugo nominee a couple of years ago, that was fun. Various stories have been reprinted in various year’s best anthologies.
Other Items of Interest:
I suppose the most interesting part would be that, if you like, you can get a chocolate bar with each issue. (That’s one part of the zine we’d love more submissions for.)
Table of Contents:
* A Light in Troy by Sarah Monette
* 304 Adolph Hitler Strasse by Lavie Tidhar
* The Moby Clitoris of His Beloved by Ian Watson
* Lydia’s Body by Vylar Kaftan
* Urchins, While Sleeping by Catherynne Valente
* The Other Amazon by Jenny Davidson
* Automatic by Erica Satifka
* Orm the Beautiful by Elizabeth Bear
* Chewing Up the Innocent by Jay Lake
* Attar of Roses by Sharon Mock
* Clockmaker’s Requiem by Barth Anderson
* Something in the Mermaid Way by Carrie Laben
* The Third Bear by Jeff VanderMeer
* The First Female President by Michael De Kler
* There’s No Light Between Floors by Paul Tremblay
* Qubit Conflicts by Jetse De Vries
* The Oracle Spoke by Holly Phillips
* Moon over Yodok by David Charlton
* I’ll Gnaw Your Bones, the Manticore Said by Cat Rambo
* Transtexting Pose by Darren Speegle
* The Taste of Wheat by Ekaterina Sedia
* The Beacon by Darja Malcolm-Clarke
* The Ape’s Wife by Caitlin Kiernan
* Lost Soul by MP Ericson