Who are some of the best new writers appearing in semiprozines?

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.

Starting your own Semiprozine (1 of a series)

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.

Shimmer Magazine

Established: Autumn 2005shimmer
Staff: Editor/Publisher: Beth Wodzinski, Art Director: Stephen Stanley, Fiction Editor: E. Catherine Tobler, Managing Editor: Anne Zanoni, and Other staff, past and present, can be found at here.

Shimmer publishes short fiction several times a year, in both print and electronic versions. Shimmery stories are most often contemporary fantasy, frequently dark or darkly funny, and always gorgeous. Our tenth issue is available for free download on our site, and is a great example of our work.

Awards and Recognition:
Numerous honorable mentions in the Datlow/Link/Grant Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror; Angela Slatter’s short stories have been an Aurealis finalist twice.

Other Items of Interest:
Our first themed issue was the pirate issue, guest edited by John Joseph Adams; this summer we’ll release our second, the Clockwork Jungle Book, co-edited by George Mann of Solaris Books, a collection of clockwork animal parables.


Information provided by Beth Wodzinski.