Housekeeping. Happy birthday Chopin. I won’t wish Schumann happy birthday…he knows why. Praise Be! We have a winner for the AD&D question of the day! I don’t know if he wants me to tell this so I will only say it’s Peter Ball, science fiction writer and notable Australian. Go to his site and congratulate him! I’m serious, his site is really great.
The answer to the question, what happens to a treasure finding potion when mixed with anything is…. It yields LETHAL POISON! Congrats Peter!
AD&D Question 2: I look like a large manta ray with an underbelly that’s gray and textured like stone. I’ll attach myself to a ceiling and wait for my victims to walk underneath me. What am I?
Now honorable mention for my list of great women in sci-fi film and series.
So Jane Badler (yeah, Badler!) was the evil, manipulative power house from the original V. I did consider her but moved her out on account of her being a sociopath and there is a difference between villains and anti-heroes. This is a villain, but she was tough and powerful, resourceful and, well, look at her! So here she is. Diana of V people. I do want to make sure my readers know that this not a “hottest ladies of sci-fi list.” There are so many of those and it just makes the genre seem more like a boys club. Here is an idea. I’m taking nominations for best looking guys in sci-fi/fantasy.
Send them in ladies and gentlemen. Just make a comment of your top ten list and I will crunch the lists into one and see where it
goes. Make this work ladies… or guys, I don’t care. Lee Adama is a good looking man. I can say that. See I said it.
Now, the free market. Duotrope lists 163 nonpaying markets for science fiction and among these many are placing really top notch fiction. The Absent Willow Review (see interview) is one. Flurb, an astoundingly good low profile zine by Kentucky native and ancestor of Friedrich Hegel (yeah, fraking Hegel!) Rudy Rucker is another. Every science fiction writer will face a point in their early career when they think that getting a few dollars in pocket for writing a story sounds like a good idea. Trust me, I went through this too, and it’s really nice to get a check for an idea you farted out at your laptop at 2am. The thing is, as a writer the most valuable commodity is exposure. I still give priority to pro paying zines, but only for exposures sake (I make exception for Absent Willow, which I just adore), and I can’t even say that it matters. Pro paying zines usually turn into paying markets after several years of surviving as no-paying zines. It’s a good thing to get on the train before it builds up speed. Pay has little or nothing to do with quality of product. Only quality of product has anything to do with quality of product. Read the zine, if it’s good, it’s good. There is a semi-pro zine that I used to pitch to now and again that I just stopped trying for. It paid 4 cents a word, it had a fair readership, but I was consistently reading mediocre fiction on the site. So I stopped. The site looks good, it has lots of ads, but the stories suck. It’s an opinion of mine, but it reflects a major difference of aesthetic between the editor and myself. Take your best work and send it to the best market, don’t worry about the payola.
One pay issue I do have is the failure of less-than-pro paying markets not qualifying for SFWA membership. I have mentioned this before, but I will mention it again. The only way to gain membership to SFWA is to have pro qualified sales and I’ve followed several writers that go years without a pro sale but have huge exposure. You may or may not care about this and one day I’m going to go into the advantages of membership in this venerable organization. I’ll have to pay my dues before I figure that out, however.
That is the science of fiction.
Andrew C. Porter, principle timpanist, the science of fiction orchestra
Next up: Writing in the 12th century or, our hero tries it retro.
far off: Enterprise E vs. Imperial Star Destroyer, I’ll be making book.