The horse race is on and I’ll apologize to some of my fiction advice seeking readers that feel my ‘list’ is taking away from my publishing based content. In accordance with those complaints I’ll say this: It’s awards season. People like lists. Sci-fi is too oft a boys club. I’m writing a series of very personal posts about how I came to write sci-fi and what ones own origin can provide in the way of content and style. And finally, give me a break! But my fifty or so original regulars deserve to be listened too, or so they tell me, and I have obtained permission to post the message sent to me by AG. I know this person, so the message is not as harsh as it seems, but it is representative of the complaints.
“Hey, I love your post. Nothing better for a struggling science fiction writer than more bullshit, made-up lists of ‘sexy’ white people. Don’t think that because it’s a list of men that you get any credit either. I’m probably your only female reader, and I think this shit is boring! Please post more rejection notices now so I feel better.”
I’ll have you know that I have a good many female readers, thank you very much. And just to prove it here is: The Science of Fiction’s Top Five Women Readers!
5. Dana S. Delworth- Cthulhu cultist and mother of two, former goth D.J. and appears on the album cover, “Diary of a Madwoman”
4. My Mom- Science teacher, naturalist, and when I was a child she often hid clowns and large spiders in my bed and closet… because she liked to hear me scream. (this is absolutely true.)
3. Maggie Jamison- My first interviewee and my unofficial west coast operative.
2. Laura- because we live together and she humors this exercise. Also I think she likes me.
1. My Mom- Your mom counts twice.
But if you are still not satisfied Allison, here are some rejections:
Thank you for allowing us to consider “Battle Jack,” but I’m afraid I’m going to pass. It’s not right for us, but I hope you find a good home for it soon.
Good luck with your writing!
There you go. Another perhaps? It’s been a banner week. I had fifteen floating submissions that got out around end of December to the second week of January. The chickens.. they come home to roost.
Thanks for showing us your story “Inheritance,” but I’ve decided not to accept it for Futurismic. It’s not bad but I’m afraid it didnt’ connect with me enough for a buy. Good luck to you with it elsewhere, and thanks for giving us a look.
Fiction Editor, Futurismic
I want to give Chris East my ‘best rejections award,’ also perhaps my ‘most rejection award-North America,’ the world award for that goes to Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, from which I have had a whopping ten ‘nos’ over the past year. I will say this for Mr. East, his rejections are always somehow encouraging. You don’t get much in a typical rejection, even if they aren’t a form. An editor can send out dozens, even hundreds in a week depending on the market, so as a recipient (of dozens…okay hundreds) you begin to get a bit forensic on the contextual properties of the rejection. For instance, when Chris says, “it’s not bad” I take that to mean, “Your not a total failure in your choices in life, and I like you as a person. Let’s you and me go out for a pint.”
And so I live to write another day. I’m not actively submitting anything just yet by the by. I tend to go in waves and see what gets left on shore when the tide rolls back. I have three stories that are either lost or still in consideration and one actively under consideration. The next wave begins in a week or so.
I owe you all a post on my work in the 12th century. That’s coming, but the monks take forever to transcribe my notes.
Just so you know, the “sexiest men of sci-fi” or “bestest men of sci-fi” nominations are pouring in. Honestly, I could probably make my list now, but I’m waiting on two people in the ‘biz’ to get lists to me. One, a writer who I believe will have very developed opinions on this (Matt Haughton, check his stuff). The other, a certain west coast operative is still color coding her ink pen collection and needs more parameters. I offer you a peek into the way things are going:
So I haven’t crunched the numbers yet, but these look like the front runners. Johnny Depp is in there for half a dozen characters and since I’m going for individual characters more than the actor he gets diffused down. Han Solo would be number one if I counted the votes for Deckard of Bladerunner. A few others of note, Captain’s Kirk and Picard are in there. Fox Mulder could easily come in for a win. Surprised and happy to see a showing by Val Kilmer for Mad Martigan of Willow fame. Almost every male character in Battlestar is represented…even Col. Tye, but Hilo is ahead in that pack. Jack from lost, Conner McLeod, and Han Solo 2.o- Capt. Mal of Firefly round out the list. Lot’s of single nominations too, including one readers nomination of John Klima, editor of electric velocipede. While I’m sure Mr. Klima appreciates this, he is not technically eligible for the list, although I do thank you for the nice note.
That is The Science of Fiction. I’m letting this fiasco go ONE MORE DAY, and then its back to issues of writing and publishing science fiction, mostly my issues. I got stuff about recognizing your personal mythology for depth in your writing and a bunch of notes about trying to write a piece of historical fiction- where the devil is in the detail and the writing is nothing but details. That is coming soon! Again, I apologize to my hardcore readers for the ‘stuntishness’ of this list. I will be back to our normal level of radiation very soon.
Thank you so much for patience!
Andrew C. Porter
His Eminence, The Cardinal and Prince of The Science of Fiction
Next up: More of the same.