Five Minute Rant

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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preston
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby preston » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:34 pm

Does anyone have anything pending at Fantastic Frontiers? It's been 2 months for me, and I'm getting tired of waiting. I'm considering querying, or maybe even withdrawing. And what's up with Analog? Almost 3 months now...and still waiting. AESCIFI has had one of my stories for 3 months. I queried and they said they'd get back to me in about a week. That was 2 weeks ago!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:42 pm

I don't have anything at FF currently, but my last sub was out for about 2.5 months. And I'm in the same boat as you with Analog--over three months at the moment. I can only assume that they're working through the slush pile that built up when Stanley Schmidt left since Brad, at least, had a sale.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:46 pm

Also keep in mind: Analog, Asimov's, and F&SF all surely lost some time due to the hurricane.

With only 3 exceptions, nobody has reported ANYTHING from Analog since WorldCon. Until reports start coming in, I'm going to just be patient there.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:43 am

Yes, many of my stories seem to be stuck in a log jam. LORE is my worst offender. I've had a story there for 144 days now when 3 months is in most cases my top limit for subs. And Analog... I don't doubt 78 days is a short wait compared to many at the moment but it's getting a little wearing considering I think my best story is there. I want to get that one read!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby preston » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:04 pm

austinDm wrote:I don't have anything at FF currently, but my last sub was out for about 2.5 months. And I'm in the same boat as you with Analog--over three months at the moment. I can only assume that they're working through the slush pile that built up when Stanley Schmidt left since Brad, at least, had a sale.


Thanks Austin. Guess I'll keep waiting. And writing, of course, before Martin reminds me again! wotf011
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:13 pm

IGMS bounced my traditional fantasy story.

RANT! RANT! RANT! RANT! RANT!

Off to Duotrope!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby MJNL » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Have to ween myself off of Duotrope...grumble grumble grumble...
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:51 pm

MJNL wrote:Have to ween myself off of Duotrope...grumble grumble grumble...


Duotrope has been following this thread, realized all these writers have Duotropery and thought they had us, regardless of price.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:12 pm

Looks like I do have a rant. For those who haven't read my other post. F&SF has a new assistant editor. He told me that my story didn't pan out like he hoped. After someone else got a personal note from him I think that's probably the new guy's normal rejection.

Of course with all the crits I got on it it still doesn't go very far. A new editor who might be freer with his comments and still the same level.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:18 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:Looks like I do have a rant. For those who haven't read my other post. F&SF has a new assistant editor. He told me that my story didn't pan out like he hoped. After someone else got a personal note from him I think that's probably the new guy's normal rejection.

Of course with all the crits I got on it it still doesn't go very far. A new editor who might be freer with his comments and still the same level.


Does Gordon have only one first reader?
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:12 am

morshana wrote:
MJNL wrote:Have to ween myself off of Duotrope...grumble grumble grumble...


Duotrope has been following this thread, realized all these writers have Duotropery and thought they had us, regardless of price.


I have Duotropery but I recognize that it's a bad habit. In a way them forcing me out is a good thing. wotf024
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:05 am

MJNL wrote:Have to ween myself off of Duotrope...grumble grumble grumble...


This. Sigh.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:36 am

Shimmer is always nice about making every rejection feel personal. I usually write them off, but this time got one I can't write off as not-really-personal. I technically can't rant as I sent the story to them on a whim. It is definitely not at all what they publish and it's pretty "happy" compared to what they say they want and what they publish, but the Senior Editor just sent me a really nice personal stating she would have made an exception for this story and she held it longer because she "hated" the idea of sending out the rejection on this one.

Just wanted to put that out there to remind people not to self reject a story. Sent it to every market even it is "not a right fit" -- you never know what they might make exception for.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:57 pm

morshana wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:Looks like I do have a rant. For those who haven't read my other post. F&SF has a new assistant editor. He told me that my story didn't pan out like he hoped. After someone else got a personal note from him I think that's probably the new guy's normal rejection.

Of course with all the crits I got on it it still doesn't go very far. A new editor who might be freer with his comments and still the same level.


Does Gordon have only one first reader?



He used to have two. I think even when JJA worked for him sometimes I received a rejection from someone else. For a while rejections came mostly from Lisa Rogers with a few from Stephen Mazur. For a few stories--maybe quite a few--Stephen was the only one that read my stories. Now it's this new reader. I don't know if Stephen still works there or not.

In other words for a while there were two but I have no idea about now.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:00 pm

gower21 wrote:Shimmer is always nice about making every rejection feel personal. I usually write them off, but this time got one I can't write off as not-really-personal. I technically can't rant as I sent the story to them on a whim. It is definitely not at all what they publish and it's pretty "happy" compared to what they say they want and what they publish, but the Senior Editor just sent me a really nice personal stating she would have made an exception for this story and she held it longer because she "hated" the idea of sending out the rejection on this one.

Just wanted to put that out there to remind people not to self reject a story. Sent it to every market even it is "not a right fit" -- you never know what they might make exception for.



That was nice of her at least.

But Dean Wesley Smith says the same thing as you did. Don't send SF to a Fantasy market but don't worry if your story isn't quite the right fit.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:35 am

LDWriter2 wrote:I don't know if Stephen still works there or not.


Got a rejection from him yesterday.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:55 am

LDWriter2 wrote:
But Dean Wesley Smith says the same thing as you did. Don't send SF to a Fantasy market but don't worry if your story isn't quite the right fit.


For sure. Don't send if it is grossly inappropriate, but if it is a humor to a magazine that says "We don't usually print humor" then if they've left a narrow chance in there, I'd give it a try. Or also if they say we like a "certain style" and you don't see your story in that style--step back and just send it. Let the editor decide if you've gotten it right.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:12 am

gower21 wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:
But Dean Wesley Smith says the same thing as you did. Don't send SF to a Fantasy market but don't worry if your story isn't quite the right fit.


For sure. Don't send if it is grossly inappropriate, but if it is a humor to a magazine that says "We don't usually print humor" then if they've left a narrow chance in there, I'd give it a try. Or also if they say we like a "certain style" and you don't see your story in that style--step back and just send it. Let the editor decide if you've gotten it right.


That's his/her/their/its job. Stop doing her/its/his/their job, and keep doing yours... WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby bobsandiego » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:07 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
gower21 wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:
But Dean Wesley Smith says the same thing as you did. Don't send SF to a Fantasy market but don't worry if your story isn't quite the right fit.


For sure. Don't send if it is grossly inappropriate, but if it is a humor to a magazine that says "We don't usually print humor" then if they've left a narrow chance in there, I'd give it a try. Or also if they say we like a "certain style" and you don't see your story in that style--step back and just send it. Let the editor decide if you've gotten it right.


That's his/her/their/its job. Stop doing her/its/his/their job, and keep doing yours... WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:56 am

I agonized over whether it was really okay to send one of my better stories to Asimov's recently, as I would call it pure "light-hearted" dark fantasy, but in the end I sent it after a few minor amendments.

It stars two witches, and magic, though the witches now come from alternate dimensions, so arguably it's now a science fantasy with the changes I made.

I expect it's still too much fantasy for Asimov's, but I figured I'd send it and the worst that can happen is a form rejection.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:26 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:I agonized over whether it was really okay to send one of my better stories to Asimov's recently, as I would call it pure "light-hearted" dark fantasy, but in the end I sent it after a few minor amendments.

It stars two witches, and magic, though the witches now come from alternate dimensions, so arguably it's now a science fantasy with the changes I made.

I expect it's still too much fantasy for Asimov's, but I figured I'd send it and the worst that can happen is a form rejection.



Someone who would know told me they sometimes take UF stories. So wotf017 . Never hurts to try.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:58 pm

For those who noted F&SF has a new slush reader, Stephen Mazur is still very much alive and rejecting. wotf024 I just got,

Thank you for submitting "World's Most Awesome Story," but I'm going to pass on it. This story didn’t quite work for me, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.

Sincerely,


Stephen Mazur
Assistant Editor


which is exactly the same as I got with my previous 3 subs. wotf024
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:43 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:For those who noted F&SF has a new slush reader, Stephen Mazur is still very much alive and rejecting. wotf024 I just got,

Thank you for submitting "World's Most Awesome Story," but I'm going to pass on it. This story didn’t quite work for me, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way.

Sincerely,


Stephen Mazur
Assistant Editor


which is exactly the same as I got with my previous 3 subs. wotf024


That's been my most common rejection from them too. And I've never had anyone but Stephen read my stories wotf017

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:02 pm

::shakes fist:: Damn you Stephen! What do I have to do to make you love me?

(Actually, I do have a rejection from Lisa Rogers as well.)

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:57 pm

LDWriter2 wrote:Looks like I do have a rant. For those who haven't read my other post. F&SF has a new assistant editor. He told me that my story didn't pan out like he hoped. After someone else got a personal note from him I think that's probably the new guy's normal rejection.

Of course with all the crits I got on it it still doesn't go very far. A new editor who might be freer with his comments and still the same level.



Speaking of this rant, I wanted to send out a story to F&SF tomorrow--among other reasons it could tell me if that line is the new guy's normal rejection or not--but I've been busy with Dean's Online workshop and didn't get to getting a story ready. Thinking of which story to send next tonight brought me here to ask a question. I didn't want to start a new thread for one question and probably up to half a dozen responses.

So does anyone know Gordon's sweet spot when it comes to word count. The guidelines say anything under 25,000 but there are usually numbers they prefer. I ask because I have one story of 200 words and one of 501. The 200 word story is a lengthened version of my 50 word story at onthepremises.com. If I get an answer tonight I might be able to get the 501 word one ready in time.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 am

I don't think any magazine cares that much about the word count as long as it fits within their guidelines (which are more for business reasons than writerly reasons) and the story is awesome.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:14 am

I think there's a difference between official word limits and unofficial preferences. The latter can only be determined through reading several issues of the magazine. (Although Shimmer makes it pretty clear that flash is a hard sell for them.) I know that I've never seen anything of flash length in Asimov's, so I'm leery of sending them anything shorter than 2k or so. I haven't read as much F&SF, but the one issue I own (the one with KD's "Alien Land" in it) had a pretty short story, so I think Gordon might be more receptive to flash than Sheila, at least.

There's no sense in rejectomancying yourself, though, so if you feel the 501 story is a good thematic fit for F&SF, I'd say send it and see. What's there to lose other than postage?

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:58 am

austinDm wrote:I think there's a difference between official word limits and unofficial preferences. The latter can only be determined through reading several issues of the magazine. (Although Shimmer makes it pretty clear that flash is a hard sell for them.) I know that I've never seen anything of flash length in Asimov's, so I'm leery of sending them anything shorter than 2k or so. I haven't read as much F&SF, but the one issue I own (the one with KD's "Alien Land" in it) had a pretty short story, so I think Gordon might be more receptive to flash than Sheila, at least.

There's no sense in rejectomancying yourself, though, so if you feel the 501 story is a good thematic fit for F&SF, I'd say send it and see. What's there to lose other than postage?


There have been flash length pieces in both Asimov's and F&SF in the last few years. Pretty much, if an editor loves a story, they'll find a way to fit it in. Never self-reject!
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby hazlett » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:08 pm

preston wrote:AESCIFI has had one of my stories for 3 months. I queried and they said they'd get back to me in about a week. That was 2 weeks ago!
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Me too, only they never responded to my query. Very frustrating.

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Also keep in mind: Analog, Asimov's, and F&SF all surely lost some time due to the hurricane.

With only 3 exceptions, nobody has reported ANYTHING from Analog since WorldCon. Until reports start coming in, I'm going to just be patient there.


Patience would be fine if they didn't demand exclusivity for every story despite rejecting over 98% of those submitted.

Could you imagine if colleges demanded that you could only apply to their school in a given year? Or if potential employers demanded that you could only apply to one firm at a time?

If you are going to follow an archaic practice, at least respond to folks in a reasonable amount of time. Lightspeed and Clarkesworld put Analog to shame. For instance, according to soon-to-be-obsolete Duotrope, Lightspeed sees nearly 4x the volume of submissions as Analog, yet Analog takes nearly 13x longer to respond to the average submission, and that's when its average response time was 23.6 days vs. the higher number it will be when the magazine finally starts responding to all those folks who have had a story there for 90+ days, but will still get a rejection anyway. I'm not saying that 1.7 days should be the standard. All I'm saying is that Lightspeed currently has the best-in-class response times, which is why many send their stories to Clarkesworld and Lightspeed first before they send them to Analog.

Can someone please tell Analog to get off dinosaur time, or perhaps to slow their spaceship down to a subluminal speed? There's way too much time dilation over there.

OK. Rant over.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:47 pm

I don't mind extended wait times all that much because it means I can forget about that particular story for a while and work on something else. When I get a rejection after two days, my first thought is "I have to send this out again?" If there are a few months between submission and response, I can work on writing rather than business planning.

But that's probably just me. I understand the frustration with long waits. It sucks to have a story held by a single market for 90 days only to get a form rejection. Simultaneous submissions encourage faster read times, but on the other side of the fence, it's irritating for an editor to accept a story only to find out that it's been sold elsewhere and the author forgot to inform them.

Publishing is a slow process in general. I recently had a non-fiction market take six months to respond to my query, at which point it had already been sold and published in another magazine.


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