Sunday, July 06, 2014

The perils of being prolific

I spent time last night and this morning finding new places to send a half-dozen stories that had been returned during the past two weeks. I currently have 19 stories in various slush piles, and two accepted and pending publication.

It's been observed more than once that someone who can write as prolifically as I do would've done well in the old pulp era so many years ago, but as it is today sometimes I really have to struggle to find potential venues for stories.

The number of people submitting to the few short story venue still exist, both in print and online, must be enormous. Some of the best venues don't do open submissions and at any given time any number of the better venues' submissions are closed.

The financial pressures on editors are such that few people can take time to cultivate and mentor writers like John Campbell or Gardner Dozois did.

Which is another reason why I suppose my forthcoming book "Letters from Gardner" may be interesting reading.

The dearth of short story markets being what it is, the logical thing to do would be to take a stab at an original novel. Thanks to this Dragon software, which I'm using right now, the prospect seems less daunting. I've always been dissuaded from writing at great length because of aggravating my carpal tunnel syndrome.

1 comment:

  1. One could argue that the logical thing to do would be to keep submitting but take the ones that don't find homes and publish them yourself.


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"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

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