Friday, December 29, 2006

The End Is Nigh

As 2006 draws to close, it's inevitable to look back and see where we've been and where we're heading. 2005 saw the first and only issue of IGMS, and much attendant excitement. 2006 saw only two issues released, one in March - the final one edited personally by Orson Scott Card - and one in October, my first as editor. I have to admit that I was immensely gratified to see issue three received so well by the readers.

2007 will see all four issues of IGMS that a quarterly schedule promises. Issue four is already together and just waiitng for art and one or two other finishing touches. We're looking to release #4 some time during the first week of February. Issue five is also nearly complete. This magazine will get onto a regular schedule and stay there. Period. That's what Scott hired me to do and I'll make it happen.

There are still a handful of authors waitng for final replies, but we've largely dug out from under the backlog of submissions. Of the several thousand stories that came in between June of 2005 and Dec. 2006, there are perhaps a hundred left that need a reply. So if you haven't heard yet, my apologies for the wait. On the other hand, realize that if you haven't heard back, that puts you in the top 5% of subs. For me that's the trickiest part because there's only room for about 1%. That means I'll have to reject(and already have rejected) some pretty darn good stories. I wish it were otherwise, but that's reality.

Right now I'm about to head out the door; we're visiting some family in the Baltimore area. And yes, I'm taking stories with me to read while we drive. I don't leave the house any more without a pile of stories printed out and ready to go with. In the mean time, happy reading and writing to you all. Thank you, every one of you, for your support, your encouragement, and your patience. I'll see you next year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The True Meaning of Boxing Day

Happy Boxing Day to all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate that holiday, and a great (_______ insert holiday of your choice here) if you don't. Christmas here was a pleasure, with extended family visiting just long enough for it to be fun and not a minute longer. The kids were, as always, what Christmas is all about, and I had a great time watching them tear into the entire day with gusto.

I also got a few nice toys myself. Near the top of the list was a boxed DVD set of Firefly , which I am looking forward to seeing for the first time, and the first season of the old, animated TV series, The Tick, which I look forward to revisiting from days long ago. Everybody say, "Roof pig! Most unexpected!"

I am also enjoying a book my wife gave me called Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies, the basic sentiment of which I whole-heartedly agree with. If you're a reader or a writer then you've got a leg up on many folks when it comes to grammar, spelling, and vocabulary, and - especially if you are a writer - you do want to do everything you can to get these things right. On the other hand, if you're fond out pointing out that someone used "who" when "whom" would have been the proper usage, or if you tell people they just used "laid" when they should have used "lain" I'm going to tell you to get a life. When the government decides to form the Punctuation Police and the Grammar Gestapo we'll give you a call; in the mean time, give it a rest before the rest of us decide to come find you and teach you the true meaning of Boxing Day.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Absolutlely Nothing

Yup, that's what I have to report (or I'd have reported it sooner). Working on web-site content for a landscape architect (yawn), the new issue of NCCNM (aka that darn business magazine) is out and I don't have to think about that until January. I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet.

Bought a few stories in the past few weeks for IGMS and have a couple rewrites in the works with some other authors. The good news, I guess, is that we are 100% caught up on the first reads (meaning everything submitted before Dec. 1 has been read at least once). There are still about 100 + stories that are in the 'read again' pile (and some of those folks still have to be notified that they are in the 'read again' pile), and about 25 people in the old 'read again' pile. But we are getting more and more up-to-date on the submissions with each passing month. This is taking longer than I thought it would, but then you don't get caught up on a year's worth of backlog (with new stuff continuing to pour in every week) overnight either.

On a vaguely related note, I have a few conventions that I am now officially scheduled to attend. RavenCon is late April in Richmond, VA, and ConCarolinas is mid-June in Charlotte NC. I'll mention them again when it gets closer to time to go.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Less Good Titles

I'm not saying they're bad titles, but they are, in my humble (but accurate) opionion, less good...

He Likes Dead Things
Vita Nova Ex Stellis Veniet
To Dream Of Hungry Elephants
Come To Me My Love, The Fireman Cried
Healing Pain(t)
Girl With One Green Eye and Cat

'nuff said.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Titles n' Personal Tidbit

Been reading a lot of slush this weekend (as you can see from my rant in the last post). Came across a couple of titles that I liked enough to share with you. Some stories made the cut and moved on to a second reading, some did not. But I thought these were all good titles.

Rhymes With Ihotep
Bed and Basalisk
The Bone Truck
An Alien Warmth
The Perils of Government Cheese
Dreaming of Mercy

The personal news is that I just an e-mail from Bruce Gehweiler, who is editing a cryptozoology-themed anthology (say that ten times fast) called Crypto-Critters II. The first Crypto anthology was successful enough that the publisher (Padwolf Publishing) asked him to do another, and Bruce's e-mail was to say that my story "Lair of the Ice Rat" will be in it. I don't know when the book is due out (some time in 2007, I'm pretty sure), so I'll have to get back to you with specifics when I have them.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Verification Rant

"My spam filter requires verification of your email address"

I am now officially sick of getting this message when trying to repsond to submissions. If you have submitted a story to IGMS, or plan to submit a story to IGMS in the future, or plan to contact me about anything IGMS-related, add igmseditor(at)yahoo(dot)com and igmstwo(at)yahoo(dot)com (symbols have been replaced with words for the obvious reasons; I know you know how to fix that) to your e-mail address book. I am not filling out any more verifications just for the privilege of contacting you about something you sent to me.

End of rant. You may now resume your regularly scheduled surfing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Old News, But News To Me

This has to be an old review, but a friend just pointed it out to me today, so it's news to me. It's a review of a story that was published a year or two ago in Fusing Horizons, a British magazine edited by Gary Fry.

"Jeannie in a Bottle is apparently one of Edmund Schubert’s first ever stories, and if so is remarkably good. Jeanne is a nurse working in a centre for the mentally retarded. But then a new patient arrives… and turns out to be a [psychic] idiot savant with a vengeance! ... The ending is particularly well written, as Jeanne learns (but with no time to digest the thought) why you cannot ‘hold an ocean in a thimble’."

The reviewer (Steve Redwood) closed by saying this about the magazine in general:

"When Fusing Horizons was first announced, I thought ‘Oh no, here we go again, yet another horror mag, can’t someone come up with something different just for once?’ – so I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, both by this and earlier issues. OK, there are a few typical ‘horror’ scenarios here, but even they are often handled with a satisfying freshness, and other stories completely transcend the genre – or, to be more accurate, what many people think of as the genre. Highly recommended."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Rare and Beautiful Thing

I've commented in the past how I knew that I was lucky to have assistant editors weeding out the really bad stuff before passing the rest on to me. I am now, however, beginning to question that logic. You see, even as we brought in another assistant editor to help wrestle the pile of submissions into manageable size, I have also thrown myself hip-deep into the submission pile and been reading some of the first-round subs, too. And, oh, the joy I have deprived myself of. You see, there are not that many truly great stories. I wish it were otherwise, but anyone who reads or writes will tell you that truly great stories are just not common. Nor, it turns out, are truly dreadful one. Which does not stop me from enjoying them, mind you - the great and the dreadful?. Who knew reading slush could bring such wicked glee...