Monday, January 29, 2007


I went to ChattaCon in Chattanooga TN this weekend and had a great weekend. Ironically, it was great because the writer's track was, to be blunt, kind of lame. But that just made it the perfect opportunity to spend time with the TWO guests of honor, Kevin Anderson and Rob Sawyer. I'm still trying to figure out how a con can have two guests of honor of that caliber and not draw more fans. I guess ChattaCon just one of those cons that primarily draws the gaming people. But I'm not complaining; the lack of competition for their time made it that much easier to hang out with the GOHs and I'm not too proud to admit that I'm a big fan of both of these guys' accomplishments and relished every moment of their time.

For purposes of clarity, when I say "we" in this blog entry, I mean: Kevin Anderson and his wife (and frequent collaborator) Rebecca Moesta, Rob Sawyer and his wife Carol, my friend Alethea (who works at Ingram), Alethea's friend Eddie, and myself). Anyway... we hung out all weekend. We had a late night pizza Friday night, we had lunch together in the hotel Saturday, we went out to a Greek restaurant for dinner Sat. night (minus Rob and his wife), and we all went back to that Greek restaurant again for a late lunch on Sunday. Great guys, Rob and Kevin. Open and helpful, willing to answer just about any questions. We laughed, we talked about old movies and comic books and politcs and anything else you can think of. We even talked about the writing biz.

Kevin was particularly impressive to see in action. Whenever he didn't have a panel (or wasn't being dragged off to another meal), he was prowling around the parking lot with his micro-recorder dictating chapters of the novel he's currently working (the final installment of his Seven Suns Saga). What a work ethic that man has! Sunday morning Alethea and I were standing in front of a table in the dealer's room (Apex Digest's table - a magazine worth checking out) and I said to Alethea, "You know, if either one of us were Kevin Anderson we'd be off somewhere writing right now." And that's what it takes to succeed as a writer: discipline to write, every day, no matter what. Kevin has tremendous discipline and that's probably one of the biggest factors behind his tremendous success.

If there's a moral to this story it this: don't write off the small cons. Big cons like Dragon Con and WorldCon and World Fantasy have a mystique all their own, but the little cons give you access to all sorts of people that you'd have a much harder time getting with at the big ones.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

New Rejection Letter

In an effort to improve communication and relations with writers who submit stories to IGMS, I have written a new rejection letter. This letter is succinct and, I think, has a certain elegance, so I wanted to share it with you.

Dear Writer,

Thank you for submitting your story for consideration at IGMS. Unfortunately it sucked like a remora on a shark. Like a vacuum cleaner. Like a 20 dollar whore. Like a black hole in a bad science fiction movie. Like a kid with a straw and a McDonald's milkshake. Like a cowboy whose best buddy just got bit by a rattlesnake. Like an actor trying out for a role as a cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain." Well, okay, maybe it didn't suck that bad, but dear Lord, it wasn't any good...

We encourage you to submit more stories in the future. Just be sure you send them to some one else.

The Editors

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nits and Bits and Nibbles

Nothing major to report, just nits and bits and (well, you know the rest).

The dental/oral surgery went reasonably well and the stitches are supposed to come out of my gums tomorrow. Made the mistake of not taking my meds before I went to bed last night and woke up in a lot of pain. I'm guess not done with the drugs yet, but forward progres is being made.

Putting the last touches on the new issue of the business magazine this week. Since I'm leaving for ChattaCon on Thursday and won't be coming home until late Monday (and the files have to be downloaded to the printer by Monday), I have today and tomorrow to wrap up NCCNM. (Minus, of course, the time I'm at the periodontists getting the stitches removed.) (What in the word am I doing writing here then?)

Issue four of IGMS is now targeted for a release date of Feb. 19th. That's four and half months since the last issue came out. Not quite quarterly, but progress in the right direction. I've got issue five just about finalized (I need one more great SF piece to round out the content), and my goal is to have issue five done (at least as far as my part is concerned) before issue four goes live. In a perfect world issue four would have "Coming Attractions" listd with the next issue's content. Stay tuned to see if I make it...

Friday, January 19, 2007

It Must Be The Drugs

Maybe it's just the drugs they gave me after my surgery (which went as well as can be expected from four hours of a dentist slicing up your gums) and normally I make a point of avoiding this kind of thing. But I got this from a writer friend of mine named Julie Wright and for some reason decided to do it. Julie wrote, "Okay, you’ve been tagged on my blog. The deal is you have to write your next post about five things no one (or very few) people know about you. Go to it guys . . . no flaking on me. Jules" (

So, here goes:

1. During my senior year in college I published an small underground/alternative newspaper. Only about a half dozen close friends who were involved with my little venture knew I was responsible for it; all anyone else knew was that that it appeared around campus about twice a month. One night I was in a bar shooting pool with a buddy of mine and these two girls came in. We bought them beers and invited them to join us and somewhere along the line the conversation turned to the 'mysterious' underground newspaper that was showing up around campus. The girls said that they had had a class that day where the professor spent the entire lecture period discussing things related to the 'mystery' newspaper. Naturally I was tickled. Cool, I thought, my work is actually being studied in a college class. Then I asked the girls what class it was. Their answer? Abnormal psychology.

2. My first job after college was as an assistant editor for a publisher in New York and they fired me after about a month. When I asked why they were letting me go, they said that my productivity was great, but that I was having too much fun while doing my job.

3. My second job after college was in the human resources department of a big company in New York in the fashion industry. One day they needed a last minute-replacement for a model for a photoshoot and decided to use me. My modeling career only lasted about half and hour, but it was fun while it lasted.

4. I'm a big hockey fan and I once lived next door to a professional hockey player whose team won the Stanley Cup. At a party at his house afterwards I got to drink champagne from the Stanley Cup.

5. I ran a nursery and garden center for several years. A couple of times during the summer when it was hot and there were no customers around, my wife and I would grab a blanket, climb up on top of the main building (the side facing away from the road) and make love on the roof.

Or is that last one too much information?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nothing To Do With Writing or Editing

But it's all I can think about right now, so you're stuck with it. Tomorrow I go in for a dental proceedure called crown lengthening, which is a misnomer, I think, because what they'll do is surgically trim my gums so that there is more tooth exposed to attach a crown to. I had an old filling break and when I went in to my regular dentist, she told me there was decay beneath the filling and I would have to have a root canal. Not fun, but I've had root canals before and they're not as bad as some folks make them out to be. (Maybe I'm just amazingly tough...)

But once the root canal was done, she then told me I needed this crown lengthening procedure, which turns out to involve three to four hours worth of open-mouth surgery. It was originally scheduled for about two weeks ago, but the day I was supposed to go in I woke up incredibly sick to my stomach and had to reschedule. That rescheduled appointment is tomorrow morning and my stomach is doing unpleasant things - again. Is it protesting? Trying to give me an excuse not to go again? Maybe I'm not so tough after all.

Pray for me...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Good Question

At least I thought so, so I decided to post it here. Jeff P. recently wrote to me, "I have a production question for Mr. Schubert...Since IGMS is an online publication, why is there a delay until February now that you have the lineup? To a non-geek like me, it seems like you'd just post the new material, and poof!

I realize this sounds kind of snotty, and I don't mean it that way. I'm actually curious about how the online system works (comes from years of being a journalist; [we're] nosey about everything)."

This struck me as the kind of thing more than just ol' Jeff might be wondering about, so here is my answer here.

"It's not a snooty question, it's just based on an incomplete understanding of everything that's involved.

You see, picking out the stories is only one piece of the equation. Once those stories are selected, they are sent to different illustrators for the accompanying artwork. One illustration is specifically commissioned for each story, and it takes time for those to be produced. Then the stories and artwork need to be properly formatted and laid out by our web-master, who is not only responsibile for IGMS, but all of the web-sites published by Orson Scott Card (which I think is seven, at last count). And speaking of Mr. Card, sometimes he is busy with other projects and I have to wait a bit for him to write his Ender Universe story. We've put other issues up before his story was ready, but frankly I have found that everyone (myself included) prefers having his story available as soon as the issue is published.

So as I said in the beginning, the question is a good one; it just doesn't take all the details into account. I'm glad you asked."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Coming Soon To A Computer Near You

Coming in February: Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, Issue Four, featuring -

Tabloid Reporter To The Stars by Eric James Stone
Call Me Mr. Positive by Tom Barlow
Wisteria by Ada Milenkovic Brown
Beats Of Seven By Peter Orullian
Moon-Eyed Stud by Justin Stanchfield
Miniature by Peter Friend
Approaching Zero by Kelly Parks
new YA stories by David Lubar
and, as always, a new Ender's Universe Story

Tune in to this blog for essays by the authors - The Story Behind The Stories

Monday, January 08, 2007

Return of That Darn Business Magazine

Yes, kiddies, it's that time again - grinding out the next issue of NCCNM (which, for all my teasing and griping, I really do enjoy working on). NCCNM hosts an annual women's business symposium and luncheon and this year's event is scheduled for Feb. 14th - Valentine's Day. I'm not sure what to make of the decision to hold it on Valentine's Day, but it was the publisher's call, not mine.

Last year I ended up on the podium introducing one of the speakers at the luncheon. There I was, in front of about 160 women, with maybe five other men in the room. I don't think I've ever been so frightened in all my life.

Anyway... back in the present... In order to get the next issue back from the printer's in time for the event, we have to have it to the printers within the next few weeks, so it's nose-to-the-grindstone time. Frankly, I kind of like working with a compressed schedule; it keeps everybody focused and motivated and moving, moving, moving. I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't have been a fireman, because I think I work best with alarm bells ringing and things burning all around me. Good times, eh?

On other fronts, I'm working with OSC on a really cool IGMS project that I'm very excited about. Problem is I can't tell you about it yet. I will as soon as I can though. Really. Pinky promise.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Just a quick note that I've been invited as a last-minute guest to ChattaCon ( in Chattanooga, TN, the weekend of January 26 - 28, 2007. Dual writing guests of honor are Kevin Anderson and Robert Sawyer. If you're in the neighborhood, pop in and say hi.