I thought this might be interesting to some people.
1) I am one of four assistant editors in IGMS. (Sara and Eric’s numbers are likely to be MUCH higher)
2) I don’t keep track of their numbers.
3) Edmund Schubert is a slave-driving werewolf vampire android. The arithmetic he employs is unrecognizable to anyone in this dimension. I urge you, on peril of your sanity, to not consider it.
A sample of 386 submissions reveals the following:
64 submissions passed to the slavering, hairy, fanged robot.
161 submissions recommended for form rejection
187 submissions recommended for personal rejection
NOW. Of those 64 accepted:
21 were Science Fiction
1 was horror
23 were Fantasy
“Untracked” because I wasn’t keeping details when I started slushing. I paid dearly for my lack of diligence; those months in Edmund Schubert’s Asylum/Salt Mine for the Clinically Non-Precognizant have taught me a valuable lesson.
Let’s assume that the genre percentages remain the same for those 19. My math gives me +9 stories for science fiction, +10 stories for Fantasy, and +1 story for Horror.
“AHA!” you cry. “Witness the failure of the American educational system! YOU HAVE ADDED A STORY, YOU FIEND!”
I’m rounding up for simplicity’s sake. The real numbers are something like 8.7 for SF, 9.6 for F, and .95 for H. I guarantee you—if I get .5 of a story, I am not going to pass it along to Edmund. Nossir. Like I said, I’ve learned my lesson.
So, it’s about a half-n-half split between science fiction and fantasy, with Horror looking really underrepresented. Which disturbed me at first, because I write things that a lot of people might call horror. But looking back at my list of submissions…I don’t think that I’ve read lots of Horror in the slush pile. There have been zombies; there have been ghosts. But horror is more than monsters; it’s a sense of dread or foreboding that prevails through the story. Dread or threat is the principal emotion in horror writing, in my opinion; which is why Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot can be classified as Horror, but his collaboration with Peter Straub, Talisman, cannot. (And we shan’t mention Black House.) A lot of the stories I read that others might call Horror (because of the m-m-m-monsters) I call contemporary fantasy.
I’m sure I’ve offended someone with my crass generalizations. And my math. I’ve probably offended Steven King and Peter Straub. I invite you all to slander me on the IGMS forums. Go ahead. I can take it. I’ve been to a Salt Mine/Asylum run by Edmund Schubert. There’s no horror like that horror, lemmetellewe.
--Scott M. Roberts
Assistant Editor, IGMS