Market Monday: Galaxy’s Edge



Galaxy’s Edge is a bimonthly science fiction magazine, the third market that printed my work.

But that’s not why I like GE so much.

Galaxy’s Edge is great for both readers and writers – especially new writers. Every issue is roughly an even split between reprints from established writers and new stories from newer writers.

But that’s not why I like GE so much.

And Galaxy’s Edge has great columns: editorials by Mike Resnick, science columns by Greg Benford, reviews by Bill Fawcett and Jody Lynn Nye, interviews by Joy Ward, and essays with a historical bent from Barry N. Malzberg.

But that’s not why I like GE so much.

No, what I like so much about Galaxy’s Edge is the people:

  • The aforementioned editor, Mike Resnick. Mike is a great example of science fiction’s Pay It Forward ethic. That split between established pros and new writers? That’s by design. Mike’s design. He wanted a market where new writers could get noticed. Mike’s generous, funny, and a fantastic writer.
  • Publisher Shahid Mahmud. Mike may have designed the split, but it’s Shahid who backed him in it. Shahid makes authors feel like family. He’s also the publisher of Arc Manor, including a number of lines besides Galaxy’s Edge:
  • And the rest of the editorial team. It has been a joy to work with Laura Somerville and Jean Rabe and Lezli Robyn. I haven’t worked with copy editor Taylor Morris yet, but I hope to soon!

It’s a great organization. Of all the markets I’ve worked with, I know these people best. And I’m better for having known them.

The down side to Galaxy’s Edge is they do not have open submissions. In order to avoid a mountain of slush, they’re invitation only. How can you get an invitation? Only one way: get to know Mike Resnick. I recommend meeting him at a con, or on Facebook. DO NOT BADGER HIM! Just get to know him. He’s a great guy. If you show that you’re a decent person (not just a self-promotion machine) and that you care passionately about writing science fiction, he’ll notice. I’m sure of it.

Market Monday: Analog Science Fiction and Fact

I had an eleven-hour day at work, followed by a ninety-minute drive home. It has been a long day.

So I’m going to cut down on my usual waxing poetic. It’s Analog Science Fiction and Fact, formerly Astounding. It’s the longest-running magazine in the field. If you need me to tell you about Analog, you need to brush up on your market research.

Oh, wait, there’s one thing I need to tell you…

DON’T SELF-REJECT!!!!!

I hear so many authors say, “Oh, my stories aren’t for Analog. They’re too character-oriented, not hard science fiction.”

Bull****!

First, hard science fiction can be plenty character-oriented. That’s the way Analog likes it. They have bought four of my Carver and Aames stories so far, and what’s the number one thing I hear about those stories from readers? They love the characters. As damaged and screwed up as he is, they love Nick Aames. They even gave Racing to Mars an AnLab (Analytical Laboratory) Award.

And second, hard science fiction is by no means all that Analog publishes! As editor Trevor Quachri likes to point out (closely paraphrased): “We published Dune; and we’d do it again. We published Pern, and we’d do it again.” Analog may welcome hard science fiction more than other markets do, but they also welcome other science fiction as well. As their guidelines say:

We publish science fiction stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so integral to the plot that, if that aspect were removed, the story would collapse. Try to picture Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein without the science and you’ll see what I mean. No story!

The science can be physical, sociological, psychological. The technology can be anything from electronic engineering to biogenetic engineering. But the stories must be strong and realistic, with believable people (who needn’t be human) doing believable things–no matter how fantastic the background might be.

Trevor doesn’t do your job (writing your stories), so don’t you do his job (rejecting stories). Let him decide if it’s an Analog story or not.

He may surprise you…

 

Market Monday: Digital Science Fiction

Digital Science Fiction (part of Digital Fiction Publishing Corp.) is the first pro-paying market to print one of my works. That by itself is reason for me to be grateful to them; but that’s not why I’m recommending them to you. (Unfortunately they’re closed to all but flash submissions at the moment, but keep an eye on their submission status! Reprints only at this time.)

No, the reason why I recommend Digital SF and the whole Digital family is a two-word answer: Michael Wills.

Michael is the publisher, and he has a strong sense of personal and business ethics. His contracts are some of the most author-friendly that I have seen. (In fact, he had three pro authors help draft them.) But most important… When he started Digital, it was a pro-paying original market (a series of anthologies, essentially a magazine). He made his wife a promise: he would give the magazine a fair shot, but it had to be self-supporting. He would pay for it from internet ads and from sales of the anthology, but not a dime would come from the family budget. Before he would let that happen, he would shut it down.

And when the time came that it wasn’t self-supporting, that’s exactly what he did: he shut it down. He paid all creditors. He returned all rights for all stories he had “bought” but not yet published. He closed it down owing nothing to anyone, and keeping his promise to his wife. Digital survived, selling back issues and a few small novel projects, but the magazine was gone. He handled the whole thing honorably, and I never hesitated to tell people: Digital was my first pro sale, and Michael is a good man.

Then a little over a year ago, things changed, and Michael came up with a new business model to revive Digital Science Fiction: reprints only, published as online shorts, then collected into anthologies. It seems to be going better. Digital has been producing a lot of works.

But, oh, reprint only except for one thing: Michael went back to every one of the authors who had sold him stories that he had had to return and said, “If first rights for that story are still available, I would still like to pay you and print it.” He didn’t have to do that, but it was the honorable thing to do. These authors went through a sadly common experience: the thrill of selling a story, then the disappointment of the market closing before the check arrived and the story appeared. It’s a sad thing, but it happens. Only this time, Michael made it up to them.

So that’s three different actions that convinced me that Michael Wills is an honorable publisher: the author-friendly contracts, the promise kept to his wife, and going back to buy the stories he hadn’t been able to buy before. I trust this man, and I recommend this market.

Oh, and if he happens to reopen for originals, I’ll add three more words to my reasons to submit to Digital: Christine Clukey Reece, who edited the original anthologies, and who I hope will edit future original works for Digital. She was my first pro editor, and I didn’t know what to expect. She suggested only five changes: a couple of paragraph breaks added, a break removed, and a couple of word changes. And every single one of her changes made my protagonist’s voice sound more like the voice in my head. She picked up on what I was trying to do, and she found the places where I had failed to do it. Christine kinda spoiled me for future editors, and I will happily work with her in the future if I get the chance.