The Best Science Fiction of the Year – 2017 Submissions

The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 3 will be published by Skyhorse/Start under their Night Shade Books imprint in early 2018. I am presently considering all science fiction stories (short stories, novelettes, and novellas) originally published in English in 2017. (Translations are allowed as long as their first English language appearance is in 2017.) To keep things simple, I will be using the publisher’s copyright, magazine’s cover date, or posting date (primarily for online fiction) to determine eligibility. Serialized works will be considered published at the time of the final installment.

Deadlines
Print materials must be received by November 1st. Digital materials must be received by November 15th. If your project is scheduled for publication after that date, please send galleys by the above deadlines so that I will have sufficient time to consider your work.

Rights
I will require non-exclusive World anthology rights in English in print, ebook, and audio formats for stories I select for this volume.

Delivery
I will accept science fiction stories, novelettes, and novellas for consideration in the following formats:

Print – mail to:
Neil Clarke
PO Box 172
Stirling, NJ 07980 

EPUB, MOBI, and .DOC – email to:
bestsciencefiction@clarkesworldmagazine.com

I dislike reading PDFs, so please do not send me work in this format unless you don’t have any other options and have cleared it with me in advance.

Publishers: If sending a magazine/anthology/collection that also contains other fantasy/horror/other stories, please list the titles of the science fiction stories in a cover letter or email.

Authors: I will not be able to let you know whether or not your work has been submitted by your publisher. To avoid duplication, please check with your publisher before sending a story. If your work is self-published, please include the date and location (blog, website, Amazon, etc.) your work was originally published.

Stories published in the following magazines and anthologies do not need to be submitted. I already have them.

Magazines: Analog, Apex, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, Diabolical Plots, F&SF,  Fiction River, Galaxy’s Edge, Gamut, IGMS, Interzone, Lightspeed, Mithila Review, Mothership Zeta, Mythic Delirium, Strange Horizons, and Uncanny.

Anthologies: (updates pending) Cosmic Powers, Equus, Extrasolar, Five To The Future, Global Dystopias, Infinite Stars, Never Stop, The Self-Inflicted Relative, The Sum of Us,  Sunvault, Visions VII: Universe, and Where the Stars Rise

Sending a book/file/story is a one-way transaction. I will not be confirming receipt or returning materials.

 

The Final Frontier – Call for Submissions

I’m currently working on The Final Frontier, the sister anthology to Galactic Empires. Think of this one as stories that take place long before the empires were founded. The focus is on exploration and discovery beyond one’s home world and includes topics like first contact, establishing colonies, new sciences, alien archaeology, generation ships, etc.

The Final Frontier

Editor: Neil Clarke
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Formats: Ebook, Print, and Audio
Date: TBA, 2018
Payment: 1 cent/word against a pro-rata share of royalties

What are you looking for?

  • Science fiction reprints (no original stories) published within the last 20 years
  • 3000-22000 words in length
  • English language (translations are welcome)
  • Theme is broad and does not need to focus on humans. (See above.)

How should you let me know about A STORY?

If you are an editor or reader and would like to recommend a story for consideration, please leave a comment on this post or send email to neil@clarkesworldmagazine.com.

If you’ve published a story you would like considered for this anthology, please submit a copy in .doc or .rtf format at: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/anthology/

Multiple submissions permitted.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS AUGUST 4th 2017. 

 

Galactic Empires Guidelines

Galactic Empires

Nothing quite captures the imagination of a science fiction reader or author more than the galactic empire: vast, ancient, and full of secrets! From tales of sweeping space opera battles to stories of palace intrigue, from renegade freedom fighters to dangerous princes and princesses, and more, these galaxy-spanning stories both define—and challenge—the field.

REPRINT ANTHOLOGY – Print and Ebook

Publisher: Night Shade Books
Editor: Neil Clarke

Rate: One cent per word advance against pro-rata share of royalties
Length: 2000 – 20000 words
Genre: Science Fiction
Language: English language (translations welcome)
Format: .doc or .rtf

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: MARCH 19, 2016

Submit stories at: neilclarke.sendsubmission.com

Recommend stories by commenting on this post or as an email to neil@clarkesworldmagazine.com.

New Mailing List

I’ve launched a mailing list for people who want to keep up with information regarding Clarkesworld, Forever, and other short fiction projects I’m involved in. At present, the volume should only be 1-2 messages per month.

If you sign up before midnight on the 20th, you’ll be in the running for a free StoryBundle gift code for the VanderMeer Mix Tape bundle they are currently selling.

First Rights

Earlier today, I engaged in a Twitter conversation about first rights for short stories/novelettes/novellas. Over the course of the conversation, it became clear that it would be nice to have a single page I could link to from the submissions guidelines of the various projects I’m involved in.

There was some debate on this topic, so I will start by saying that I am not the final authority on this issue for anything but the magazines and anthologies I’m editing. This includes The Best Science Fiction of the Year, in which case my definition will overrule that of the editor of the publications I select stories from.

FIRST RIGHTS

In over-simplified terms this means the person/publisher that gets to publish the story first. If there are restrictions (First English Language, First Electronic, etc) then it is the first to publish to that particular subset. NOTE: Obviously unrestricted first rights are no longer available the moment a subset of those rights are sold.

These days, there are many ways to publish a story. It’s not always as clear-cut as appearing in a book or magazine. You have to think of publishing as distribution. There are some obvious situations that make it clear that the story has been published:

  • appearance in a book or magazine (print, audio, or digital formats)
  • money has changed hands (barter too) in exchange for a copy of the work
  • anyone using Google or another internet search tool can find the text of the story

Here are a few examples of situations where a story has been published:

  • it appears in a book, magazine, pamphlet, postcard, etc. (self-publishing and school journals included) that is freely available or sold
  • it appears on your website for visitors to read (no matter what size your audience is)
  • it appears on a publicly available website (like Wattpad or a forum, even one with membership restrictions)
  • it is distributed as a Patreon or Kickstarter reward (money has changed hands, no different than selling an ebook)

Here are a few example of situations that don’t count as publication:

  • story is read aloud at a convention (unless that is recorded and distributed)
  • story appears on private site that exists for the purpose of providing feedback on a story (only editors and writers participating, covers various private critique groups)
  • story is shared in a classroom or given to teacher as part of a class
  • story is entered into a contest (wins or loses) but is not shared to anyone outside the judges (this is just like a slush pile, a business process)
  • story is purchased by a magazine, but the magazine folds before the story is distributed to readers (in this situation the rights should revert to the author and they can sell them to someone else or use them on their own)
  • a copy of the story is placed on your mom’s refrigerator

REPRINTS

Stories that have already been published can be sold or published again as reprints. (The original publisher may have a fixed period of exclusivity on the story that prevent you from selling reprint rights before a certain date. Some even limit where it can be reprinted. Pay attention to your contracts.)

Publishers looking for first rights or original stories are, by definition, excluding reprints.

When a story is reprinted, the first publication is usually credited (Originally appeared in XXX, edited by YYY, YEAR) so make sure you include that information with any submissions that are open to reprints.

Please ask questions in the comments. I will update the document as additional examples are brought to my attention.