“A top-notch selection of imaginative and thought-provoking stories about AI, reinventing old tropes and making us revisit the eternal question of what it is to be human.”
We haven’t played slush pile BINGO, but I did make the board after looking over some of the stories we’ve rejected at Clarkesworld. (For this.) I don’t think the center square will be a big surprise to anyone.
If you’d like to suggest alternate BINGO squares, just put them in the comments.
Update 8/24/17: Sigh. Yes, there are some good stories that check one or more of these boxes. However, the more you check, the less likely I am to agree that they are. We have published a story that opened in a bar, even though that’s on the board. Sometimes you can take something common and make it your own. Most don’t, so it gets a square.
IMPORTANT: Not all of these items are weighted equally. In a true BINGO board, some “unrecoverable” squares (plagiarism, zombies, etc.) would fill entire rows.
Back in April 2015, I celebrated passing 50,000 submissions in the Clarkesworld Submissions System, by blogging about the most common story titles. In response, I also blogged about The Truth About Short Story Titles and a Wordle that represented the most frequently used words in all 50,000 titles.
Since then, we’ve picked up nearly 32,000 more submissions, so I decided to take another look at the data and see how things have changed. There were many ties in this group, so this time I’ve only listed the top six places. If a title is followed by a number in parentheses, that’s its top ten placement from the first 50,000.
1st Place (14)
The Hunt (6th)
2nd Place (12)
3rd Place (9)
Trapped, First Contact
4th Place (7)
The Box (3rd), Seeds, Monsters (4th)
5th Place (6)
Flight (6th), The Awakening, Skin (9th), Stranded, The Visitor, Home (2nd), Mercy, Reflections (8th), All That Glitters, The Dragon, Choices, Hunger (2nd), Broken (8th), Contact, Worm, Homecoming (2nd), The Bridge, The Forest, Transmission, Going Home (10th)
6th Place (5)
Alone (7th), Happy Birthday, The Pond, Jump, The Wanderer, Redemption, Daddy’s Girl, The Sacrifice, Skin Deep (9th), Lost and Found (5th), Descent, The Door (10th), Snow, Harvest, The Gift (2nd), Stay, Second Chance, Adrift (7th), Legacy (7th), The Void, Shift, The Tower (10th), The Well, The Machine (10th), The Caretaker, Rage, Escape
And because it’s fun, here’s another Wordle with the most common words from this group of 30,000 titles:
It is mentioned in one of the above links, but it bears repeating: The title of a story has no impact on whether or not it will be accepted at Clarkesworld. If I really don’t like a title, I’ll suggest a new one/work on it with the author.
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.
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.
I will require non-exclusive World anthology rights in English in print, ebook, and audio formats for stories I select for this volume.
I will accept science fiction stories, novelettes, and novellas for consideration in the following formats:
Print – mail to:
PO Box 172
Stirling, NJ 07980
EPUB, MOBI, and .DOC – email to:
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.
I recently added a Discord server to all of the Clarkesworld Magazine Patreon rewards.
Some of you are probably wondering just what that means. Discord is group chat software. It supports both text and voice, but at the moment, I’ve restricted it to just text. After you download the app to your computer or phone and have set up an account, you can link it to your Patreon account and they will automatically add you to our group. (Assuming you’re a Patron.)
The server is still in its infancy, but we have a few “channels” (chat rooms) set up:
- General (all-purpose, if something dominates discussion we’ll make a separate channel for it)
- Rejected Because (I’ll be posting reasons why some stories have been rejected by Clarkesworld here. No story/author-specific details.)
- Recommend a Story (Read something good? Let me know. I also work on anthologies and The Best Science Fiction of the Year, so I’m always looking for new stories to read.)
Always happy to have more people join the discussion!
In May 2018, I will be a Special Guest at Balticon 52!