"Unplugged aims to showcase the online fiction often neglected in standard best-of-the-year anthologies, and a rousing success it is, containing, among other things, Merrie Haskell’s genuinely delightful tale about a girl-prince who, over her parents’ objections, undertakes a risky journey to rescue a princess held in a tower that has brought to ruin many princes before her; she rescues quite a few people. Also prime delightful is the eerie “The Things That Make Us Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away,” one of Cory Doctorow’s more unnerving forays into the short story. The selections come from a truly excellent assortment of venues, including Tor.com, Lone Star Stories, Baen’s Universe, and Farrago’s Wainscot. They constitute a shining example of the good general anthology. Clearly, selecting only online stories imposed no limit on scope, variety, and high quality."
—Booklist (December 15, 2009)
Unplugged: The Web’s Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy – 2008 Download edited by Rich Horton is available direct from Wyrm Publishing and should be in bookstores shortly. [Amazon, Powells]
I’ll be a guest and dealer at Capclave this coming weekend. Here is the most recent schedule they have for me:
Saturday, October 17th
Barbara Krasnoff (m), John Joseph Adams, Scott Andrews, Davey Beauchamp, Neil Clarke
Webcomics. Manga. YouTube videos. Pseudo- blogs (fiction in blog format). Twitter fiction. Podcasts. What are they? How do they work? How can I get them? How can I get involved? What’s worth the audience’s time?
Sunday, October 18th
Neil Clarke (m), John Joseph Adams, Christopher M. Cevasco, George H. Scithers, Sean Wallace, Sheila Williams
What do editors look for? What trends are they seeing? What do they want to see in manuscripts? Do editors still work with writers and if so how?
1:00PM SMALL PRESS
Mike Walsh (m), Neil Clarke, Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen, Sean Wallace
How do you set up a small press and market the books? What role do the small press have in today’s market? What role does the internet play?
2:00PM ONLINE FICTION
Brenda Clough (m), Diane Arrelle, Neil Clarke, Edmund Schubert, J. J. Smith, Sean Wallace
Is the fiction published in online magazines different from that in the print magazines and if so, how? What online fiction sources are the best? How do readers and writers find out about online sources?
I had hoped that I’d get on the SAVE THE MAGAZINES panel on Saturday, but it looks like that one filled up, so I’ll probably sit and watch from the audience.
When I’m not on panels, you should be able to find me in the Dealer’s Room during these hours:
If there are certain books people want me to bring from the bookstore or Wyrm, let me know soon so I can pack them up this week.
So, who else will be there?
When the topic of saving short fiction comes up, it inevitably turns to money. I don’t want to talk about money right now. Rest assured, I’ll come back to it, but right now, I want to talk about the second best thing you can do for short story or magazine that you enjoy.
Tell someone about it.
I think David de Beer made some pretty good points in his recent post about promoting and sharing. As he mentions, I installed a tool called ShareThis at Clarkesworld Magazine back in December. It’s pretty easy to find. Just look for the little green icon and the words “Share This” at the end of any story, commentary, or interview. When you click on that button, it gives you a nice little menu of places that you can share that page with. It even gives you an option to email the link to a friend. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.
But does it help?
Our usage stats for ShareThis aren’t fantastic, but since adding it, I’ve seen an increase in incoming traffic from sites like StumbleUpon or Digg. The way those sites work, the more people that recommend a page, the better. A single person, even a completely friendless person, could end up sending hundreds of people to a magazine. There’s no reason we should think of this as restricted to online magazines either. Many print magazines are placing sample content online. What better way to encourage that behavior?
To wrap this up, I’d like to ask a favor of you. Create a StumbleUpon, Digg or Reddit account today. I seem to have developed a preference for StumbleUpon. Then go recommend one or two stories you’ve read online and enjoyed. Heck, get a friend to do it too.
There are two conversations going on over at the Asimovs forum that have me cringing. Here they are:
1. Should stories for online markets be tailored differently than stories for print?
2. Should all SF/Fantasy Mags go to E-Submissions?
Here are some quotes:
- GSH: “The thought of a print editor reading my story on a screen, however, does bother me. I’m not sure if my concern is valid, or just a projection of my own screen vs. print bias.”
- Bill Preston: “These are different media. We’re fooled, I think, by their both involving typed letters. The differences are profound.”
- Byron Bailey: “There are stories I couldn’t stand reading online. Yet when I read them on paper like in one of the YBSF, I thought they were superb.”
Time for a poll. Yes, I know doing an online poll is going to have a bias… but the original conversation is online, so what the heck.
1 – Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey (Signed Hardcover)
2 – Phantom by Terry Goodkind (Hardcover)
3 – Three Days to Never by Tim Powers (Signed Numbered Hardcover)
4 – A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison (Signed Paperback)
5 – The Space Opera Renaissance by David G. Hartwell (Hardcover)
Kushiel’s Scion and Fistful of Charms have been out for a few weeks, but since these copies ere being signed, they’ve just started shipping last week. Phantom was supposed to be issued signed by the publisher, but (probably due to Terry’s health) that edition was cancelled. I had a lot of disappointed customers on that one.
The free fiction on our site seems to be drawing a lot of attention in the first 24 hours. This is definitely something I plan to continue. Next up will be a couple of stories from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.
Glad to have Talebones showing in the magazine list. Good news there is that the subscription drive has been a success and they will continue publishing. Fantasy Magazine slipped to #2 this week, but it stands a good chance to take back that spot next week.