Random Blurbs of Stuff

I had thought to post a long-drawn out post about the nature of romance in spec fiction, or the persistence of dragons as a story mechanism.  Between you and me, I just don’t have the endurance right now.  I am only posting this to take a few moments of break time from editing my novel.  So here is some random stuff I came across this week:

– First things first:  I’m about halfway through the editing process on Omega Mage.  I’ve added over 5K words and cleaned up a bunch of inconsistencies and streamlined my character pool.  One was deleted outright, two others merged.  I think that tightened up the interactions.

– Interesting read here from a member of the slush pile at Shimmer.  Decent information; remember, dear friends, we all have to get through the slush pile in some way, shape or form.

– I was a slush reader once, for Absolute X-Press publishing.  I tried to be one at Fantasy Magazine but didn’t make the grade.  I would love to do it again, for any spec fiction venture, large or small.  I’ve been keeping my eyes open but no new opportunities have cropped up yet.  If anyone sees one….  Also, I recommend that anyone have the chance to do it, do so  (that is, after you’ve hooked me up!).  Very educational. 

– I saw over at Neil Gaiman’s blog that this years marks the tenth anniversary since American Gods released.  A decade.  That floored me.  It doesn’t seem as though I have really been writing all that long but this fall marks six straight years.  Given that time span, my production has been absolutely pathetic.  Time indeed flies on unrecoverable wings, and I need to spend it better.  But read AG if you haven’t:  it’s worthwhile for *your* time.

– I’m still stuck on a concept from many, many speculative publications.  In submission instructions, they say, "Speculative elements need to be integral to the story.  If the speculative elements can be removed without altering the story in a significant way, it’s not speculative."  Or some variant thereof.  I bring this up because I see more and more what I see labeled as "spec fiction" going against this grain.  Case in point.  A few weeks back over at Strange Horizons, a story was posted called, "The Holder’s Black-Haired Daughter." (Story here.)  While I enjoyed the story, I think it could have been placed in our British India or late seventeenth-century Caribbean with nothing more than a title swap – i.e., changing a few names and descriptions out.  I guess the editors didn’t want to pass on a good story and I don’t blame them for that.   I just wonder what spec fiction story got left off to make room for it.

– If you have ever played an MMO before (If you don’t know what "MMO" means, then you haven’t), you should check out the web-comic The N00b.  It’s cute, clever, and the material is instantly relate-able to online gamers.  With the episode list on the left side of the page, you can go to any of the past comics and instantly resume exactly where you left off, vice paging past a bunch you had already seen (Girl Genius, I am looking in your direction!).

– I have another entry coming that I promised long ago.  I got very sidetracked and never finished, had to start over, and never finished the second attempt.  Third time is a charm.  It’s coming.  Based on last fall’s response, should be fun.

That’s it for now.  Back to work.  ‘Til next time, friends.

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