Lost Specs

March 8, 2008

I really *am* behind in the business these days. I just found out today, in the latest Ansible, that Speculations is gone. According to their website now, “As of 2 March 2008, Speculations is no longer in the business of publishing market information for writers.” Their subscriptions will be continued via Cynthia Ward, the Market Maven. But with the loss of Speculations and the Rumour Mill, speculative fiction has lost an incredible resource and networking site.

They hint at returning with a format change. The Market Maven will be the first to announce their return.

We’re gonna miss you guys!

Other losses I learned of in Ansible are:

  • Dungeons & Dragons creator, E. Gary Gygax
  • Roy Scheider, of Jaws fame
  • Columnist and wordsmith William F. Buckley, Jr.

All in all, a rather sad day for the person who can’t keep up with these losses as they happen…


The Ansible

January 7, 2008

Wow. Two posts in less than a month! Could this be a new trend?

My absolute favourite SF news ‘zine is Dave Langford’s Ansible. I just received the January issue today, and had to share some bits of news:

It’s true. Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimers. However, he goes on to say, “I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as “I am not dead”. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this [is] maybe further off than you think — it’s too soon to tell.”

Robert Jordan may have felt he had 20 books left to write, but now that he’s passed away, his wife has managed to find a writer to end the series in one. Brandon Sanderson will write this novel, which Jordan called A Memory of Light.

I encourage everyone to check out the Ansible at news.ansible.co.uk. The current issue can be found here: news.ansible.co.uk/a246.html. Be sure to check out Conspiracy Corner (where Princess Di’s death is finally explained), Outraged Letters (where Brian Aldiss gets his feet examined), As We See Ourselves and As Others See Us (where science fiction fans and writers are discussed), and Thog’s Masterclass (where we see that *anyone* can get published). Enjoy!


A Couple of Anthologies

December 29, 2007

Well, there’s been some activity at the Speculations forum, in the New Markets category. I thought I would pass a couple on to you, my loyal readers (you must be loyal, if you’re still reading…)

As usual, I do not guarantee ANYTHING.

Permuted Press is putting out an anthology called Robots Beyond. “But speculative fiction is, at its heart, the art of what-if. That’s what this collection is all about: Robots Beyond the normal sci-fi boundaries, crossing into other genres with their customary logic and precision.” Guidelines can be found on the Permuted Press web site. Lane Adamson is looking for stories between 3000 and 7500 words, and will pay 1 cent per word US. No fanfiction. Submissions period opens on January 2, 2008, so wait a few days before sending your stories out. Deadline is April 4, 2008.

WolfSinger Publications will publish This Ain’t No Rodeo, an anthology based on the sport of Bull Riding. 75% of proceeds go to the Resistol Relief Fund for injured riders and their families. “We are looking for stories up to 7500 words in length that feature the sport of Bull Riding. They can be in any genre as long as the sport of Bull Riding is a key part of the story.” Payment is $10 flat. Deadline: March 31, 2008. Call for Submissions.

Maybe in 2008 I’ll be able to dedicate more time to The Word in Writing. I may even make a few changes — but I’m not making any promises. So, here’s hoping your holidays have all been happy, and that the new year brings you more sales than you ever thought possible!


Sheer Speculation Press

July 2, 2007

A good friend of mine has nothing but good things to say about this company, the magazine they publish, and their small press.

Sheer Speculation Press

Sheer Speculation Press is a small press focusing on the speculative fiction genre. Our intent is to publish quality pieces within the genre that take the time to enlighten the reader, rather than shock them. Stories submitted to Sheer Speculation Press should be literary in nature – in other words, send us stories that you would feel comfortable sending to a non-genre review or magazine but which are still easily discernable as taking place within the boundaries of the two genres.

Staffs & Starships

Staffs & Starships is a magazine imprint of Sheer Speculation Press looking to print amateur and little-known authors who are hoping to edge their way into the world of science fiction and fantasy. It is our hope to bring to light some of the hidden talent within the North American world of writers. Submissions. Submission Guidelines.


Brenda Novak’s Auction for Juvenile Diabetes Research

May 3, 2007

Once again, Brenda Novak is hosting an incredible on-line auction to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research. Those who used to read the newsletter version of The Word in Writing may remember that my cousin passed away last year from complications due to Juvenile Diabetes. He was in his 30s. For this reason, I encourage you to check out this auction. There’s something there for everyone:

For Writers, you can bid on mentoring and editing offers, as well as reads and critiques by authors, agents and editors. Agent Don Maass and his lovely wife, editor Lisa Rector-Maass, are each offering their services, for instance. Many (most?) of the offers are for those writing Romance, as Brenda Novak is a best-selling romance author, and that’s where most of her network lies. Brenda herself offers a number of prizes, including a ‘Deluxe Mentoring and Networking Experience’. After reading the description, you’ll be wondering why your best friends don’t treat you that well.

(Now, I know that some writers may wonder why they should pay to have an agent or editor read their proposals or manuscripts, and the truth is: you don’t have to. You can send your submissions to the Donald Maass Literary Agency and the other editors or agents for free, as you normally would… but this way, you are supporting a very worthy cause. And imagine the networking possibilities!)

For Readers, there are autographed books and galley copies, from such notable authors as Jo Beverley, Roxanne St. Claire, Mary Balogh, Dr. David Cherrington, John Gray, and Cindi Myers, as well as series, sets, collections, and other tidbits. You’ll find most, again, are romance, but there are also children’s and non-fiction and more.

Under Once in a Lifetime Experiences, you’ll find trips to Napa Valley, Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and so on.

Other items include coach purses, gift baskets, paintings, antiques, collectibles, and even a Ukrainian Easter Egg. I love Ukrainian Easter eggs.

So, check it out. There is probably something there you will want to buy. It’s things like this that make me wish I had a lot more money.


Sad News from Meisha Merlin

April 26, 2007

Saw this on Locus, and had to check for myself. I couldn’t find the announcement, so I went to MM’s newsgroup, and found out you can’t see the announcement unless you have Internet Explorer. I use Firefox or Netscape. However, because people couldn’t see it, the announcement was posted in the newsgroup. Here it is:

Dear Fans,

I am sorry to say that due to major distribution problems Meisha Merlin Publishing,
Inc. will be closing their doors in May 2007. Both Kevin and I along with the
entire staff here at Meisha Merlin want to thank all our fans, customers, authors,
& artist for your support over the past eleven years. We are sorry to have to
do this, but events beyond our control have forced us to make this decision.

ATTN: For those of you who have purchased The Virginia Edition. The Robert A.
& Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust has worked out an agreement to continue publishing
The Virginia Edition. You can expect a letter from them within the very near
future & volume seven will be arriving to you in late May or early June.

Laura J. Underwood

This is very sad news, indeed. One thing we don’t need is to lose such a major publishing force in genre fiction. I’d like to wish all staff and supporters of the company the best of luck in their future.

For those with Internet Explorer, or anyone who just wants to see the site and not necessarily the announcement, here is the Meisha Merlin website.


The Shared Worlds summer camp

April 26, 2007

I saw the note on Locus Online regarding the ‘Shared World Camp’, so I had to check it out. It’s one of those ‘Gee, I wish I were still in high school’ things, though — otherwise, it looks really cool.

At this 8 day camp, you can learn how to write stories (fantasy, science fiction, or horror), design games, or illustrate. Classes include alien biology and history as well as creative writing, game design, and art. The list of Visiting Speakers includes several published authors, game designers and illustrators, including Laura Resnick, Greg Keyes, Ken Hite, and Doug Chaffee. I’d be interested in seeing the names of the teachers, which are ‘Coming Soon’.

In any case, I’m far too old for this, but it looks like it could be worth the $1250 — remember, that’s 8 days in residence.

Hmmmm… I wonder if I could rent a time machine for a week or so…

Wofford College’s Shared Worlds camp