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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Top Speculative Fiction Editors Tell All

At the Hatrack writers forum, someone posted a link to a Clarkesworld Magazine article by Jeremy L. C. Jones that had editorial statements from many SF/F/H magazines, such as Fantasy Magazine, Jim Baen's Universe, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Asimov's, Weird Tales and others. I think the readers and writers of Flash Fiction Online will find this article interesting...to see what is behind the story selection process in the magazines that they read.

Here is what editors were asked:

  • The Editors, Their Magazines & Their Editorial Philosophies
  • What do you look for in a short story?
  • What does "fit" mean for your magazine?
  • What are some reasons why you'd reject a good story?
  • How has the magazine business (especially as it pertains to fiction) changed since you started out?
  • Lastly, any advice for someone submitting fiction?

Here are a few bon mots:

Mike Resnick (Jim Baen's Universe): The only reason I'd reject a good story would be that I was running something too similar to it — and then I'd probably buy it and hold it for a few issues. A good story is any well-written, well-characterized story that elicits an emotional reaction; everything else is gravy.

Stanley Schmidt (Analog): Ideally, I would like a story so engagingly written that I forget I'm reading it, with a provocative idea I'd never thought of before so deeply integrated into it that it couldn't be removed without making the whole story collapse.

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