Four Shalt Thou Not Count

1. My Blog Gate post for this week is a review/reader’s memoir of Stargate by Tak Hallus (a.k.a. Stephen Robinett), as a belated memorial to the late author.

2. You’ve probably heard by now, but Baen’s Universe is closing. I have mixed feelings about this. I hate to see another market close, but after my original subscription lapsed I never got enough oomph up to renew–I wanted to like the zine more than I actually liked it. And the art on the site always bites my eye in a really unpleasant way. De gustibus. This may be more evidence that “professional” rates are unsustainable for short fiction, though.

3. I renewed my SFWA membership. I have mixed feelings about this, too. But the current administration has been so heroic in tackling things that had to be tackled (e.g. the new website) that I didn’t want to leave them in the lurch by voting with my feet while marching to the beat of a different drummer. (When my feelings are mixed, my metaphors follow.)

4. SF Signal asked me, among others of greater note, about the Hugos in this week’s Mind Meld feature.

5. Is right out.

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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4 Responses to Four Shalt Thou Not Count

  1. Anonymous says:

    2. I loved the art for my story. Made me laugh long and hard, which is appropriate. But I also let my subscription lapse after the first year. I don’t think I ever read more than half the words in an issue, and usually a lot less.

    3. Good for you. I suspect I’ll be joining this fall.

    5. You have no idea.

    –Jeff Stehman

    • JE says:

      2. Hm! I have a vivid image of the goblins in my head, which I thought was due to your descriptive powers and my own imagination… but maybe I’ll have to go back and see if the artist deserves some of the credit. But in general I think the art is pretty dire.

      I think the future of short fiction will be a combination of online freebies and anthologies with narrow mandates–like “Fifteen Fangs for Fredonia: Vampire stories set in the backgrounds of Marx Brothers movies” or whatever.

      3. That’s good to hear, on a number of levels.

      5. I definitely have no idea what the Book of Armaments has against 5, but I always follow its dictates when lobbing holy hand grenades. Wj=hich I’m out of, at the moment, actually.

  2. 2. Damn and blast. Not that I have the spare attention to read much, really, with my resident small person having decided that his security object is a plastic knife. But I did want the grand experiment to work, especially after they bought one of my stories. Getting paid 8 cents a word was nice, and I relished the possibility that it might happen again someday.

    Ah, well. At least the October issue will come out.

    • JE says:

      Good luck with the small person and the knife! I read your entry can totally see the logic there, but I can see how problems might arise.

      I’ve thought for a while that the short fiction market is in an inevitable move towards a noncommercial model: the “little” magazines that pay in minimal honoraria or just honor. I expect the zines which survive as paying markets will have some kind of target audience or theme that can reliably draw an audience (and that an audience finds it can rely on).

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