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ccfinlay

Glass Half Full

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Jun. 6th, 2006 | 09:52 pm

John Joseph Adams, the assistant editor at F&SF, posted a list of fourteen authors he's saved from the slush pile since he started at the magazine. It looks like seven of them are in 2006.

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Comments {57}

sallytuppence

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from: sallytuppence
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
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I'm particularly glad to see that a bunch of them are women writers.

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
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I've always had the impression that Gordon bought cool new women writers and bought a lot from them -- Yoon Ha Lee yhlee and M. Rickert being my favs. I know that impression isn't widely shared, so it's interesting to see something concrete like this list.

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Michael Merriam

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from: mmerriam
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
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It's good to remind people that IT CAN be done. The odds might be long, but it's not impossible.

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Affinity8

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from: affinity8
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
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I'm actually not heartened by the numbers, because that's 14 authors in -- what? 40 issues? Forty-something? If each issue has, say, 7 stories in it, that's 14 authors with what looks like 19 stories out of -- what? 280 stories?

But "saved from the slush pile" by JJA doesn't necessarily mean "never before published by us" in that perhaps Gordon saved some himself, or some stories went directly to him on recommendation of a seasoned pro (it happens elsewhere--I don't know if it happens there.)

It seems to me that F & SF is one of the markets least amenable to new authors, but that could just be my impression and anecdotal evidence. I know people who have been knocking on that door for a long time (including me) but who got their first big pro sales elsewhere (including me :-))

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 02:34 am (UTC)
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About five years ago, I went through the last three years of Campbell-eligible authors and their first sales; at that time, F&SF published a higher percentage of new authors by first pro sale (compared to overall stories) than any of the other print magazines. Realms was a close second, followed by Analog, with Asimov's and Sci Fiction last. I know that after that, Ellen ended up buying a lot of new authors at Sci Fiction, and then the new authors tapered off in F&SF in 2004 and 2005. I have no idea what the current numbers look like, but I suppose it'd be easy enough to go the Campbell site and do a comparison again. It could be that F&SF is dead last now. I dunno.

(And sure, some first time authors skip right over JJA because of Clarion or whatever. Trent Hergenrader burnt_njal had his first pro story in F&SF this year too, but skipped the slush pile. So the numbers of new authors are higher than the slush pile survivors that appear here.)

As for the rest, I tried on and off for years to sell something to Gardner or Ellen with zero luck, even after I became a pro. And one story that was rejected by Realms of Fantasy twice (I resubbed because it'd been so long without a reply, I thought it was lost) was later bought by F&SF and picked up for a Year's Best. That didn't mean those markets weren't buying any new authors, it just meant they weren't buying me. I never took it personally, and when I start writing short stories again, I'll try them another time because I'd still like to appear in them.

I think I just must be a chronic glass-half-full guy.

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
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My impression is that Ellen published plenty of new/newer authors at Sci Fiction, but a miniscule percentage of "first" sales. I think she mentioned something to that effect recently.

Laird

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(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand

shhhh it's a secrit

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from: secritcrush
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
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You have to remember that these are the people not getting an automatic pass to GVG; that doesn't mean that there aren't other new writers he's bought. (I've heard Gordon pulls out people that he's never bought from but consistently send him interesting (to him, anyway) pieces.) The number may not be much higher, but I'm sure it's a little bit higher than this.

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(Deleted comment)

Leah Bobet

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from: leahbobet
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
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Um. Hadn't thought that was the point being made, but okay.

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C. C. Finlay

(no subject)

from: ccfinlay
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)
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:(

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Hyacinths

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from: wordswoman
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
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Hey, one of those IS me! :) Mucho gracias to JJA.

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C. C. Finlay

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from: ccfinlay
date: Jun. 7th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, John. I think that's clear when people look at the list (plus a lot of us writer-types start counting careers from when the Campbell clock begins ticking).

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(Deleted comment)

oldcharliebrown

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from: oldcharliebrown
date: Jun. 9th, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
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I'm not too sure what to think about this, apart from that I've got no shortage of female contributors to Fantasy Magazine, to the extent that I've caught some degree of criticism or sniggering . . . though there is no conscious decision to include a higher proportion of women versus men. It's simply what I'm getting in right now, really. It bears some thought, but beyond that you work with what's given to you.

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Jeremy Tolbert

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from: the_flea_king
date: Jun. 9th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
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When I was editing the FB, we were in a similar situation. We went with the best stories we got, and worked with what we had. There was certainly no concious bias. Some months, 3 out of 4 stories were by females.

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