Today and tomorrow, you can get a free electronic version of Unreal magazine, full of great writing.
Just follow this link to Amazon to obtain your copy.
My film review for Mythaxis Magazine is finally in print as well as online, and the magazine is available from Amazon. Lots of other good stuff to discover inside!
The print edition of Mythaxis Review Magazine will be available to buy from Amazon in the next few days.
As you can see from the cover, it contains reviews from me, so think of this as blatant self-promotion!
I confess that seeing my name on the cover of any publication does make me feel very good, and makes all my hard work trying to write worthwhile.
By choice, I don’t make any money from doing this, but would of course be immensely pleased if anyone decided to buy a copy.
Further to my non-fiction articles being published by Mythaxis online magazine yesterday, they have also decided to publish two of my book reviews, and two film reviews too.
Here are some links to those reviews.
Many of you will have read these before, but I would be very grateful if you could take time to click on the links, and leave a ‘Like’.
There are lots of other good reviews there too. You might enjoy them.
The latest edition of Unfit Magazine is out soon.
This is an idea of what you can find inside.
Some say the first real science fiction story is Frankenstein. This classic has always fascinated me because Dr. Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, was actually trying to make the world better through the application of technology. Little did he know how wrong his experiment would go. He could cheat death, but there were deadly consequences. And out of this we find the basis for many modern science fiction stories in which technology is ultimately evil, technology leads us to an unpredictable and dangerous future. It’s the fear of technology that many modern stories root themselves into, and the evil that ensues, that they thrive upon.
“The Hitter” by Emily Devenport is perhaps the best short story she has ever written, in my opinion. For some people, life is arrested, meaning they remain the same age until they die. Unlike Frankenstein, this one was a positive twist at the end.
“Eternal Boiler” by Taiyo Fujii is one of the first stories I’ve had translated. I’m a big fan of Taiyo and his brilliant book, Gene Mapper. The story here deals with immortal coils, engines that keep the world running. Translated by Toshiya Kamei and edited by David Grigg.
“The Algorithms for Love” by Ken Liu is, in his words, inspired by Ted Chiang’s “Division by Zero”. A man meets a woman raising a child, but he’s unaware the little girl is really a doll. Then they have a real child. It gets complicated.
“The Year of the Rat” by Chen Quifan is, many would agree, one of the best science fiction stories ever written. Mutated rats are hunted by unemployed college graduates who are despondent with life. Translated by Ken Liu.
Like the original Frankenstein, these stories play with the value of life, of tampering with the original biological design. However, they don’t all have a frightening theme. Technology isn’t exactly evil in some of the stories. It’s more like the applications are either misunderstood or the technology goes beyond expectations. I put these stories in this magazine because they take science fiction farther than the classics did. I think they’ll surprise you in many ways.
Here is a shorter explanation of the stories as appears on the back of the magazine.
• “The Hitter” by Emily Devenport is the story of the first and last inhabitants of a dead planet and how they remain there undetected.
• “Eternal Boiler” by Taiyo Fujii tells of the transformation of the world by an ammonia based engine and the folly of those who adapt to the changing technology all too quickly.
• “The Algorithms for Love” by Ken Liu puts a a real daughter in the lives of a couple raising an artificial doll.
• “The Year of the Rat” by Chen Quifan tells of modified rats being hunted by special extermination squads.
Follow this link to find out more, or to buy your copy.
Please read this interesting newsletter about a new concept in magazine and online publishing. Combining the blog format with short-story publications, and a community forum too. If you ever wanted to get published, this is definitely one way it could work for you. The news is self-explanatory, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments, or send me an email.
The Thinkerbeat Reader Newsletter
Thank you for submitting your stories to UNFIT/UNREAL magazines. This newsletter is to let you know how I evaluate stories, keeping you in the loop on the submission process.
If your story was submitted before 6/20, most likely your story was not accepted for publication in the upcoming round of magazines. I’m very sorry about that because I know how difficult it is to get published these days. I’m not only a publisher, but also a writer.
So keep trying. In fact, send your story to lots of publications. I’m a strong believer in that. I’ll even show you where to find other publications, down below. For the record, I don’t charge for submission, and I don’t require that you to only submit to one place at a time. Simultaneous submissions are the best solution for making any headway in this profession. Seriously.
About the Process
As you may have noticed, I do things a little differently. For example, I don’t typically write to you and reject your story. The terms on the submission page say that if you haven’t heard back within 30 days, take that as a no. If you noticed the date above, you’ll realize I’m falling behind the 30 day window, approaching 50 days. There’s a reason for that.
I’ve decided to release this newsletter periodically so I can let a lot of people know at the same time what the cutoff date is for the submission window. Right now it’s anything submitted before 6/20. Included in this newsletter will also be tips on what I expect to see in stories from you, which should help you in the future. So stay subscribed and I’ll keep you informed.
1. I don’t usually respond to submissions. The truth is, there are a lot of you. And the number of people writing and submitting stories is growing rapidly every year. Currently, I have about 100 stories each at both UNREAL and UNFIT magazine that I have to read. That’s close to 200 stories, right now. And the number grows by 10 to 20 new stories per day. It’s almost impossible to keep up with.
In the future, expect more publications to follow suit. The New Yorker, one the most awarded magazines for fiction, has had the same policy that I follow for years. Their terms say that if you haven’t heard back in 90 days, assume you’re out. You won’t be notified, unless accepted. I shortened it to 30 days, but am struggling to make the deadline. In the future, I’m going to let people know by newsletter how things are progressing, like I’m doing right now. I’m hopeful it will be the best solution for both of us.
2. In recent weeks, I added a new line to the submission forms at both UNREAL/UNFIT magazines. It says, simply, “Your URL”. What I was hoping for was to get an indication of where your blog is. In the past, I’ve searched for your blogs by author name and that’s time consuming because it involves a lot of guesswork about who you really are.
The results of changing the form have been pretty interesting. I would say about 50% of the people submitting stories don’t have a satisfactory online home. Which I think is odd, because you can set up a blog in about 5 minutes, sourced from a variety of places such as WordPress or Blogger.
Many people are rigging the answer to get the story to go through, with things like http://NA.com and http://Idonthaveone.com. Another common response I see on the form is when someone puts an email address in the answer, like this: http://firstname.lastname@example.org. All of these stories are being rejected.
When you sign a contract with me, I’ll be asking for rights to use your name, your photo, and your bio to promote the magazines. Professionals know about this and have little problem with it. I don’t mind that you use a pen name, either. The problem is that I need to verify that you are really you. That you haven’t just stolen someone else’s story and put your name on it. That you are really signing the contract as yourself. That you aren’t trying to sell me three stories under three different names, when I don’t allow multiple submissions. Your online home is one place where I check the facts. It tells me how stable you are as a writer. Plus, I also like to read your blogs. I like to get to know what you’re up to. Often I’ll click on the “Like” button on a WordPress site to let you know I was there. I’m interesting in you and what you’re doing with your words.
A number of people have used a page on Facebook or Twitter in the form. Some put down their author page on Amazon. These are interesting, but I’m on the fence about accepting them. Maybe it’s the first time you’ve written a story and you want to see if you can get published in a semi-pro magazine. I understand that. But as we’ve never met, I need verification that you’ll be able to spread the news about the magazine, that other people find you a good resource of publishing information.
Recently, I’ve started up a website called The Thinkerbeat Reader. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to join and I’ll give you a simple one. I’ll even help you upload your photo and add your bio. You’ll be able to use the URL of your homepage at thinkerbeat.com in the submission forms at UNREAL/UNFIT magazines.
If you already have an active blog, use that. I’ll stop by and see how you’re doing. Even so, you’re invited to join the thinkerbeat.com website.
At thinkerbeat.com, I’ve got an up-to-date list of 800 publications looking for stories written by someone just like you. I’ve got a social network set up so we can all talk to each other. I’ve even put the magazines that I publish online there for you to read. Get a look at the stories I’ve already bought for the next round of magazines, before they go to market. See what you’re up against. This should give you a better idea of what I’m looking for each time. It will help you eliminate the guesswork.
Let me say in advance, the site is not free. However, I’ll upgrade your account to ‘premium’ membership if I can see that you’re on my mailing list, you’re submitting stories to my magazines, or you’re an author I’ve published before. It’s like you paid, but you didn’t. I think this is a fair solution for both of us.
How do I evaluate stories?
With close to 200 stories waiting to be read, I have to have a pretty good system. With years of experience, I think I have a pretty good system.
1. Divide and conquer. First, I take about 20 stories and divide them into two piles, the ten best and the ten not-so-good. Then I take the remaining 10 stories and do the same thing, two piles, 5 and 5. Eventually I get to the top 2 stories from the reading session. Next I take another 20 stories and do the same. Then I evaluate the top stories from each group, comparing them to each other. 20 seems to be a good number because that’s close to the submission rate each day. I can’t compare your story to all 100 stories that I need to read right now. That’s not even close to realistic.
One reason I don’t send out rejections is because sometimes a story will grow on me. A week later, it might be in the rejection pile, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ll go back and take a second look. In the past, I’ve had cases where I’ve contacted an author after a story was formally rejected and then I asked to buy it. I might even contact you several months later to see if the story is still available, if I suddenly find a need for it.
2. Does the story follow a common trope? Most stories do. Even with the top writers in the field, most stories fit into recognizable categories, whether you realize it or not. One way to know if your story has been written before is to read a lot. You do read a lot, don’t you? You’d be surprised how many variations I’ve gotten on the same story. Man kills his wife only to wake up in the police station, being let go, because she was really a robot. Man kills his wife and wakes up in the police station to find out he is a robot. And she wasn’t. Or she was. And so on. If you’re going to write something already written, you’ve got to do it better than anyone before. How would you know? Read a lot.
3. Is the story low lying fruit? Low apples on the tree are easy to pick, and many stories that I get are based on simple ideas. You put a lot of time into crafting every single word in your story only to step back and realize there’s not much going on overall in terms of plot. I know, because I’ve been there before. It’s the apples at the top of the tree that I want from you. Those ideas are harder to get to.
A Brief History of Thinkerbeat
Thinkerbeat started a long time ago and reached a kind of wall that I couldn’t get past as a publisher. We’d put out an anthology called The Art of Losing with 24 authors in it. It wasn’t selling well and I got really discouraged. About that same time, I was laid off from my job and didn’t know where the money would come from for the projects I had planned. So I folded the site and took a break for a while from publishing.
Previously, I had finished my MBA degree and worked for a publisher. They published a children’s book I wrote. More of my history can be found on my blog.
Later, when I got my second wind, I started Longshot Island, knowing this time it was a long shot. That also reached a kind of wall in just the last year. I wouldn’t say it’s gone forever. But I’ve put it on the back burner for now. Both experiences opened a lot of doors and gave me the chance to meet a lot of great people, like you.
From there I started UNFIT/UNREAL magazines, publishing the best authors in speculative fiction.
About two months ago I noticed the URL was available for Thinkerbeat and a series of incidents got me to thinking of setting the site up again. There’s so much I’ve learned about authors and the publishing process and I’m more confident now that I can help you out. I have a strong commitment to helping undiscovered authors get noticed, because I know how hard that is. Put simply, by pairing your story up with writing giants, people are more likely to read it. At the same time, if we don’t cultivate new talent, where will the genre be down the road?
Here’s an older interview I did with Cathleen Townsend on the original Thinkerbeat website.
Thinkerbeat 2.0 is a great resource. The site offers:
a social network feed
a list of publications
Learn more at the site: thinkerbeat.com, where you can talk to me.
The Round of Next Magazines
Here are the authors I’m talking to right now.
Yoon Ha Lee
Robert J. Sawyer
…plus more, tba.
Robert J. Sawyer
D.A. Xiaolin Spires
…plus more, tba.
As I purchase these stories, they are going online at The Thinkerbeat Reader for you to check out, right now. As you can see, I need more stories for UNFIT at this time than I do for UNREAL. This list is not 100% final, but fairly close. I’ve discussed purchasing the stories and been given confirmation in most cases. Some of the stories have been bought already, but I still need to make the final decision in some cases.
The Thinkerbeat Reader has (or will soon have) stories by: Ken Liu • Cat Rambo • Emily Devenport • Martha Wells • Yoon Ha Lee • Jerry Oltion • Matthew Hughes • Daniel Wallace • Tim Major • Eric Del Carlo • David R. Grigg • Bruce Golden • Orson Scott Card • Robert J. Sawyer • Ernest Hogan • Tais Teng • David Brin • Robert Silverberg • J.B. Toner • M. Yzmore • Michael Merriam • LJ Cohen • Jessica Needham • J.D. Astra • Liz Kellebrew • George Salis • Joe Taylor • Adithi Rao • Nathan Susnik • Cathleen Townsend • Pete Johnson and more.
See you there!
Copyright 2019 © All rights reserved. | Magazine 7 by AF themes.
From Daniel Scott White, publisher of Longshot Island, Unreal, and Unfit, comes a new Fantasy Magazine project, Mythaxis.
This offers an exciting opportunity to bloggers and writers (including published authors) in the Fantasy genre. Daniel is looking for submissions to be included, and this explains how it works.
We want stories that are well written, intelligent, and enjoyable to read. We are looking for stories with metaphors and emotional ambiance and imaginative descriptive writing.
Getting Published Online
Submit your story using the form below. Just copy and paste it from your file into the content box in the form, where it says “Post Content”.
For your story to be published online, you must have a book that you’re selling. Include the link to your book in the form, where it says “Your URL”.
In exchange for your story, we’ll promote your book on this site (and elsewhere: newsletter, social media, etc.).
Sign up for the newsletter while you’re here.
Getting Published in Digital Format
In exchange for your story in the digital publication of the magazine, we’ll buy you any book you want from the catalog of books submitted by authors on the site. You pick a book being promoted and we’ll do the rest, including paying for shipping.
After you finish the submission form, we will contact you if we’re interested in publishing your material. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond unless a story is accepted for publication. If you have not heard from us in thirty days, assume your work didn’t fit with what we needed at the time. We don’t promise that all stories put online will make it into the digital publication.
For best results, send your story to as many publications as possible. Just remember, “Simultaneous submissions are your friend.”
We wish you the best in your endeavors as an author.
The Boss (and a few other clowns)
Fiction: 500 to 15,000 words.
Genre: Primarily magic, myth and chaos.
Pay: For online publication, we’ll promote your book. For digital publication, we’ll buy you a book.
Terms: We don’t charge for submissions. Reprints are welcome. Simultaneous submissions are most certainly welcome. Multiple submissions are not welcome. (If you don’t hear anything, wait 30 days before trying again. Thanks!)
Rights: We are looking for one time non-exclusive rights.
Here are some direct links.
Follow Mythaxis on Twitter.
Check out mythaxis (@mythaxis): https://twitter.com/mythaxis
This is a real opportunity to get your work published online, from a reputable company that works hard to support new writers and bloggers.
I am pleased to announce the release of Vol. 1 of Unreal Magazine, a new publication from Longshot Press. Regular readers will know that I have had stories and articles published in another of their magazines, Longshot Island. Here is what they have to say about Unreal Magazine.
These stories don’t have an agenda. They aren’t preachy. They are just fun to read.
So let go. Get unreal for a moment.
Meanwhile, these stories might just enlighten you in ways only a fable can pull off.
Stories by Martha Wells, Tais Teng, Emily Devenport, Yoon Ha Lee, and more.
Here is a link to the magazine website, where you can read more, and buy a copy too.
If any of you would like to submit a story to the magazine, here is an easy link to do just that.
Please share the news about this exciting new short-story venture, and feel free to contact me if you would like to know more.
My email address is on my ‘About’ page.
I have received some information about magazines that contain great stories for fans of the Science Fiction genre. I am pleased to note that one of those featured is Unfit Magazine, from the publishers of Longshot Island. Please check out the links if you are interested.
Eight Times the Gift of Science Fiction
Here are 8 places to find great science fiction short stories. The list is divided between 4 magazines (1-4) with a more traditional lineup of authors and 4 magazines (5-8) that typically showcase younger authors. All the magazines listed here have both, making any of them a great choice as a gift for someone who wants a little of everything.
1. Galaxy’s Edge – This magazine starts with “The Editor’s Word” and believe me, Mike Resnick’s got something interesting to say each time. Although this is a newer magazine, it tends to be graced with stories by older, traditional writers, such as Robert A. Heinlein. You’ll also see Gardner Dozois who worked as an editor for Asimov’s Science Fiction (below). This magazine has wide respect among the science fiction heavy-weights.
2. Analog Science Fiction and Fact – Everybody loves Analog. This magazine began as Astounding Stories of Super-Science in 1930. John W. Campbell took over the magazine in 1937. It grew out of ‘the golden age of science fiction’. The name was changed to Analog Science Fiction and Fact in 1960. In 1972 Ben Bova took over and today it is run by Stanley Schmidt.
3. Asimov’s Science Fiction – What better name for a magazine than the man himself, Isaac Asimov, one of the ‘big three’ authors of science fiction, one of the originals from the golden days. This magazine began in 1977, and like Analog, is owned by Penny Publications, which handles over 80 magazines. Sheila Williams is the magazine’s current editor. The long list of established writers found within these pages includes: William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, and of course, Isaac Asimov.
4. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction – Critics claim the quality of the magazine has remained consistent throughout the decades. This magazine was started in 1949 as The Magazine of Fantasy. Gordon Van Gelder took over the magazine in 1997. Today it is run by Charles C. Finlay. Along with Analog and Asimov’s, it’s one of the ‘big three’ magazines to watch out for.
5. ClarkesWorld Magazine – This magazine comes straight out of the realm of the newer digital publications. It tends to publish younger writers while working with industry superweights such as Gardner Dozois (above). The number of awards this magazine has collected is impressive for such a short run. The magazine began in 2006, is overseen by Neil Clarke, and is named in reference to him. Breaking with the traditional format, the magazine showcases stories in full on the website and offers digital copies at a reasonable price. Annual collections of the stories appear in print.
6. Unfit Magazine – This magazine has the attraction of a newer publication aimed at a younger crowd while still giving a strong nod to traditional authors. You’ll find both Robert Silverberg and Ken Liu on the pages. SFRevu calls it “a promising new magazine”. The editor is Daniel Scott White.
7. Apex Magazine – The covers are fantastic. This magazine began as Apex Digest in 2005 by Jason Sizemore. In 2008 the name changed to Apex Magazine. Inside, you’ll find something new and something old. Past authors include Neil Gaiman, Ben Bova, and William F. Nolan.
8. Lightspeed Magazine – This magazine began in 2010 with John Joseph Adams working as the editor. The next year, Adams bought the magazine. It’s a balance of original stories and reprints. Adams is known as the “the reigning king of the anthology world” after publishing an impressive run of short story collections including authors such as Stephen King and George R.R. Martin. Adams worked as an assistant editor for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (above) prior to purchasing Lightspeed.
I recently posted about a free book version of Longshot Island Magazine.
I promised to update you when it was available on Amazon, as well as Smashwords. Daniel has informed me that Amazon refused to allow him to give this away on their site, but it is available there at the incredibly cheap price of $1.50 (£1.17).
Here is a link, and remember, it is still free from Smashwords, with a link in the original post.