Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On Short Story Discussions, and Being Name-Dropped

Recently I've been thinking a lot about science fiction short stories--why I like the ones I like, which recent stories resonate with me the most, which stories other writers are recommending on their blogs (awards nomination season), and so on.

While there are lots of forums, message boards etc. dedicated to short story discussions, most of them are clustered around a single publication, imprint, writer's group or sub-genre. I thought it might be fun to try to create a one-stop central social media hub where anyone who enjoys science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories can discuss them, so I've created a public Facebook group to that end:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1531725117104454/ = Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Short Story Discussions

You do need to sign up with Facebook to be a part of it, but I figure many people are already on Facebook (at least a lot of my writer friends are, so of course I'm biased here!) and that shouldn't be too big a deal. And though newly created, some extremely talented professionals have already joined--Ken Liu, Cat Rambo, Mike Allen, and Juliette Wade, just to name a few. And Jamie Todd Rubin has been kind enough to tweet about it, too--thank you, Jamie!

So, that's a start anyway. Now we just need to start having interesting discussions about short stories, per the group's raison d'etre, and hopefully the group will thrive and attract more members :-)

Speaking of short stories, I'd like to publicly congratulate Charles Coleman Finlay on becoming the new editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I was really impressed with his guest editorial work and am excited about what he'll bring to the magazine (including leaving e-subs permanently open, already implemented) in the months and years to come.

Now, since I've just done a bit of name-dropping, I thought I'd mention something that really made my day a couple of days ago. I picked up the January 2015 issue of Asimov's and, as I typically do, started working my way through all the non-fiction pieces (I always tackle non-fiction before fiction; don't ask me why). Sheila Williams' editorial is amusingly called "Whirlwind Worldcon; or Shameless Name Dropping". What I expected from the editorial was a whirlwind recap of the dozens of Very Important People Sheila had mingled with, the Hugo Awards ceremony, and maybe a bit of description of her non-con activities. Much to my surprise and delight, here's what I encountered on the second column:


Wow! One of those surreal moments. I've been reading this magazine since I was fifteen or so, and seeing my name in an editorial--and in such a cool context--is both weird and flattering to the nth degree. [Felt the same way when Bob Silverberg mentioned me in a "Reflections" column, but that one wasn't entirely unexpected, because I'd seen the piece in advance.] Okay, fannish squeeing over (for now).

Can't wait to meet up again with friends during this year's WorldCon
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