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My Editorial in the June 2013 Analog

Analog June 2013

It would seem that the June issue of Analog is out in the wild. This is a milestone issue for me. The last time I had an item in Analog was two years ago, in the June 2011 issue. My story, “Take One for the Road” appeared in the issue. This time, I have the editorial in the issue. In my wildest imaginings when I started out writing (and I had some wild ones, believe me) did I think I’d have an editorial in Analog. I’ve read a good deal of the editorials that Stanley Schmidt wrote for the magazine. (I’ve read Trevor’s as well, but so far, he has one.) I’ve read some of Ben Bova’s editorials and I’ve read every editorial that John Campbell wrote between May 1939 and November 1942. It boggles my mind that I should have an editorial in the magazine. But I do.

At WorldCon, I met Trevor Quachri, who now edits Analog, in person for the first time. We chatted for quite a bit at one of the parties, possibly Stan’s retirement party. Not long after Worldcon was over, Trevor got in touch with me and asked if I’d consider writing an editorial for Analog. We discussed some possibilities and then I had to write it. Writing nonfiction is easier for me than writing fiction, but it was a daunting task nevertheless, mostly because I made it so. In my mind, I kept thinking that John W. Campbell wrote editorials for Analog. Stan Schmidt wrote editorials for Analog. But me?

I think it worked out, however. My editorial, “Gem Hunting,” discusses some of the rare gems I’ve found in the early Golden Age issues of the magazine (back when it was called Astounding) and the effect that some of these gems had on me. I see it as a celebration of science fiction and what it can do.

What’s more, I find that my editorial falls in the same issue as one of my science fiction heroes and idols, Jack McDevitt. Words can’t describe how pleased I am by that.

Oh, and by the way, if you just couldn’t get enough of me in the June Analog, well, I’ve got you covered. My story, “The Negative Impact of Climate Change on the Unusual Beasts of the World” will appear in the next issue, the July/August double-issue. How that young 20-year-old version of me would go utterly out of his mind if he knew this!

Analog’s “special women’s issue”

Recently, SF Signal‘s John DeNardo had a column for Kirkus Review in which he wrote about 5 George R. R. Martin novels before Game of Thrones. His excellent post had me dashing back through my old issues of Analog looking for some of Martin’s short fiction published there in the 1970s. I came across a series of 4 issues in which his novel After the Festival was serialized in the April – July 1977 issues of the magazine. The issue containing the third installment of the serial, June 1977, caught my eyes because of the banner on the cover: “Special Women’s Issue.”

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It appears that the issue contained works, fiction and nonfiction, entirely by women, except for George R. R. Martin’s serial.

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The guest editorial was by Terri Rapoport and while I was expecting an editorial on women in science fiction, I was surprised to find a kind of summary of the discussions that took place at that year’s Institute of Man and Science program, featuring Isaac Asimov. Stories in the issue were by Joan D. Vinge, Trudy E. Bell, Raccoona Sheldon, Jaygee Carr, Leigh Kennedy, and Alison Tellure.

I’d never known that Analog had done a “special women’s issue” and as it turns out, I’d read none of the stories that appear in the issue, but I have since set it aside as something to go through when I have a little more time.  Anyone know if this is the only “special women’s issue” that Analog has done? (For some reason, I can’t imagine Campbell having done this in the Astounding days.)

My contributor’s copies have arrived!

Recall that I received two copies of the June 2011 Asimov’s in the mail a while back. I speculated at the time that they were supposed to be my contributor’s copies for my story in the June Analog, but perhaps there was a mixup? Well, I mentioned this to the Stan Schmidt, editor of Analog, when I had a beer with him at the Nebula weekend and he gave me the name of the person to contact to get things straightened out. And in today’s mail were two pristine copies of the June 2011 Analog with my story, “Take One for the Road”.

I am one happy camper writer.

My first Analog story has arrived!

I can still remember that January day when I was a junior in college and decided that I was going to try to be a science fiction writer. I sat down and wrote a story in about 2 hours and it was uniformly awful, but I studied the guidelines for the various magazines and sent it off. I think it was two months later that I received my first rejection slip. It took another 14 years and some 100 additional rejection slips before I sold my first story to Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. Then another two years or so and a lot more rejections before selling a story to Apex Magazine. And then, back in September, I sold “Take One For the Road” to Analog.

Analog has been around for more than 80 years. Before 1960, it was called Astounding Science Fiction. It has been the gold standard for science fiction since the Golden Age and while I day dreamed about having a story of mine appear in Analog (and what daydreams they were!), I kind of thought it would never happen. Like winning the lottery. But it did, and here I am holding the June issue containing my story:

Continue reading My first Analog story has arrived!

Anxiously awaiting the June Analog

Though I don’t have any snail-mail stories out for submission out the moment, I have been anxiously checking the mailbox every day in the hope that the June issue of Analog will be there. Yes, it is late March, but the June issue hits news stands around April 4 and I tend to get my subscription copy somewhat earlier than that. For instance, I received the May issue more than a month ago, back on February 18.

The June issue, of course, has my story “Take One for the Road” which is my third pro science fiction story and my first in Analog. I’ve seen the galleys for it, but I am on pins and needles to see the actual issue that contains the story. I haven’t read the story since I proofread the galleys and I’m looking forward to sitting down with the issue and reading my story. And of course I’m nervously hoping that other people who read it enjoy it, too.

I was hoping that the issue would arrive before my birthday, as a kind of advanced birthday present. (It can’t arrive on my birthday since my birthday falls on a Sunday this year.) More than likely it will arrive after. Nevertheless, checking the mailbox is the first thing that I do upon arriving home, and I don’t make any attempt at being calmly casual. I dash over to it in a mad sprint, completely and utterly frustrated by the volumes of junk circulars that clutter the box making it difficult to spot the good stuff.

Just be prepared for a complete and total freak-out when it does arrive. I’m giving you fair warning.

Well, maybe today…?

Analog switching to electronic submission

In case there are any of my writer friends out there who have not yet seen the news that SF Scope broke, Analog (where my story, “Take One for the Road” will be appearing in the June issue) will be switching to Neil Clarke‘s electronic submissions system, just their sister publication, Asimov’s did several months back.

I like Neil’s submission system. It appears to be flexible enough for the publishers, while greatly simplifying the process of submissions for writers. No more trips to the post office, no more futzing with big envelopes. No more SASE’s. One factor that I’ve heard both Stan Schmidt and Sheila Williams talk about is that they can read manuscripts on their Kindle’s and no longer have to carry around stacks of paper. That makes sense for them too.

I’ve written before about how writers live for the mail. Now the only market to which I submit stories that doesn’t yet take electronic submissions is F&SF, but I think the pressure is on. And despite the fact that I won’t be going to the snail  mailbox to look for rejections slips or acceptances, I’ve grown used to looking for these things in my Gmail inbox. In fact, I have a special bright red color for the editors to whom I’ve submitted and interacted with in the past so that when they send me something, it really stands out.

Of course, for people as obsessive as writers can be, there is one drawback to these electronic systems: we find ourselves constantly checking the system to see if the status of of our submission has changed.

It’s official: I want an iPad

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When iPad’s first came out, I didn’t see a compelling reason to get one. After all, I have an iMac and a MacBook and an iPhone, to say nothing of a Kindle, and those seem to do well to make up for any lack I might experience. But in the back of my mind, I always told myself that if New Scientist ever became available on the iPad, that would push me over.

Well, I saw in a recent issue of New Scientist that it was now available on the iPad through Zinio app.

Scientific American has a digital edition, and I already subscribe to Analog and Asimov’s on the Kindle (and the print editions, as well). With New Scientist available on the iPad, I could read all of my subscriptions in electronic format on a single device. (My subscriptions to InterGalactic Medicine Show and Apex Magazine are already electronic.)

Yes, you can get New Scientist on the iPhone through Zinio but the screen size simply doesn’t do it justice. And besides, the fact is it makes a good excuse to get an iPad.

I don’t think I’ll be getting one anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that when I’m ready to get one, it will aid in my efforts to go paperless.

What Secret Santa left for me

I came home from vacation to find this waiting from me from my Secret Santa:

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(Click the image to see a larger version.)

It’s a stack of Asimov’s and Analog magazines from the 1970s and includes the premier issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (the one showing). It also appears to include most issues of Analog from June 1977-August 1978.

Thank you Secret Santa!

“Take One for the Road” will appear in the June 2011 Analog

Last night was an exciting night for being a science fiction writer. I received the galleys of my story, “Take One for the Road” and found out that the story would appear in the June 2011 issue of Analog, which goes on sale in April.

I also got the check for the story in the mail.

The galleys were particularly exciting for me. For those of my friends who don’t know what galleys are, they are the page proofs of what the story will look like when it is in print. The purpose of the galleys are to give the author an opportunity to read through the stories, find any last-minute typos, or make any last-minute changes before the issue goes to press. I’ve seen hundreds of stories (probably thousands) appear in Analog and it was thrilling to see one of my own stories as it will appear in the magazine.

I have to read through the galleys and make any changes in the next couple of weeks. I don’t plan on waiting until the last minute and will likely finish up this task before I go on vacation next week.

As a reminder, for those of you who don’t subscribe to Analog, you’ll be able to find the June 2011 issue in bookstore magazine stands beginning in April. It will also be available in a variety of electronic formats, including Kindle. And if you end up enjoying my story, you might read some of the others in the issue–and if you like those, too, consider subscribing.