I haven't gotten back any useful critique yet on "And Baby Makes Four", so I can't spend this time revising it. I'd sort of like to -- it feels moderately close to done, so I'd like to finish it off and send it out (although I've lost the submission address for Best Bi Erotica, so unless someone kindly sends it to me, I'll have to pester Cecilia for it again). Based on the first book, I'm pretty sure it's the kind of story they're looking for. Which is, of course, no guarantee that they'll buy it, but does mean that they're not going to reject it just 'cause it's not at all what they had in mind. Probably. I have no such assurance about most pieces I send to the lit magazines ("A Gentle Man" has been rejected from about four of them at this point -- I still have hopes for it at _Glimmer Train_), which makes me lazier about sending pieces to them.
I should probably do something relatively mindless, like paying bills, or sending out contracts/checks for SH. Make my authors happy. Oh, hey -- there's a new issue up. Very cool story by Shikhar Dixit, who I think may be of South Asian background (a bit hard to tell, based solely on a name and the childhood photo on his web page), about college, and love, and art. Moderately hard-core science article by Cat Faber (whom I've mentioned here before, but in a totally different context, since she's a filk musician and friend of Jed's) on plastics and regeneration of body parts and stuff. I must admit to not quite have enough of my brain turned on to follow it (and the molecular formulas scared me away), but the feedback indicates that other people like it a lot. :-) And there's a poem by Tim Pratt, the journaller! I like it! And there's an editorial on sports in sf/f, which actually interested me even though I don't much like sports, by Mithran Somasundrum (he's our Sri Lankan copy editor who lives in a small town in Japan -- odd, no?). And, oh yes, there's finally that review by me. It actually turned out okay, which is mostly Chris's doing. I gave him a very skimpy review, and he shot it back to me with a whole bunch of questions for further thought (very professor-like :-). I managed to answer enough of them to make a semi-coherent review in the end, though it did involve spilling a few more minor spoilers than I would have liked. I just couldn't figure out a way around that. Anyway, very solid issue -- enjoy!
I'm really pleased with the way the magazine is going overall, actually. This issue marks our six-month anniversary -- hooray! Fiction is still going strong -- in my humble opinion, publishing stories as good as what you'll find in any other sf/f magazine -- and the other departments are pretty much up to speed now too. Solid stuff, week after week. On time, every week. This is what a good magazine should be. I'm happy. I love my staff. And the readership is slowly climbing higher and higher. :-)
Aw, talking to you has made me feel better. I couldn't maintain that crabby mood. I did know there were more than six of you, btw -- but thanks to all of you who wrote in yesterday, claiming to be the seventh reader. You can't all be, but I love you anyway, so there. :-)
Okay -- tea. Work. Have a good Tuesday, everyone.
7:00. Hmm... Hmm... I'm not quite sure what to say here. I just read some entries by Marissa Lingen, sf/f writer. One of them was a rant directed against a rant by Harlan Ellison that appeared recently in Speculations. I had somehow missed the original, so I'm glad M'ris pointed to it. What has me so disconcerted by this is that I'm pretty sure that the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), passed in 1998, the one that has Harlan so pissed off...is actually one that Kev's father passed. (Umm...well, more that he ruled on the relevant case. But anyway.)
I feel a little odd writing about this; I'm not quite sure it's appropriate to make it clear who Kevin's family is in this journal -- it doesn't seem quite fair to them, since they don't read it and probably don't know it exists. But I'm not sure how to talk about this without mentioning that this judge, a federal judge in California, is also Kev's dad. We had a lot of questions when this case came up (it was the big Scientology one; you may remember? Some guy posted their private religious documents on the net, and the Scientologists tried to sue his ISP). Kevin's dad ruled against the Scientologists, making approximately the same argument M'ris does -- that it's unfeasible and rather ridiculous to expect an ISP to monitor the content posted by its users and check for copyright infringement. I remember talking to Kevin's mom after the decision and trying to explain to her (a very bright lady, but not too net-savvy at that point) *why* it would basically bring the net to a screeching halt if ISP's had to try to enforce copyright. Can you imagine the man-hours that would require? And as far as I could follow Harlan's rather incoherent screed, that's what he's asking for. I'm not quite ready to say for certain yet, but I'm pretty sure that what's he's saying is just nonsense. And I think Harlan's fiction is quite brilliant, so it upsets me a little to see him being so dense here. Yes, the man is known for his emotionality and temper, but in asking sf/f readers for money (and incidentally asking them to boycott internet magazines, I think), he's gone beyond a simple emotional rant.
Anyway. I'm not positive of my facts on any of the above -- my memory is a bit fuzzy. I've shot off a query to Kevin on whether this is connected to his dad, and that should help me figure out whether I do follow what's going on. If I'm right, I suspect I'm going to feel some obligation to write something up and post it at least to Speculations (and possibly elsewhere, depending on how widely this thing of Harlan's has been distributed). Which makes me feel a bit queasy; it's not the kind of controversial thing that a new magazine editor wants to be taking on, going up against Harlan Ellison. But I can't exactly just let it slide by either, can I?