There's also a bunch of slightly touchy e-mail going back and forth; people keep getting stressed about SLF's mission and such, and I'm just finding it a bit exhausting soothing bruised egos. I mean, yes, we plan to reward excellence. Yes, your commercially widely-successful work might not qualify for one of our awards. But that's the point -- you already have hordes of screaming fans who adore you and send great wads of cash into your pocket. We're trying to point readers towards some stuff they might adore and which they might have otherwise missed.
And it's not even as if the only thing we do is try to determine literary excellence -- the small press co-op, for example, will be open to one and all, whether you're trying to publish the next Nebula winner or whether you are publishing for yourself and your mother. We don't care -- we just want to help, to make sure that new editors and publishers aren't wasting time and energy reinventing the wheel. The discussion forums are wide open -- readers can discuss whatever they like. The website aims to be comprehensive, covering as much of the genre as we possibly can. We carry booklists that are purely topical -- if you write queer sf, for example, you get listed, and we don't discriminate based on perceived literary quality, which is an iffy thing to try to fix in the best of circumstances. We're doing a lot of stuff, and we're going to be doing a lot more, and it'll cover a lot of ground, and your work will probably fit in somewhere, at some point. So calm down, and stop sending me pissy e-mails.
I'm also stressed because we have a bunch of letters to get out quickly for the Fountain Award, and it's getting later and later and we haven't sent them yet. Many of those are going to editors who will probably be hostile at worst and dismissive at best. I really need to work on that today, but I just want to bury my head in the sand instead.
With Strange Horizons, there were lots of people predicting we'd fail, but no one was actually hostile. We had to overcome assumptions about online magazines, but no one thought we were bad people for trying. This is a whole different ball game, and I find that I'm not as thick-skinned about it as I probably ought to be.
1 thought on “Munchkins, I’m feelin’…”
Dearest Mary Anne Akka,
I know you are a great writer. And not just because you write a lovely prose, not because you tackle the tough themes, not because your poems are sometimes the strongest of emotions in the sweetest of words. But because, though I may sound insanely selfish, reading you got me started into writing. I was otherwise dreaming of majoring in nuclear science. No, it wasn’t the big-big industry names that addicted me into writing (never, though I wish you become one such name). It was reading about your writing process, how you lived it. And your courage. And every time a friend or older person says I write good prose, I send a silent thanks to you.