Events of a Science Fictional Note

Some stuff to think about, if you think about science fiction:

* Strange Horizons, the online science fiction and fantasy magazine, is having its 2008 fund drive this month. Those of you not hip to SH’s economic model should know that the magazine pays its writers through donations and is an actual non-profit organization, which means that when you donate, you can deduct it from your taxes. That’s not science fictional, but it is cool, in a tax-geek way. I have a soft spot for SH because aside from being an overall excellent product week in and week out, it’s also the home of my first SF sale, back in 2001 (before it was an official “pro” market, which is why I have the 2006 Campbell Award. It’s a pro market now, though). If you’ve never been there before, go check it out and if you enjoy it, consider donating a little to keep it going. If you have been there before and read it regularly, well, dude. For the small cost of a latte, and all that. And remember: tax-deductible. Which is always good.

* Allen Steele, who went to the same high school I did, 2,000 miles away (it’s a long story), has created a web site for his Coyote universe, home of the books Coyote, Coyote Rising and Coyote Frontier, not to mention the stand-alones Spindrift and Galaxy Blues, which is his latest. It’s got all the various goodies you would hope for, including trivia, contests and a free story set in the Coyote universe, “The War of Dogs and Boids,” which is a heck of a fun read, if I do say so myself. Allen’s one of my favorite people in science fiction, both personally and as a storyteller, so I hope you’ll check out the site and have geektacular time with it.

* A reminder to everyone that if you’re not planning to set yourself on fire with sparklers this July 4th weekend (and, heck, even if you are), I’m a Guest of Honor at InConJunction, in scenic Indianapolis, Indiana, wherein I’ll be pontificating, bloviating, opinionating, orating and sometimes just plain talking, for three days. Other GoHs are illustrator Alan M. Clark and Web comic master Howard Tayler, and there’ll be lots of other fun people. Oh, come on. It’s not like there’s some major national holiday you have concern yourself with that weekend, anyway. See you there. Hopefully without sparklers.

* Also a reminder to you that if you’re planning to vote on the Hugos this year, you now have less than one month to do that (Hugo voting closes on 7/7). Anyone can vote for the Hugos — yes, anyone! — so long as they are a member of Denvention, this year’s Worldcon. If you want to vote for the Hugos but either can’t go to Worldcon or are filled with terror at the thought of being seen with, you know, geeks, remember that a Supporting Membership gives you full Hugo voting privileges, for just $50. Remember also that Hugo voters are eligible to receive free electronic versions of the four of the five Hugo nominees for Best Novel: Brasyl, Halting State, The Last Colony and Rollback. You can’t beat that with a stick (not without beating your computer, anyway. Don’t do that). Anyway, if you want a say on who walks off with rockets this year, it’s time to get at it.

16 Comments on “Events of a Science Fictional Note”

  1. I just read your first SF sale. Thanks for the link.

    You’ve always been more than a little twisted, haven’t you? (I mean that in a good way, of course.)

  2. Thanks, Jeff — because I was having trouble access the site I had to guess at spelling the name. I’ll fix it now.

  3. My votes for the Hugos are now in. And I must say having almost all of the nominees available to read for free certainly helped in making my votes be properly considered ones, as I ending up reading all of the fiction, something I’ve had a hard time doing in prior years. And, for those who wonder about the financial impact of offering their wares this way, I also ended up buying all of the novel nominees in hardback, as I consider all of them to be good reads and worthy of a place on my (very much groaning) shelves.

  4. SH is awesome. Good fiction, good nonfiction news. They’re one of the most polished, professional web zines out there. I encourage people to donate if they can. It’ll help talented new F/SF writers get started.

  5. Gosh, I used to attend InConJunction regularly when I lived in the Land of Lincoln. Great con! Great memories! Too darn bad I live in New Yawk now. Feh.

  6. Strange Horizons is the most comprehensive online free entertaining scifi publication. I’ve never really thought to donate, though I do donate often to other sites like Duotrope, which we all really love. I’m sure.

    Scalzi, you’ve just got me to donate. Go you!

  7. My first story submission was to Strange Horizons.
    I stumbled and tripped my way through their process, and Jed Hartmen was patient and understanding with me.
    It was eventually rejected, but with a personal rejection, not a form.
    So I figure thats not bad for the first time out.

  8. Thanks, John, for the SH fund drive blurb, and thanks to all of you for the nice words. Really glad you’re liking the magazine. When I started Strange Horizons back in 2000, everyone in the field told me, very kindly, that there was no way a professional online magazine would survive more than two years. It’s thanks to reader support that it’s managed to survive, and thrive, for going on eight years!

    SH is free to the public, pays SFWA pro rates for fiction, updates weekly, publishes more new writers each year than any other genre magazine, and does it all through the hard work of more than thirty volunteers, funded almost entirely by generous donations.

    If you can afford to donate now, whether it’s $5 or $50 or $500, please do. (SH is a non-profit, so don’t forget about that tax deduction, and about applying for matching funds from your day job too, if that’s an option.) And if giving cash isn’t an option at the moment, remember that you can always help support the magazine by helping to spread the word. If you have a blog, we’d love a mention. Thanks!

  9. Just a reminder that one or two votes can make a difference in the Hugo voting. Last year, I was able to nominate from having an LA Con IV membership but decided not to buy a supporting membership in Nippon. Since me and my SO did not vote in the final ballot, there were two categories that likely would have had a different outcome if we had voted. Some of the races this year could be really close, so if you have a membership of either kind, use your vote. I’m always surprised at how only about 15 to 20 % of the Worldcon members actually vote.

  10. Allen Steele attended the Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN, not in California. I don’t believe the two are related. He and I were classmates at Webb in the early to mid seventies, and I used to read his short stories eagerly. My favorite was about an orbital construction worker who sneaked off to the abandoned Skylab and used it as a grow lab for killer pot (like I said, it was the seventies). I vaguely recall him being unable to figure out a satisfactory ending, although one attempt involved visiting aliens who used THC as fuel. I regularly “visited Skylab” myself, so I could be off on a few details. Anyway, hi Allen, long time no see. Whatever happened to Mr. Norville?


  11. Rob Erwin:

    “Allen Steele attended the Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN, not in California. I don’t believe the two are related.”

    They are related intimately in that the California school was founded by the son of the man who founded the Bell Buckle school, and the two share many of the same educational and philosophical features. This is why Allen and I joke about having attended the same high school, 2000 miles apart.

  12. No kidding. I went there, and I didn’t know that. Well, I guess the fact that I hated it excuses me a little.