They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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Bookkeeping

One of the things that getting serious about SF writing and going to Clarion 2004 has done for me, is that I am more in touch with the current state of affairs in science fiction/fantasy/horror than I've ever been in my life. Not that I always pay it a lot of mind or that I've studied it to bone up to expert level, but even during my most voracious SF reading days during junior high through college, I picked up what I liked, plus the occasional anthology, and ignored the rest and the magazines.

I'm Part of the Problem

So, to be truthful, when I lament the passing of Yet Another paying market and gripe about how few avenues I have to submit my own writing to, I also have to swallow a large cup of mea culpa. I'll admit I'm buying and reading SF magazines these days as part of my professional research, but at least that's a reason and I am buying more SF magazines -- and I'm reading them. (Maybe the solution to the dearth of SF markets is to create more frustrated writers?) (grin)

A Way To Reconnect With The Genre

I've mentioned several times that anyone interested in publishing SF/F/H, and those who are real hardcore SF/F/H fans should investigate getting Locus Magazine. Writer and 2004 Clarion instructor Jeffrey Ford 14theditch mentions in his blog that Locus Online has put on the web the Locus Magazine 2005 Recommended Reading List.

One measure of the change in my reading habits and awareness of who's who in the field, is that I know of or have met a great many of the authors mentioned. I am aware of 17 novels on the list, even if I haven't read them. Since I am concentrating on reading the short fiction magazines, I've read quite a number of the recommended novellas (40,000 words), novelettes (20,000 words) and short stories.

A Very Small Dr. Phil Subset of the Locus Magazine 2005 Recommended Reading List

"Some Zombie Contingency Plans", Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners), was workshopped by Kelly at the 2004 Clarion, so I've seen an earlier version. "Magic for Beginners", Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners), sets up one of the best you-can't-end-the-story-here-I-wanna-see-this-TV-show worlds. "Helen Remembers the Stork Club", Esther M. Friesner (F&SF 10-11/05), engendered quite a lot of discussion with some of my Clarion friends -- my take is that this is a real New York story, so if you know something about New York and the Stork Club scene, the story will resonate for you.
"Keyboard Practice, consisting of an Aria with diverse Variations for the Harpsichord with two manuals", John G. McDaid (F&SF 1/05), not only wins for longest running title, but captivated me with its quirky structure and setup between man and AI, and drove me to the finish because I really wanted to find out what the hell was going on. "The Calorie Man", Paolo Bacigalupi (F&SF 10-11/05), was in my opinion, the best grounded future world I read last year -- very well thought out and totally believable. All IMHO of course. (grin)

So if you feel like you're out of touch with SF/F/H, you might want to peruse this list, and look for some of the anthologies or books.

Or not. It's just a suggestion. (double-grin)

Dr. Phil
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