albogdan has a link to nancyfulda's piece on The Evolution Of The Writer -- kind of like the Stages of Dying but more upbeat and more useful to the writer thinking of, planning to or actively engaged in breaking into the realm of the published author. (grin) I particularly like how she has it cycle through a series of highs and lows, instead of some sort of Pollyannish nonsense progression you see in some How-To books/articles.
Piece, The Second
Anyway, I was lurking through nancyfulda's recent postings and found this extremely useful and thoughtful exercise on SF/F Market Breakdown Revisited.
It's a checklist of style and genre Yeas and Nays and Maybes for some of the SF/F markets. Some of the inputs came from editors and slush readers for those publications, so it's not all just invented out of zero-point energy vacuum.
Sure, there's some subjective opinion here -- and you never know when an editor might "break" some unwritten rule and take a well-written piece, even if it doesn't quite fit their usual -- but you really do save time and money by considering carefully the markets you are sending particular pieces to.
Because even though submission guidelines state preferences and tell you to "read an issue or two" to get a feel for what they buy, inevitably you DO read issues and say, Gee, isn't this story of mine kind of like this here in print? Or else you look at what they have and you look at your Invenstory and say, Um, can I send these... or not?
Now all we have to do is agree what some of the genres and sub-genres really mean... (double-edged-grin)