The Unbearable Light(headed)ness of Being

Been doing a fair number of things lately, the totality of which has left me somewhat less than garrulous as of late. For that I apologize. It’s not that I don’t love stopping by to natter, I simply seem to have less time to do it in. For now.

In any case, I do, indeed, have news to share, so a quick set of updates to follow. This set of updates could also, technically, be titled “The Things Keeping Michael So Damn Busy He Can’t Update His Fucking Blog More Often” …

SFCanada

I finally qualified for admission into SFCanada, and I’ve not only applied, but been accepted. You can now even find me listed in the member rolls. My name sits in some extraordinary company on that list. And, again, I’m amazed at how many of the people on that list I number among my friends, and how many others I know, or have met somewhere along the way. The Canadian Spec Fic community really is a fascinating, and also largely tight-knit, body …

Sol Rising

The new edition of Sol Rising (Winter 2012) is up and free to read at http://www.thefriendsofthemerril.org/2012_winter.pdf. And while we’re not quite ready to pull together a colour edition in print, the online version is now, for the first time ever, available in colour. I’ve been instituting changes steadily over my now two years (four issues) as editor of the publication – for those who have been following, those changes have included a layout change, wider physical distribution, advertising, and now colour in the online edition – and you’ll just have to keep reading the mag to see what else is forthcoming.

2011 Can SF List for the Auroras

It’s Aurora Award season again – for those of you not familiar with the award, the Aurora is the Canadian equivalent of the Hugo – and because the Canadian SF Database (the official list for Aurora eligible work) was broken for so long, I took it upon myself to start building a list of Canadian Speculative Fiction published in the year 2011. I went in knowing full well exactly what I was setting myself up for; I do work in this industry in several capacities, remember.

Of course, we are now up over 125 hours spent on the list, and there’s still an awful lot of research to do to round it out. Especially difficult is the critical non-fiction sections, because much of that is obscure, though there are some minor confusions concerning the way in which the Auroras differentiate the professional and non-professional categories. Still, all goes well with that endeavour. It is merely time-consuming.

And though it originally began as a way for me to find out what was available in the field so I could decide on my own nominations for the Auroras, it has since grown. Others have provided information to add to it, and the list has been used by a fair number of people to help decide on their own votes, or in some cases merely to browse – given what I can surmise from page counts and tracked visits.

And now, amusingly enough, it turns out that the act of creating/compiling/updating/maintaining that list is itself eligible for an Aurora award under the “Best Fan Other” category, which, I think, would be a most generous show of support and or appreciation for the list itself, and it’s creator, should you be so inclined to nominate/vote for it. I mentioned this briefly, here, in an update post over at the Friends of the Merril  Short Story Contest website, where the actual list is stored.

Speaking of the contest …

2011-2012 Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest

The submissions just keep rolling in, and the response has been extremely supportive all round. Which, of course, means an awful lot of reading :)

Not that that’s ever a bad thing. The contest reading period remains open until midnight (EST), Feb. 15, 2012, so I expect there will be a flood of entries coming in in the last week. For more information on the contest, go to the Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest website.

Apex Magazine

For those of you who missed the announcement a bit back, I’ve been working as a Submissions Editor with Apex since the middle of December of last year, and over the course of that month and a half I’ve seen, so far, maybe 30 odd pieces. There are a lot of things said about slush reading, and many of them are true. Some others, not so much. But the range of stories one sees is fascinating.

And once in a while you get a story that feels right straight down to the marrow. And you absolutely know keeping proper company when you send a story up the line that you know, I mean absolutely know, needs to be published by the magazine you work for, and you get a response back saying “yes, we’re buying this”. That’s a hell of a feeling. I cannot, obviously, tell you what the story is yet, but be assured that in the months to come there is a story barreling down the pipe so exquisitely crafted  it will hold you rapt. Truly, that story is amazing. I say this as both a writer and an editor. I’m waiting for the author to (hopefully) build a novel out of the world they have created in that piece. It may not work best with the characters in that particular story, since the story is quite well contained within its own borders, but that world definitely needs more exploration.

In any case, I will point it out to you once it goes online :)

And for the Rest …

There is always, thankfully, gloriously, euphorically, the writing to support and sustain me. I do think I would go quite mad without it. And, as always, I will announce sales as they come in, because being able to share the work you love and adore and want to scream about from the rooftops?

That’s why you should become a writer. To spread the Word.

Good night all.

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