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Editor Interview:

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Speculative Fiction

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show tends to have stories I like, as does The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I enjoy Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Reflection's Edge, and subscribe to all the big name magazines, Azimov's, Analog, etc. Tor has a knack for picking great authors, and Solaris is doing really well. Another interesting publisher is Marcher Lord Press, for Christian speculative fiction.

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: Fiction writers: Barry Longyear; Dan Simmons; Gene Wolf; Ray Bradbury; J.R.R. Tolkien; Ursula le Guin; Louis L'Amour; C.S.Lewis

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: As a reader I have always enjoyed a wide variety of fiction, from westerns to science fiction to heroic fantasy to brooding mainstream literature. That eclectic variety shows in each issue of, which tends to have wider variety of stories than your average magazine. I do believe that an editor's taste, and how similar it is to the reader's, is the most important determinant in whether or not the reader will enjoy the magazine. The only real way to know is to read a couple of issues.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: 1. Read the magazine.
2. Go ahead and send us simultaneous submissions. It takes us about 90 days to respond on average, and you don't want your stories sitting around that long when they could be under consideration at two or three other magazines as well.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission is around 4,000 words and unique.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: I get very few submissions with "unforgivable" mistakes. The average submission is really quite good, making the job of sorting out the great from the good rather difficult.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: I like a short cover letter to show me the writer has done his homework and studied my magazine. An author with serious publication credits will get a better read from me, no question about it. If the first page doesn't grab me, I'll keep reading because I'm confident he knows what he's doing. At the same time, it's a thrill to be a writer's first credit.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: I don't have time to read all the way through every story. About 30% of the submissions get read all the way through, the others get rejected after 2-3 pages. The stories that get accepted have probably been read 4-5 times by three different people (me, my assistant editor, and a trusted volunteer or two).

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: None.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: My assistant reads the slush pile as it comes in. Poetry, nonfiction and artwork she forwards directly to me and I make the decision on those myself. For fiction, she does an initial reading and rejects 70% or so. I sort through the rest, often reading the best ones through two or three times. Once I have the creme de la creme, about three per available slot, I often ask a volunteer or two to read them and give me a "literary" critique. Then I make the final decision. Occasionally a story is so good I accept it immediately.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: It's important to embrace modern technologies, but I am not sure I am on the cutting edge. Everyone is scratching their heads and wondering where all this is going. I think that if your magazine has quality content it will attract readers, though you may have to hire technical help to make sure the content and the readers meet.