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Editor Interview: Daily Science Fiction

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

A: science fiction & fantasy

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

A: This is a formula for getting into trouble: Clarkesworld, Fantasy Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Electric Velocipede, Hadrosaur Tales, Lightspeed Magazine, Redstone Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Asimovs, F&SF, etc.

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

A: Robert Reed, Nancy Kress, Orson Scott Card, David Brin, Connie Willis, many more.

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

A: We publish more flash than most. We deliver via email directly to readers' inboxes every weekday. We like to think of ourselves as eclectic, representing a broad range of what we like best in science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, etc.

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

A: Send us strongly written material that keeps us engaged and leaves us satisfied (or devastated) by the ending.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: A great story, with sf or fantasy elements integral to the plot, characters we identify strongly with, and an ending that moves us.

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

A: Submitters most often put titles or other ancillary materials in the story box. We're working on our communications on that score.

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

A: We're happy to have authors skip the cover letter. If they do list previous publication credits, we may or may not glance at them. Telling us what we're supposed to get out of your story is unlikely to help you in any way.

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

A: We'd like to say we read every piece 4 or 5 times, analyze it carefully and run it past a sampling of readers before making a final decision. Unfortunately, that kind of time is not available. We do the best we can to read all of each submission. Sometimes, of course, it doesn't take all the way to the end for us to know that the story is not the right fit for Daily Science Fiction.
I remember feeling as an author that I was waiting to be judged on whether my story was "good enough" for a publication. From the other side, I notice I'm thinking as often about the right fit and the feel of a story as opposed to some absolute measure of merit per se.

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

A: On most pieces, I function as first reader. Michele and I then review the second round stories and discuss and decide together if each one is a story we would like to publish.

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

A: When I'm lucky, good coffee, a good snack, and a laptop or ipad in front of me. For our second round review process, lively conversation and maybe even some ethiopian food for lunch.

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

A: We need to reach readers where they are, however they want to be reached. Daily Science Fiction delivers by email, and maintains an active comment board for the stories on Facebook. We are still working on our Kindle and Ipad versions, but these will come.
I will say that traditional technologies still maintain quite a bit of appeal. The printing press was the revolutionary technology of its day after all.