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Editor Interview: Planetary Stories

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

A: Space Opera, fantasy

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

A: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

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

A: F&SF, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

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

A: Variety of stories plus top-notch artists to illustrate them.

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

A: Read the works of Edmond Hamilton, C L Moore, Leigh Brackett and other greats of the old pulp authors. Primarily, be sure you have written a complete story and not just a fragment. In addition, reading back issues of Planetary Stories will help.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Well-written, full of action, imagination and fresh ideas. Humor is liked as well.

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

A: Plotting is weak, writing is poor or too pretentious.

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

A: We do like to learn about our writers, what their tastes and aims are. Publication credits are interesting, but not necessary.

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

A: Quite often the way a story opens tells me if it's worth perusing. Seldom is it necessary to read the entire story.

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

A: I have an excellent co-editor, Jerry Page. I like his approval before final acceptance of a story.

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

A: I am at my computer eight to ten hours a day. The portion spent on submissions can very widely; sometimes an author submits a story we can't use in its submitted form, but shows promise, so I correspond with the author about possible changes, sometimes rewrite portions and return them for the author's approval, suggest new stories, and wait eagerly to see what develops. We enjoy working with budding authors.

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

A: I like both modern and the old-fashioned paper form. At Planetary Stories and Pulp Spirit, we remain electronic and want only electronic submissions. We have produced some issues in PDF form and are considering - now that we've enter the publication field -- putting out a print version of The Best of Planetary Stories.