L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

17 November 2006 Blog Home : November 2006 : Permalink

Subterranean Slush

Via John Scalzi's excellent blog, I have learned that the Subterranean Press have put issue 4 of their SF Magazine, edited by Mr Scalzi up for free download (PDF). Also the edition notes that henceforth they will be producing electronic versions only. The Baen influence strikes again, possibly twice ...

Of note to non SF afficionados perhaps is the piece on pages 18 and 19 "It Came From the Slush Pile" by John Joseph Adams which begins:

Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night, on my way home from the editorial offices of Fantasy & Science Fiction, I stumbled across a lovely brass lamp in a mysterious shop. I bought it for a song, only to come home and discover it had a nasty blemish.

Starting to sound familiar yet? Or do you need some more?

I took out a rag and some polish and tried shining it up. Much to my surprise, a genie sprung from the lamp and offered me three wishes. Fed up after a long day of slushing, I blurted out, without thinking, “I wish I never had to listen to another slush writer complain about fast rejections! I wish that I never had to explain the ‘code’of my rejection letter! And I wish that I never had to see another poorly formatted manuscript ever again!” The genie said “Your wish is my command,” and struck me deaf, dumb, and blind.

Does it sound familiar now? Wait, here’s the kicker:

At just that moment I woke up and realized it was all a dream.

Groaning yet?

If you think that’s bad, you should see the slush pile some time. Clichés are the bane of slush readers and editors. They’re more likely to drive us out of the business than the poor wages, the long hours, or the incessant paper cuts. ...

I can imagine Miss Snark, the Rejecter, Ms Genovese and all their friends and relatives, not to mention anyone else who has had to read unsolicited manuscripts nodding at that one.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin