First, I seem to have missed an interesting series of posts Martha Wells had on writing. Fortunately they’re all still available, and she’s once again asking for writing questions, so the posts will continue. I just found a nice mini-essay on doling out backstory while moving action forward. You can find it here, on Martha’s blog.
Second, you may have noticed that it’s been quiet around here. That’s the sound of issue 11 being worked upon, and me pushing through as much e-slush as I can before I finally finish a game review of a new Traveller package for issue 11 of Black Gate. All I have left are a few longer stories. I don’t know how John does it, but as I’m reading through subs and come upon REALLY long ones — 10k and longer — try a few paragraphs and they have any promise… I’m afraid I put those longer stories at the bottom of the pile. That’s probably not fair of me, but when I have onlyÃ‚Â a limited amount of time available each day for slush, and we’re running behind, I prefer to read as many stories as I can rather than spending all of that time on a single tale.Ã‚Â Right now I’ve only got ONE big one left. After issue 11 I have approximately 60-70 Ã‚Â subs to go; the last stories turned in before we closed to submissions.
Third, regular readers know that I’m a huge fan of Leigh Brackett and that I’ve been reading my children Brackett tales this summer. I mentioned Haffner press as an excellent source of her work, and there will shortly be another, Paizo, which will ALSO be publishing a number of other classic sword and planet tales under their Planet Stories imprint. I’m most looking forward to having a complete collection of Kuttner’s Elak stories, which they’ll be publishing come fall. I tracked them down the hard way one-by-one, but others deserve easier access, and Kuttner’s in need of rediscovery because of these and many other works. He was writing RayÃ‚Â Bradbury style stories before Bradbury was. Henry Kuttner and Catherine Moore are two favorites of mine, and coincidentally were best friends with Brackett and her husband Edmond Hamilton. Anyway, I like the sound of this imprint’s plans and will be watching them.
Back to regularly scheduled programming…