December GigaNotoSaurus Features “Quarter Days” by Iona Sharma
One of my frequent complaints about the current crop of genre magazines is that they don’t publish enough novella-length fiction. As page counts shrink and more magazines announce they’ll only consider fiction below 8,000 words, the market for novellas — generally any fiction between 17,500 words and novel length — has dramatically shrunk.
But what if there was a market that published only SF and fantasy novelettes and novellas? That would be totally fabulous, right?
Well, there is such a market, and as a matter of fact, it is fabulous. GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith and published since November 2010, is a free online magazine that offers readers one story, between 5,000 and 25,000 words, every month. It has published multiple Nebula-nominated works, including Ken Liu’s “All the Flavors” and Ferrett Steinmetz’s “Sauerkraut Station,” as well as Judith Tarr’s “Dragon Winter,” S. Hutson Blount’s “The Taking of Book 257,” and C.S.E. Cooney’s marvelous “How the Milkmaid Struck a Bargain With the Crooked One.”
This month’s story is Iona Sharma’s “Quarter Days,” which Stompydragons called “utterly delightful. I loved the world she’s built, her characters felt fresh, and the plot used all of that to great effect.” Read it free here.
If only Giganotosaurus could pay anything close to pro rates. Even before I had kids, a finished, polished novella was a quarter of my annual output. The last novella I finished took nearly five (often interrupted) years. Although it’s rare and wonderful to find a market that will consider a 25,000 word manuscript, the $100 flat rate per story accepted would earn such a novella $.004 per word.
Even with the short and volatile lifespans of the typical small press, I’ve made more than that on the novellas I’ve published so far by collecting them into a single volume. And this is with presses whose entire business model is hand-selling in the dealers’ rooms at a handful of conventions within an afternoon’s driving distance of the publishers’ home.
I so admire the quality of work in Giganotosaurus. It would be great if someday they had a crowdfunding campaign or something, so they could raise their pay rate. It pains me to have to list such an excellent venue as a market of last resort.
Sometimes being a long-form writer kind of sucks.
I agree the $100 flat payment is a pretty abysmal pay rate for novellas.
I’m sad to say it, but one of the things I learned during the print years at Black Gate is that I could buy novellas at a dramatically lower pay rate than short fiction. There are so few top-tier markets for works at 25,000 words (and up), that you don’t have to pay anything near 5 cents/word. Still, even 3 cents/word for 25,000 words is $750… and that’s a lot more than $100.
GigaNotoSaurus seems to get plenty of top-flight work even at their pay rate, however. My big hope for them is that, as they grow, they can publish more than one piece a month.