Friday, June 17, 2011

The joys and perils of finding new markets

I've got enough stories in circulation at the moment that, if I want to submit anything over 7,000 words long, I am hard-pressed. Hard-pressed like a pixie being stepped on by a giant. I wouldn't be quite as pressed if it weren't for the fact that Canada Post has gone on strike - making it impossible to submit to the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction until they stop striking, or until I visit the USA next week and take advantage of non-striking postal outlets. (Or, perhaps, pay a surprise visit to the F&SF offices in Hoboken. I suspect, however, that that is a bad and terribly unprofessional idea.)

However, running out of markets is always a good chance to re-evaluate the markets I haven't considered yet - because there are always more markets. And sometimes, something you pass over once - either because of the way it looks, sounds, or pays - seems a good option on a second try.

A good example of a magazine I frequently pass over is M-BRANE SF. M-BRANE is by far and away one of the most enjoyable SF 'zines out there - I actually prefer the stories they publish to the stuff put out by some of the heavyweights - but I always miss it in my Duotrope searches because they pay relatively little. However, they're considerably more awesome than a lot of markets that pay more than they do; so I've had to make a little note for my desk to remind myself to submit there.

I found another one today: Murky Depths. Granted, I haven't read it; but it looks so incredibly rad. You might protest: "Ben, you are being swayed by the cartoonized objectification of women on their covers." This is correct. Good art is a rare thing in magazine covers, and just because they do not subscribe to the ideals of radical feminism as I do is no reason not to submit there.

There's also always some crazy fledgling markets that pop up, usually causing me to make faces. The newest is Buzzy Mag, following on the heels of Astra Publications (i.e. the supposed publishers of the supposed magazines Atomic Chipmunk, Lightspeed SF, and seven other allegedly pro-paying markets) and FaePublishing in the general level of anonymity and inexplicably high purchasing power. Fae, granted, went on to actually begin producing content; Astra Publications seems to have folded. Buzzy, now, will only accept mailed submissions, which is pretty crazy for any new magazine and suspicious in its own right - although it seems like they might actually be producers of audiobooks. I'm too lazy to research it thoroughly, but magazines like this - where there's no fiction to be found and no names of editors - always make me frown and hold on to my stories.

Which is a huge pain, because I just finished editing an amazing 10,000 word space western I originally wrote nearly two years ago. It's so awesome, and Canada Post is keeping me from delivering it to Gordon Van Gelder as is good and proper. That Van Gelder - or, rather, one of his assistants - will probably reject it, is no matter. It's the principle of the thing.

The principle, Canada Post.



  1. I submit to where I read. And that's about it.

  2. I hope the latest cover is less an objectification of women. But I'm sure someone will take offense.