Purpose of the small press and Photoshopped beauty

The Aussies are being introspective about the current state of their SF writing scene, and as an offshoot from that discussion, benpeek posed a very interesting question on his LJ: What unique thing does the small press offer readers that they cannot get from mainstream publishers?

I answered the first thing that came to mind, which was editorial vision different from what the big publishers have, but Ben also pointed out that the “Best of” collections that editors like GVG and Ellen Datlow produce include material they select from the small presses, which seems to indicate that those stories also correspond to their vision. An excellent point, sez I. I’m still thinking the small/indie press offers readers stories that are too edgy or different in some way from what the mainstream ‘zines publish, but I’m wondering if there’s also an overflow happening, that the small press picks up the stories that the pros just can’t fit into their budget. I dunno. What do y’all think?

And, for something completely different, I found this site absolutely fascinating. It’s the before and after shots of photo touch-ups. I was somewhat disturbed by how artificial and realistically unobtainable our society’s ideals of beauty are. But on a less socially relevant note, I also had fun sliding my mouse over the images and comparing and contrasting–“He made her butt bigger there!” It’s more than a bit boggling what can be done with photo manipulation.


Writing Stuff

Received the check for “The Wizard of Eternal Watch and the Keeper of Forever” for the Sages & Swords anthology from Pitch-black Books. Sweet. And the editor included a pair of shiny bookmarks. I likie. I’m very much looking forward to this anthology coming out.

Also queried the DNA Publications folks. I never did get a rejection for the second story I sent to Absolute Magnitude. But I think it best that I confirm they haven’t lost the damn manuscript before I get my hopes up, as they’ve lost stories of mine before. I also queried about my Dreams of Decadence story. I’ve been pushing it way back into the “don’t think about it” part of my brain because I know they haven’t had a new issue out in ages, and that the editor had a baby that’s taking up all her time, etc. etc. But I subbed it to her in January of 2002. After several queries over two years, I finally learned she wanted to buy it. Since I got that news (in January of 2004) I have yet to receive a contract or any other correspondence. It’s somewhat worrisome-making it is, and since I was querying them anyway, I figure I may as well ask about that too. I hate the idea of pulling a story from a market that wants to buy it, but geez, it’s been over three and a half years.

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8 Responses to Purpose of the small press and Photoshopped beauty

  1. elmwood says:

    What’s scary about those photographs is that, almost without fail, I preferred the before pictures.

  2. madwriter says:

    Eugie, would you like me to ask someone over at Absolute Magnitude about your story? I just did an AM slush party a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t count as high as the number of manuscripts Warren Lapine brought, so there’s a good chance it may have been lost in the shuffle, along with the queries (if you sent them via Snailmail–we plucked some of those out of the bins, too).

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