Sunday, February 3, 2019

Have computer, won't travel

Science Fiction Trails 14 just ended its reading period.  Alas, we just do not get very many stories. The simple fact is that writers whine constantly about the lack of markets.   Yet many markets go begging for stories--it's not just us.  Fiction oriented serials, as librarians call them, have been on the decline but anthologies still get cranked out.  And many of these markets go begging for submissions.  Why?  I don't now why.  Some of the books I've edited paid something in the neighborhood of pro rates, yet few writers bothered to submit anything.  The forthcoming book Hotel Haunted  pretty much just pays royalties and is not expected to be a big money earner.  We could barely get enough stories for a book. 

If it's not money, what is it?  Well, I don't know.  But I do know this: there is amazingly little risk taking in the stories I get, be they horror, science fiction or weird western.  The weird westerns pretty much all follow the formula of some guys get together and go somewhere and something bad happens and most everyone gets killed because the vampires, aliens, or zombies don't like them. They're always led by some sheriff, or ex-sheriff turned bounty hunter. And they're going to this Possum Gulch because there's some reward, or someone's pissed off and wants revenge. And, clearly, whatever draws them there isn't any of their business. And the overriding question is: why didn't these people stay home?  No, let's go off to this strange town and get half our party killed.

Hey, this blog ain't called Rants & Raves for nothing.

Then there's the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  What about them?  I've NEVER, in all of the projects I have edited, had one story with a Mountie in it. What about the Mexican Federales? Never once seen a story about them. It's always the damned sheriff.  What about the local Indian chief? I had one once. [There's one in my new forthcoming novella Fallen Angel]. 

The dullards are wining the race to mediocrity. 

Speaking of mediocrity.  Westworld, in my opinion, is just about the most bizarre TV series I've ever seen.  It has Even Rachel Wood, who is the hottest woman I've ever seen, so that certainly makes me hate it less, but it's a strange one.

At least I didn't get any stories with aliens in caves for some inexplicable reason. Thank heaven for small miracles.  I'll get off my soapbox now.

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