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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:22 am 
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...Not All That Outstanding.

Incwriters have announced the magazines that placed 20–11 in their Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature. Interzone was 20th. I suppose I should be pleased, but since IZ is the only genre magazine in the list (including the top ten), and very probably the only fiction magazine in the list, and since I reckon it's been servicing literature pretty well for 25 years now, I'm not, not really. It places behind poetry magazines with "design problems" and "poor reviews". The judges were poets. Discuss. :twisted:

http://www.incwriters.co.uk/award.htm


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 Post subject: 20th
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:07 pm 
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Hmm - For "Contribution to Literature" read "Contribution to the Literature that me and my two mates on the panel happen to read, and therefore classify as real literature, unlike all the other stuff that the unwashed, uneducated masses read, which isn't literature, but is in fact of no worth whatsoever, because otherwise why would I be so bold as to assume that I am suitably qualified to judge such a list" - or something simlarly concise and top the point?

Ta
Jon A

p.s. I really think Viz should have been somewhere in the list :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:16 pm 
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If they are poets of the modern Internet school, perhaps they are confused by Interzone's consistent use of correct punctuation and grammar. Maybe they adhere to the view that they are above the thousands of years of evolution the English language has gone through, and look down their noses at people who give in to the popular desire for clarity of communication. After all, if just anyone can understand it, it can't be that important, can it?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:27 pm 
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I can't lose much sleep over the opinion of judges who leave such howlers in their comments as: 'it's content is strong' and 'the contents is assured'.
If they'd offered the award you'd be honour bound to refuse it, surely? :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:28 pm 
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I wanted to post a long post, but refrained.

I do believe magazines like The Reader, Wasafari, Chapman and The London Magazine publish short fiction, and certainly Wasafari, Chapman and The London Magazine (270 years old according to their website) are well-established literary magazines.

(BTW,the London magazine is about to lose its Arts Council Grant, and may therefore cease to exist.)

One the one hand, poets judging SF is a bit like Michelin star chefs checking the launch of the space shuttle: they may find it interesting (or not), be impressed (or not), but do lack a certain, well, expertise.

(It's why I don't judge poetry.)

On the other hand, with comments like this:

Quote:
This magazine is the only SF entry in 2008. The magazine is high quality, well produced, good design with sharp imagery showing that SF can be challenging and have a mass appeal.


(one of the few comments without spelling errors, BTW), we can't really complain.

There's no such thing as bad publication (right, Roy… 8) ).

(Expect lots of poetry in Interzone next year… :twisted: )

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:53 pm 
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They don't publish fiction Jetse, they publish prose. Huge difference don't ya know. Not that I mean to come across all bitter or nothing. I would, however, like to add a bit more background: the award is made every two years but based entirely on the impression of one single issue. And you only supply one copy. So unless these copies are posted to various judges the first time they're even seen (let alone read) is at the judges' meeting. You can't judge a contribution to literature either way. Purely because of the timing I sent in IZ211, the Mike Moorcock special, c/w challenging editorial...

But who cares about all that. What baffles me most is why the judges convene in a library. What a wasted opportunity. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:01 pm 
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More seriously, the threat to London Magazine's funding -- and NB: every other funded magazine -- is an extremely serious issue caused* by changes to the qualifying criteria since we won the fucking olympics, and worthy of a a thread to itself.

*I'm assuming that's the cause because I haven't yet followed Jetse's link, but even if it turns out to be something completely different the problem is still very real. In a nutshell, you can only get funding for a new project, and magazines -- even previously funded magazines -- are neither new nor a project.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:24 pm 
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Hmm

Maybe you could take the approach a friend of mine took relating to his PHD funding. He was struggling so he changed the title of his proposed thesis from "The impact of the American Grey Squirrel on the Feeding/Storage Behaviour of the Indiginous Red Squirrel" to "The Impact of Global Warming on the Feeding/Storage Behaviour of the Indiginous Red Squirrel" and hey presto - funding.

Perhaps a subtle change of the title to "Interzone 2012" with a five ringed logo might do the trick. (Or a special edition focussing on the theme of the Olympiad).

Note: The contents do not have to change - my friend failed to mention global warming in his thesis, but did make numerous references to Grey Squirrels, and this didn't seem to matter to anyone.

Or better still - "Interzone 2012 - Global Warming Olympiad Edition".

Or maybe that's just the cynic in me speaking.

Ta
Jon Ayre


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:15 pm 
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Andy--

Indeed, the Olympics were very directly mentioned as the cause for cutting the funding.
Quote:
The subsequent confusion arose because it was not yet time for civil servants to announce cuts to ‘small literary magazines’, or indeed the rest of the arts community, to help fund the Olympics or otherwise change the delicate balance of our culture. The Government had not, as yet, made up its mind.
In Holland we interpret that as "they're waiting for the right time (in the height of the Holiday Season, or any other time when it goes mostly unnoticed) to bring the bad news."

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:16 pm 
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I go away for a day...

It is publicity and in certain circles it could be useful so don't knock it.

After all top fiction magazine in the
'2007 Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Literature'

sounds better than 'Unrecognised Anywhere by Anyone of Note'


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:15 am 
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Andy wrote:
...Not All That Outstanding.

Incwriters have announced the magazines that placed 20–11 in their Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature. Interzone was 20th. I suppose I should be pleased, but since IZ is the only genre magazine in the list (including the top ten), and very probably the only fiction magazine in the list, and since I reckon it's been servicing literature pretty well for 25 years now, I'm not, not really. It places behind poetry magazines with "design problems" and "poor reviews". The judges were poets. Discuss. :twisted:

http://www.incwriters.co.uk/award.htm


I think any publicity should be seen as good publicity. As someone else pointed out isn't it better to be shortlisted for something then to be completely ignored? I have judged poetry and prose competitions in the past and you can't please everyone, nor can you as an entrant, decide how the judging process happens. It is ludicrous in this day and age to think that judges sit around reading every publication entered. Do you really believe that the Booker prize judges read all those books or do you think they have readers to create a shortlist? Why? Another argument on this board, money. Do any of you have time to sit down and read the 1000+ magazines that are printed in the UK every year? How many of you subscribe to one tenth of them? This is the norm.

You should be celebrating the fact that you got in the top 20 and not moaning about the judges.

You should also get your facts right not all the judges were poets, Cath Nichols is also a fiction writer, whose work has appeared on BBC radio and is a well known academic on gender issue and Literature at Lancaster University. Andrew Oldham is a writer for Screen and Page, he has academic work published on Ray Bradbury and champions SF in HE at Edge Hill and UCLAN (shouldn't you be happy about that?). Andrew O'Donnell is a fine young poet. William Park is an Eric Gregory winner and has championed small press magazines for over two decades. Libby Tempest and Manchester Libraries are one of the few organisations in the UK that defend and stock small press magazines, and have regular readings from poets and fiction writers. With budgets decreasing across the arts and HE because of the Olympics, we should drop this stupid acts of pessimism and cynicism, and celebrate what we have. So what if you don't agree, isn't it good enough that you were included?

It does annoy me that people have such gut reactions. SF is marginalised in the UK but yet you are the only SF magazine amongst some of the oldest literature mags in the UK on their list and your moaning? Please, get some perspective, drop your pessimism and celebrate the fact you are in the top 20 maqazines in the UK. Doesn't that look good on your website, won't that get you some good publicity?

Or does it boil down to the old maxim, you can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:43 pm 
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That's telling us Gonzo. I think the judges had about 100 magazines they chose from.

All the following is from the Asimovs messager board.

Rich Horton's Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008
TOC contains Rachel Swirsky's "Heartstrung", (Interzone, 6/07)

Gardner Dozois wrote in his THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL COLLECTION thread
Quote:
New writers who popped up on my radar this year included ....and Aliette de Boddard (I'd add Beth Bernobich, but she was a writing student of mine a few years back, so she's been on my radar for a longer time). If you'll allow me writers who've been publishing for only a couple or years, I'll throw in Justin Stanchfield, Jason Stoddard,...


Rich Horton wrote in the same thread
Quote:
Aliette de Bodard may be the new writer who most obviously burst on the scene (to my eye) this year. Justin Stanchfield is an interesting case ...


I truncated but have not changed their words.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:49 pm 
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Quote:
I (sic) truncated but have not changed their words.

What is it you’re trying to say, exactly? Science fiction, the science comes first, remember, them de fantasy followed by de-illusion better known as de fiction, so I presume accuracy is a bit of a priority, eh, Roy? Are you still with us? You can indulge your sense of mission later; you might want to have a lie down and then ask yourself why no one ever goes to the toilet on Star Wars? Why do we never see a friendly chat over the urinals about the current state of warp speeds or the rising number of gritty bits in a Qubits? And why’s they have no money -- apart from the highly speculative Qubit, which is showing weakness against the yearn, last I heard; my space antenna is rusted and full of grit, it's just typical... -- no science fictional economy, you dig? Maybe it’s because it would cost too much to employ a quality janitor to conscientiously flush out the ever-recurring inner outer space turds …

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:21 am 
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Ringmaster wrote:
Quote:
I (sic) truncated but have not changed their words.

What is it you’re trying to say, exactly? Science fiction, the science comes first, remember, them de fantasy followed by de-illusion better known as de fiction, so I presume accuracy is a bit of a priority, eh, Roy? Are you still with us? You can indulge your sense of mission later; you might want to have a lie down and then ask yourself why no one ever goes to the toilet on Star Wars? Why do we never see a friendly chat over the urinals about the current state of warp speeds or the rising number of gritty bits in a Qubits? And why’s they have no money -- apart from the highly speculative Qubit, which is showing weakness against the yearn, last I heard; my space antenna is rusted and full of grit, it's just typical... -- no science fictional economy, you dig? Maybe it’s because it would cost too much to employ a quality janitor to conscientiously flush out the ever-recurring inner outer space turds …


Welcome, ringmaster, and congratulations on completely shattering the false preconception of people who criticise science fiction from the position of elitist outsiders as being incomprehensible blowhards. I look forward to your future discourse. Perchance you could tell us where best to obtain your favourite brand of cider?

Quote:
What is it you’re trying to say, exactly?


Quite.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:19 am 
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My second 'huh?'moment this week. Could we be witnessing the birth of a sub-genre? :P


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