Readers' Poll
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Author:  Andy [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Readers' Poll

On another thread Ross asked about the possibility of a readers' poll for Black Static, just as we do each year for Interzone.

I think it's a great idea, so I'd like to suggest beginning with 2012 and a poll to cover issues 27-32 inclusive. Should it be for stories only, or include artworks, even non-fiction? The Interzone poll accepts negative votes as well as positive votes: is that something we should repeat or should we count positive votes only (my own preference)?

And would anybody like to volunteer to oversee the poll?

As for the preceding 4 and a bit years, instead of having a retrospective poll and one overall winner, how about we ask readers to suggest stories they'd like to see included in a best-of anthology? Suggest as many or as few as you like, from issues 1 to 26 inclusive.

More importantly, if we did make such an anthology, would any of you buy it? Bear in mind we have no retail distribution for books so we'd rely totally on direct sales, to people like you...

Author:  Ray [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:16 pm ]
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I'm all for it. And i think the anthology idea is good for interzone too. It can only be good for the magazines to showcase the best. Plus not all readers review or blog so it'd be good to have a voice for them. As for art and articles, definately part of the process so i'm all for that as part of the poll.

Author:  Jay Steneker [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:10 pm ]
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I'm all for a readers poll too. I'd certainly buy a Black Static best of as well.

The Black Static stories that I wouldn't mind seeing included are -

My Stone Desire - Joel Lane
The Serpent & the Hatchet Gang - F. Brett Cox
How Deep Is His Lonelieness - Kathleen Winter
The Better Part of You - Simon Avery
Survivor's Guilt - Rosanne Rabinowitz
Stone Whispers - Tim Casson
One Last Wild Waltz - Mike O'Driscoll
Orinoco - Nina Allen
Tu Sufrimiento Shall Protect Us - Mercurio D. Rivera
Chain Reaction - Steve Rasnic Tem
Black Feathers - Alison J. Littlewood.

If a best of does go ahead will you keep it to Black Static stories only or are you open to the 3rd Alternative days as well?

Author:  RossWarren [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:28 pm ]
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Definately go for positive picks I think. Art would be good too but I think the high standard of the non-fiction might make it tough to choose!

Author:  Ali_L [ Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:04 pm ]
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Thanks for the mention Jay :D

I would definitely stick to positive votes only - not sure of the purpose or value in having negative ones. I'd feel really mean putting in a negative vote!

It would be good to include artwork. I don't mind either way about non-fiction as it would mainly be voting between different pieces produced by the same columnists.

For the best of, Just off the top of my head, I'd suggest:

Dermot by Simon Bestwick
Eight Small Men by James Cooper
Pins and Needles by Ray Cluley.

And yes I'd buy it. :D

Author:  Michael Kelly [ Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:24 am ]
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I think a poll is a great idea. Stories, non-fiction and artwork. I'd not want to cast a negative vote, either.

And I think a best-of is also a great idea. I'd buy one.

It's hard to choose with so many quality tales, but stories I'd like to see included:

Beachcombing by Ray Cluley
At Night, When the Demons Come by Ray Cluley
How the Sixties Ended by Tim Lees
Dermot by Simon Bestwick
Black Feathers by Alison Littlewood
My Brother's Keeper by Nina Allan
The Obscure Bird by Nicholas Royle
Tu Sufrimiento Shall Protect Us by Mercurio Rivera
The Moon Will Look Strange by Lynda E. Rucker


Author:  Ray [ Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:44 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the mentions, folks :)

I went through my magazines at the weekend.

Here’s my list, should an anthology for Black Static happen. I set a limit for myself of 20 stories, with only one appearance per author.

My Stone Desire by Joel Lane
Must See to Appreciate by Scott Nicholson
The Fantasy Jumper by Will McIntosh
The Rising River by Daniel Kaysen
Special Needs byPeter Tennant
The Reason for the Season by Bruce Holland Rogers
The Hodag by Trent Hergenrader
There’s Something Wrong With Pappy by James Cooper
Piano Man by Christopher Fowler
Vic by Maura McHugh
Bryson Feeds Families byT. F. Davenport
Dead Loss byCarole Johnstone
The Empty Spaces by Alison J. Littlewood
Zombie Cabana Boy by Suzanne Palmer
Three-Legged Bird by Vylar Kaftan
A Man Of Ice And Sorrow by Simon Kurt Unsworth
Tu Sufrimiento Shall Protect Us by Mercurio D. Rivera
The Obscure Bird by Nicholas Royle
Ulterior Design by V. H. Leslie
Dermot by Simon Bestwick

I also tried to limit myself to one per issue but found I couldn’t stick to that, especially regarding issue 18 which provides 3 of the 20.

I’ve essentially picked favourites, though, and not necessarily a range of stories that best represents the magazine. And there were loads more that I liked.

Disclaimer - I didn't know any of the authors before liking these stories (though a few since) with the exception of VH Leslie.

Author:  Stephen Volk [ Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:11 pm ]
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Personally I don't see any point in including non-fiction - a bit ridiculous as only three of us are writing non-fiction. It should be just Fiction.

Author:  Pete [ Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:49 pm ]
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Stephen Volk wrote:-
bit ridiculous as only three of us are writing non-fiction.

Don't forget Chris and Mike. I know they only produce a couple of pages each per issue, compared to the 25+ Tony, you and me write between us, but I think they should still be considered. Rude not to.

Author:  Michael Kelly [ Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:17 pm ]
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Not sure if we are supposed to put our picks for the Reader's Poll here or not, but here goes. My favourite fiction from issue 27 was Cuckoo Spit by Stephen Bacon. My favourite artwork was Mark Pexton's accompanying illustration. Both pieces were moody and effective. Favourite non-fiction this time around was Christopher Fowler's column. As usual, though, I pretty much enjoyed all of it.

Author:  Stephen Volk [ Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:20 am ]
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Sorry Peter - I meant three regular columnists and of course the review sections including your good self. Still, the number of contributors to nonfiction is small compared to fiction, was my point.

Author:  Andy [ Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:22 pm ]
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Jay Steneker wrote:
If a best of does go ahead will you keep it to Black Static stories only or are you open to the 3rd Alternative days as well?

Good question, Jay. It is something that's cropped up before, and I've probably tentatively suggested it myself a couple of times over the years. I'd kind of assumed the moment had gone. But perhaps it hasn't. It'd be interesting to hear people's thoughts, either way.

The readers' poll is something we could easily make happen though. Any volunteers to run it independently, like Martin McGrath does with the Interzone poll?

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