- Speculative fiction needs more professional, paying markets. In fact, the literary scene in general could use more professional, paying markets. Too often, writers are writing for free. Gamut will pay professional rates to its writers and artists.
- Gamut already has “street cred.” The editor has connections with established writers and artists in the field. This provides the journal with a jump start into the field that other journals have to work their way up to. In short, Gamut has basically overcome years 1-2 in the new business scene before it has published a single word.
- Similar to #4, Gamut is using a Kickstarter campaign to get going. When businesses are started through crowdfunding, they start with a level of patronage that doesn’t exist for many other new businesses. Just how much support is this? In the first 13 days of Gamut’s campaign, the Kickstarter campaign has earned over $25,000 toward their $52,000 goal. That support comes from 77 countries.
- The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers. Speculative fiction is dominated by men. While the editor of Gamut is a man, Richard Thomas is also dedicated to advancing speculative fiction by women. The Lineup, edited by Thomas, is haunting and thought-provoking. If you haven’t read it yet and you’re a woman, read it. Support work by women. If you haven’t read it yet and you’re a man, read it. Support work by women. And know that you won’t regret the read.
- Gamut will be a place for literary speculative fiction, a genre that exists only in bits and pieces right now. Both Thomas’s own writing and the books that he has edited demonstrate that literary quality is of paramount importance to him. Those of us who love speculative fiction that attends not only to the needs of the genre, but also to the craft of writing beautifully will at last have one place to which we can turn to get our fix. No more wading through half a dozen SFF magazines to find the one story that speaks to us!
Are you in yet? Support Gamut’s Kickstarter campaign here. Do it now!
I write fantasy. I read fantasy. I love Tolkien and I loved Jackson’s representation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The reaction to An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug has been interesting to me because, for all intents and purposes, Jackson actually made fewer character changes in The Hobbit series—and none that damaged the integrity of the original story—than he did in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the former is being called fan fiction and the latter is hailed as genius by Tolkien fans everywhere.
I like to think that every writer has a period of time when they believe that every word they’ve ever put down on the page is the wrong word, that everything they’ve ever written or will write is actually crap, and that anyone who has told them it’s worthwhile is just being kind to their feelings. I have to think that every writer goes through this because it somehow normalizes my own experience. It makes it okay that I don’t like what I’ve written and okay that I keep writing anyway.
The young writer or the very new writer most often begins with a story or a poem in mind. The subject calls to them, pesters them, until one day they say, “Enough already! I’ll write it down!” After that first adventure, they may start thinking about publishing what they’ve written. They buy some books on craft and some books on formatting and then maybe Writer’s Market or Best in Print. Maybe they join an online critique group.
They sit down to write their cover letter or their query letter and suddenly, they realize that they have to categorize what they’ve written. Is it science fiction? Neo-existentialist? Postmodern? Mainstream? Literary? Wait..what the hell is “literary” anyway? And somewhere along the line, someone tells them that if they want to make money, they have to write genre fiction, but if they want their writing to last, they have to write literary.
Bullshit on both counts.
Yes, I am a geek. I am proud to be a geek. I’m really okay with being a fantasy geek. I’ve almost convinced myself that it isn’t the best genre for me to write, but for reading, there are few genres that I enjoy as much. The Lord of the Rings trilogy wasn’t my first foray into fantasy (that honor belongs to the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony, which, in retrospect, is just plain awful), but it was the first trilogy that I remember taking my breath away.