Five Reasons to Get REALLY Excited about Gamut

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!

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Notes on Reactions to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Adaptations

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.

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Words in Muddy Water

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.

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Dirty Little Secrets

I play video games. A lot. I’m utterly addicted to BioWare RPGs and Zynga Bingo. I also watch television shows with absolutely no real life significance. Shows like The Vampire Diaries and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I read books that don’t make me think. This is a big change for me (okay, maybe not the video game part). Junk food novels and entertainment-only TV/movies just weren’t my thing. But since Zack passed away, these have become my primary coping mechanism and through this process, I’ve learned something about seemingly pointless entertainment.

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Poetry for Publication: The Quality Question

One of the best moments for me when I’m instructing a workshop is the moment when a participant asks a question that challenges me to think through my own assumptions and ideas. While teaching a workshop on theme in poetry at the Northwest Poet’s Concord this year, I had one of these experiences. After a discussion about the importance of developing theme when writing poetry for publication, a particularly astute participant asked, “Isn’t publishing poetry really about quality?”

We’d love to think so, but my answer is an emphatic, “No!” There are several reasons for this answer. Here are 5 of them:

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