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October 22, 2005

Reminder -- Get Those Subterranean Submissions In!

We're down to single digits in terms of the days left to turn in your submissions for the Subterranean Magazine Spring 2006 "Big Honkin' Sci-Fi Cliche" issue, so if you're still hoping to get a submission in, type type type, my friends. Once again, here's all the information you need to submit.

As a reminder, do please pay attention to the submission guidelines. Some people haven't, and thus I have received multiple fiction submissions from the same author, submissions that are significant multiples of the suggested 5,000 word (or less) story length, and submissions as attached files. These people (I suspect quite unintentionally) have made it harder for themselves than it has to be.

Also, as flattering as it is to be confused with him, I am not, in fact, Mr. Patrick Nielsen Hayden, so addressing your submission to him (as more than one submitter has) is curious at best. No, this in itself will not rate a rejection, so don't freak out if you did it. For someone aspiring to edit SF, there are worse things than to be called by Patrick's name in the fervid heat of submission. Really, I'm not the jealous type. But for future reference: Not the same person. Indeed, we have been seen in the same room at the same time, as this photo gacked from Cory Doctorow clearly shows:

This was from Torcon in 2003. I'm the one holding the Coke can, as if that needed to be stated. We look pretty much the same here in 2005, although I have less hair, while PNH maintains his luxurious cranial thatch, the bastard. Also, these days I drink Coke Zero. Stupid slowing metabolism.

In any event: Hurry, my potential writers, and get those stories in! Tick tick tick, type type type.  


Posted by john at October 22, 2005 11:37 PM

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Spaced Out | October 23, 2005 06:43 AM

Suppose that some hypothetical person prepared a submission in double-spaced plain text, copied it into email, and sent it. Then suppose that same person later looked into the Sent Mail folder and saw that the submission seemed to have lost this beautiful double-spacing, and has probably reached your computer in a frightful state of single-spacedness.

Please, please, please say this would not be an automatic rejection. (Or if it would be, please say the hypothetical person could be allowed to resubmit.)

John Scalzi | October 23, 2005 09:04 AM

E-mail being e-mail, I am not particularly caring if it comes in single or double spaced. I reformat it all for readbility anyway.

Steve Thorn | October 23, 2005 10:24 AM

Patrick, uh, Cory,. uh, er.. John!, yeah, John.. you going to eventually tell how many submissions you received once the deadliine is up? Just curious.

John Scalzi | October 23, 2005 11:07 AM

Probably not. I will say it's a lot so far.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden | October 23, 2005 05:52 PM

Hey, I get submissions addressed to "Betsy Mitchell" all the time.

RooK | October 23, 2005 08:52 PM

I'm sorry, but going to the trouble of double-spacing out plain text is madness. Madness, I tell you. Firstly, because you never know what the form width of the reader is going to be, so you end up with a good chance of either a lot of wasted space or stupid-looking partially-wrapped lines. Secondly because a lot of e-mail parsers will automatically remove extra spaces anyway (which is possibly what happened to Spaced Out).

So John, is the healthy response you're getting so far curing you of your slush pile cravings?

Also, I hope that your rejection notes have the same zing as Betsy's. Though, being e-rejections, you don't have the same papercut potential.

John Scalzi | October 23, 2005 08:54 PM

Actually, as explained here, I plan on sending out bland form rejections.

RooK | October 23, 2005 09:49 PM

OK, fine. I admit that I mostly just wanted to refer to PNH as "Betsy". Who, I happen to know, sends out bland form rejections.

You alluding that you don't know this just makes my innate jealous flare even brighter, and will undoubtedly make me mutter bitterly when I purchase Ghose Brigades in... not too long, right? Right?

Phillip J. Birmingham | October 25, 2005 09:03 AM

Indeed, we have been seen in the same room at the same time, as this photo gacked from Cory Doctorow clearly shows:

Heh, like we're going to believe photographic evidence from you, Mr. Photoshop!

Rachel | October 25, 2005 11:12 PM


I'm one of the people you mention who addressed you as Nielsen Hayden. When I was putting together the submission, I looked through your entries on your intended editorial style and came upon a comment in which you corrected someone about his name, which I very cleverly copy/pasted the name at the top of my letter.


I figured out the mistake about an hour later, but I didn't want to email because you'd requested that the address be maintained for submissions and appropriately timed queries only. So I figured I'd let it pass.

My apologies anyway. :)