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January 05, 2006

Subterranean Magazine Cliche Issue Lineup

So, have you been staying up nights wondering what the story line-up for the Subterranean Magazine Cliche Issue will be? I don't blame you. But wonder no more. Now that I have everything in a minimally edited format (except one piece, but that'll be in this weekend, or my "boys" will pay someone a call), here are the stories, non-fiction pieces and authors you'll be seeing when the magazine hits the stands this spring. The list is alphabetical by title, although some titles may change:

"Cliche Haiku" by Scott Westerfeld
"A Finite Number of Typewriters" by Stuart MacBride
"Hesperia and Glory" by Ann Leckie
"Horrible Historians" by Gillian Polack
"The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe" by Elizabeth Bear
"It Came From the Slush Pile" by John Joseph Adams
"Labyrinth's Heart" by Bruce Arthurs
"Last" by Chris Roberson
"The Last Science Fiction Writer" by Allen M. Steele
"Movie Cliches and the Sci-Fi Films That Love Them" by Ron Hogan
"The NOMAD Gambit" by Dean Cochrane
"Refuge" by David Klecha
"Remarks on Some Cliches I Have (by Definition) Known Too Well" by Teresa Nielsen Hayden
"Scene From a Dystopia" by Rachel Swirsky
"Shoah Sry" by Tobias S. Buckell and Ilsa J. Bick
"Tees and Sympathy" by Nick Sagan
"The Third Brain" by Charles Coleman Finlay and James Allison
"What a Piece of Work" by Jo Walton

All this plus book reviews, Bill Schafer's regular column (he's the publisher and usual editor, don't you know) and probably something non-fictiony by me as well. All told, you're getting a hell of a lot of excellent writing in one compact package. Indeed, I daresay that if we tried to cram in any more material, the entire package would reach critical mass, implode dramatically and crack the the earth's very mantle. See, this is my job as the editor: To save the planet through perfectly-calibrated science fiction entertainment.

I am, as you may imagine, almost unspeakably happy with these selections, not only for their writing, but also for their overall range. When you pick up this collection, you'll see stories featuring dramatically different tones and techniques, and you'll see them handle their cliches in all sorts of ways, from unapologetic stylistic homages to wildly orthogonal textual approaches. What's going to be fun for me is to sequence these stories and articles so that each one sets the stage for the next, so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. I'm looking at this like it's a playlist and I'm the DJ.

I'm also very happy with the breadth of contributors, who range from major award winners to writers who are being professionally published for the first time. A quarter of the fiction here -- four pieces -- is from first-timers, and I'm looking forward to being able to tell people, "Sure, they're bigshots now, but I gave them their big break." Followed, I presume, by me asking these same people if they want fries with that. But let's not talk about my inevitable decline and fall right now. Let me instead bask in the thrill of being able to introduce these writers to you.

I will undoubtedly talk about this issue of Subterranean Magazine more as we get closer to publication, and it becomes available for sale, so don't fear you won't hear about it again and it will slip by you. Trust me, I'll let you know when and where and how to get it. Although if you want to avoid the rush and make sure you get a copy, you can subscribe to the magazine right now and get four full issues of unstoppable entertainment (a year's subscription for this quarterly-released magazine) for just $22. Issue 3, which is the one just before this one comes out, features new fiction from David J. Schow, Lewis Shiner, Poppy Z. Brite and David Prill, and I think my pal Cherie Priest may be in there too. I suspect that will keep you occupied while you wait for this issue.

In any event, there will be more information as we go along. So stay tuned.

Posted by john at January 5, 2006 10:56 PM

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Anne C. | January 5, 2006 11:19 PM

What? Merely crack the the earth's mantle? I would have expected at least a mini black hole that would swallow the earth. Oh, wait, that's what happens if you misjudge the critical mass on a book anthology. May you be gifted with that opportunity!

(And now I know why my story was rejected -- you were saving the planet, right? ;)

John Scalzi | January 5, 2006 11:22 PM

It was a noble sacrifice on your part, Anne. Future generations will thank you and build statues and name junior highs after you.

elizabeth bear | January 6, 2006 01:12 AM

I really need to know if JJA's piece is fiction or nonfiction. *g*

John Scalzi | January 6, 2006 06:52 AM

Heh. It's non-fiction.

elizabeth bear | January 6, 2006 01:03 PM

...because I've read so many slushpile stories about slushpile stories, that ought to qualify as a cliche all on its own....

John Scalzi | January 6, 2006 01:40 PM

You're gonna love JJA's take on it. It's, like, uber-meta.

D.F. Manno | January 6, 2006 10:02 PM

Will single issues be available for sale, or will only subscribers get it?

John Scalzi | January 7, 2006 02:17 AM

I do believe single issues will be available, but I'll doublecheck with Subterranean.

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