Day 2 started with a bang; the Short Fiction: On Its Way Out or a Way to Break into the Market? with David Levine, Ellen Datlow, James Patrick Kelly, Lisa Mantchev, and Sheila Williams was very interesting. These folks include famous editors and up-and-coming writers. The panel agreed that short fiction is a way to break into the market. Moreover, short fiction is an opportunity for experimentation for writers and readers. The editors said they are always looking for new authors but beginning/newer authors tend to write stories that are too long. The published authors said even though they have track records, they still get rejected sometimes. So, prospective Electric Spec authors, take heart and keep on trying!
The other really interesting panel I went to was Trends in New SF: Where are We Going and Why? with Ken Scholes, Sheila Willimas, Jim Minz, Charles Brown, and Gary Wolfe (sp?). They said cross-genre stuff is hot, YA stuff is hot, and adding more layers to classic/traditional SF is hot. Additionally, the focus is on more female protags, multicultural characters and cultures, alternative sexuality, environmental issues, and also more literate writing. I would love to see all that stuff in our Electric Spec inbox!