We've finished reading slush for this issue. I think everyone who submitted has received at least one email. If you haven't heard from us, it's possible your story was lost in cyberspace. (Sorry!)
Now, we're working on the hardest part of the issue process: picking the stories. Generally, all the stories that get into hold-for-voting are publishable. So, if you've made it in there: congrats! Each editor ranks the stories in hold-for-voting from best to least-best.
I must admit, this process is subjective. Up until now, I try to be very objective; a good story is a good story. But when you have several good stories how do you pick between them? I think you have to be subjective. For this particular editor what goes into this ranking?
- Number of words. Stories between 1500-words and 4500-words are my favorite length.
- Less ick factor. If I'm grossed out or feel horrible after reading a story, I'm less likely to pick it.
- Less common genres. If the story is from a genre we get rarely, I'm more likely to rank it higher. What would be an example of this? Steam-punk. Any of the obscure genres I blogged about in the last month.
- Beautiful writing. This will entice me no matter what.
- A very grabby opening paragraph.
- Quantum physics and/or time travel. My favorite genres involve quantum physics and/or time travel. So, they do tend to end up higher on my list.
- Don't offend me. Anything sexist or racist will be at the bottom of my list.
Next time: I'll tell you about the Production Meeting!