If you submitted a story by the July 15 deadline, you should have already received an email. If you furthermore had a story in hold-for-voting, you should be getting another email very soon.
As usual, it was very difficult to get the attention of the wait-person. Ha! Kidding! (No, I'm not.) No, as usual, it was very difficult to decide amongst the many excellent stories. All the stories in hold-for-voting were publishable. If you had a story there, pat yourself on the back. Nice job!
If you've submitted a story to us: Thank you very much! We appreciate it!
One deciding factor this time seemed to be length. We accept flash fiction, but it's tough to write a complete story in a flash length. We had a couple flash pieces as finalists but in the end, they weren't emotionally satisfying enough.
At the other extreme, we had a loooong story that we enjoyed but it was ~7000 words and no one was willing to edit it. We may revisit our word length limits in the future.
Bottom line for writers: avoid the shortest and longest lengths.
As usual, genre was an issue. We had one story we decided was not, in fact, speculative fiction, so it had to go. The upcoming issue has to have a variety of genres, so the stories we ended up with reflect that. I will blog more about the upcoming stories in the coming weeks. We may even hear directly from some authors...
Some genres we don't get much and would like to see more of:
- Steampunk. Make sure there's a complete story to go with your neat world. Also, the steampunk aesthetic should be integral to the story.
- Macabre horror. Basically, non-gory horror.
- Epic or high fantasy. Yes, this is swords and sorcery, and possibly creatures such as elves, fairies, etc. Essentially, this is good versus evil in an imaginary (or "secondary") world.