After 16 years of besieging the English-language sci-fi magazines, a breach has been opened in the wall. My sarcastic SF story, “Shooting at Warner’s Bay”, is out this month in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.
(Don’t look for my name on the cover, about 20 and 25 authors participate in each double issue!)
This Asimov’s issue: a special promise kept
This Asimov’s Science Fiction publication is a special moment for me, because it was a promise I made to my father on his hospital bed, in November 2014. I had already started my cycles of submissions, but I had a lot less stories written at this time. Now with 120+ written texts, including 80 in the current submission cycle, I’m not short of ammo!
My dad Jacques E. Laframboise had a large library of science fiction and fantasy books (the Black Marabout collection). I read a lot of classic horror authors (Jean Ray, Claude Seignolle …), but science fiction was really more my thing. I had loved the Fin d’Ylla, a very, very old thing by José Moselli re-edited by Marabout. The Robots, by Isaac Asimov. A collection of translated short stories from Harlan Ellison.
Science fiction has nourished my imagination, even if it had not made me popular with my French teachers, for whom there was only one Literature with a capital L (generally written by long-dead, white Europeans guys) and the ‘paraliteratures’ like the detective, SF, fantastic novels that I read voraciously.
Of course, I would have preferred to get at this happy point earlier, so that my dad, and my grandma Edmée Laframboise (who loved to read detective stories) could rejoice with me. But, that’s life. And, at least, those stories will live on and find new readers.
Laying siege with perseverance and submissions
Looking at that submissions Excel table, you can guess some mags answered faster than others. Kudos to F&SF, who are the fastest!
The American pro SF mags pay very well, and they sit at the top of my mailing list for submitting a manuscript. Then, if the text is refused, I go to less prestigious magazines, then to semi-pro (which pay, but a little less) and finally to the “token” markets. To understand all these categories, I recommand the page of Ralan, who has devoted himself for 25 years to disentangle the complex web of “markets” (as named from the point of view of the author who is paid by the magazine).
SF pro magazines like Asimov’s receive several thousand texts per year. The acceptance ratio of pro mags being very low, that publication means more pressurized air inflating my pride balloon !
Coming over the horizon
Magazines like Asimov’s Science Fiction can take a long time to respond, most being run by teams of passionate volunteers who don,t count their hours. So that’s why I encourage you to buy this issue, any way you can, or subscribe to receive Asimov’s magazine.
Why do I specify “my first story”? Because I am currently revising another short story I sold to Asimov’s, that will be released in January 2022! Yup, that first story wasn’t a fluke!