Friday, August 31, 2007

Okay, it's official: Kaleidotrope is now open to submissions year-round.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, It Came From Airport Security:
BRISTOL, VA - Announcing the publication of It Came From Airport Security - an anthology of short fiction concerning what happens when confiscated liquids are dumped into trash bins. One year ago the news was flooded with images of airport security. Twenty-four people were arrested in east London, each one suspected of conspiracy to blow up airliners by mixing chemicals on board the planes. The immediate response was to confiscate all bottles of liquids and gels from passengers and to dump the contents of those bottles into large trash bins.
Featuring eight new stories, plus an introduction from yours truly! As mentioned on Boing Boing! And, as co-editor Glen Williams points out, "it’s the perfect book to be seen reading on the airplane!"
I'm thinking about maybe doing away with my reading periods (March to June; September to December), and officially accepting submissions year-round. This is what I do unofficially right now, and I think a lot of people either ignore or never notice the reading periods altogether. I'm not sure what value it's adding for me, since I'm not so hopelessly overwhelmed with submissions, and it's possible they're just acting as a deterrent for those who do notice them.

Any thoughts? Is anyone out there reading this?
Ralan's SpecFic & Humor Webstravaganza needs your support:
If you use, you have probably benefited by it. Maybe you made a sale, or won a contest you would not have known about without visiting, or found a useful writing-related link or two. Or maybe you haven't yet had your break, but is helping you towards it in a way that no other web site does -- with the most up-to-date information on speculative and humorous fiction available anywhere -- information you can get nowhere else. Or perhaps your publication is enjoying a sharp rise in the number and quality of submissions and new visitors are swelling your stats.

Whatever. I urge all of you -- loyal supporters and those who want to be -- to make a donation this month, if you haven't already done so this year.
I suspect I owe a great many of my submissions to Kaleidotrope's listing on Ralan's site (as well as to the one on Duotrope), and he's always been really prompt at making updates. So if you found Kaleidotrope, or any other publication, through Ralan's site, I urge you to help him out a little during his August fundraising.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

There's a brief listing for Kaleidotrope in the most recent issue of Zine World:
A literary journal featuring fiction, nonfiction and poetry, not to be confused with Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope. The writing here is mostly speculative, so if you dig Martians, robots and people with melting heads, this might be worth your time.
I don't think I've published many melting-head stories, but y'know, maybe that's a challenge for the next issue...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Klima recently posted the first in what promises to be an interesting series on starting your own zine:
One of your concerns might be that you might think that there are too many magazines out there, that there's no room for another publication. This is where you're wrong. Every single person who sees this post can (and should) make a zine. And they can be fiction zines. There's a lot of good fiction out there.
It's well worth your time, if you have any interest at all in publishing a zine. Or even just some insight into how a quality one like Electric Velocipede gets produced.

And here's Part 2.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Someone recently asked me if Kaleidotrope had won any awards, or if any of the stories that I've printed have gone on to be anthologized elsewhere. To the best of my knowledge, this hasn't happened just yet. The first issue received a couple of genuinely nice reviews, and I've received some great feedback from contributors and subscribers alike on both issues, but awards and greater glories thus far elude me.

Then again, Kaleidotrope is only a little more than a year (and two issues) old. It existed nowhere but in my own head before April of 2006, when I sent out my first call for submissions. And the quality of those submissions -- not just from award winners like Bruce Boston and Bruce Holland Rogers (whose presence1 alone is enough to surprise me sometimes), but from everyone -- continues to amaze me. It's why I keep doing this. Sure, I'd love to see the stories and poems I've printed go on to win awards and earn the sort of recognition I think they deserve, but the reason I print them is simple: I think they're really cool and I want to share them with others. And, if any greater glories do await Kaleidotrope as a whole, better they be for that than for anything else, right?

Still, there are things I'd like to see happen and other things I'm considering:
  • I'd like to see my subscriber base grow, and see Kaleidotrope made available in more locations. Right now, the distribution is limited, with the zine available only through the main website and, in the real world, at Quimby's in Chicago2. A subscription discount might help. Only a fool goes into zine publishing hoping to turn a tidy profit, but a few extra dollars wouldn't hurt. And a few more readers would be phenomenal.
  • I'd like to expand the focus of Kaleidotrope somewhat, seeing a wider range of stories and genres, while at the same time emphasizing the things that I think make this zine unique.
  • I'd like to take a more pro-active approach to marketing Kaleidotrope and getting the word of its existence out there. To that end, I sometimes feel like maybe I should start thinking about attending some conferences -- even if it's not in anything like an "official" capacity, with a table in the dealers room and a stack of copies ready to sell. I toyed very briefly with the idea of attending last year's World Fantasy convention in Austin. (A work-related conference I ultimately did not attend would have had me in town the week before.) This year's convention is closer to home, in New York, but I don't think that's going to happen either. Maybe next year in Calgary? Honestly, I'm a complete neophyte when it comes to conventions (and probably not the most outgoing of sorts), so I really don't know where to begin.
  • I'd like to reach out to past contributors and receive more feedback on past issues -- what's worked, what hasn't.
  • I'd like to sell at least one t-shirt. C'mon, they're really neat!
But the chief thing, I think, is to continue publishing quality writing and artwork, and working to continually make Kaleidotrope a better zine.

1 In the October 2006 and October 2007 issues, respectively.

2 Issue #2 is available through their website, at any rate.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Congratulations to Kaleidotrope contributor Edd Vick, whose short story, "Moon Does Run" (from the always terrific Electric Velocipede), has been selected to be reprinted in The Year's Best SF 12.

Another fun story from Edd, "Guy, Sky High," will appear in the upcoming October issue of Kaleidotrope.

Congratulations again to him and to Electric Velocipede editor John Klima!