To Sell a Short Story and Make a Genre
- Chris wrote:
""Why not" and pick up a > copy of a mainstream sci fi mag to see
what the market will bear I read it, get the same impression as you,
sigh and say, "This is why I quit writing this stuff in the first
Here is something scary: I've noticed that in both of the short
stories I've sold, the black male protagonist or antagonist is either
punked or killed. Now, I am ready to admit that I am probably
overgeneralizing here, with a data sample of only two short story
"Maybe SciFiNoir as a genre ought to be developed."
Maybe SciFiNoir as a MARKET needs to be developed. See the
difference? If nobody is making a lot of money writng SciFiNoir, how
much longer does anyone expect professional writers or semi-pros like
myself to churn it out? Or at least to churn it out as often?
>You wrote: Here is something scary: I've noticed that in both of
> stories I've sold, the black male protagonist or antagonist iseither
> punked or killed. Now, I am ready to admit that I am probably<I reply: I know you have posted where you sold these (I think one
> overgeneralizing here, with a data sample of only two short story
was to Themestream) but could you refresh our memories here and tell
us where they were published and if they are available?>
> "Maybe SciFiNoir as a genre ought to be developed."the
> You wrote: Maybe SciFiNoir as a MARKET needs to be developed. See
> difference? If nobody is making a lot of money writng SciFiNoir,how
> much longer does anyone expect professional writers or semi-proslike
> myself to churn it out? Or at least to churn it out as often?<I said as a genre because right now I know of no paying print or
online outlet for it--perhaps I am wrong. I see it right now a a
subgroup or subsection that is still being developed--could be
wrong. I think the market will not come until a taste for it is
created--right now, unless I am wrong, the only place it exists as a
genre is here on this site>
- Thanks for the information.
This was the first Delaney story that I have read.
I have read some Asimov, so if that is my only example of that period, I have to say you are right.
On Thursday, August 07, 2003, at 11:29PM, belsidus2000 <Frofidemus@...> wrote:
>Though the story won a Nebula and though it has been anthologized and
>I think rightfully so, many times since the world of Sci Fi was not
>more accepting. DANGEROUS VISIONS was an anthology of work the sci
>fi magazines would not touch. Was it because it was possibly
>labled 'the black gay story' by sci fi editors?
>You have to go back to 1967--Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Clark and
>others (many of whom had cut their teeth in John Campbell's
>ASTOUNDING in teh 40's) were king. Go back and read some of the
>stuff that was popular then--no cyberpunk story would have stood a
>chance of getting published anywhere then, I would venture to say.
>--- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "kobranaghast"
>> I think so, though I can't possibly know what Delany's intentions
>> are. Perhaps he simple felt that sci fi was a genre in which he
>> explore these issues more easily in the mainstream. If he wrote a
>> mainstream story, it would have been labeled the 'black, gay story'
>> wherease in SciFi people are more accepting because its science
>> fiction, so they think its doesn't really affect them. Not all
>> people obviously, but still.
>> By todays mainstream and SF standards this story's approach to
>> sexuality actually seems a bit tame.
>> --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, Frofidemus@n... wrote:
>> > <In light of our discussion about sexuality in Sci Fi do you
>> this was an effort to inject that subject into the genre?
>> > Chris Hayden
>> > "kobranaghast" <kobranaghast@m...> wrote:
>> > >I kind of liked the story, although it did not seem like science
>> > >fiction to me. Actually, it reminded me more or the Post WW1
>> > >generation type of stuff. I kept thinking of Fitzgerald and
>> > >the entire time.
>> > >I definitely felt that it was a reflection of his own conflict
>> > >dealing with his sexuality.
>> > >knaghast
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >--- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "tracey_minor" <
>> > >wrote:
>> > >> This Week's Spotlighted Short Story is Aye, and Gommorrah by
>> > >Samuel
>> > >> R. Delany - Did you Read it?
>> > >>
>> > >> What did you think?
>> > >>
>> > >> If you have not read it. it is very short 9 beteen 7 and 9
>> > >> You could still participate in the discussion.
>> > >>
>> > >> View it at:
>> > >>
>> > >> http://preterhuman.net/texts/literature/books_by_author/D/
>> > >> 20Samuel%20R/Aye,%20and%20Gomorrah.txt
>> > >
>> > >
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- I sold to Alien Skin Magazine and to the now defunct
And man do I miss Themestream. If that site had not gone under, I am
sure I would have made a fortune in the long run. Oh well, back to
more traditional approaches.
As far as people creating a market for Sci-fi Noir:
1) Tananarive Due's work is in the libraries
2) Steven Barnes wrote "Lion's Blood" and "Zulu Heart"
3) Octavia Butler has been there for years
4) Nalo Hopkinson is making a mark
But----I don't think these authors are viewed as being outside of the
normal realm of speculative fiction. And even they are talking about
the lack of black writers in the genre.
But what exactly is Scifi Noir? Is it Noir just because a black
person wrote it? Does it have to be about black people (I mean I'd
think so, but I'm still going to ask)? Could a fictional character
like Eminem be Sci-fi Noir?
Again I have to ask this question: I put up a list of self-published
and small press black speculative fiction authors in the Files
section. Has anyone been reading the books on that list? Do you
tell your friends and aquaintances about black sci-fi writers?
- --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "cecilwashington"
> I sold to Alien Skin Magazine and to the now defunct<I assume the editorship and readership is mostly if not all white.
It brings to mind an interview I read with Fred Williamson. He said
he has been offered parts in films starring people like
Shwartzenegger. He said in all of them they wanted him to get killed
and Shwartzenegger to avenge his death. He said no, let him get
killed and I'll avenge HIS death. I got to admire his stones.
> You wrote: As far as people creating a market for Sci-fi Noir:the
> 1) Tananarive Due's work is in the libraries
> 2) Steven Barnes wrote "Lion's Blood" and "Zulu Heart"
> 3) Octavia Butler has been there for years
> 4) Nalo Hopkinson is making a mark
> But----I don't think these authors are viewed as being outside of
> normal realm of speculative fiction. And even they are talkingabout
> the lack of black writers in the genre.<Are they creating a market for Sci Fi Noir or for their own works.
I think back to the creation of the Sci Fi pulp market. It was
noticed by publishers that magazines with stories by H.G. Wells and
Jules Verne sold well. Publishers (I think Hugo Gernsback was first)
began to put out magazines that specialized in this type of fiction--
up to and through the l930's almost every issue of one of these
magazines contained stories by Wells or Verne or Poe, it was a while
before they got a stable of writers in the genre so that they didn't
have to do it.
Do we want to create a market?--a television show or a magazine? Or
do we want to create a taste for this? And what is it--see below>
> You wrote: But what exactly is Scifi Noir? Is it Noir just because
> person wrote it?<My question exactly. Would a writer who wrote just like Orson Scott
Card or William Gibson be SciFiNoir?>
You wrote: Does it have to be about black people (I mean I'd
> think so, but I'm still going to ask)? Could a fictional character<I have thought of it as a taste--the kind of person who regularly
> like Eminem be Sci-fi Noir?
reads The Magazine of Fantasy and Sci Fi and Jet Magazine (or maybe
Callaloo--if somebody can come up with a monthly black fiction
magazine other than Intimacy Black Romance or one of the
confessionals add it.
To me the fictional counterparts would be the Zion sections of
Nueromancer or the movie Brother From Another Planet--so I would have
to say I would think Black people would have to be in it.
I think Eminem IS scifinoir>
>YOu wrote: Again I have to ask this question: I put up a list ofself-published
> and small press black speculative fiction authors in the Files<I have to admit I haven't so I will. None of my friends or
> section. Has anyone been reading the books on that list? Do you
> tell your friends and aquaintances about black sci-fi writers?
acquaintances like sci fi of any sort.>
> > The protagonist was a stand-in for Delany and the whole fellowshipChris, I think you have hit the nail right on the head there!
> > outsiders thing and the poignant emotional yearnings. Although I
> am not
> > gay, I always find myself emphasizing so much with Delany's
> characters. He
> > writes wonderful characters and settings.
> > Amy
> I see your point. Do you think it also possible that this was a
> comment on what makes us human (going back to the post on the Cyborg
> Liberation front)? That maybe our sexuality is part of this?
> On reading the story again it strikes me that the spacers, who have
> all these space adventures don't spend their time on earth talking
> about them like characters in an E.E. Smith story or about their
> rocket ships but spend their time doing really silly, really human
> One of the things they seem to do is try to get in contact with
> humans, the frelks, who they despise and exploit but who are some
> contact, maybe the only contact they have, with earthbound humans and
> their lost sexuality.
> Chris Hayden
Nobody has to like everything the same!
You are allowed to disagree with folks who enjoyed this story or who like
Thanks for sharing your opinion.
> I hope I'm getting this discussion in under the wire of the "week's
> spotlight". I'd like to begin with a disclaimer that, generally, I
> tend to dislike short stories in general in preference to novels,
> because they just don't seem like enough story. That having been
> I give this story the big fat "BOOOOO!" I carefully read the posted
> responses thinking I missed some of this genius, and perhaps still
> have, but I'm not at all impressed with this author (especially
> having started to read another novel of his and cringing at the
> style). I don't think there's enough history for the spacers beyond
> a cursory explaination through tortured dialogue. I don't need
> writers to hold my hand through a story, but I would appreciate some
> sort of lead up--don't just hi-jack me and drop me off in your world
> without a map or english-frelk dictionary. This is my biggest
> personal problem with Delany's works...to the point where I have to
> put the stuff down (which I RARELY do).
> Given that the form jars me, I don't think the content has been done
> justice. I didn't feel any kind of depth with what could have been
> auxillary issues of sexuality to a main plot. Ok, so a spacer has a
> fruitless, loveless encounter with a poor frelk--so what? How are
> they getting around (going up?)? If the spacers are without gender,
> aren't there technical difficultlies in ho-ing oneself out for sex?
> If spacers aren't supposed to have these desires, why are they so
> arrogant? I'm so confused!--and that's ok, 'cause I ain't readin
> this jaun a 3rd time.
> Ok, I'm done...but I still say, "BOOOOOO!"
> *hands on hips, making the BOO-this-sucks face*
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