Just a quick note here to say that, as is often the case, the fiction and poetry departments will be closing to submissions in December. So if you have something you've been working on with us in mind, make sure to send it along by the end of the day on Monday.
(Obviously read this week's issue first, which includes Geoff Ryman introducing Samuel Delany, a poem by Rose Lemberg, this month's poetry podcast, reviews, etc.)
October has been something of a blur for me; not just because of the fund drive, but because it's been peak-time for my day job as well. Even more than usual, then, it's pleasant to pause and find out what SH contributors have been up to elsewhere recently.
New books: Series completing and continuing this month. Ann Leckie's Ancillary Mercy completes her trilogy (and though I haven't read it yet, I gather from people mentioning it on Twitter that the story we published last year, "She Commands Me and I Obey", has acquired additional meaning). Kameron Hurley's latest is Empire Ascendant, which has gone straight onto the far-too-optimistic pile of "things to read before the end of the year." S. L. Huang's Root of Unity is the third book in the Russell's Attic series, about a mathematical mercenary. The 2015 Heiresses of Russ, collecting the best lesbian sf of the year, includes among other things three SH stories: "Sarah's Child" by Susan Jane Bigelow, "Because I Prayed This Word" by Alex Dally MacFarlane, and "Nkásht íí" by Darcie Little Badger. And our own Cassandra Khaw has a novella out from Abaddon Books: Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef.
Onwards to new stories. Carmen Maria Machado has a new and seasonal story in Granta: "Horror Story." Gabby Reed has a graphic story, illustrated by Rachel Dukes, in Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology. October's Beneath Ceaseless Skies includes Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam's "A Careful Fire" and Cory Skerry's "Bloodless." The latest Apex includes Arkady Martine's "When the Fall is All That's Left." The October Clarkesworld included A. C. Wise's "And if the Body Were Not the Soul" and Rich Larson's "Ice"; and just missing out on last month's round-up, Rich's "Six Month Ocean appeared at Daily SF. Also at Daily SF recently: "And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After" by Michelle Ann King, "Anatomy of an Arrow" by Natalia Theodoridou, and "The Devil is Beating His Wife Today" by Sandra McDonald. A couple of contributors had Futures in Nature: "The many media hypothesis" by Marissa Lingen, and "Copyfactory" by Naru Dames Sundar. Charles Payseur's "Nothing" appeared in Betwixt. Liz Argall and Kenneth Schneyer's "The Sisters' Line" appears in Uncanny. Rachael K. Jones' "The 1st Annual Lunar Biathlon" appeared at Crossed Genres. Peg Duthie was the featured writer at Upper Rubber Boot's twitter-fiction zine 7x20 for the week of 19th October. James Dorr's "Lobster Boy and the Hand of Satan", a tale of carnival grifters on Halloween, is out in How to Trick the Devil. The December Asimov's (on sale now, because that's how these things work) includes M. Bennardo's "We Jump Down into the Dark", there's an excerpt on the magazine's site, although given that the URL is /current-issue/story-excerpt2/ I wouldn't place any bets on it still being there if you're clicking this in a few weeks' time. L. S. Johnson's "The Tale of King Edgar" won On The Premises' Contest 26. And Lightspeed reprinted An Owomoyela's "Water Rights."
What's happening with new poetry? The latest Star*Line includes poems by David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Marge Simon, Lynette Mejía, Deborah P. Kolodji, Zella Christensen (one of whose poems is featured online) and others. Ting Gou has two poems in Ghost Ocean: "Landscape in which the World is Ending" and "Landscape with Prophecies". Sally Rosen Kindred's "Path of Needles" appears in Cider Press Review. Daniel Ausema's "A Poem Sent Back Across Time-Space" was in Grievous Angel. The latest Eye to the Telescope includes three poems by Jeannine Hall Gailey, plus work by Lynette Mejía and Bruce Boston, among others. Carrie Naughton's "Horse Lubber" is in The Tishman Review (pdf), while Jessy Randall has two poems in Forklift, Ohio. And Deborah P. Kolodji has a haiku in the YouTube journal Frozen Butterfly. To finish with a staff member for the third time (talented bunch work on SH, you know), A. J. Odasso has three poems in Swamp.
Not much non-fiction to report this time, but Marie Brennan's Writing Fight Scenes is part of the 2015 NaNoWriMo StoryBundle, while Tom Speelman is reviewing Supergirl for Loser City. David J. Schwartz's essay "Masculinity is an Anxiety Disorder: Breaking Down the Nerd Box" appeared at Uncanny. And it seems like I forgot to link to Sofia Samatar's essay "Skin Feeling" last month; if you haven't read it, you should.
And last but not least, a new comic: Rachel Kahn (this month's artist) has launched Resonant Realms, a webcomic using music to inspire travelogues through imagined landscapes, running twice a week.
Well, we hit our third stretch goal, and then some.
The final total in this year's fund drive is $20,330!
We're all absolutely floored by this. We thought $18,000 was going to be a tough goal -- the highest we've gone for, without (at the base goal) offering anything extra, just compensating for the loss of a one-year grant -- but not only was the outcome never really in doubt, but you've taken us way past what we aimed for. So from 1 January 2016, poetry pay is going up tot $40, columns is going to $50, and articles is going to $80! Not only that, but there's a little bit extra left for the fiction budget -- and special projects.
I should emphasize that this is a slightly different number to previous years, because it's not all a lump sum sitting in our account -- a big (big) chunk of it is the money implied by the current level of support at Patreon. So that's a new thing. But there's a pessimism factor in how we've calculated that support, so if anything for the year as a whole we might end up slightly above this number. If we do, that obviously makes life easier for next year's fund drive...
But let's not think about next year. We have to say thank you: to all the contributors who trusted us to include their content in our fund drive special, to everyone who donated a prize to our prize draw, to everyone who's tweeted, blogged, or otherwise promoted the fund drive, and to everyone who has donated this year. (It's not just our highest total, it's the most donors we've ever had.) Thank you! We will put out the best magazine we can next year.
What happens next? The 15th anniversary ebook will be out in a day or two -- we're just putting the finishing touches to it at the moment. The prize draw will be starting up: we email people in small batches to give them a chance to pick from the list, so it will take a few weeks to complete, but keep an eye on your email in the meantime. And there will be a new issue next Monday, of course.
And there's this, a full-up fund drive rocket:
One last time: thank you!
That's it! No more! I would say we'll all go away and sleep for a week, but as you're reading this I'm probably still in the process of waking up. I'll be putting together the final total as quickly as I can, I promise -- I want to know where we ended up as much as you do -- but in the meantime, why not read the excellent things in the fund drive special you helped us to publish?
Well, no, that's not quite right; you can donate to us any time of year, we don't mind, honestly. But (again, assuming I've scheduled this right, which is by no means certain), it is your last chance to donate to this year's fund drive, which means your last chance to get in on this year's particularly excellent prize draw, and your last chance to get a copy of our 15th anniversary ebook. Both of which are good things. Trust me. Would I lie to you?
... this is, if I've scheduled this post correctly; time zones mean that I'm asleep. So maybe we've reached our last stretch goal, maybe we haven't. Either way, frankly, this has been an amazing fund drive: our highest number of donors and highest total to date. Fifteen years gone, and on this evidence, plenty more to come. It's both humbling and energising: thank you.
Time for another quick update before I call it a night -- thanks to the magic of time zones, the fund drive has another 8 hours, 38 minutes, and 53 seconds to run, but I intend to be asleep for most of that. I might have scheduled a post or two to keep you on your toes, however.
Anyway, the news is good! Literally as I was putting this post together, we reached 600 donors, the most we've ever had in a single fund drive by some distance -- and we've hit our second stretch goal! Our current total is $19,076, which means that starting in January, thanks to all of you, our columnists get a pay rise.
That leaves just one goal to go: higher pay for the articles department. After that, anything extra goes into the fiction budget -- although if it's a lot extra we might find a cool project or two to fund with it. (Could we make it to $20,000 this year? That would be amazing.)
Donate here, get our 15th anniversary ebook, entry into this year's prize draw, and a warm glow. And don't forget that if you're in the US your donations are tax-deductible.
We've got just over 12 hours left in the fund drive: can you help us hit the other two? Donate here (and get yourself our 15th anniversary ebook and entry into this year's prize draw, while you're at it). Thanks!
Good news! We have reached our fund drive goal!
Slightly awkward news! Your humble correspondent, who is responsible for compiling the donations from various channels and updating the total is, thanks to a poorly-timed business trip, currently on his way to the airport to catch a plane to Barcelona! This means that the rocket total won't be updating for a few hours yet, so you have no way to know whether we have hit any of our stretch goals! At least, not for the next ten hours or so.
But rest assured, an update will come, and in the meantime, your donations are, as ever, much appreciated.
Current total: $17,640
Time remaining: 1 day, 12 hours, 42 minutes, and 57 seconds.
... at which point, you may reasonably ask, what happens if we raise more than our goal?
I'm glad you asked.
What we'd like to do this year is raise some of our pay rates that haven't gone up for a while; specifically, our rates for poetry (currently $30/poem), columns (currently $40/column), and articles (currently $50/article). We'd like your help to increase each of them a little bit; so:
... and if we raise any more than that, it will go into the fiction budget for 2016.
You've done an enormous thing this year: this is our most successful fund drive ever. I think we're just about certain to reach our stated goal, which allows us to keep doing everything we do, to keep all the extra material we've added over the last few years: art, the podcast, more wordcount in fiction. Now we'd like to bump up these other departments as well, and give our contributors that bit more for their efforts. Want to help? You can donate via the fund drive page or Patreon. Thanks!