Need to catch up on Wild Stars? Really, at this point, the cheapest and easiest way is with the Wild Stars Omnibus. Use promo code WELCOME15 at checkout for 15% off. This tome contains all 4 previous volumes of Wild Stars in a single coffee table format.
I’ve made decent progress on our submissions stack.
We’ve read 89 out of the 130 manuscripts up for consideration this year. For 2023, we were looking at a whopping 3/4 of a million words of fiction + to consider that we have to whittle down to a much more manageable 200-240k words.
The limits on our acquisitions for this year are a lot harder than they have been in the past, because personal expenses have meant that I don’t have funds to dip into to overbuy like I did last year out of the Cosmic Courtship profits. I’ve had to have a heart of stone, which will make this something of a bloodbath [please forgive me!], because I need to be able write checks to Jesse White for Wild Stars art, Jim Breyfogle for his share of Mongoose and Meerkat, Misha Burnett for his share of An Atlas of Bad Roads, and Progressive for my car insurance that’s coming up for renewal soon.
I should be sending out the first wave of rejection letters this week so as to not keep anyone unduly hanging…
Wild Stars News
Wild Stars V is out in print and the eBook will be available live this week.
Also, Michael says his draft of Wild Stars VII clocked in a bit shorter than he originally anticipated, which is good for everyone who submitted because it means I might be able to squeeze in one more story.
Mongoose and Meerkat
I know things feel like they’ve been going slow on this, but we had our fulfillment goal set in November for a reason. Jim Breyfogle will be back from visiting family this week and will be reviewing the proofs and filling out bookplates.
The extra time has also meant that we were able to get additional artwork from DarkFilly, so M&M volume 2 will have 4 extra illustrations instead of just 2 extra illustrations.
An Atlas of Bad Roads
We’re sending off the bookplates to Misha to sign and as soon as we get his OK on the proofs, we’ll be placing our orders. I needed to update the files for the Take a Card stretch goal to give the files a little more margin, we’ve got those nearly ready to go, too. We expect to get it out by October.
We are now closed for submissions! We ended up with 129 submissions, which is 8 more than last year. Considering we didn’t do a lot of advertising, that’s really something!
So, now we’re going to be actually reading everything. We’re 45 stories in already, but that’s a LOT of fiction for us to get through.
To be honest, don’t expect to hear back from us until September at the earliest. Well, some rejections may trickle out sooner, but we’re basically going to try to read and prioritize everything we like, then make cuts until we’re down to the 200k or so words we’re looking to acquire.
I know that I always say that competition for space will be fierce, but this time, it’s even much moreso:
We received more submissions than ever before during our 1-week period
I had to replace a water-line to my house, so I don’t have a lot of extra money to overbuy
I owe two authors sizable kickstarter checks and one artist a sizable check for 2022 art; I have the money for those, but I WILL NOT leave myself in a position where those payments need to be delayed for any reason
I need to give my copy editing team a raise, and the cheapest, easiest way to do that is pay them the same while asking less of them, so I will not be cramming 7 issues worth of content into 4 issues of Cirsova again–it was a lot of time and work for me, too. Seriously, though, Mark and Xavier are the most indispensable part of the Cirsova project.
The money we raise for Misha Burnett’s An Atlas of Bad Roads is the last shot for us to get some profits in time for 2023 acquisitions! The better we do on Atlas, the more cash we’ll have on hand for offers. We’re still going to do our best to avoid overbuying to the extent we did last year, but it could be the difference between buying 200k words of fiction ($2500) and 240k words of fiction ($3000).
JD Cowan has a fascinating post up today that digs into the contemporary movements in short fiction, particularly the pulp renaissance that has been going on for the past few years, as well as the attitudes of pretenders who are trying to catch some of the wave despite actively disliking the roots of the form.
It’s particularly interesting to me to see a brief history of Cirsova magazine from an outside point of view, and this may actually be the first that’s really analyzed and contextualized what we’ve been doing over the course of the last several years.
Anyway, it’s a great article, so give it a read if you have a moment.