I’ll keep my comments brief. (Or skip it entirely and read the story here).
Although the presentation of these stories has not taken the path to publication that was originally envisioned for them, I’m glad that they are finally being produced. Family illness greatly curtailed my original plans of publishing them in print initially (a huge set back, truly). On the other hand, it was simply not fair to the authors and everyone else who has been working on Amazing to hold them back until circumstances improved.
So here they are. Between now and December, we’ll be publishing one story and/or non-fiction piece that was to appear in the print version per week.
I’m extremely grateful to Ira Nayman for stepping into the breech and taking over most of the job of editing – not just the special edition but daily postings as well: I think he has been doing a fine job. I’d also like to thank Kermit Woodall and Duncan Long for their assistance and support.
Mostly, I’d like to thank the authors for their stories and their patience; they’ve been stalwart throughout this process.
I sincerely hope our readers enjoy these offerings, comment on them, spread the word to their friends and let us know what they think.
A note on story selection:
We are all fully aware that our ten contest winning stories do not represent as wide a diversity of authorship as one would like to see. We did our best to publicize the contest and to insure that everyone and anyone who might consider submitting know that they were welcome to do so.
Early on in the process, there were some suggestions in social media that hinted that we were not going to pay, or that there was something untoward about the contest. Submissions slowed to a trickle after a promising start. We never did receive the 100 submissions the contest was open to. The bad mouthing may very well have been responsible for that. (And yes, everyone has been paid.)
All of the submissions we did receive were provided to our contest judges – Cat Rambo (SFWA President), Dave Creek (SFWA member,author and anthologist) and Jack Clemons (SFWA member, author and regular Amazing Stories contributor) in a blind fashion: all information that could identify anything about the author was redacted. (Cat, Dave and Jack are also thanked for their hard work and participation!)
The ratio of male-sounding names to female-sounding names and non-white-US-sounding names in the original submissions was quite striking, as nearly all initial submissions were from male-sounding names.
In this particular case, we could only work with what we had to work with. In the future, we will devote more effort to publicizing the contest to minority communities (as we currently are) and will seek to develop other means to insure that both the submissions we receive and the stories we publish represent as diverse a set of voices as it is possible to hear from.
Authors, particularly those from minority backgrounds, should see the results of this contest as representing an opportunity to help us do better in the future. We’ll try and meet you more than half way.