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What editors DON'T want

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ellen
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:48 am:   

Ok. I usually don't publicize rude and stupid behavior but in this case I can't help myself. I need to share it with you all. Name removed to protect the stupid/arrogant.

Email received this morning at my regular email address (not the one through the SCIFICTION website):

It was a submission in the body of the email with name, email address/number of words on the top of page and that's it.

My reply:
Read our guidelines. Don't EVER send submissions via email. (and certainly not without asking first).
Ellen Datlow

(OK, I admit I wasn't as friendly as I could have been but frankly, I was NOT in the mood).

His/her reply:

ah ellen
go to hell
dont EVER tell me what to do
if you dont like the email submission delete it
but on the other hand since the
piece has already been published who cares
what happens with you

(me: now as far as I know I have no idea who this person is, or even if it's male or female--name could go either way).

my reply:

Dear full name:
If it's been published then why is it being sent to me? If it's for something other than SCIFICTION (perhaps YBFH?) then again read the guidelines. Your behavior (and response) is completely unprofessional.
Ellen Datlow


his/her reply:

i send what i want to send dont like it who cares
you're a meaningless idiot on a small rag publiction
in fact its been published 4 times already
Im looking for a fifth and a sixth
again thats what i want
who cares what you want?


my reply:

Dear Mr. ...:
Actually, I work on a major publication (SCIFI.COM) that pays more than anyone else in the field of sf/f/h and has published fiction that has won several awards (Nebula, WFA, Sturgeon).

If you'd read our guidelines (available on the website) you'd see that we don't publish reprints.
Ellen Datlow

I'm currently awaiting his/her reply--NOW it's getting fun.
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JeremyT
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:06 am:   

Ellen,

We geeks have a saying.
"Don't feed the trolls."

Sounds to me like you're being trolled.
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Matthew
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:56 am:   

Don't be bothered by it. The guy seems like one of those people who were just born to be a jackasses.
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T.C.
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 12:17 pm:   

Ellen, have you Googled the name? I realize that this person is most likely just a sad, sad troll with obvious mental problems, but if it is indeed a published writer, it'd be nice payback if you spread the word around amongst other editors. Pigboy should have the hardest time possible finding future publication.

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Tim Akers
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 12:44 pm:   

Ellen, I'm really pretty sure you're being trolled. There aren't a lot of markets that will take any piece for the third or fourth time. He's just making stuff up to piss you off. Writers can be a bitter lot.
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Deborah
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 01:10 pm:   

Ellen, I get some real gems through the "Inquiries" link on the Wheatland Press website, but no one has come back at me like that (yet). I've received Novel outlines and synopses, screenplays, documentary proposals, all in the bodies of emails. Usually with instructions on where to send the check.

I also had three or four rude queries about submissions (of the form, "What the hell did you do with my sub? Did you steal the ideas?") recently.

Weird stuff.

It does sound like you've got yerself a nutball here.

Deborah
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 01:31 pm:   

Urgh. Not fun. I shall continue to consider myself lucky, not having had to deal with un-professionalism of that magnitude yet. Sorry to hear it, Ellen.

Forrest
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Laura Anne
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 01:44 pm:   

Reminds me of the person who responded to a form reject letter by scrawling "what do you know? I just sold this for a huge six figure advance and aren't you sorry?" on it.

No name or signature, of course.

If it amuses you, play with the troll. It can be an effective corporate stress-burner, being free to speak directly to rudeness. :-) Otherwise, just dump him/her back under the bridge and say good riddance.
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steve r
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 02:20 pm:   

Dear Ellen,

Thanks for such a quick reply. There's no need to feel bad about it. I'm sure you receive hundreds, even thousands, of submissions, and obviously you can only accept a tiny fraction. OK, it would have been nice to have been able to buy my poor old grandmother a final present for her final Christmas, but you weren't to know. As for myself, well,I guess I'll give up writing, and return to shoe-blacking at Mr. Warren's. 'What!' say my friends, 'after the way you poured your heart and soul into that story about aliens with talking haemorrhoids?' I guess they take it even harder than me, I think they felt I represented all black-collar workers. But I'll be OK. It's my grandmum I'm worried about... but, no, it's not your fault, I hardly know why I'm mentioning it, and maybe with a bit of luck she'll pass away before Christmas, and so will not have to bear the heavy disappointment of not receiving anything from me, or of at last being able to feel proud of me. An editor has to do what an editor has to do, not be swayed by small human traqedies around her... Only I stayed up all one night revising it, to make it as perfect as possible because to appear in SCIFICTION has alweays been a dream of mine, and I caught the flu, and so may not be around to see the disappointment on my grandmum's withered face anyway. But I have no right to tell you all this. It's all this blood-flecked phlegm depressing me a bit, I suppose. A bit went right over grandmum's picture... But none of this is your fault (well, not directly...well, it wasn't your intention)and I'm only writing this to express my appreciation for such a quick reply, and for the admirable honesty with which you reacted to my humble offering.
Yours in gratitude,
Steve r
PS. What does 'tosh' mean?
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 03:12 pm:   

I think Steve knows how to diffuse things :-)

There's also a saying that goes something like Filter the Troll.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 03:45 pm:   

The person in question might be a troll, as several here have said, but I don't think so.

Trolls are usually at least knowing pains-in-the-ass, a breed of latter-day literary sociopaths employing the masking aspect of electronic print to flash their unwashed hindquarters at their more mannerly betters. Were the Marquis de Sade alive today, he'd be a troll.

This guy, on the other hand, sounds like a clueless little fuckwit who doesn't know the rules, doesn't care to learn them, and reacts quite badly to criticism of any kind. Certainly not the kind of writer I'd want to try to develop, were I an editor. This guy is less like de Sade and more like Ed Wood with a mad-on.

Trolls can occasionally be fun, if they're kept on short leashes and spanked frequently; clueless little fuckwits just leave messes on the carpet.
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Celia Marsh
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 04:19 pm:   

I read for a zine, and I had someone get into an multiple-email argument with me because he *deserved* a personal rejection. As he repeated numerous times, he had over 60 semipro credits and was the editor of a semipro 'zine, and therefore how dare I use a form rejection for his story.
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ellen
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 05:38 pm:   

THank you ALL for your support, your wit (your sad tale, Steve--please tell granny I'll buy your story--she doesn't have to know that I didn't she'll be dead soon anyway, right?)and your own tales of abuse.

Follow up:
From the submittor:
why should i read your guidelines?
i dont care
and yes im sorry i called scifi.com a rag
that was my mistake
its not even a rag
its a dot com rag
boy you've hit the big time
that it may pay more than others in the field of
scifi dot com rags
is a qualifying statement
like a tv show saying were rated number 1
on wednesday nights at nine oclock
in odd months
with 80 to 85 year olds
that are over 6 foot 7 inches tall.

--By the way, I did google him and he's apparently written for a website called The Liberator
and his book, obviously self-published by "century 21 bookstore" is described as:

"A book of dark humour and satire and philosophy. It is controversial in nature as it examines many of the mythologies that people live by to help them through the day. In the end it is a self-help book designed to empower people by letting them rid themselves of the many fictions that actually hurt them."

He may not be a troll, but he's definitely a writer in his own mind.
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Mark Gerrits
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:03 pm:   

It's almost like poetry.
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Gwenda B.
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:25 pm:   

Okay, that is just sad. (re: his bio.)

Maybe you should email him back a recommendation for his own book?
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JeremyT
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:35 pm:   

A book of dark humour and satire? Wasn't someone on the Tangent newsgroup looking for books of satire? ;)

-Evil Jer
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Laura Anne
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 07:36 pm:   

Neal!

"Trolls can occasionally be fun, if they're kept on short leashes and spanked frequently; clueless little fuckwits just leave messes on the carpet."

You've just become a .sig file! (with your permission, of course...)
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ellen
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 08:12 pm:   

My last email to him was:

If the below is your opinion of a professional (high-paying) market, then why on earth did you submit to us?

Just curious, but where did you get my email address?
Ellen Datlow

His response:

where did i get your email address

none of your business

why did i submit to you

i dont read who im submitting it 2

i use a shotgun approach

now that i know about you and your online home based website(scifi.com)
i obviously wont waste my time again

---My last response is:

Good, the you won't be wasting my time.



---But I really would like to know where he got my email address--it's not that it's hard to find but it's not all over the place for those who don't know me.
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TCO
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:26 pm:   

ellen, ellen, ellen...
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Thomas R
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:27 pm:   

If you are determined finding an e-mail address is usually not that hard. I'm no computer expert, but when I want to find the e-mail address of a writer/editor I usually can. Granted there are exceptions. However it seems plausible the guy was intentionally wanting to hack you off for some odd reason and people like that might be willing to take the extra effort.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:40 pm:   

Weird.

Why do you bother keeping his name secret, Ellen? Spread the word, I say, so everyone else can watch out for this sad little wanker.
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TCO
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:43 pm:   

Haven't you ever had to deal with this stuff? You should have the hide of an elephant. Just block the guy's email and ignore him. I can't imagine spending all that time. when a telemarketer (or even a crank caller) calls me, I just hang up. Capiche?
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Jeff Peery
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:58 pm:   

Oh, come on. She doesn't even have to give his name. Just try google.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:06 am:   

It sounds to me like this guy is just expressing his "Dark Humour" to you Ellen. I get stupid e-mails often enough . . . I usually just shrug my shoulders, as who knows what is going on at the other end of the wire.
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Iron James
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:55 am:   

I don't care about the sad little troll, but Steve, if you ever do write a story about aliens with talking hemorrhoids, I wanna read it.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 02:00 am:   

you know, i agree with mark, it's almost like poetry. and for some reason, i keep thinking the whole thing'll appear in some crazed book of this nutty guy hassling well known editors. or maybe that's just me, being too cynical.
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Krull
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 05:21 am:   

Chris Volkay. Someone do their worst.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 05:55 am:   

And in case you ever see him:

chris volkay
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 05:56 am:   

Oh, that was unnecessary of me.
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T.C.
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 06:30 am:   

Ooooh, those smoldering eyes...that seductive sneer...
I feel...woozy...
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 06:53 am:   

Laughing Gas, indeed. Self-published, can't spell, has no handle on proper grammar and usage, and he wears a mullet! Outstanding! This stuff really is self-help; just looking at this loser makes me feel better about myself. I'm laughing already.

Why is it I always picture these guys being about fourteen years old? Am I just being too generous? I mean, fourteen seems an age at which being a clueless little fuckwit is forgivable, if not inevitable from time to time. I always get blindsided when these folks turn out to be in their thirties or forties and just thick plain maladjusted.

And Laura Anne, sig file anything you like. I'm flattered. :-)
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 07:44 am:   

I know I know. TCO & Brendan I guess I responded because I was in a mood and it did become kind of fun after awhile. He had to have the last word after I said mine and he can have it.

I'd like to think he was smart enough to be kidding but I really do think he's just a clueless wannabe who doesn't want to take the time to actually get professionally published.

He's a real estate agent to the stars, by the way.
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Richard Parks
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 07:47 am:   

I would have guessed 14 or thereabouts myself, but I'm not even sure that's an excuse. Most 14 year olds I've ever known behaved better than than this guy.
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Jeff Peery
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 09:20 am:   

And he calls scifi.com a dot com rag?
What is the Liberator?

I'd be afraid. Maybe he'll write an article about this in his "magazine". Then the hundreds of thousands . . . well, thousands . . . I'm sure there is somebody who reads it. And they might send you a nasty e-mail and threaten to never go to scifi.com again! That'll show you.

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Gwenda B.
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 11:03 am:   

Real Estate Agent to the Stars?

I am laughing myself sick right now.
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Thomas R
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:07 pm:   

I suppose this could save time ultimately. By warning others what you don't want them to do.
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steve r
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 12:57 pm:   

That story not yet written, Iron James (żż), I can only offer you, from my one and only novel:
'A devil's piles are among his most treasured possessions, and many a time, as he lay soaking in the bath, the water rising and falling to their steady pulsing, he would reflect that their convoluted immensity raised him a cut above his colleagues'. They finally get bitten off and eaten by another devil.

I thought that WAS Volkay, but I suspect a culture gap here. Whatever, what an absolutely perfect photo for the troll (another word whose modern meaning I (think I) have learned here.
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:00 pm:   

Thomas, do you really think most others (even the young newbies) would behave this way in the first place? I don't think they'd be as arrogant.

Often, a back and forth over how things should be done can lead to a respectful and pleasant relationship between editor and new writer. In this case, I don't know how long the guy has been writing and (I hesitate to say selling) publishing but he's already convinced that he knows everything there is to know about the biz.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:26 pm:   

Hi Ellen et al,

Well, I understand very well where you are coming from, but at the same time (being the gutter snipe that I am) I feel a certain amount of compassion for the Real Estate Agent of the Stars. I have no idea whether he is a genius or wannabee or what have you, but certainly some very very fine writers have been nasty nasty creatures--particularly where editors are concerned. One of my favourite authors, Baron Corvo, is a good example of this phenomenon. So: just because a writer is not professional, or cannot spell even, does not actually mean that they are not some kind of sanguine genius. Of course you, as a professional editor, are not necessarily responsible for picking up all the mad geniuses out of the waste dump. . . . But at the same we should all be careful (not directed at Ellen here but at the general climate of the board) about who we call loser, because, truth be told, we are all carrying around a chunk of loser in ourselves. . . . At least I am.

Brendan
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Thomas R
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:32 pm:   

Nahh, I was just trying to justify the time you spent. Although in truth it doesn't need much justification as e-mail's fairly quick. I doubt this took much time out of your work schedule, if any.

As for him perhaps being a great author I kind of doubt it. Lots of great authors are jerks, but his credits don't sound like much. And even most of the jerks would take the time to read guidelines.
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Tim Akers
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:35 pm:   

Hey, I took the time to read some of his stuff. I think we can rest tonight, knowing that some great luminaire of the writing world has not been unjustly ignored by dear ellen. He writes drivel. That's my purely unprofessional opinion, of course, but there it is.
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 03:13 pm:   

Brendan,
You naughty boy! You forced me to go back and skim his submission. Sorry, but I must agree with Tim that I won't be sorry to not publish him.
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Iron James
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 09:40 pm:   

Steve, thanks, that'll do just fine. But I'm not sure what my dreams will be like tonight.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 11:37 pm:   

Ah, so he did get his submission read. . . . And all this free publicity! Maybe he is more slick than anyone ever imagined!

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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 09:04 am:   

Spare us all from that kind of "free publicity." So far, anyone who reads this board knows Volkay is self-important and incorrigible (in the worst sense), and that he brags about his simultaneous submissions. Give me anonymity over ignominy any day.

But you're right in one sense: we're paying a lot of attention to him. There are too few instances in this life when the target of mass rebuke goes out of his way to invite the stoning mob.
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Bob Urell
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 10:43 am:   

As to paying a lot of attention to him... The most attention a zebra ever gets is -- probably -- just before the lionness charges from the brush and brings them down.... Just a thought, but it seems to hold up in this situation as well.
Volkay's a prick. The most attention a prick ever gets is.... Oh. Whoops!
Forget I said anything.
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des
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 12:13 pm:   

"Give me anonymity over ignominy any day."

I vote for that. I get some rude submisions to my mag as well as non-rude, but they're all anonymous...

Des
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sherry
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 12:29 pm:   

Well, Ellen, if it makes you feel better, you sent me a perfectly lovely rejection letter :-) It made my day. If I ever get successful, I plan to frame it, along with any other personal ones I receive along the way. Sherry
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 02:30 pm:   

I don't think he mentioned simultaneous submissions--just that the story had been published several times already (unless I've already forgotten).

I'd rather not have anonymous mash notes, thank you :-)

Thank you Sherry. That's very sweet of you.

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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 03:11 pm:   

Ellen, I think I read his e-mails differently than you did.

CV: "since the
piece has already been published who cares
what happens with you" and "i dont read who im submitting it 2... i use a shotgun approach"

To me, that says (first) that he already had the piece in the mail to someone else before you rejected him, and (second) that he does this frequently, mailing submissions helter-skelter at the same time (the shotgun approach).

Not that there's much of a chance that anything he writes will get picked up by more than one editor, mind you...
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Iron James
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 08:04 am:   

Once I actually saw the name "Volkay," I realized I'd encountered him before. I think too many have. To hear him tell it, he's been published everywhere, but all I've ever seen of his had either been self-published, or published on sites that basically let anything go up.

His attitude is always the same, and the fact that it's got him nowhere fast seems to make no impression at all. He's incredibly arrogant in every area, not just writing, and he really is a clueless fuckwit.

Avoiding him, ignoring him completely, is, I think, far and away the best course.
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ellen
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 09:03 am:   

Iron James.

Will do from now on.

So perhaps we should move on to a different topic :-)
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Mike
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 04:47 am:   

Like maybe hemorrhoids? :-)
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ellen
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 07:21 am:   

Only if you really find the need to, Mike.:-)
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Iron James
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 12:35 pm:   

Hemorrhoids? I could tell you tales! Or should that be "tails?"
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steve red
Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2003 - 10:36 am:   

Talk about PIling on the agony...
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Bob
Posted on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 05:28 am:   

Ack! Now you guys are just pulling jokes out of your asses.
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ET
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 04:58 am:   

Ellen, regarding finding your e-mail address, I googled "ellen datlow e-mail" and the first hit contains an e-mail address. Can't tell if it's a valid, current one, but it can explain how someone found your address.
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Bob Urell
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 05:14 am:   

I don't even remember how I got your e-mail, Ellen. I don't think I went looking for it, though. Either you or one of our mutual friends must have given it to me, because I don't remember it being hard to come by and I'm completely computer and Internet illiterate, so anything elaborate is beyond my skills.
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ellen
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 08:46 am:   

Bob: getting it from someone is one thing, finding it by googling I'm not sure about.

ET: Nuts. I found it on an old TTA BB where I don't recall even providing my email address. I've asked Andy Cox if he can take it down(he may not be able to).
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Tim Akers
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 09:37 am:   

Ellen, I noticed that when you respond to email sent to the scifiction editor address, it has a different email address. Since I'm not the prying type, I'm not certain if this is your private email or not, but thought you should know that.
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Ruth Nestvold
Posted on Monday, November 17, 2003 - 04:37 pm:   

I'm such a good submitter, I've never even looked for Ellen's email address. <g>

But yeah, given all the web pages I have, I've taken to changing the addresses I use for them on a regular basis and have a completely different address for private and business email.
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ellen
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 07:37 am:   

Tim,
That is the public address accessible only from the webpage and it's a telnet account. It's full of spam --maybe one query out of 40 is legit.

Luckily, I rarely get spam at my real address as my isp allows us to use spam assassin. I only get about 4 or so spams a day now.
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JeremyT
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 10:16 pm:   

Even with spam assassin, I get 20-40 spam a day. The trap catches 100-150 a day.

I hate the internet...

Here's another positive side to not taking e-subs, Ellen. I can't filter my editor account for the Fortean Bureau for fear that we'll lose submissions. The spam rate there is probably growing exponentially, but I haven't bothered to graph it. It's totally crazy.
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Ruth Nestvold
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 03:45 am:   

Jer,

But if you have something in the guidelines about fiction subs containing a word like "SUB" in the subject header, can't you define the filter so that those won't get lost?

It would be quite awful for expats like me if spam put an end to email submissions. :-(
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JeremyT
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 06:56 am:   

Ruth--
In an ideal world, I could. But in an ideal world, everyone actually reads and follows the guidelines. I have a little autoresponder set up to send out a "we got your sub" when people use those guidelines. You'd be surprised at how many auto-responses the program doesn't send.

I guess I wouldn't care that much if we lost unproperly formatted subs (because I almost certainly wouldn't have bought it anyway, as the reasoning goes) but then I end up getting angry emails a few weeks later wanting to know about the status of their submissions, so the loss just created even more work for me in the end.

So far, it's taking a lot less time to spot and delete spam than the alternatives. I give it six months before that is no longer the case.

Something must be done about spam or email will go the way of usenet.
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:25 am:   

Jeremy, that's bad.
Perhaps you should close to email subs and just go back to print (with foreign email submissions being allowed).
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JeremyT
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:59 am:   

I've never actually accepted print MSes. But I'm one of those freaks who has no problem reading on the screen, and actually prefers it for some things. I get more short fiction read on my palm pilot than I do in the digest formats. I think the binding hurts my carpal tunnel wrecked wrists.

I'm actually considering accepting print for the first time with a special issue I want to do along the lines of "Manuscripts of the Insane" where I poke and prod perfectly sane writers to send me stories written in crayon on vellum or whatever-- kind of inspired by crazy screeds I hear about, but done deliberately as a kind of art. I once heard someone describing Joe Haldeman's first drafts, and they sounded pretty. Like that, only weird as befits the magazine. We'd scan the best ones in and present them as images with accompanied text translation.

If it works well, I'm thinking the next year I will do it again, only this time I'll have another set of writers act as psychologists and "analyze" the manuscripts.

Those should be fun to read, if we decide to do it...
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 10:40 am:   

Jeremy:

I have a handy JavaScript to convert an address along the lines of evzine*evzine*url.com to evzine@url.com so that crawlers can't find your e-mail address. It's very effective, and for those who actually click on the link, they don't even notice.

Ah hell, I should have sent this to just Jeremy, but maybe others are interested....

JK
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 12:50 pm:   

John,
Can you explain this better? Would I be able to implement it for my telnet account?
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 01:06 pm:   

It's something you add into the HTML code of your web page. This way instead of having john_klima@address.com listed on your website (both on the page, and in the source code), you have something like MY E-MAIL displaying on the page with john_klima*junk*address.com in the source code. This way even for junk mail programs that pull addresses out of the source code of a page, it will not be able to find a viable address. Does that make sense? I can describe better at the reading tonight.

JK
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Marsha Sisolak
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 04:39 pm:   

John, I would be very interested in knowing that bit of Javascript for Ideomancer, since spam on our submissions addy has grown so phenomenally. Would you mind sharing? Feel free to email me privately.
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 09:48 pm:   

Hi John,
As I think I mentioned, our tech people at work are trying to figure out an overall block as it's affecting everyone who uses that account.
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JeremyT
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 07:23 am:   

It just occured to me-- for that javascript to be really effective, you'll need to get market listings like Ralan's to use it too. I wouldn't be surprised if our address has been crawled far more from there than from our own site.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 07:59 am:   

True. And from here, too. But I've seen a drop in my SPAM since I started using it, so it's stopping some of the problems, but you're absolutely right.

JK
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Eben Malanchuk
Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 2004 - 01:06 am:   

LOL, good god, this has to be the second longest thread about an annoying retard who thinks he's a god in his field (The first being Derek Smart's infamous BBS thread about his extremely bad game development company).

I don't know how many of you folks are gamers, but in my world we tend to do one of two things to childlike trolls: ignore them or totally humiliate them. Either way they'll go crying back to their mom and continue dressing their dogs up like banthas or some such nonsense.

I always did enjoy completely owning the message board trolls ingame when I played Asheron's Call on the Player vs. Player server. Too bad that private emails don't offer the same versatility heh.

I'm also fairly certain if you can figure out this guy's ISP you can report his spamming activities and get his arse dropped :P Just a suggestion from your friendly gamer/writer geek haha.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

Background:
Writer attaches something, I know not what, to email. I assume it might be a submission and respond by attaching our guidelines with no other comment. Then I get this (from a stranger, mind you):

Hi Ellen
Thanks for that
Please, even though i know you stipulate otherwise, please can you
print
these off. Im in england and emailing these is simply the easiest way

Otherwise, if you cant accept these then could I please ask you just to read through RUSH and let me know what you think,you can view it on screen :-)

and as a thank you for doing so ill send you another short - its a very sad
one and has nothing to do with scifi, but if you have ever had any pets then im sure itll tug at the old heart strings
Have a fun day

--Signature deleted. Wow! Lucky me. Not ONLY do I get an unsolicted submission via email when I've already told the submittor that I don't accept them, but I'm privileged to get another one as my thanks, should I read the first. And one that isn't even within the purview of my publication!

It just doesn't get any better than that, does it?
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Richard Parks
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 01:19 pm:   

I don't know how much better it could possibly get, but it does tend to boggle the mind just a little.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 01:26 pm:   

Well, this must really be my lucky day because I just got a submission (missing the sase that the submittor says is enclosed--but that happens) and telling me that his previous story, submitted March 8th (well, it was mailed the 8th, who knows when it actually arrived) has just been bought by another magazine and therefore he's withdrawing it from us.

I've emailed him a copy of the guidelines and asked why I should trust that he hasn't sent his new submission elsewhere. I'm awaiting a response. (sigh)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 01:27 pm:   

Lucky I started out in a really good mood because of some very nice news so it just irks rather than destroys my day :-)
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 02:28 pm:   

At least you have a sense of humor about it.

But you're fair to these people--you write back and tell them what the guidelines are, which is more than they should expect. I mean, you could just delete all e-subs with no response if you wanted to.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 03:01 pm:   

Well, I haven't responded to the first guy's second email. What's the point? He'll just argue with me how he and his story are so special that I need to make an exception.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 03:05 pm:   

"Please, even though i know you stipulate otherwise, please can you print
these off. Im in england and emailing these is simply the easiest way"

I sold an acquaintance my copy of Heinlein's _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ in order to scrounge up enough postage to submit my latest attempt at wrtiting fiction-- I greatly like that book and didn't want to see it go! For some reason, I'm not very sympathetic for anyone doing "simply the easiest way," especially when they know better.

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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 03:16 pm:   

Byron,
I'm really sorry you had to do that. Now you're making me feel guilty. Was it a hc or pb?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   

The person who sent a new submission after selling his first elsewhere has apologized--and admitted that today's submission was also sent to more than one place. He hadn't read the guidelines.

I told him I'd read his next, exclusive submission.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 04:08 pm:   

Hard Cover SFBC Edition. Don't feel bad. I didn't send this particular story to you. It's a little shorter than your guidelines say. In the big scheme of things, _The Moon is a Harsh Mistriss_ isn't that great of a loss to my libray, anyway. It's not as if it wouldn't be easy to get another copy when my fortune changes for the better.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 04:16 pm:   

Byron, that's really awful.

Have you tried sending your work to markets that accept e-subs? There's a number of good ones that do. If money is that tight, maybe that would help.
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Byron Bailey
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 05:05 pm:   

I don't want to sell my writing short anymore. I've also never had much luck getting through the formatting procedure at Strange Horizons as of yet. Chizine is a definite possibility for this story if my first choice doesn't take it, though.
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Oliver Dale
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 09:38 am:   

Ellen,

I have no idea how you've got any hair left, but thanks for posting these. It gave me a giggle :-)

Oliver
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 11:31 am:   

Well, it IS slowly turning white --strand by strand (but that's age-related :-) )
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Lee Battersby
Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 07:20 pm:   

Ah well, if it's submission horror stories you're after :-)

Choose-- the guy who sends me a link (not the pice, mind you, just the URL) to the --I swear to God--- 17 000 line epic poem about his cat, despite our guidlines spceifically stating "no poetry" (and "nothing about cats", but that's a different matter)

OR

The guy who sends me back the ubiquitous angry sarcastic letter about how I'd ben the first editor to reject him in over 20 years, THEN blogs it, THEN creates a flamewar so bad he leaves the Australian SF scene in a haze of recriminations and legal threats.

It's the glory that keeps me in this scene... :-)
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R. Caspian
Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 07:52 pm:   

Lee --
Name names! I want to know who retired from the Australian SF scene. At least first name.
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AT
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 06:20 pm:   

My cat, man, this means you as editor wouldn't have given a look-in to a classic--something I had just listed in my October Irresistibles, although I craftily didn't list it as its title. But you've inspired me to add another item in those Irresistibles: a link to a list of fictional cats.
You don't have to go to my site to read these. Go here, oh prejudiced human:

Cat
and
List of Fictional Cats

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AT
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 06:34 pm:   

And ooh, I just read Ben Peek's hilarious take on cat stories, too (not that I'm stuck on cat stories, mind you, and I can't abide Christie, but I'm guilty as charged with the tea) My theory is that when you write a cat story, you're saying to the world, "I'm now a middle aged author who likes to drink tea, read Agatha Christie, and have my children send my postcards about the world."
This opens up cans of worms. Which would you figure to offer more yummy variety? The can labelled "Cat" or the "Angry young man in a Fubared world"?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 06:42 pm:   

I disagree. There are many wonderful cat stories. And I edited an anthology of mostly horror stories about cats that I think was very good.
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AT
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 07:09 pm:   

Hooray! What was its title?
And though it isn't just the middle-aged who write about cats, it certainly isn't just the long-toothed who are revolted by them in a book--or cartoons. Fritz the Cat wasn't exactly tea-and-grandkid stuff. And where would Alice be without the Cheshire? The Owl without the Cat? The Boots without Puss? If there's been a boringness of detective cats (and I haven't been interested in even the first one, either, but detective-story angles are like oysters--to taste, or not), then that just reflects what happens with anything that's troped-to-death, including paint-by-number girl detectives--and other themes that have me reaching for the sick bag, or a pin to keep me awake: "women's fiction", "ethnic fiction", and anything with "terraforming" in it.
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AT, short of another brain cell every moment
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 07:30 pm:   

woops. "are" should have read "aren't". It must be my age. Where'd I leave my brain? Here, kitty kitty, I mean uh, now what was I looking for?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 08:14 pm:   

My cat Dinah is named after Alice in Wonderland's cat (just fyi ;-) ).
Twists of the Tale published in mass market by Dell (unfortunately after Abyss went bye-bye). It's been sold all over the world. If only it had done really well in the US (sniff) but it was orphaned).
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Lee Battersby
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 03:19 am:   

Jeez, Ellen, if we had to find a subject you *hadn't* edited an anthology of stories featuring, what would it be? Anyone got a strong opinion on beetroot? :-)

R. Caspian, his first name was Scot.

I will reluctanctly admit to some great Sf stories about cats, but poetry about cats should be banned with prejudice...
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 03:36 am:   

I take it you're not fond of a certain musical, Lee...?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 07:38 am:   

Lee, compared to the Greenberg machine I've only done a handful of theme anthologies and I try to make mine as broad as possible. :-)
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   

I've been wanting to write a cat story ever since my cat was treated for a hyper-active thyroid. The radiation therapy brochure started with the line, "Upon discharge from the hospital, you cat will be mildly radioactive..."

C'mon! Who wouldn't want to read a story about a radioactive cat?
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Lee Battersby
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 04:58 pm:   

Radioactive cat? Don't say it in front of Stan Lee.....

Okay, I'll grudgingly admit that you *can* write good SF about cats, but only because I love Cordwainer Smith.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 05:22 pm:   

Sandy Skoagland created a painting called "Radioactive Cats" with lovely neon yellow green cats suspended in the air.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 05:47 pm:   

I just looked it up online. It's eerie...
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 06:03 pm:   

Oh, very cool. Did you read anything about her process? It's apparently a photograph of a life-size installation piece. The people are actors and the cats are clay models. Eerie is right.

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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 07:48 pm:   

Cool! I haven't seen it for a long time. I originally saw it in a NYC museum, many years ago. I was hoping Tor would get her to do the cover for Jonathan Carroll's White Apples. I knew her art would be perfect.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2005 - 09:54 pm:   

You know that made me have to go look at the cover for White Apples. She would have been perfect, you're right, except apparently she can take up to a year to do a single installation. Yikes.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 04:53 am:   

Wow, imagine how that must've looked life-size...
(I'm getting this sudden urge to write a Halloween story about glowing creatures. ;>)
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Lee Battersby
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 08:42 am:   

Wow, now that is something else, is it not? I've only just come back to the social keyboard after some time away, so I've only just picked this thread back up, but... wow.

I think there are few experiences more intense than that first moment of discovery when you come across a new artist. I've just had one. Thanks, guys.

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