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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 07:29 am:   

Sorry Ellen, I just noticed you wanted questions in Ask The Editor 2 instead of 1, but since it's also long, I'll start this one.

I have a question concerning a story I'm working on. In the story, I use a poem directly in the dialog. I think the poems over 200 years old. I'm just wondering if this is ok by copyright laws? Would I need to credit the poet at the end of the story? Thanks.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 10:45 am:   

Oops. I responded in the last one. Go check there.
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T Andrews
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 12:28 pm:   

Stephen: Are you interested in swapping critiques? E-mail me if you are.

Sorry for the thread-jack, Ellen. :-)
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Liz
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 01:53 pm:   

Ellen, were you by any chance passing through Heathrow a couple of weeks ago (on a Monday?) we saw someone who looked very like you.

Liz W
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 09:38 pm:   

Liz,
La Cadigan and I were in Heathrow the 23rd enroute to Warsaw. Was that the date?
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 11:04 am:   

Ellen, I've heard from various sources (maybe even posted here) that editors are seeing tons of fantasy and not enough science fiction lately.

Is that what you're seeing? And is it a general shortage of sf, or specifically a shortage of hard sf?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 11:33 am:   

I've been complaining for the past year that I'm not getting enough sf. Science Fiction of any type.
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Liz
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 12:35 pm:   

Ah, no - it was the 30th. Must have been a trace memory...you imprinted the airport!
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 01:06 pm:   

I left for home the 30th so it probably WAS me!
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 03:03 pm:   

HeathrowCon 2005! :-)
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MaryRobinette
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 01:00 pm:   

The conversation about print vs. online up in the Shimmer thread, raised the question of reprints. May I ask you how SCIFiction handles reprints for the classics section? I know that you comb through old periodicals and anthologies to find classics. Do you then track down the copyright holder or is there a lackey at SciFi.com who does that? Do you pay similar rates for the reprints as for an original?

I could go on with my questions, but don't want to take too much advantage of your generous nature.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 01:07 pm:   

Mary,
Yes, I track down the copyright holder....but I usually won't even look at a story unless I know the holder in advance. Otherwise, it's wasted time. I'm the only lackey :-)

We pay 5 cents a word for the classics.
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 05:47 pm:   

Thanks!

But you've got to get a lackey. They're fantastic.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 06:42 pm:   

No room for one in the living room, where I work :-) I used to have some wonderful assistants in the past (sigh).
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 06:59 pm:   

hm. Then you need an elf. Try leaving out a bowl of milk, I understand elves like that. Or is that brownies?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 08:27 pm:   

Well, my cats are always trying to help. Alas, all they do is puke on or knock over mss. :-(
I dunno if I could trust elves any more than cats.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 03:49 am:   

That's brownies.
Of course, brownies get chocolate on the pages. ;)

Of course, brownies also used to pinch housemaids who did sloppy work. That could come in handy:

"So what if this mss is single spaced 8 point...OW!"
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Beth
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 07:08 am:   

Cats are such helpful creatures. :-)

I went to the Oregon Coast workshop this past May, and our last assignment was to create an anthology TOC from slush. Kris and Gardner recreated the conditions for reading slush pretty well, I thought, complete with cats to knock over the our sorted piles of manuscripts.

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MaryRobinette
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 04:47 pm:   

Oh, cats can do more than just knock over manuscripts. Back in college, as a starving art major, I shared my studio space with another artist and two cats. Most of our art work had "cat hair" on the media list. "Oil on canvas, with cat hair." "Porcelin, with cat hair." And you really haven't lived until you've tried to catch a long-haired cat who's knocked a bottle of india ink on herself. It's like having a living paintbrush with teeth.
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Darja Malcolm Clarke
Posted on Thursday, July 07, 2005 - 06:24 pm:   

Hi Ellen,
I hope you donít mind my asking this--I was wondering if you anticipate doing an anthology of fairy tale-like stories in the near future, and whether there will be an open call for submissions?
Thanks!
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Monday, July 11, 2005 - 09:12 pm:   

I hope there's more fairy-tale anthologies. I really liked what I've read of them.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - 07:29 am:   

One of these days Terri and I will talk about doing some more but I'm still a little burned out on them.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2005 - 11:06 am:   

If you ever get "un-burned-out" on them, I love both reading and writing alternate fairy tales, so you'll have my interest either way.
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Oliver Dale
Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 06:30 pm:   

Hey Ellen,

Saw you're going to be at Capclave. I've never done the convention thing before. Suppose that'd be a good one to start with? (A couple of my friends are trying to convince me to go.)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 10:16 pm:   

Hi Oliver,
I've never been to it. I'm only going because I want to hang out with Howard.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 12:06 am:   

Ellen,

How do you distinguish between "dark fantasy" and "horror"? Is this a personal opinion, or is there some generally accepted standard?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 10:02 am:   

For me, it's a question of degree. How dark is the piece of fiction. But also, there's lots of horror that is not dark fantasy: psychological horror, conte cruel things like that--with no fantastic element.
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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 11:59 am:   

Do writers sometimes send a story to the "wrong half" of YBFH? When that happens, do you hand it to Kelly (and vice versa) for consideration for the other half of the book?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 02:29 pm:   

Yes. :-)
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MaryRobinette
Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 01:54 pm:   

When you are putting together an anthology, how do you decide on the order of the stories?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   

Mary,
I reread the stories and try to figure out which is the best story to begin with--often something that will signal the tone of the anthology and what it's about. Also, the last story is usually the one that the editor/s thinks the strongest. In between you make sure you vary tone, pov, length, etc. It's mostly by feel, story by story.
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MaryRobinette
Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 05:52 pm:   

Thanks!
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Rob Davies
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 07:23 am:   

Hi Ellen,

That's interesting to know. I guess I had always assumed the strongest story would be one of the first. I'll have to go back now and make sure I got to the end of all my anthologies! I may have missed some great stories.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 05:39 pm:   

(Hey MaryRobinette, wasn't your "Rapunzel story" in TFL in last place?)
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 11:43 am:   

(Yep, but I heard from the horse's mouth that the First Line puts their favorite story at the front.)
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 02:32 pm:   

(;) Aw, thanks. I see yours got on tape, though!)

Er, sorry for the threadjacking. Anyway-Thank you. I hadn't known how anthologies are put together before.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 04:23 pm:   

Melissa,
No problem. Not all editors put together anthologies the same way. I've seen at least one organized simply by last name order of author, which is a terribly haphazard way to do such a thing.
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Jetse
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 05:09 pm:   

Or Nemonymous 4, where Des organised the stories alphabetically by story title.

But Des does everything different from everybody else, anyway...

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Melissa Mead
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 05:43 pm:   

I've always thought that choosing the stories must be incredibly fun. Or frustrating. Or both.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 06:18 pm:   

It's a chore but if you care about how the reader who reads in order will react to the stories, it's important to at least think about. Of course, there are many readers who don't read an anthology or collection straight through but skip around. I sometimes do, reading my favorite authors first.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 06:31 pm:   

If there's a story by someone I know, I'll read it first. Otherwise I usually read in order.
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MaryRobinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 11:32 pm:   

(Melissa, I think mine wound up on tape in part because David knows I'm in theater. The fact that my husband is an audio engineer and we work with a radio theater group helps)

I keep comparing things to theater, where you want to keep a show building to a climax, even if it's a series of vignettes. The worst thing in the world is to have a really fantastic vignette at the beginning of the show and then have the rest, which are good, seem like a let down. But in theater, the audience already has their butts in the seats. With books or magazines you have to get people to buy it, so I can see why some editors would put the strongest story first.

Do you think there's a difference between the order of stories in a magazine versus in an anthology?
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des
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 12:07 am:   

Or Nemonymous 4, where Des organised the stories alphabetically by story title. But Des does everything different from everybody else, anyway...

I don't even abide by my own rules. Nemo 4 contents is *slightly* out of alphabetical order! "My Burglar" stole someone else's place.

If there's a story by someone I know, I'll read it first. Otherwise I usually read in order

You can't do that with Nemonymous as stories are initially printed anonymously.
des



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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 09:01 am:   

Since I've never had control over the order of stories in a magazine, I don't know. For mags with ads, though, it's a question of fitting everything together.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 09:26 am:   

What I want to know is why magazines print stories that go to page 20, and then say "Continued on page 87". That has always baffled me. :-)
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 03:31 pm:   

Seriously?
If so, it's because of ads. Advertising comes first (with slick mags anyway)and text and art must fit around it.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 06:34 pm:   

Seems backwards to me. I've never bought a magazine for the ads, and the more they interrumpt my reading the more I'm inclined to tune them out.
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Jason D. Wittman
Posted on Friday, September 23, 2005 - 11:25 pm:   

"I've never bought a magazine for the ads, and the more they interrumpt my reading the more I'm inclined to tune them out."

Amen to that. I've read that the TV remote was invented by someone who thought that commercials would spell the death of television. He built the remote in large part so people could mute out commercials.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 08:18 am:   

The ads--not subscribers-- are what provide the magazine with profit (in the slick world of women's, lifestyle, news, celebrity, etc types of magazines). And in fact, I've read that many women pick up fashion mags for the ads, not the articles.

Of course, the number of subscribers determine your rate base and how much you can charge for ads. Hence, mags trying to boost subscriptions (sometimes through publishers Clearing House) which can screw them up in the long run because those subs are so highly discounted the mag loses money on them.
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Melissa Mead
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 09:17 am:   

Fashion mags-ok, I do have an exception. If the magazine is from before 1920 or so I'll seek out the ads. Strange fashions, odd appliances, chocolate Jell-O...
I'll do the same for magazines from another country. it's half research, half fun.
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Leonard J. Sidiski
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 01:19 pm:   

This question is a bit off the topic of what you might be looking for, but I'm not sure where else to ask...

...what kind of job opportunities are there in the editorial/publihsing field for someone seeking a career change? Are there any for an individual with a love of books and writing but a minimal formal education due to a mis-spent youth?
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 06:13 pm:   

Leonard, it's difficult to get into publishing in any real way without a BA degree. Even entry level jobs require them as far as I know. Unless you can get into publishing from a different direction such as marketing in another field. Also, starting from the bottom is difficult to do financially. If pay is anything like it was when I started out you'd likely have to have a roommate or three (living in NYC). Outside of NYC there are fewer opportunities but there are big publishers in Boston (Houghton Mifflin and Little, Brown) and California (small presses such as Copper Canyon --I think it still exists) and Chronicle Books.
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steve
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 07:50 am:   

Ellen, have you ever heard of a mass acceptance email? Today I received an acceptance letter in my Inbox and it was addressed to Dear Author. I shook my head in amazement.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 09:32 am:   

Steve,
That's really odd--I hope they're paying you :-)
Nope. Never heard of that.
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Joel A. Nichols
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 08:43 pm:   

dear Steve,
i have gotten a mass acceptance, from an erotic market (an Alyson anthology) for which I was (am) being paid.

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Steve
Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 06:15 am:   

Joel, that's the culprit.

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