Alphabet Soup: MW and IGMS updates


The new issue of Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show is now up. This issue marks the fifth anniversary of IGMS, and to celebrate I arranged for a few freebies for your reading and listening pleasure. Although you have to buy a subscription to access most of the current issue, there is one audio story that is free, a flash piece called “Express to Paris by Dragon First Class.”

In addition to the free audio story from the current issue, we have also made the entirety of issue 11 of free (it’s the first issue published in our current bimonthly format). If you’ve ever thought about submitting a short story to any magazine, the best way to know if your piece is right for that magazine is to read an issue or two. This can get expensive if you spread it out over six or eight different magazines, which is why I’m pointing you to this free issue of IGMS. One less excuse not to be familiar with a market before you submit there. In the long run, submitting to the right market(s) saves you and the editor time.

Plus, issue 11 is great reading: it’s got a cover story by one of my all-time favorite authors, Peter S. Beagle; it’s got a story and audio reading by Orson Scott Card; it’s got a story that was an Honorable Mention in the current Year’s Best antho from Gardner Dozois; and it’s got the conclusion of the novelette that won the WSFA’s award for Best Short Fiction of 2009. That’s a lot of great stuff in one place. Free.

Regarding the MW How-To book, this week I spoke on the phone with our publisher, who will be mailing me the official contract this coming Monday. On that same day I will email him the manuscript for the book, which has now been assembled, proofread, sent to the individual contributors for their comments/edits/rewrites, and proofread one more time. It never ceases to amaze me how I can read a manuscript, sent it to the author(s) for review, and then still find numerous errors despite all the efforts everyone has already put into the thing. That’s not meant as a ‘ding’ on anyone’s reading or writing skills; merely an acknowledgement of how REALLY hard it is to catch every single possible typo and formatting error.

At this point the publisher will look it over, format it, and send me a pdf of the final page-proofs, which I will send to the authors (again) for review (as well as reviewing it again myself). Once the final page-proofs are returned to the publisher, we’re aiming for a publication date in early December so all the good little boys and girls can find one under their Christmas tree.

We’ve also already put together a mock-up of the book’s cover, which will feature one of David’s gorgeous photographs from the website. The clip that’s used on MW only shows a thin ribbon of the full photo (it’s the one with the waterfall, if you pay attention that sort of thing as the pics cycle through on the site). We used the full photo to create a wrap-around cover and the publisher liked it very much. I didn’t expect that designing the book’s cover would be part of this job, but when the publisher asked us if we had any ideas, I just started playing with things. The MW group knew that we wanted to do something that incorporated one of David’s pics from the site, but that was as far as the thought process went. As with writing, if you experiment long enough and explore enough options, you’ll frequently come upon something that works. That was once again true with the book cover. Many thanks to David for allowing us to use his beautiful photographs, as well as to the publisher for allowing us input in the cover design. This kind of input is one of the benefits of working with a small-press publisher instead of going with the big mooks in NYC.

And while I’m handing out thanks, I also have to thank Stuart one more time for being so quick and ready to help proofread the sections of the book as they were initially completed. He read the sections out of order, usually within 24 to 48 hours of my sending them to him, yet was still able to be immensely helpful in smoothing out the pieces after I got done running a buzz-saw through them. Thanks, Stuart.

That’s all from me. Now turn off your computer and go out and get some sun; it’s the weekend for crying out loud.


9 comments to Alphabet Soup: MW and IGMS updates

  • Aw, shucks. <> You’re welcome.

    And a big congrats to you and everyone responsible for IGMS!!

  • Unicorn

    I can’t wait for the MagicalWords book to come out! Come on December, hurry up and get here!
    Thanks again everyone for book and blog. They prevented some of the really dumb mistakes I’m prone to make 🙂

  • Thanks for the kind words about the photos, Ed. I’m delighted that my fellow MWers liked them enough to let them appear on the site and the book. And I think this would be a good time to say that Edmund’s work on the book was brilliant. He took a loose assortment of posts and turned them into something with thematic flow and cohesion. Editing is an art, and we’re fortunate to be working with a master.

  • Edmund, Ditto what the above said about your editorial and writerly skill and creativity. I have no idea how you managed to make a book out of the mishmash of posts. They actually work together now. And the cover? It is mystical and magical and wonderful; the photo still takes my breath away. David has a gift that is far more than a good eye.

  • Thanks, Faith and David. I’m just trying to live up to the high standards you all set here on a regular basis.

    Unicorn, It will be worth the wait, I promise.

    Stuart, Really? Aw shucks? Does the Beav know you stole his catch-phrase? *grin*

  • Wow, I’m pumped about both. Sweet.

  • Glad to hear it, NGD. Enjoy!

  • Edmund,

    That sounds awesome! The waterfall is my favorite photo.

    This was Thanksgiving weekend up here in Canada, and given that I’m in Vancouver, we had rain. *shrugs* You live here long enough, you stop complaining about the rain. It’s snow that gets everyone in a panic.

    I can’t wait to get the book! Christmas? *squee*

  • Happy Thanksgiving, Moira. I’ve visited British Columbia several times and always loved it; it’s beautiful out there.