Literate Liquors Episode 13

Lucky number 13 is here, and it’s here first! I was running late this week, so this was just recorded this morning, and I’m putting it up on MW before it hits anywhere else. I talk about the new SFWA membership rules, and whether or not I’m planning on joining. Y’all enjoy!

Literate Liquors Episode 13.

Speak Out

A couple of weeks ago, the news broke about Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg and the dialogue they had published in the SFWA Bulletin. They were complaining about how once upon a time, “lady writers” and “lady editors” didn’t worry so much about all this equality nonsense. If male SF writers wanted to judge them on the basis of their looks, those ladies were appropriately grateful. Not like these young whippersnapper women trying to write SF today, as if women’s tiny brains could ever possibly understand such complicated subjects as…you know, science. They were being bullies, and thought they were well within their rights to behave that way. Suddenly, after people began calling them out on their behavior, the word ‘censorship’ was being flung around, directed at all the folks who didn’t like Resnick and Malzberg’s comments. A number of writers have been talking out here in internet-land, and Jim […]

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Piracy on the High Cs

This article was originally written for my Agent Anonymous column for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I’m reprising it here, because it’s information everyone should know about copyright and other legal issues pertinent to publishing.

Piracy on the High Cs

Okay, serious-face everyone. Often I start off my articles with a quip or a quote (amusement value may vary), but today I want to talk about a whole bunch of serious issues, particularly what can be copyrighted or trademarked, what’s considered fair use and what’s considered piracy or plagiarism. You would think some things to be self-evident, but I find that misinformation and rationalization have in some instances replaced reason.

To start: titles aren’t copyrightable. We have only so many words in the English language. Quel suprise…many of them get used more than once. Type “Transformation” or “Divergence” into your Barnes & Noble search engine some time […]

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I’ve got an hour and a half before I leave for a conference (it’s been a crazy travel month), and suddenly realized that I hadn’t posted my monthly Magical Words blog. Bad agent. No cookie. So herewith, a never-before-been-posted but previously published article from the SFWA Bulletin on Subrights. I hope you enjoy!

S-S-Subrights…. If you’ve been following my Agent Anonymous articles, you know that I have a demented little DJ in my head, constantly spinning twisted tunes. For some reason, when I was asked to write about subrights, David Bowie started singing (imagine Ch-ch-changes instead and you’ll get what I’m playing at). But the whole thing falls apart at the line, “Don’t want to be a richer man.”

My agently heart quails at the very thought. Perhaps glam rockers don’t have to worry about such things as finances, but the rest of us, well, we’re down here hanging with […]

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Querying Blog 3 – Submission/Negotiation

I did a whole article for the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) Bulletin on various types of submissions and negotiations and reposted it on my blog last year. (Click here for your viewing pleasure.) Rather than recap that, I’d like to talk about your role in things as an author.

First of all, you’re a vital part of negotiations. It’s your work and nothing should be decided or agreed upon without your okay. Certainly, no one should be signing anything on your behalf. Your agent should keep you apprised of submissions and responses. This means that you’ll receive copies of rejection letters, unless you request otherwise. This is very important, as it can provide useful feedback. If several editors come back with a similar response (for instance, “I didn’t find the characters terribly sympathetic”), your agent may get in touch about doing revisions to the manuscript before […]

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