I have two big pieces of news this week:
First: I got into the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. Woot! It’s a month-long training course in speculative fiction writing and publishing, hosted by the lovely UC San Diego, and taught by professional authors. They only take 18 students per year. I’m really excited—it feels like, after two years of banging on the door, I’ve finally been accepted into the speculative fiction community.
I’m starting a very unique Kickstarter project to help raise money for this venture. More about that next week. Stay tuned.
Second: Carmen and I are opening an online magazine called The Fast-Forward Festival. Right now it’s just a call-for-submissions page: check it out at www.fastforwardfest.com. Feel free (heck, feel encouraged!) to send us submissions, if you have them. The totally awesome first issue will premiere on May 15th.
We came up with the name of the magazine in the dining car of an Amtrak train, watching the agriculture of the Central Valley roll by under a wheezy brown fog. Our other main contenders were: Six Ninja Princesses, Who Called Sexy Santa?, Maximum Caffeinated Frenzy, and The Marshmallow King’s Revenge. Greg was no help when asked his opinion: he kept insisting that “Science Fiction Diction!” was the best name for the job.
When we stumbled upon our name—the name we’d choose—I grinned. “Wouldn’t that be great for a magazine about time travel?” I asked.
I was raised on time travel stories—from Megamorphs #2: In the Time of the Dinosaurs, to Back to the Future, to E. Nesbit’s 1906 classic The Story of the Amulet, to the undoubtedly excellent adventures of Bill and Ted.
That says nothing of the ones I discovered as an adult: Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Fisherman of the Inland Sea, Slaughterhouse-Five, Paycheck (the novella, not the movie), and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the movie, not the book), to name just a few.
I guess that time-turner just got under my skin.
And so, voila! A month later, here it is in its beginning stages: The Fast-Forward Festival, a magazine of science fiction and fantasy with a timely twist.
We don’t just take stories about time-travel, of course: factoring the preferences of Carmen and I into a cohesive unit, we’ll probably take stories with Midwestern vampires, rampaging nihilistic cyborgs, existential quotations, feminism, unlikely romances, and fairytale-themed underwear.
And don’t forget metafictions: those stories about the act of storytelling itself. “Intro to Postmodernism” was one of the few classes Carmen and I took together in college, and naturally we want to keep it alive.
Largely, however, we will be showcasing stories that waltz, hula, or do a grim fandango with time.
Look for Issue 1 of The Fast-Forward Festival on May 15th. It’ll be a eudemonic (pandemonic?) ride.