I’m the assistant editor at
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. My
non-fiction has appeared in
Review of Science Fiction, Locus Magazine,
Publishers Weekly, and
Science Fiction Weekly.
I’m an affiliate member of SFWA,
and served as a judge for the 2005
Audie Awards. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the
Central Florida in December 2000.
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Here’s a list of reviews I’ve posted to my blog.
I just started doing this, so it’s kind of sparse right now, but I
expect there will be more soon. Here are some
reviews I’ve had published in magazines:
I was having lunch in the city on Friday with a couple other writers and
editors, and the subject of slush came up. Eventually, we got around to
discussing how the term "slush" came about.
No one knew for sure where the term came from, but Gordon recalled something
he’d heard once, that if not true, at least makes sense. The gist of it is:
The term slush came about back in the old days, when writers would actually hand
deliver manuscripts to the magazine’s offices. When the offices weren’t open,
the writers would toss their manuscripts over the transom (what’s
a transom?), into the office. So when the editors came to work (or back
from lunch), they would have to wade through the pile of submissions, which was
in some way similar, apparently, to wading through slushy snow. Thus, the slush
pile. This is also appears to be the source of the term "over the transom."
Found in the inbox of the Holy Blog:
"Ode to Slush Readers"
by Tony Hellmann
It comes in crates, of increasing weights,
You cannot slow it’s rush.
With pen in hand, and no evening plans
You prepare to tame the slush.
The first cover letter says it all:
The author wants to be famous,
But he had his novel spiral bound;
What an ignoramus.
The second author cannot write,
His usage and spelling are poor.
He notes this in his cover page:
"That’s what I need an editer for."
The next one is promising: a new idea,
But no S-A-S-E,
That’s okay; less work for you.
Her rejection saves a tree.
This one starts out: "Dear Mr. Jones,"
And the cover letter is stellar!
You roll your eyes and shake your head
Your boss’s name is "Ms. Heller."
Your eyes are crossed, your interest lost
But you’re paid for this, you know.
If the next fifty stink, it’s okay
Just two hundred more to go.
At last, a submission excites you,
With a gripping, original style.
You know your boss will want this one
And that makes your job worthwhile.
Used with permission.
So I’m having this problem with my Sony Clie (PDA).
The other day, I was trying to turn on the backlight, when suddenly I got this error message, some kind of “fatal” thing. In order to turn it off, I had to pop the batteries out. So I did that, then rebooted. When it came back on, it had lost everything in internal memory, but the memory stick was fine. This is no big deal — I don’t keep important information on there, just ebooks — so I just synched up when I got home. After synching, it looked like everything was fine (it successfully reloaded all the files I had on it), but today when I took it out to use it, I see that the stuff I synched the other day is now missing again, though I didn’t run into any further fatal errors. I even had to go through the start-up rigamarole where you have to use the stylus to point on the targets and set the time, etc. So I used it about an hour ago and that happened. Since then, I haven’t tried synching it again, so the main memory remains blank, but I just tried turning it on again now, and it seems to be fine otherwise (didn’t make me re-initialize, and it saved my place in the story I was reading [which was on the memory stick]).
For the record, I subscribe to and read Analog and Asimov’s via Fictionwise. Normally, I would prefer the dead-tree editions, but I originally started reading Asimov’s on there because I find the typeface, layout, and overall page density gives me a headache. I lated added Analog to my Fictionwise subscriptions just because I found myself never getting around to reading it, and I figured if I carried it with me in my PDA, I might get to it more often.
I read SCI FICTION on there as well. Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to download the stories. So what I do is just hit CTRL + A, then copy the text and paste it into Notepad. Notepad removes all the HTML junk (thus removing the images etc. on the SCI FICTION page), leaving a pristine text file. When you paste the text into Notepad, those story quotes in the left margin of SCI FICTION show up at the beginning, right before the story begins. So they’re easy enough to delete before saving the file (or you could just ignore them). The only problem I’ve come across is that in removing all the HTML junk, it also removes the boldface text and/or italics, so that can be an issue at times.
Note: this only works exactly as described with Windows XP. When I had Windows 98, it worked the same way, except Notepad could only make very small files, so most SCI FICTION stories were too long. In Windows XP, however, there don’t appear to be any file size limits, and you can post whole novellas (probably even novels) into Notepad and still save them as txt files. This is also convenient, BTW, since txt files are pretty small, compared to Word files.
I have some audiobook news to report. Locus Online is going to be reprinting my audiobook review column a week or two after it appears in the dead-tree edition of Locus. The extra cash is nice, but also good is that I’ll be reaching even more readers (I’m told “As a gross rule of thumb, the website gets 5 or 6 thousand visits per day, or 30,000 or so per week.”)
I was also excited because this presented me with some other opportunities to perhaps write original articles for Locus Online. Much to my delight, this has already bore fruit — Mark Kelly has agreed to run an “audiobook primer” type of article for audiobook newbies. I’m going to point out the wonderful ways in which you can buy/rent/download audiobooks, and highlight some good playback and listening devices so that you all won’t have to suffer the same sort of buyer’s remorse I’ve felt over the years (hopefully, of course, the audiobook review column will help with that too!).
I was very eager to write a column like this one, if only so I could get my hands on some new gadgets to try out. I promised myself when I got the review column that I wouldn’t spend all the money I make from it on new audio-related devices. So I’ve made some inquiries and had some positive responses already. I couldn’t squeeze an iPod out of Apple (not even one to borrow for reviewing purposes), but they did agree to give me a couple gift certificates to the iTunes store, so I can try that out. I also scored a pair of pricy earphones (haven’t got them yet but they’re on route). So things are looking good so far.
Too bad none of my local friends have an iPod I could borrow for a few days. I might just have to give in and plunk down the cash for one myself.
Just a quick note to let everyone know I’ll be at the HWA Annual Conference and Stoker Banquet this weekend (June 3-6) in NYC. I’ll just be commuting into the city on Friday evening and for part of the day Saturday, so I won’t be there the whole time. On Friday, I’ll be going to that Q&A session, which runs 6:30 – 8:00. Doesn’t look like there’s anything scheduled after that, but if there are any parties or anything I might check in on one of those. On Saturday, I definitely plan to attend the awards ceremony and banquet. Don’t know if I’ll be around the rest of the day or not.
So, if anyone else is going, do look for me to say hi.
I just got back from a live show featuring co-headliners
Killswitch Engage and In Flames, with As I Lay Dying as opening act. When
I saw that Killswitch Engage was coming to town, I was excited, but when I saw
that In frickin’ Flames was co-headlining, I absolutely had to go. They’re
two of my favorite bands, playing the same show! Plus, In Flames is from
Sweden, so they don’t get over to the States all that often, and I made a
promise to myself that if they did come here, I’d go see them. So going to
this concert was a no-brainer, even if Lord Slushaloth had to go solo.
The show was in New York City, at the Roseland Ballroom,
which is on 52nd St., between 8th Ave. and Broadway. Never been there
before, but I would gladly go again. It was a nice venue.
Inside, it was pretty much your standard fare for a metal
concert: lots of black apparel, (often in sizes 3, 4, or 5 XL), and much of it
featuring skulls; there was a lot of long hair and shaved heads; many varieties
of facial hair and facial piercings and eye makeup; a lot of pasty white skin.
And then there were the babes. Even though I’ve seen it before, I’m always
surprised at how many babes are at these metal concerts. Where do these
hotties who like metal hang out? I’ve never met one. (Hell, it’s
been quite a while since I met a woman who likes metal, regardless of
So, as I said, As I Lay Dying was the opening act.
They were just okay, I thought. They performed their one song I like,
"Forever," so that was cool, but hearing them live just reminded me why I
couldn’t get into their album: I can’t understand a friggin’ word the lead
singer says. He’s like a dog barking most of the time (but on "Forever"
you can hear most of the vocals). The band is certainly talented
musically, though; maybe they should just ditch the singer or tell him to adopt
a new (or alter his current) vocal style.
In Flames was up next, and they were quite good.
They gave a solid live performance, nothing to complain about, but while I
enjoyed it very much, it didn’t blow me away. Didn’t quite live up to the
brilliance of their studio recordings. However…
Killswitch closed the show, and man, did they bring it.
They’re easily the best live act I’ve seen (in my somewhat limited experience).
Just blew me away. Their vocalist, Howard Jones, has some serious stage
presence. And the band as a whole just sounded great live. I can
definitely see a live album in their future.