Or, on the importance of being a reviewer
This is just as news to me as it is to Rusty, but the AlbedoOne magazine have hired me as their reviewer. I wasn’t really expecting that to happen, since I applied for the position mostly for the giggles or so I could place the prompt rejection letter into my ‘At Least I Tried’ email folder. But In light of this wondrous ocassion, I would like to take a moment to say a couple of things about this website and what almost three years’ worth of posting has meant to me:
First off, I found out the importance of being a book reviewer. Yes, Rusty helped me understand the specifics of reviewing and he was adamant about only reviewing GOOD science fiction stories (no room for hate-posts in this website, no siree-bob) but I also realized that by reading the work of so many aspiring and established authors, I could finally wrap my head around the process of writing and being a writer in general. People will tell you that writing is a terrible career choice, but that’s a dreadful oversimplification. That’s because most people don’t bother to go into the detail of finding the way to appeal to your audience, or finding your own voice. The old SF masters, they competed with each other (and themselves) to bring out their crispest, best prose without any regard for the needs of an audience. This is no longer the case. Sure, tons of articles rain down such advice, but unless you have actually spent a good while poring over the works of a number of authors and finding exactly what the deal is without immersing yourself in contemporary and clasical work. And the only way to do that is by, well, reviewing.
Secondly, BestSF stories let me meet a LOT of writers of every denomination. Struggling authors, aspiring dreamers, big-names and heavy hitters alike, people which I WOULDN’T have met under any other circumstances. By reading their work and getting to know them, I finally managed to get behind the idea of the working process of writing and see a tiny bit of every one’s individual struggle in this blood-soaked lan of publishing. People told me their success stories, tales of their greatest flops and a couple of personal horror stories and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Last but not least, my run here at BestSFStories let me get in touch with editors. And let me tell you, these are the people that will help you the most, if you decide to pursue writing. Most editors are (or have been) writers themselves and now find themselves in a position where they have considerable knowledge of the market and the needs of their audience. So next time you get rejected for a story you submitted, try to talk to the editor. Hell, if you even get accepted, make sure you take the time and see what it was about your work that fit their needs. You’re going to find out a ton of stuff that you didn’t know were wrong about your approach to writing.
Well, this has been a good run. And I mean a darn good run. Rusty is a good, patient man and the feedback I got from readers (comment and email-wise) helped immensely. I want to thank each and every one of you who has lurked, read or commented on any of my stuff and urge you to keep an eye out on this website because man, I’m so totally gonna rub it in everyone’s faces when it’s going to get big.
Have a good life and I will see you on the review sections of AlbedoOne magazine!
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. He has a blog, called Shapescapes (shapescapes). He’s also hard at work writing a book about Mongols in Zastavas, tearing through Asia all the way to your back yard. He has been offered a chance to know the moment of his demise, which he described as ‘hilarious’.
For comments or plain old contact, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org