You know, when people ask me why I got much more involved with editing SF rather than writing it (which I started to do after two decades of reading it), I answer with the usual excuses — Andy Cox asking me to join Interzone after I was mainly reviewing SF in the print incartation of The Fix, etcetera — but now it’s time to reveal the real reason. I blame it on David D. Levine.
Back in 2001, I entered the James White Award with a little story called “Rainmaker on the Run”, and was quite chuffed when it made the final shortlist of five stories. So, full of hope, I set out for Belfast to attend the award ceremony, only to find that a certain American from Portland, Oregon by the name of David D. Levine was the winner with a story called “Nucleon”, which subsequently appeared in Interzone.
I never really got over it, so I decided to become an editor so I could, well, reject him. Oh, the power!
Seriously, “Nucleon” was easily the superior story, and David went on to win several more, and more important, awards. And when he sent me this one for Shine, I was seriously struggling. This was one of those really tough decisions an editor sometimes has to make: more really good stories than can really fit in a 100K anthology. If you’re really curious, I might expand on it in the comments, if you ask me to.
I was even more surprised when David accepted my offer to publish in online instead: I figured he would rather try the top markets with it. However, like quite a lot of other writers, he was happy to be featured here, saying (like the others) that he’d written this one especially for Shine, and while, of course, being somewhat disappointed not to be making it in the print anthology, he supported the idea that SF needs more upbeat stories.
Actually, all the writers featured here on DayBreak Magazine said, more or less, the same: I’m really both surprised and honoured by all the support. And support is one of the pillars of a well-functioning community, as “horrorhouse” but all too aptly demonstrates…
UPDATE: check out this article called “How Reputation Could Save the Earth” from November 15 on New Scientist. To quote:
First, they allow those who contribute to reap benefits through reputation, helping to compensate them for the costs they incur. Secondly, when people display their commitment to conservation, it reinforces the norm of participation and increases the pressure on free riders.
Compare this to the EcoBadge introduced in the story, and we see that near-future SF can be ahead of reality, even if it’s a close call. Near-future SF: it’s not impossible, and doesn’t need to date immediately. And “great minds think alike”, eh…;-)
WE’VE GOT A problem, read the blip in Ethan Cole’s spex. something called horrorhouse can you help
The message was from Hannah Davis, a fellow member of Ethan’s neighborhood recycling patrol shift. Another retiree… or, as they had laughed together, another white fogey with too much time on her hands.
i’ll check, Ethan sent back, and slipped into the blipstream. Billions of blips every second flowed across his spex, forming a global consciousness, a global conscience.Summarization and filtering functions built into his blipper made it comprehensible; clever and committed people around the world made it work.
We would have killed for tech like this back in the day, he mused. But it was the people, of course, not the technology, that made the difference. Ordinary people reaching out to their neighbors, understanding each other’s goals, coming together to solve problems… that was how you saved the world.
He peered at the local streams and soon found the tag horrorhouse. Glance, blink, and it expanded, the flowing blipstream dividing into a thousand vibrating threads. Reach in, tease the threads apart, focus, summarize. violation of community standards, he read. offensive disturbing horrific, he read. too intense for children and immoral and exploitive and sick and profiteering.
Profiteering! This was serious. Continue reading