News: Issue 7 opens / Some editorial maunderings
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Issue 7 is open for submissions! The GUD staff has been scattered to the four winds this summer (or at least our virtual selves have been), but we're back in gear -- getting Issues 5 (instigated by Kaolin Fire) and 6 (instigated by Debbie Moorhouse) ready for print and starting to collect work for Issue 7 (instigated by me, Julia Bernd). Here's what the submissions page has to say about what I'm looking for:
Make me think. Add some new texture to my view of reality. Make me reevaluate my assumptions about human nature. Give me something I'll still remember in five years. Something uncommon, something intriguing, subtle, and well-constructed, something I'll want to share with everyone I know.
A bit general, perhaps, but when you get right down to it, we're generalists around here; we care about quality art, not about whether or not the protagonist has tentacles. When I was combing through my shortlist for Issue 4, the final, most basic questions I asked myself about each piece were ¿Tiene chicha?* and Is it uncommon?
Not that we're averse to having a themed issue now and then, just for fun -- still general with regard to genre and style, but a topic to riff on. (See Issue 3, the Mechanical Flight issue.) So I entertained some thoughts about possible themes: Moving water? (Rivers, glaciers, sewer lines...) Tentacles? (Literal and metaphorical.) Trees? But those all seemed pretty bland, much as I love them. And a lot of the things that really tickle my fancy are either so specific or rare I wasn't sure I could get enough good stuff for even a mildly themed issue (weird plant life, noncanonical gender setups, cheese**...) or so general or vague they'll probably just emerge in my selections anyway. (For instance, my academic background is in linguistics, and I don't think it's a coincidence that three of the pieces I chose for Issue 4 were by linguists. But none of them were overtly about language; it's just a way of looking at the world, I guess.)
Of course, if you're a submitter who's reading this blog post, you now have a little bit of bonus information about what things I might have chosen as a theme if I had chosen one. May it yield fruit! For a little bit more bonus, and just because I think it's fun, here's some more excerpts from my list of desiderata to keep in mind while slushing for and composing an issue:
- Scoring high on the what-did-we-learn-o-meter
- And/or making my brain move sideways just a bit
- New meanings of beauty, lit-for-genre-and-genre-for-lit, and the other general stuff GUD Magazine is about in the first place
- Will the reader remember it later?
- The Chagall effect: Making me see how someone perceives the world fundamentally differently than I do
- Are the women actual characters?
- Do I feel a need to share it with the world? Do I think the world wants it to be shared with it?
- Variety of genre, theme, style, POV, plot structure, voice, cultural aesthetic...
- If it's published elsewhere and hailed as brilliant, will I regret not having published it, or just say, 'Eh, whatever'?
- Calvino's desiderata: lightness, swiftness, visibility, multiplicity
- ...and so on...
The more I think about all this, the more excited I am to be doing another issue. I discovered with Issue 4 just how proud one can be of a compilation of art one didn't compose one stroke of oneself; it's a high that could easily become an addiction. So, Issue 7, here we come!
* The closest translation for this is probably 'Does it have substance?' or, more loosely, 'Is it something you can sink your teeth into?' but neither of those really quite captures it. Ah, lexical semantics!
** I mean that literally. I really like cheese. Unfortunately, few people write about it.
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