Tag: asimovs

The June Asimov’s (times two)

Went to the mailbox today and found two copies of the June Asimov’s shrink-wrapped together in a nice, tight little package. The label on the outside was not my standard subscription label, but my name and address was there. Looking at it, I guessed that perhaps I was supposed to received a couple of author’s copies of the June Analog, where my story “Take One for the Road” appears. And I guessed further that perhaps I was sent Asimov’s by accident.

Well, that looks like the case. When I opened up the first issue to scan the table of contents, a form for ordering additional copies at a discounted “author’s rate” fell out.

It’s a happy accident, all together, since the lead novella is by Mary Robinette Kowal (with gorgeous cover art by Jacques Barbey) and I enjoy Mary’s short fiction quite a bit. The downside, of course, is that Mary’s novella takes up literally half of the magazine and I’m trying to figure out where I am going to find the time to read it!

It’s official: I want an iPad


When iPad’s first came out, I didn’t see a compelling reason to get one. After all, I have an iMac and a MacBook and an iPhone, to say nothing of a Kindle, and those seem to do well to make up for any lack I might experience. But in the back of my mind, I always told myself that if New Scientist ever became available on the iPad, that would push me over.

Well, I saw in a recent issue of New Scientist that it was now available on the iPad through Zinio app.

Scientific American has a digital edition, and I already subscribe to Analog and Asimov’s on the Kindle (and the print editions, as well). With New Scientist available on the iPad, I could read all of my subscriptions in electronic format on a single device. (My subscriptions to InterGalactic Medicine Show and Apex Magazine are already electronic.)

Yes, you can get New Scientist on the iPhone through Zinio but the screen size simply doesn’t do it justice. And besides, the fact is it makes a good excuse to get an iPad.

I don’t think I’ll be getting one anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that when I’m ready to get one, it will aid in my efforts to go paperless.

What Secret Santa left for me

I came home from vacation to find this waiting from me from my Secret Santa:


(Click the image to see a larger version.)

It’s a stack of Asimov’s and Analog magazines from the 1970s and includes the premier issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (the one showing). It also appears to include most issues of Analog from June 1977-August 1978.

Thank you Secret Santa!

REVIEW: “46 Directions, None of Them North”

Title: “46 Directions, None of Them North”
Author: Deborah Coates
Source: Asimov’s Science Fiction (March 2006)

I liked this story. First of all, it is a story published in a science fiction magazine that really doesn’t have anything to do with science fiction. Instead, it is a somewhat touching story of a 16 year old girl who attempts to understand her relationship with her divorced parents. Our unnamed narrator (the 16 year old girl) believes that she is receiving text messages from aliens who are planning to land in Alaska on the summer solstice and who have requested her presence at the time of the landing. She is very much into this idea; her only problem is how to get to Alaska–which involves convincing her parents to let her go.

The story is both funny and touching without being too mushy or melodramatic. The story is written in the first person, from the point of view of our 16 year old narrator–and sounds just how one might imagine a sixteen year old sounding in this day and age. From the beginning, it is clear that she doesn’t get along with her mother; that they just don’t understand one another (at one point she screams, “I hate you!”). But by the end of the story, they have reconciled and have decided to go to Alaska together to see what is really there. One must be a pretty good writer to develop a smooth character arc such as that one in under 4,000 words.

There are a few gimicks used throughout the story, all of which add to the story and make it more interesting. For instance, the narrative passages are intersperced wth lists like: “Four reasons I know that aliens are totally landing this summer”. They help the provide transitions between the narrative passages, as well as add humor to the story.

All-in-all, I had no idea what to expect when I started reading the story and once I started it, I enjoyed it enough that I didn’t want to put the story down. I gave it 4-stars.

My best rejection slip so far

Today I received my best rejection slip ever. It was like hitting a home run that went just foul. It was for my story “Wake Me When We Get There” which I had sent to Asimov’s. It made it out of the slush pile, past the readers and all the way to the editor, Sheila Williams herself, who wrote the rejection slip, which you can see in the image below.

In case you can’t read the letter, here is what it says:

April 25, 2005

Dear Jamie,

Thanks for letting me see “Wake Me When We Get There.” I thought that the story was moving, well titled, and very well done. Unfortunately, woeful lack of preparation unconvincing for an exploratory mission like this is unconvincing. (When Allen Steele used this idea, the characters had rushed the initial procedure and there was sabotage to boot.) I very much look forward to seeing something new from you when you have it, though.

Sincerely yours,

/Sheila Williams/