Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ideomancer magazine

  • Zine: Ideomancer Speculative Fiction
  • Editor(s): Leah Bobet (interviewee), Marsha Sisolak, Jaime Lee Moyer, Claire Humphrey, Elizabeth Bear, John Bowker, Beth Langford, Erin Hoffman, Alena McNamara, Michael Colangelo, Alyssa Smith
  • Pay Rate: 3 cents a word up to a maximum of $40.00 USD
  • Response Time: 30 days maximum
  • Reading Period: December-January, March-April, June-July, September-October
  • Description: Ideomancer publishes speculative fiction and poetry that explores the edges of ideas; stories that subvert, refute and push the limits. We want unique pieces from authors willing to explore non-traditional narratives and take chances with tone, structure and execution, balance ideas and character, emotion and ruthlessness. We also have an eye for more traditional tales told with excellence. We are especially interested in non-traditional formats, hyperfiction, and work that explores the boundaries not just of its situation but of the internet-as-page.
  • Submission Guidelines: www.ideomancer.com
NOTE: Horror author D.L. Snell conducted the following interview to give writers a better idea of what the editors of this specific market are seeking; however, most editors are open to ideas outside of the preferences discussed here, as long as they fit the basic submission guidelines.

1) What authors do you enjoy, and why does their writing captivate you?
China Mieville, for the twists of his sentence-level craft and the layering of his worlds; Matt Ruff, for the sheer imagination and balls; Sean Stewart, for his incredibly flawed and human and three-dimensional characters; Connie Willis, for her wry sense of humour; Dashiell Hammett, for his incredible prose; A.S. Byatt, for her ability to examine every single angle of a thematic idea; Patricia McKillip, for her ability with subtext; Emma Bull, for the way she weaves whole worlds by implication; Caitlin Kiernan, for the ability to make ugly things beautiful, or at least fascinating; Sharon Shinn, because she’s sneaky; Peter Beagle because he inevitably makes me cry.

2) What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?

We’re interested in any of the speculative genres: fantasy, science fiction, horror, fabulist fiction, slipstream, interstitial, anything punk—the works. That said, we’re usually more interested by work that’s aware of the tropes of its genre and has something to say about them, as well as work with a bit of a literary twist.  Think China Mieville, not J.R.R. Tolkien!

3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?

We’re happy to read stories and poetry set anywhere, so long as it’s done well! The quality of the setting work and the author’s skill in evoking it are more important to us than it being any specific setting.

4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.
Whatever pacing works best for the story you’re trying to tell; we view things like pacing as a tool for telling stories, rather than an end in itself. Again, this is a question of something done well versus a preference for a particular kind of story.

5) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?
Characters who are, above all, deeply human; who work by an emotional logic that makes the reader think yes, this is a real person instead of this is a character in a story.

6) Is there a specific tone you’d like to set in your publication? What kind of voices grab you and keep you enthralled? Any examples?

Passionate. About whatever it is the characters have to say.

7) What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?
We’ll consider anything so long as it’s actually in service to telling an interesting story.

8) What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?

We tend to prefer stories in which the world just isn’t that simple.

9) Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?
We prefer endings that are well-crafted and work best with the story the author’s trying to tell.

10) Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical dos or don’ts?
There is no magic button for selling a story to Ideomancer, and no kit to build an Ideomancer story. We’re a fairly eclectic magazine, and while there are some slight trends in what we choose to publish, the only strong and constant one is stories that do what they set out to do very, very well. The best way to get a feel for what we’d like, as stereotypical as it may sound, is to read a few issues and see how they strike you. That’s how you’ll know if the stories that grab us resemble the story that you have in your hand.

And if you’re in doubt? Just send it along. The worst thing we can say is “not this time.”

Good luck!

For more scoops, go to marketscoops.blogspot.com.

D.L. Snell writes with Permuted Press. He edited Dr. Kim Paffenroth twice, John Dies at the End once, and provided a constructive critique to Joe McKinney on his next major novel after Dead City. You can shoot D.L. Snell in the head at www.exit66.net.

To reprint this article, please contact D.L. Snell.

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