Friday, May 18, 2007

At last

Posted by goatchurch at 6:26 PM
It's still early days. We've dealt with about 15 stories through the web-page so far, so at least my design of the code is up to scratch. Each editor has their own password, and we can look at the table of stories awaiting attention simultaneously whilst coordinating through a Skype channel.

If anyone out there wants a copy of the program that runs the webpage, drop me a message. I wrote it a year ago, and since then it's been used to manage the submission of abstracts for the Experimental Psychology Society. I'll probably put a copy up somewhere which can be downloaded for free.

In the meantime, we don't expect the floodgates to open until later in the summer when folks have finally begun finishing off their mundaneSF short stories. What we're getting now is obviously not inspired by the guidelines, but was written beforehand and just happened to fit.

Stories so far are better written than I had expected, but they seem to be lacking in ambition in my opinion. Real life gets the better of it. And it shouldn't. If you read through the wikipedia article on Hurricane Katrina you'd see about 20 different stories that chart the event through the eyes of vastly different characters. There were people were on the rooftops, and others who drove down from the North with supplies because they were appalled by the government failure. There were even some men who got lost in the prison system for over a year because they had been picked up for an unpaid fine and then all the police records were destroyed by the floods so no one could tell the murderers apart from the people who hadn't handed back their library books in time. There's so much there.

Now, just to be clear, I do not want to see any stories about Hurricane Katrina. That's something that has now happened, and we can read the real life stories that are every bit as compelling as the best fiction anyone could ever write. What I am trying to get across is the fact that there are these spectacular events which are happening now and will happen in the future. It's got to be Science Fiction. The flooding and chaos of New Orleans was Science Fiction back in 2004. Now it's too late because it's reality. Had we published a story of someone living through those extraordinary events back then, it would have made the news. But we didn't. And we must do better in future.

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