Monday, August 22, 2005

On a sharper note,

I tracked down the submission guidelines for Tor Books, and I happily note that they'll accept unagented submissions. They also give a 4 to 6 month turnaround on such submissions. I'm tempted to send in my 'first three chapters plus synopsis' even though I am still editing, but I just know this sort of amateurish move would bite me in the ass. Patience . . . patience . . . Why Tor? Cuz they published John C. Wright's The Golden Age, another MEGA novel that they had to divide up into three books. So they shouldn't cringe at my 300K-word tome, right? D.


Blogger Pat said...

Yeah. And yours is probably closer to English than his was.

Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed The Golden Age, but good heavens, man, it was densely layered. With a hero named Phaethon Prime Rhadamanth Humodified (augment) Uncomposed, Indepconciousness, Base Neuroformed, Silver-Grey Manorial Schola, Era 7043 (the 'Reawakening'), it's no wonder that the books were hard to get into. It's no small wonder that, by the end, I could read a character's name and, it seemed, know just about everything about her. But (embarrassingly enough) it wasn't till the middle third of the last book that I figured out that the honorific for the "Warlocks", Ao (as in, for instance, "Ao Andaphante" or "Ao Ormgorgon") was nothin' but a case-folded acronym for "Alternate Organization", which is, of course, the official term for the Warlocks' nervous-system structure.

Do I have a point? No, not really. Except that, God willing, when I have a novel ready to ship out, I'll start off with Tor too.

8/22/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

My story is SO English that English is the official language of the galaxy ;o) Preferably BBC-speak. So giant flies, spiders, dogs, ape-wings, chameleons, pigs etc. are all equally likely to exclaim, "Bloody hell!"

I couldn't manage to finish even the first book of Wright's trilogy. Lots of neat ideas, sure, but I had less than zero interest in Phaeton's fate.

Golden Age is proof positive that there's a market for SF that is heavily loaded towards wow-factor and cool ideas, so much so that character no longer matters. I'm hoping there's a niche for the other end of the spectrum: great story, great characters, lots of humor & drama & action, but very LITTLE wow-factor.

In fact, I actively satirize the wow-factor in my story, e.g. the CPHCs on my fly planet. "Cow Pat Harvester Combines", cyborg cows that follow other cows around gobbling up their poops, then disgorge their harvest into hoppers at the end of each day. The true cows exist only to create poop.

Aw, ya had to be there.

8/22/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

I couldn't manage to finish even the first book of Wright's trilogy. Lots of neat ideas, sure, but I had less than zero interest in Phaeton's fate.

I can sympathize. I wasn't really interested until about page 100, and I didn't really have much of a clue what was going on till page 150.

I loaned the book to a friend of mine with a BA in English, and he told me that he (a) hated Phaethon and (b) had to finish reading the series out of sheer spite. He eventually did read the trilogy; he even grudgingly admitted to liking the story, but I don't think he ever changed his mind on his hatred of Phaethon.

8/23/2005 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

I won't read a story if I don't care for the protag. I have to care about him/her at least a LITTLE bit. It's really not that difficult for the author to get us to care, but it does take a modicum of effort. Some authors put out zero effort.

8/23/2005 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous bam said...

I'm thinking of submitting something to Tor's Paranormal Romance line... but I don't have anything yet. Not even a paragraph. Or an idea. Hmm.

8/23/2005 11:17:00 AM  
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