Third Flatiron has published some great stories this year! So, we wanted to spread the word by entering some of our best stories in the Pushcart Prize competition. The Pushcart Prize is an annual anthology of the best from small publishers.
Congratulations to the following nominees:
Spring 2012 Anthology: Over the Brink: Tales of Environmental Disaster
Tempest Kings by William Highsmith
Chameleon's Cry by Tim Myers
Essence of Bat by Robina Williams
Fall 2012 Anthology: A High Shrill Thump: War Stories
Angel by K. R. Cairns
A Childproof War by Lon Prater
Winter 2012 Anthology: Origins: Colliding Causalities
Seascape Zero by John Davies
We wish you the best of luck and thank you for letting us publish your wonderful work.
Updated: November 26, 2012
Congratulations to the following authors who will be appearing in our upcoming anthology!Contents
Official release date December 1, 2012! We've already rolled it out on Smashwords and Amazon, in time for Cyber ThisAndThat.
Coming soon on iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and other distributors.
We recently got the chance to talk with David L. Felts, owner/webmaster for SFReader.com.
He's totally redesigned the SFReader.com site. Our thanks to Dave for sharing his insights with us.
Q: Hi, Dave. You ran your own independent science fiction publishing house, Maelstrom, and are now the owner/webmaster for SFReader.com. We'd like to learn from your experiences as a publisher, writer, and promoter of science fiction and fantasy writing. Let's start with your experiences at Maelstrom.
Q. What kind of fiction did you publish at Maelstrom? (Short stories, novellas, novels, etc.?)
A. I published short fiction, with a fairly firm 5,000 word limit, although I do think I had one or two that went a bit over.
Q. Did you publish hardcopy or electronic, or both?
A. Maelstrom was a hardcopy magazine. Hardcopy only. This was back in the late 90s, and being published in the Internet didn't have much legitimacy yet. I don’t think SFWA even considered Internet publication to qualify as publication, regardless of pay rate.
Q. How did you get stories, art, and book reviews?
A. I only accepted snail mail submissions. The only artwork was the cover.
Q. Were/are you a member of SFWA? Was Maelstrom an SFWA-professional approved publication? If so, what are the advantages of SFWA membership?
A. Maelstrom didn't pay professional rate and was considered a “semi-pro” magazine. I was a member of the SFWA, but as a writer, not a publisher.
Q. How would you compare and contrast professional versus semiprofessional markets? Any advice for aspiring writers and publishers?
A. I'm afraid I haven't kept up much with the state of the market, but I do know there are far fewer professional level publications these days, and also that the pay rate required to be considered a professional has gone from 3 cents per word to 5. There are, however, a lot more Internet and electronic opportunities for writers. I think the market is slowly but surely shifting away from big publishing houses and big releases. I've read stories of writers doing well for themselves publishing their own work in electronic format, like for the Kindle. We're definitely moving toward the market establishing its own definition of quality, and not the agents and traditional publishers. From that perspective, I encourage new writers to forgo the whole submit to the slush pile process that's been the standard for so long. Write and learn how to format what you write for Kindle and other electronic platforms.
Q. How long was Maelstrom in business?
A. I ran the magazine for 2 years.
Q. Why did you decide to close Maelstrom?
A. It took a lot of time and not a small amount of money, I was changing careers, and I figured 8 issues was good enough.
Q. Did you make money? Any advice on how to make a living as a writer or publisher?
A. No, Maelstrom could have been considered a hobby. As sure, while it did cost money to run, it was cheaper than having a hobby involving radio controlled cars for example.
Q. Did you or any of your authors win any awards?
A. I think one of the stories I published earned an honorable mention Datlow's Year's Best, but I couldn't tell you what it was any longer.
Q. What were a few of your favorite experiences as a publisher?
A. I enjoyed getting a story that, in my opinion, was almost there, and being able to provide feedback that authors thought made their work better. I know how exciting it is to get a story selected for publication, so telling an author I wanted their story was always fun.
Q. If Maelstrom was hardcopy-only, did you ever consider reincarnation as an e-publisher? Do you retain any rights to some or all of the stories Maelstrom published? What would be the pros and cons or other considerations?
A. I've considered dipping my toe into fiction publishing again, but it wouldn't be hardcopy or another iteration of Maelstrom. It would be an online effort. For Maelstrom, I purchased First Publication Rights, so all those stories still belong to their authors.
Q. Let's talk about SFReader.com.
Q. It must have been a big change from being a publisher to running an SF review/forums website. When did you start SFReader, and what is its purpose?
A. SFReader came about as a result of my desire to teach myself web programming. I liked to read, and I wanted to program, so I figured I'd build a site that posted book reviews from a database. I began building SFReader in 2001 and got it online in early 2002. By the end if it, I'd learned Classic ASP (Active Server Pages) and the basic of database programming and design.
Q. You recently conducted a major redesign of SFReader.com. There are a number of science fiction/fantasy forums out there. What are some features that you feel will make the new SFReader.com stand out?
A. I'm trying to brand SFReader as a destination for fans, writers, and publishers of Speculative Fiction. As the electronic publishing landscape continues to expand, there will be a big advantage to writers who engage their fans directly. I'm hoping SFReader can be one of those avenues. My main goal, however, is to simply support a genre I love and provide a place for like-minded people to hang out.
Q. How can authors/publishers get reviews on your site?
A. The guidelines for getting reviewed are available on the site. If you want to write reviews, simply join and post them. I always keep an eye out for well done member reviews. When I find one, I promote it to the front page of the site. If you want to be a reviewer, contact me through the site and I'll get you in touch with Mike Griffiths, SFReader's review editor. "Official" SFReader reviewers don't get paid, but they do get free books!
Q. You are a writer yourself. How do you decide what markets to submit to? Why did you decide to submit a story to Third Flatiron, a fledgling e-publisher?
A. Alas, I'm afraid I don't write any more. I have a largish inventory of "trunk" stories though. When I see an opportunity that might match one of my stories, I pull it out and try it. The theme of the Flatiron war anthology matched a tale I thought was pretty good, so I sent it off. I was very pleased to get an acceptance and the chance to tell my tale to a few eager readers. But I haven't written anything new in quite some time now.
A. I got into writing because I had stories to tell. I wasn't one of those writers writing for myself; I was writing for others, and the frustration of not being able to reach them began to outweigh the enjoyment I got from writing. I felt like the proverbial story teller perched on the log by the fire spinning my yarns to nothing but the empty night. So I left it behind.
A. With the rapid changes in the industry and the new opportunities presented by electronic publishing, it might be I could find an audience now, so that is in the back of my mind.
Q. Thanks for talking with us, Dave, and best of luck with the new SFReader.com!
Continuing with Third Flatiron's quarterly themed anthologies, we will be soliciting SF/Fantasy/Horror short stories with the following themes. Themes are designed to be open-ended, allowing authors considerable leeway. We appreciate short, imaginative tales, preferring those that work with the theme in some way. Short humor pieces can be on any theme. Please submit during the reading periods.Spring 2013
This can be Cthulu mythos, cosmic irony, Nature abhors intelligence,
etc. You tell us.
Reading Period: October 1 - December 31, 2012
Writer Deadline: December 31, 2012
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Fires and backfires from inventions (Greek fire?), culture clashes,
climate change, comets and meteors, and so forth.
Reading Period: January 1 - March 31, 2013
Writer Deadline: March 31, 2013
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Give us dinosaurs, planets and pyramids, paranormal, space opera ...
Reading Period: April 1 - June 30, 2013
Writer Deadline: June 30, 2013
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
We like things Martian: the Red Planet, Bradbury, Robinson, Roman God of War, Marvin ...
Reading Period: July 1 - September 30, 2013
Writer Deadline: September 30, 2013
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Congratulations to the following authors, who will appear in our upcoming anthology, "A High Shrill Thump: War Stories," appearing online everywhere on September 1, 2012.David L. Felts, The Man Who Couldn't Die
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
--Arthur C. Clarke
Third Flatiron Publishing is an e-publishing venture based in Boulder, Colorado. We are open for business and looking for submissions. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We're looking for tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios.
Please send us short stories that revolve around age-old questions and have something instructive to tell us as human beings. Fantastical situations and creatures, exciting dialog, irony, and wry humor are all welcome. Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words.
Role models for the type of fiction we want include Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, Vernor Vinge, and Ken Kesey. We miss the days of the great anthologies like Orbit, Universe, and Clarion, so we are going to begin by showcasing some of the best new shorts available today.
For each issue, we will also accept a few very short humor pieces on the order of the "Shouts and Murmurs" feature in The New Yorker Magazine (600 words or so). These can be written from a first-person perspective or can be mini-essays that tell people what they ought to do, how to do something better, or explain why something is like it is, humorously. An SF/Fantasy bent is preferred.
Our publishing schedule for 2012 is below:
Short story collection on the theme of 'environmental disaster', deadline for submissions - March 31, 2012 Short story collection on the theme of 'war,' deadline for submissions - June 30, 2012 Short story collection on the theme of 'origins,' deadline for submissions - September 30, 2012
If you're interested in having your work read and getting paid for it, then submit your story today.
Third Flatiron Publishing are a specialist digital publisher and can help you distribute your work to a truly global audience.