"What are your influences?"

This week's newsletter is about influences. Also Facebook, Fighting Fantasy and, uh, mayonnaise:

One particularly fascinating bit of aboutness - an aboutness molecule - the humble Facebook ad. We don't see them. Of course we don't! I've held approximately 7,500,000 focus groups, and I've never once heard someone say that they noticed a Facebook ad. I don't. You don't. No one does! And yet, someone does, because, guess what, Facebook made $39.9 billion on those ads last year. Billion. That's a lot of not-noticing. This isn't social acceptability bias either, as even in quantitative surveys, we say we don't see those ads. 91% of the UK population says they've never made a purchase through a social media ad. 87% have never clicked a brand communication through Facebook. And yet, someone is placing - and winning - a forty billion dollar bet that they do.


Plus, NewCon's Ian Whates says very nice things about the Best of British Fantasy project. Subscribe to that too!

The Best of British Fantasy

I'm editing The Best British Fantasy. I'm delighted to be working with Newcon's Ian Whates, and have the opportunity to showcase the brilliance of British creativity.

So... I need some fantasy.

What am I looking for?

Best: In the immortal words of the Atlantic Monthly's Ellery Sedgewick: "My selection is made according to the whim of one individual." 

British: This is about authorship, not publication. It doesn't matter where the work was first published: I need the author to be a citizen of the United Kingdom or long-term resident. I would like to read stories from UK citizens residing outside of the UK. I would like to read stories from (the other) immigrants that now make the UK their home. And I would like to read stories from UK-born people who live in the UK. Basically, I would like to read stories.

Fantasy: I define fantasy as 'contains some element of the fantastic'. This is deliberately broad, and includes everything from the most epic of epics to the most literary of, uh, literary. Paranormal romance, magical realism, sword & sorcery, steampunk - I think great quality lurks in every subgenre. Try me.

The caveat is, NewCon already publishes terrific science fiction and horror 'best of' series (check 'em out). I'm not going to poach from their fields.

This is a reprint market for short stories

I'm looking for stories that are, ideally, between 2,500 and 6,000 words. Exceptions can be made, although if you're flogging either a novelette or flash fiction, that's unlikely to happen. 

Stories means stories. No poetry, non-fiction or extracts from longer works, please.

I am looking for reprints. Stories must have been first published between 1 January and 31 December 2018. Please ensure the reprint rights for the story are available before sending it to me. As well as anthology and magazine publication, I am happy to consider stories that first appeared in a digital format, as a self-published story, as bonus content in a book, in a magazine, in a small press, as a limited edition, in a chapbook, whatever, etc. etc. 

This is a paying market, offering 1p a word for reprint rights on accepted stories, up to a maximum of £60.00, along with contributor copies of the book. There will also be some non-onerous, non-mandatory publicity requirements/opportunities for contributors as well.

How to submit a story

I am very happy to hear from authors, agents, or publishers.

Please send the story (as Word/PDF/mobi/epub, pls), publication details, and brief bio to jared@jurassic-london.com. 

Deadline 1 December 2018, but the sooner the better. I am happy to read pre-publication copies, provided the final story does publish within the calendar year.

If you include [BoBF] in the subject line I will get to it faster and know that you read this whole thing.

Spreading the word

Please share this link far and wide. I'm keen to cast a wide net and read as broadly as possible. I want BoBF to represent the diversity of voices and talents and backgrounds present with the UK. 

You can also help by leaving your own suggestions - stories, authors, anthologies, even magazines or publishers - in the comments below. Or tweet them at me at @straycarnivore. Or email them to me directly at the address above.

Waithood and The Podcast Opportunity

Yesterday was Wednesday, and that means... a newsletter!

‘Waithood’ is the period between being adult and being able to achieve ‘adult’ goals: marry, have children, own a home, have a career or a business. Waithood is that liminal status when you’re supposed to be doing things, but lack the capacity to do them. The term originated out of studies into a new generation of youth in Middle East and North Africa, the insight behind it is more broadly applicable.

Later this month, I'm joining Acast's Sophie Herdman at an as-yet-undisclosed London location to talk about "The Podcast Opportunity" with the PRCA. Details here. 

"A good deal of a wangler"

[The FSA photographer] must be a good deal of a social scientist, with some theoretical and much practical grounding; he is the social investigator with a camera as his note-book; he must be a first-rate reporter - not of spot news - but of the major currents of our time as they manifest themselves pictorially in any one location. He must be able to distinguish between biased information and fact; he must have a wealth of knowledge of a variety of subjects - from rural architecture to tractor construction; and he must be capable with pencil and note-book to almost the same degree as with lens and shutter. 

To do this kind of job the photographer has to be more than an artist - more than an adequate mechanic. He must be something of a sociologist, something of an economist; he must be a good deal of a wangler, equally at home with a hostess or a farmer’s wife; he must have a healthy nose for news coupled with a thorough scepticism of biased information; and more than anything else, he must have a basic understanding for the meaning of his story. 

The Farm Security Administration's brief for photographers, from the 1930s. More on this - plus crocodiles and hole-punches - in the latest email.

Reviewers' Choice and Thy Kingdom Come

A cameo appearance for Tor.com for the bi-annual Reviewers' Choice picks.

This is clearly a thinly-veiled response to 2018's emotional gauntlet, but my two choices - Slay and The Stars Now Unclaimed - are both very fun, very bouncy, utterly escapist reads. Plus, zombie space raptors.

Also, Simon Morden talks about the history of Thy Kingdom Come. A reprint of this book was our third(?) Jurassic London book, so I chimed in with a bit about what I learned from publishing this (utterly lovely) book. The (minimalist) page for the book is still around, but it doesn't really do it justice.