Now this is an interesting magazine. I've just pitched them a story that was almost-but-not-quite taken by Asimov's, whose editor Sheila Bradbury wrote to say that she thought the story was "moving and beautiful," but a little too slow paced and philosophical. And now here's a new magazine that specifically wants philosophical science fiction.
I've got my fingers crossed. The story is called "Ghostwritten," and deals with the nature of human creativity. I sort of wrote it as a cross between Kafka and Poul Anderson's novel Brainwave. Set in a far-flung future where humanity seems to be experiencing a 300-year long collective writer's block, a theory has emerged that all human creativity actually originates from a signal sent by aliens. Now that signal has stopped, and an expeditionary force is sent to the planet that has been pinpointed as the signal's origin point.
I play a lot with the idea of Greek muses in the story. I also tried to do some interesting thematic stuff with gender in the story. For instance, the crew of the expeditionary ship is all male, while the name of the planet is Mnemosyne, who was the mother of the Muses in mythology. In a sense, the planet is the story's only "woman."
It'll be interesting to see if they end up buying it. The story is probably philosophical enough, but it's plot definitely hinges on a suspension of disbelief that just might not be acceptable. That's always the dilemma for a writer like me who enjoys a lot of absurdity in his fiction. Regardless, do take a look at what this neat new magazine is offering.
Sean Eads is a writer living in Denver, CO. Originally from Kentucky, he works as a reference librarian.