Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Transcript: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer's Chat with John Joseph Adams

2:00 amshadowflame1974:Show time! Welcome @johnhosephadams! #sffwrtcht

2:01 amsffwrtcht:Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Writer?s Chat. #sffwrtcht

2:01 amsffwrtcht:Our goal is to talk w/ writers, editors, & others abt the craft of writing, specifically related to writing speculative fiction. #sffwrtcht

2:02 amsffwrtcht:Our format is round table discussion but pls restrict questions to writing craft, business of writing & the works of the guest. #sffwrtcht

2:02 amsffwrtcht:It?s up to the guest whether the question time will run longer than our allotted hour slot. #sffwrtcht

2:02 amsffwrtcht:Please wait until your question gets answered to ask another & use the hashtag #sffwrtcht for all questions and comments.

2:02 amshadowflame1974:@johnhosephadams could you tell us a bit about yourself? #sffwrtcht

2:03 amelizabethkarr:RT @BryanThomasS Welcome to Science Fiction Fantasy Writer?s Chat. #sffwrtcht #sffwrtcht < Wish I could be there! #amproducing Have fun!

2:04 amjohnjosephadams:Hi all. John Joseph Adams here. I'm editor of the online mags Lightspeed & Fantasy as well as anthos such as Brave New Worlds. #sffwrtcht

2:04 amsffwrtcht:Currently the editor of both Lightspeed and Fantasy Magazines, @johnjosephadams has also edited a dozen anthologies. #sffwrtcht

2:04 amsffwrtcht:His latest are ?The Way Of The Wizard? from Prime Books and ?Brave New Worlds? out from Night Shade Books in January. #sffwrtcht

2:05 amsffwrtcht:?The Way Of the Wizard? offers spellbinding tales about magic fr authors lk George RR Martin, Robert Silverberg and @ResnickMike. #sffwrtcht

2:05 amsffwrtcht:?Brave New Worlds? tells dystopian stories abt what happens when civilization invades and dictates every aspect of your life?#sffwrtcht

2:06 amsffwrtcht:@johnjosephadams Thanks for joining us. Would you like to tell us a little about 'Way Of The Wizard" and "brave New Worlds?" #sffwrtcht

t2:06 amjohnjosephadams:Although it's officially a January release, Brave New Worlds is actually in stores now. The website is live 2: #sffwrtcht

2:07 amcharlesatan:RT @shadowflame1974: Show time! Welcome @johnhosephadams! #sffwrtcht

2:07 amsffwrtcht:@johnjosephadams Oh, that's great, an early release. Awesome. #sffwrtcht

2:11 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS Brave New Worlds collects the best dystopian short fiction all in one volume. First of its kind I believe. #sffwrtcht

2:11 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams That's great. Reprints and new stories both? #sffwrtcht

2:12 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS Brave New Worlds is all reprints. My first antho with no originals, I think. All the others 1 original sneak in. #sffwrtcht

2:12 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Was "Brave New Worlds" something you pitched or did Night Shade approach you with the idea? #sffwrtcht

2:13 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Still, collecting them all in 1 place is a great idea and will help a lot of ppl see the stories who might not #sffwrtcht

2:13 amjohnjosephadams:BNW includes stories by Bradbury, Vonnegut, Shirley Jackson, Ellison, Bacigalupi...all the classics plus some future classics. #sffwrtcht

2:13 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams That's quite a list. #sffwrtcht

2:14 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams How long does it generally take you to put an anthology together? #sffwrtcht

2:14 amjohnjosephadams:After the success of Wastelands, Brave New Worlds was the next thing I pitched to NSB. Other projects kept cutting in line tho. #sffwrtcht

2:14 amsffwrtcht:Hey, all, feel free to pitch in your questions anytime. #sffwrtcht

2:15 amjohnjosephadams:I tried, as I usually do, to balance the classic (maybe obvious) stories with stuff not everyone would be already familiar with. #sffwrtcht

2:15 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Were the stories you reprinted things you were mostly familiar with prior to BNW? #sffwrtcht

2:15 amRedstoneSF:RT @johnjosephadams: Although it's officially a January release, Brave New Worlds is actually in stores now. The website is live 2: #sffwrtcht

2:16 amjohnjosephadams:It takes a couple of months to assemble an anthology, generally; it depends how familiar I am with the theme before I begin. #sffwrtcht

2:17 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams But that doesn't include time waiting for and editing submissions, does it? #sffwrtcht2:17 amSheikYurbouti:What was the theme you were least familar with? #sffwrtcht @johnjosephadams

2:17 amjohnjosephadams:For Wastelands, I picked 95% of the TOC off the top of my head in 2-3 days b/c I knew the genre really well. #sffwrtcht

2:18 amjohnjosephadams:3-4 months for a reprint anthology I guess, though I sometimes work on more than one at the same time so it's hard to say exactly #sffwrtcht

2:18 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams I'm sure that's a great advantage. "Way of The Wizard" has more of a mix of originals and reprints, right? #sffwrtcht

2:19 amcharlesatan:@johnjosephadams what's the "hardest" anthology so far? #sffwrtcht

2:19 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams including a story that's already been chosen for Rich Horton's Years Best next Summer. #sffwrtcht

2:19 amjohnjosephadams:(1/2) For an original project it would take longer, obviously, since original stories have to be written. #sffwrtcht

2:19 amjohnjosephadams:(2/2) Tho much of that time I'm not really "working" on the antho. #sffwrtcht

2:19 amBryanThomasS:@charlesatan @SheikYurbouti Thanks for joining us #sffwrtcht :)

2:21 amjohnjosephadams:@SheikYurbouti I did the most research for BY BLOOD WE LIVE b/c there's just SO MUCH vampire fiction out there I hadn't read yet. #sffwrtcht

2:21 amjohnjosephadams:@charlesatan Brave New Worlds was probably the hardest in securing permissions; I ran into a lot of complicated rights situations #sffwrtcht

2:23 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS For BNW I'd guess I was familiar with maybe half the stories prior to starting my research. #sffwrtcht2:23 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams So how do you approach research? Read a lot of other mags/anthos, etc? Ask other editors? #sffwrtcht

2:24 amshadowflame1974:@johnjosephadams do you ever get opinions from those who are well read in an area you are not as familiar with? #sffwrtcht

2:24 amcharlesatan:@johnjosephadams how many anthos do you think you can realistically work on in a year (w/ your other duties)? #sffwrtcht

2:25 amjohnjosephadams:For research, I solicit recs online, talk to other editors, and target certain authors who I suspect have stories that fit. #sffwrtcht

2:26 amjohnjosephadams:Or I'll just email some authors I've worked with & tell them about the antho & see if they have anything I should consider. #sffwrtcht

2:26 amSheikYurbouti:@johnjosephadams In the Cdn media, there's been some declaration that zombies are 'done'. Would you weigh in? #sffwrtcht

2:26 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams I am curious if it's any different approach to editing a Mike Resnick or Robert Silverberg vs a beginner? #sffwrtcht

2:27 amspecficdb:RT @johnjosephadams: For research, I solicit recs online, talk to other editors, and target certain authors who I suspect have stories that fit. #sffwrtcht

2:27 amBryanThomasS:@SheikYurbouti Ha ha ha That's a dangerous thing to ask. #sffwrtcht

2:27 amSheikYurbouti:@BryanThomasS I'd love to hear what others have to say as well. My intuition is that you can't keep zombies down. #sffwrtcht

2:28 amjohnjosephadams:@shadowflame1974 Sure! I'm not afraid to ask for help from experts. #sffwrtcht

2:28 amjohnjosephadams:@charlesatan I don't know...3 or 4? Next year might test that and give us a definitive answer. #sffwrtcht

2:28 amBryanThomasS:@SheikYurbouti Mine too. No worries. I'm only teasing #sffwrtcht

2:29 aminkhaven:@johnjosephadams Wastelands is post-apocalyptic, and BNW is dystopian--for those who don't know, want to explain the difference? #sffwrtcht

2:29 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams I take it that means you have a lot of things lined up then? besides editing two ezines #sffwrtcht

2:29 amjohnjosephadams:@SheikYurbouti Everyone keeps saying that, but my Living Dead anthos keep selling, so it doesn't seem done to me. #sffwrtcht

2:29 amGanymede_mj:RT @johnjosephadams: Although it's officially a January release, Brave New Worlds is actually in stores now. The website is live 2: #sffwrtcht

2:29 amjohnjosephadams:Plus The Walking Dead is a huge TV series right now. I think we can expect zombies to stick around as long as that does at least. #sffwrtcht

2:29 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams At least the writers will have one person to send Zombie stories to anyway then. LOL #sffwrtcht

2:30 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams I'd agree. Walking Dead will certainly stimulate the market. #sffwrtcht

2:30 amBryanThomasS:@SheikYurbouti The dead must walk on. #sffwrtcht

2:31 amBryanThomasS:@inkhaven Good question. #sffwrtcht

2:31 amjohnjosephadams:(1/2) Well, I haven't edited originals by Resnick or Silverberg as of yet ... #sffwrtcht

2:31 amshadowflame1974:lol the dead just won't die! #sffwrtcht

2:31 amjohnjosephadams:(2/2) But sure, I think you probably edit with a lighter touch when working with established pros. #sffwrtcht

2:31 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Showing my ignorance: so reprints run as is without editing then? #sffwrtcht

2:33 amMosesSiregar:#sffwrtcht It's alive!!!

2:33 amjohnjosephadams:@inkhaven sometimes post-apoc and dystopian overlap but not necessarily. post-apoc is about the end of civilization as we know it #sffwrtcht

2:35 amSheikYurbouti:@johnjosephadams In terms of retail success, how do anthologies measure up to novels? Or short story collections by same author? #sffwrtcht

2:35 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams I've been reading "Way Of The Wizard" Great stories. What factors besides tone do you use in selecting stories? #sffwrtcht

2:36 amjohnjosephadams:@inkhaven whereas dystopian is all about oppressive societies and whatnot. Hard to explain in a tweet. #sffwrtcht

2:36 amjohnjosephadams:@inkhaven But the book's intro sums it up pretty well. :) #sffwrtcht

2:36 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams I think you did a pretty good job actually #sffwrtcht

2:36 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS indeed--off the top of my head, I'm not even sure how many different things. lol. #sffwrtcht

2:37 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Can you tell us anything about some future anthologies ur working on? #sffwrtcht

2:38 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Have you ever find stories for anthologies via the F&SF or Lightspeed queues? #sffwrtcht

2:39 amjohnjosephadams:@SheikYurbouti generally anthos/collect don't sell as well as novels but I think it depends on theme & hitting at the right time. #sffwrtcht

2:40 amsffwrtcht:@johnjosephadams Do you create the list of invitees as part of pitching an anthology or does the publisher do that? #sffwrtcht

2:40 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS I always like to showcase a range of what the theme is capable of encompassing, so variety is important. #sffwrtcht

2:40 amwinnie3k:There's a chat going on with the awesome @johnjosephadams! Ask him good questions! #sffwrtcht

2:40 amRickNovy:@johnjosephadams For 2020 Visions I only touched the title for David Gerrold's, for others I requested rewrite after acceptance. #sffwrtcht

2:41 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Variety is definitely a better read. #sffwrtcht

2:41 amRickNovy:@johnjosephadams Gerrold's title was a year and I wanted something closer to the title. He obliged. #sffwrtcht

2:41 amjohnjosephadams:I'm doing a Cthulhu reprint antho for NSB. None of the others I've got in the hopper can be discussed publicly yet I'm afraid! #sffwrtcht

2:42 amRickNovy:@johnjosephadams Not Sheila Finch though. Her prose was very clean. #sffwrtcht

2:42 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Ah ok, yeah, I saw the Cthulhu one announced. No problem. #sffwrtcht

2:43 amjohnjosephadams:I haven't yet, at least I don't think so, but I do keep my eye on that. #sffwrtcht

2:43 ameruditeogre:@johnjosephadams the link btwn post-apoc & dystopian can vary; is it because post-apoc is often "the end" where dystopia is not? #sffwrtcht

2:43 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS Tho there's a story in my mad scientist antho for Tor that may have been subbed to me originally 4 LS but not sure #sffwrtcht

2:44 amTheMidnightOil:I'm loving reading the #sffwrtcht tweets - it's like eavesdropping on a conversation between people much smarter than I. :)

2:44 ameruditeogre:@johnjosephadams meaning that dystopia is part of the process of civilization, the rise and fall, that can lead to a bad end. #sffwrtcht

2:44 amBryanThomasS:@TheMidnightOil LOL Thanks. #sffwrtcht

2:44 amjohnjosephadams:@sffwrtcht The anthologist creates the list of invitees, gets commitments from them, then pitches the antho to a publisher. #sffwrtcht

2:45 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Is that something you need to avoid? A good story doesn't fit everywhere necessarily. #sffwrtcht

2:45 amwinnie3k:@eruditeogre An apocalypse can involve dystopia, but they aren't necessarily connected. #sffwrtcht@johnjosephadams

2:45 amjohnjosephadams:@eruditeogre right, well, for dystopian fic you need a SOCIETY, and often post-apoc is the absence of society. #sffwrtcht

2:46 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Is ur first issue of Fantasy in the new year or has did it come out already? #sffwrtcht

2:46 aminkhaven:RT @TheMidnightOil: I'm loving reading the #sffwrtcht tweets - it's like eavesdropping on a conversation between people much smarter than I. :)

2:47 ameruditeogre:@johnjosephadams it seems that dystopia can have a much broader meaning than post-apoc, & be turned to many more narrative ends. #sffwrtcht

2:48 amjohnjosephadams:@eruditeogre sure, sometimes dystopias lead to the apocalypse & vice versa, but sometimes there r dystopias w/ no apoc in sight. #sffwrtcht

2:49 amjohnjosephadams:@eruditeogre many people use dystopia incorrectly, to encompass anything that's a dark future. it has a more specific meaning tho #sffwrtcht

2:49 amSensawunda:RT @johnjosephadams: @eruditeogre many people use dystopia incorrectly, to encompass anything that's a dark future. it has a more specific meaning tho #sffwrtcht

2:49 amjohnjosephadams:My first issue of Fantasy (featuring my editorial selections) is March 2011. I'm already working on the backend, of course. #sffwrtcht

2:50 ameruditeogre:@johnjosephadams indeed. I think those dystopias that are not narratively bound tightly, are much more interesting & thoughtful. #sffwrtcht

2:50 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Does the change in editors have much effect on the types of stories selected? Besides taste obviously? #sffwrtcht

2:50 amjohnjosephadams:@eruditeogre But yes, certainly broader meaning that post-apocalyptic. I think BNW has much more variety than Wastelands frex. #sffwrtcht

2:51 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS Besides editorial taste? I'm not sure. I guess we'll see after I get some issues under my belt. :) #sffwrtcht

2:52 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams LOL Thought it might be too early to ask. Fair enough. #sffwrtcht

2:52 amjohnjosephadams:If I neglected to answer a question, please do RT it or something, as I probably missed it while answering something else. #sffwrtcht

2:53 amsandrawickham:@johnjosephadams Hi guys! Just popping in to say hi. *waves* #sffwrtcht

2:53 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Which has been your best selling anthology? #sffwrtcht

2:53 amBryanThomasS:@sandrawickham Hey! Welcome! #sffwrtcht

2:53 amjohnjosephadams:I don't know for sure, I get the impression I'm doing more soliciting than Cat was, so that might be the kind of thing you mean. #sffwrtcht

2:54 amjohnjosephadams:And of course now Fantasy will be using half as much original fiction since we're doing 50/50 originals/reprints like LS. #sffwrtcht

2:54 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams When stories from your anthologies get selected for recogntn, like Years Best, do u submit the anthos 4 consid? #sffwrtcht

2:54 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Oh right. I'd forgotten that bit. #sffwrtcht

2:54 amjohnjosephadams:The Living Dead, by far, has been my bestselling book. I'm told to never expect any other antho I edit to ever do that well. #sffwrtcht

2:55 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Guess you struck a chord with it. That's great. #sffwrtcht

2:55 ameruditeogre:@johnjosephadams that was my next question :-). How much more variety do you see in dystopian tales? What new paths to they take? #sffwrtcht

2:55 amSensawunda:@johnjosephadams Are you soliciting for the reprint side or the original fic side mostly? #sffwrtcht

2:56 amsffwrtcht:5 minutes left. Good time for final questions, everyone #sffwrtcht

2:56 amwinnie3k:@johnjosephadams Could you pick a favorite out of your anthos? #sffwrtcht

2:56 ameruditeogre:@johnjosephadams having edited both WASTELANDS and BNW, you seem to be in a great position to reflect on the two types of story. #sffwrtcht

2:57 amjohnjosephadams:@Sensawunda I'm soliciting for both. Though I think all of the reprints have been solicited; not many get submitted tho. #sffwrtcht

2:57 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS You mean, do I send them to the Year's Best editors? #sffwrtcht

2:58 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams YEs #sffwrtcht

2:58 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams sorry 14o character limit is hard sometimes on clarity #sffwrtcht

2:59 amcharlesatan:@johnjosephadams how many copies of your books do you buy? (for promo, event sale, etc.) #sffwrtcht

3:00 amjohnjosephadams:@charlesatan Do I buy personally? I don't buy any, but I usually get 30-40 free copies. #sffwrtcht

3:00 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Wow, what a great chat. JJ thanks for agreeing to sit in. We really appreciated the chance to chat with u #sffwrtcht

3:00 amjohnjosephadams:Yeah, I make sure that the Year's Best editors get copies of the anthologies, and I provide them with word counts to help out. #sffwrtcht

3:01 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams Feel free to continue as long as you'd like and to come back any time. Next week we have @atfmb & @JohnAnealio #sffwrtcht

3:01 amBryanThomasS:They're from Functional Nerds podcast #sffwrtcht

3:01 amjohnjosephadams:@winnie3k Hard to pick a favorite. At the moment, Brave New Worlds is the one I'm most proud of, I guess. #sffwrtcht

3:02 amMerc_hyn_di:Enjoying "listening in" on the #sffwrtcht tonight.

3:02 amjohnjosephadams:@charlesatan and I usually get another case each time there's a new printing, so I end up with plenty of copies. :) #sffwrtcht

3:02 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams That's a sweet deal. #sffwrtcht

3:03 amBryanThomasS:@Merc_hyn_di Thanks for sitting in. #sffwrtcht

3:03 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams I look forward to reading BNW #sffwrtcht

3:04 amjohnjosephadams:Bestselling: Living Dead, Wastelands, Sherlock Holmes, By BloodWe Live, Living Dead 2, Federations, BNW, Way of the Wizard, Seeds #sffwrtcht

3:04 amjohnjosephadams:@BryanThomasS Sorry, that last tweet, went out before without the tag. #sffwrtcht

3:04 amBryanThomasS:@johnjosephadams And so far I own three of those but I know I'll be getting more. #sffwrtcht

3:04 johnjosephadams:Thanks @BryanThomasS for hosting #sffwrtcht and for having me on. And thanks to everyone who was reading and asking questions!

3:05 amsffwrtcht :Come back for the Functional Nerds next week. @atfmb and @JohnAnealio are very entertaining. #sffwrtcht

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