Jason Stoddard, man of many excellent short stories, has posted his Positive Science Fiction Manifesto. I've been following the rise of the debate among writers and editors about this hot issue with quite some interest, as it is quite pertinent to a young wannabe writer like myself. Should I jump on the bandwagon of this "positive SF" movement, which claims that writing a dystopian future is the easy way out, and the true challenge lies in writing tales of a future where not all is bleak and hopeless.

So read Jason's post, dear reader, and browse through Jetse De Vries' (former Interzone fiction editor) posts on the subject, and make up your own mind.

I for one have decided I'll just follow my gut feeling. I believe that writing truly optimistic speculative fiction at this particular juncture in time is difficult. We are beset with challenges, problems, and disasters at all sides. We may be at the verge of a new Great Depression, and the turmoil in the Middle East is far from over. The Russian Bear is flexing its claws, sharpened on its natural resources. Climate change is getting harder and harder to ignore. Combine all this and you get a highly volatile mix, which by god I hope doesn't explode.

Still, it offers many opportunities for writers to explore these challenges, and where they might lead us. My own thoughts are not at all exclusively negative, no, but I don't think we will get through this period in time without some mighty bumps. Somehow I do feel we will surmount all these difficulties, and figuring out how is probably what Jason and Jetse would call a "positive" attitude. So perhaps my stories will turn out to be positive after all. We'll see.

Back to writing.

Wow. They did it!

After three failed launches, SpaceX has succeeded at what so many critics had deemed impossible: to send a privately built and funded spaceship into orbit. This is excellent news for anyone who thinks space exploration is a good thing, and governments are not doing enough to move it forward.

Title: The Singer Unsung (working title)

Word count: 623
Total word count: 623
Reason for stopping: no clue how to continue with the embedded narrative.

I'm happy I got around to writing tonight at all, because I felt a little down after getting the rejection slip from SH. But then I figured, if everyone says you just need to keep going, why not?

Oh. It's going to be fantasy piece, did I mention that? I decided that the only way to find out whether I should be writing science fiction or fantasy would be to try both. So this piece will be my shot at writing fantasy. Wonder which I'll enjoy more, and whether either will get picked up by an editor along the way...

This is day one. The first day of my writing life. It is not the day on which I first wrote fiction; not at all. That started months ago. However, I have been reading quite a few writerly blogs and they have taught me that you become a writer when you get your first rejection slip.

And today is the day. My very first piece of fiction ever (well, since high school at least), a 5,500 word short called Total Immersion got a form rejection from Strange Horizons. Quite predictably, of course. I just saw that Jed, the fiction editor who dealt with my submission read over 60 subs on a Saturday... ouch!
Still, as a newbie I am still full of unrealistic hopes and dreams of how my writing will leap out of the slush pile, how wildly enthusiastic editors will brawl over the right to publish it, and undying fame and glory will be my part.

No such luck today though :-)

For the record, I also submitted a flash piece to Apex Digest for the Halloween competition (I was surprised how difficult it is to tell any kind of story in less than 1,000 words!) and I've just resubmitted Total Immersion, this time to Futurismic.