So, following my post about international writers in Analog, Asimov’s and F&SF, Sean Wallace has pointed out we missed one, and I’m very glad to be able to correct my initial post: Asimov’s did in fact print one story by an international writer: Icarus Saved from the Skies “Icare sauvÃ© des cieux” by Georges-Oliver ChÃ¢teaureynaud, translated byÂ Edward Gauvin.
And if we count Sara Genge (which I am told we should) then Asimov’s actually lead the print pack, with a whole 2 stories last year.
I wish I could say this makes me much happier. I saw people point out the issues of translation, for instance, and this and that – none of which change the numbers themselves, which show Fantasy, Apex and Strange Horizons with a combined 19 stories between them.
I think what it comes down to at the end is diversity. I’d like to see more diversity in the field, and the disparity between the top online publications and the 3 print magazines is pretty astounding. 2 is better than 0… but 19 is better than 2.
The point about all this, btw, is not that international writers “deserve” some sort of recognition. The point is that when they submit, their stories are good enough to be bought. I do not think for a moment Fantasy have some sort of “quota” system. That would be nuts! But they are in a position to get the top submissions from overseas writers, leading to them buying a higher-than-average number. After all, the reason I love science fiction and fantasy is when it offers me a startling new look at the world – and people writing from a different perspective can offer that.
I think it’s a shame. I think editors, when they want to, are in a great position to solicit great stories – and when editors do, that’s what they get. And when editors make it as easy as possible for disadvantaged (in terms of post, or Internet access itself) writers to submit, that alone can make all the difference.
I’m not saying the “big 3” need to do any of this. After all, it’s their business what they publish, not mine. But… to me, diversity, and newness, are key factors to the field. Freshness, maybe. And perhaps they’re not for the readers of the Analog and its two brethren – but in that case, I simply think they’re missing out!
Lavie Tidhar is the author of linked-story collection HebrewPunk (2007), novellas An Occupation of Angels (2005), Cloud Permutations (2009) and Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God (2010) and, with Nir Yaniv, of The Tel Aviv Dossier (2009). Heâ€™s lived on three continents and one island-nation, and currently lives in South East Asia. His first novel, The Bookman, will be published by HarperCollinsâ€™ new Angry Robot imprint in 2010, and will be followed by two more.