Alteredfluid needs writers! Alteredfluid is a weekly writers’ group that meets in downtown Manhattan of which I am a member. Because of attrition, people moving away, and murders, etc., we have lost members in the past few months and we are looking to fill a few spots. What we are looking for: Speculative fiction writers of any genre. Our members typically write science fiction, fantasy, horror, and that strange interstitial land called slipstream. Not all of our members have been published, but some have been multiple times, and a few have received honorable mentions in the year’s best, and others have won major awards. A few of our members have been to Clarion, and we use that style when critiquing, but that is not a prerequisite to joining the group. If you are looking for a writing group in the New York Metro area and think you might want to meet once a week in downtown New York, send an email to Mercurio D. Rivera (aka Evil David) at this address.
Now on to the slush pile news. We’ve received approximately 90 stories so far. We have rejected 71. We have accepted 7 stories, 2 poems. 6 stories are in the candidate pile as well as several poems. We would like to see more science fiction. We expect this issue to be bigger than the last, both in page count and circulation (especially now with our snazzy new ISSN 1557-9735) so if you are interested in advertising with us, please contact us using the email address link at the top of this page.
New Scientist has a forum that’s been running for weeks on The Best Science Fiction Works Ever. Of course, like music, opinions abound, and there is much saber rattling, but my all time favorite film, Blade Runner, consistently rates at the top. As a science fiction novel, Dune (the original) ranks as my favorite and is kind of in the untouchable category. Anyone who criticizes this novel frankly doesn’t understand it. People also have been raving about the short lived Firefly, which I have never seen, so I’ve put it on my Netflix queue.
Solar Flare has an excerpt of an interview with Scott Bakula of Enterprise fame (or infame). Bakula blames Paramount for the cancellation of the show, saying no one in the organization supported them, but he believes people will be watching his show 20 years from now. One thing I noted about Enterprise compared to all the previous Star Trek series was its poor writing. Can’t think of a new plot? Well there’s always Time Traveling Nazi’s (yes, they did it). Can’t think of a new enemy to fight? Well let’s take the Taliban and rename them the Suliban and hope no one notices where we got the name from. At least in the other series, any commentary on real life was veiled enough so that you could take it on its own, or apply it to any event from history. Take Deep Space Nine’s Cardassian occupation of Bajor. That could be seen as Germany in Poland, China in Tibet, Israel in Palestine. But the viewer is left to make that relation herself.
What I would like to see instead of the same tired old let’s-conquer-the-universe themes is something I call Star Trek Stories. Think Outer Limits or Twilight Zone without the creepiness, but taking place somewhere, sometime in the Star Trek universe. Think Trials and Tribble-ations times a thousand. Imagine having an episode take place anywhere, anywhen in the series. A day in the life of a janitor aboard Enterprise A. A day in the life of a school teacher at Starfleet academy. A day in the life of a cadet aboard a time ship. You could have recurring characters too. There are endless possibilities with this theme, and I think it would allow the Star Trek universe to expand without becoming stale. I thought I would throw it out there, anyway.