Saturday, 6 February 2010

Zombonauts, a Word of Warning

I've always tried to be positive about the publications my work appears in. The reasons why should be obvious, but let's just set a few of them down:

The vast majority of magazines, whether print or online, are put together through the effort and time of talented people working from a genuine desire to showcase good fiction to their readers. On the rare occasions I've thought an editor didn't entirely pull that off, it's usually been clear that it wasn't for lack of trying. I'd much rather focus on the positives than nitpick the negatives when the positives are the product of hard work and the negatives are genuine mistakes.

Truthfully, I don't want to get a reputation for biting the hand that feeds. Editors are always taking a gamble on the writers they publish, however good they feel the writer or the particular story to be. I don't want anyone thinking that the gamble will be an even bigger one because I might turn around and rip their publication to shreds.

And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I've mostly been very happy with the publications I've been in. 

With all of that said, there's one other thing that I don't want to be known for, and that's encouraging people to buy things that I know are utterly below par. So, after much thought, I've decided the only thing I can do is to come out and say that I can't recommend anyone to buy the Zombonauts collection out recently from Library of the Living Dead Press. Frankly, it's been thrown together with a lack of care that borders on contempt for writers and readers alike. There are countless spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors, in places twenty or thirty a page, to the point where I can't imagine anyone did even a cursory proof read (though bizarrely, a proof reader is actually credited.) It's a mess, and worse, it's a mess with a $15.99 price tag.

It's a shame, because there are some neat stories in amidst all the dumb mistakes, not least of them my own Fear of a Blue Goo Planet. Luckily, that one at least is available here for free, in an excellent podcast from the guys at Chaos Theory: Tales Askew.

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