Escape Artists

News:

News

ATTENTION: NEW FORUM THEME Please see here for details: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=13188.0

Author Topic: StarShipSofa  (Read 16273 times)

Heradel

  • Bill Peters, EP Assistant
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2938
  • Part-Time Psychopomp.
Reply #25 on: November 17, 2010, 03:01:52 AM
Unless I'm mistaken, EP generates enough income to pay authors at a rate that puts it in what most would consider a pro market category.

Yes, we do. Mainly through reader donations. (So everyone please donate if you can. Or This Happens.)


I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #26 on: November 17, 2010, 03:42:02 PM
If I remember correctly, the Hugo pro vs. semi-pro vs. fanzine categories are not determined by any hard pre-set criteria, but are determined by how the stories are nominated.  I think the nomination votes also specify the category, and then the story has the potential to end up in the category that most people think it's in?  Clarkesworld was running for semi-pro this year, even though they pay pro rates according to SFWA criteria and have well known pro authors , so that's just how the voters see them, I guess.  Likewise, SSS was voted as fanzine because that's how the voters saw it.  I suspect the SSS placement as fanzine had much to do with the fact that they don't pay their contributors, but I'm not sure. 



Heradel

  • Bill Peters, EP Assistant
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2938
  • Part-Time Psychopomp.
Reply #27 on: November 17, 2010, 08:04:49 PM
# Best Semiprozine: This is the most complicated category because of the need to define semi-professional. A lot of science fiction and fantasy magazines are run on a semi-professional basis: that is they pay a little, but generally not enough to make a living for anyone. The object of this category is to separate such things from fanzines, which are generally loss-making hobbyist pursuits. To qualify a publication must not be professional and must meet at least two of the following criteria:

   1. had an average press run of at least one thousand (1000) copies per issue;
   2. paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication;
   3. provided at least half the income of any one person;
   4. had at least fifteen percent (15%) of its total space occupied by advertising;
   5. announced itself to be a semiprozine.

This is the first of the serial publication categories. To qualify, the publication must have produced at least 4 issues, at least one of which must have appeared in the year of eligibility (this being similar to the requirements for magazine editors in Best Editor, Short Form).

# Best Fanzine: This is the other serial publication category. This Award is for anything that is neither professional nor semi-professional. The publication must also satisfy the rule of a minimum of 4 issues, at least one of which must have appeared in the year of eligibility.

For the record, I think Escape Pod would meet the criteria of semiprozine. Also for the record, eligibility criteria 1 should probably be revised for the internet age.

And there is no best pro-zine category, at that point it's the editor being chosen for Best Editor (Short Form).
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 08:13:44 PM by Heradel »

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


non-euclidean geo.

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Reply #28 on: November 19, 2010, 02:21:31 AM
You gotta like the affable Tony Smith, host of SSS. The Sofa truly is a top-notch podcast. But as much as it makes me feel like an a-hole, I do have a couple of gripes with Smith, Sofa, and company. First is the case of Greg Egan. Smith threw a hissy fit back when he was doing all the nebula nominees and Egan wouldn't hand over his story. For free mind you. Later on the Sofanauts podcast when discussing Harlan Ellison and his strong opinions on the subject of remuneration Smith handled the famously volatile Ellison with kid gloves. Imagine if he hadn't. Imagine if he'd spent five minutes berating Ellison the way he berated Egan. Does anyone seriously believe the Sofa would have won the Hugo after the public thrashing Ellison would have administered to Smith and his Sofa?   

Secondly, a fair number of SSS stories are in the public domain. Professional magazines like F&SF and Astounding already won Hugos for these stories 50 years ago. If reprinting classic stories is all it takes, then I suggest all fanzines interested in awards scrounge through their collections of old pulps for 2011 material. That and shamelessly self-promote themselves for pages on end. If Gordon Van Gelder spent the time and word count on campaigning for a Hugo the way Smith did, I'd cancel my subscription to F&SF(well, maybe not as long as they've got Shepard and Reed as regulars I won't).

My third gripe has less to do with the Sofa and more to do with the writers who hand their stories over to the Sofa. Why give preference to a non-paying podcast over paying podcasts? If the future is online, then why contribute to the creation of a non-paying market? I assume, these writers have already been paid for these stories by a magazine editor. So perhaps donating a story to a podcast isn't a big deal. But why not spread the wealth? If writers truly believe giving it away for free will result in a paycheck down the road, then cut the magazines in on the action too. Let's call it like it is; the magazines are subsidizing the Sofa.

 I don't blame Smith one bit for asking writers for stories. In his own words, "God loves a tryer." Apparently writers do too.



Talia

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2682
  • Muahahahaha
Reply #29 on: November 19, 2010, 03:02:59 AM

Secondly, a fair number of SSS stories are in the public domain. Professional magazines like F&SF and Astounding already won Hugos for these stories 50 years ago. If reprinting classic stories is all it takes, then I suggest all fanzines interested in awards scrounge through their collections of old pulps for 2011 material. That and shamelessly self-promote themselves for pages on end. If Gordon Van Gelder spent the time and word count on campaigning for a Hugo the way Smith did, I'd cancel my subscription to F&SF(well, maybe not as long as they've got Shepard and Reed as regulars I won't).


I can't argue your other two points.. I haven't heard what Tony said about Mr. Egan. That sounds incredibly, wildly, massively out of character for him, though, so I donno. Unless he was doing it kinda joking-like. I also agree with your third point and really haven't a clue why these writers give preference to SSS. I find it very frustrating, particularly when I hear about things like, in one instance, a writer refusing to SELL a story to a fiction podcast, but then that story later shows up on SSS. WTF....

But - your second point doesn't take into consideration that SSS runs quite a bit of stuff that isn't fiction. The bits by Amy S. Sturgis and Jeff Campanella are particularly excellent. Not to mention the fantastic interviews - particularly the one from a couple months back that had Fred Pohl and Jack Vance shooting the breeze. Fantastic.  Regardless of how much of the fiction is in the public domain, you cannot deny the quality of the non-fiction segments of SSS. It's great stuff.



Boggled Coriander

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
    • Balancing Frogs
Reply #30 on: November 19, 2010, 05:11:42 AM

I can't argue your other two points.. I haven't heard what Tony said about Mr. Egan. That sounds incredibly, wildly, massively out of character for him, though, so I donno. Unless he was doing it kinda joking-like.

I agree.  Which SSS episode was it?  I'm curious enough to want to give it a listen.  Tony's persona is so cheerful and likable, as if he's hosting each episode with a big goofy grin on his face because he's so goddamned happy to do what he's doing.  I can only imagine he was playfully ribbing Greg Egan (who I'm also a big fan of) and it fell flat.

"The meteor formed a crater, vampires crawling out of the crater." -  The Lyttle Lytton contest


DKT

  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • PodCastle is my Co-Pilot
    • Psalms & Hymns & Spiritual Noir
Reply #31 on: November 19, 2010, 05:45:06 AM

I can't argue your other two points.. I haven't heard what Tony said about Mr. Egan. That sounds incredibly, wildly, massively out of character for him, though, so I donno. Unless he was doing it kinda joking-like.

I agree.  Which SSS episode was it?  I'm curious enough to want to give it a listen.  Tony's persona is so cheerful and likable, as if he's hosting each episode with a big goofy grin on his face because he's so goddamned happy to do what he's doing.  I can only imagine he was playfully ribbing Greg Egan (who I'm also a big fan of) and it fell flat.

No, unfortunately it did happen (Right about 7:30 of the podcast). And Tony was unfortunately unnecessarily rude about it. He was so frustrated with Egan that he refused to link to the story, and suggested Egan didn't understand "the web 2.0" simply because Egan's story had already been podcasted elsewhere.

Keep in mind: I like Tony and what he does at StarShipSofa. I'm actually floored by what he's accomplished with StarShipSofa, and I have tons of respect for him and the podcast. The few interactions I've had with him he's been nothing but gracious. But that's not cool reaction to have. Especially when you're asking people to essentially donate their story to your podcast.

This did happen over a year ago, and I don't know how Tony feels about it now. But it unfortunately did happen.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 05:47:36 AM by DKT »



Boggled Coriander

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
    • Balancing Frogs
Reply #32 on: November 19, 2010, 06:03:26 AM

I can't argue your other two points.. I haven't heard what Tony said about Mr. Egan. That sounds incredibly, wildly, massively out of character for him, though, so I donno. Unless he was doing it kinda joking-like.

I agree.  Which SSS episode was it?  I'm curious enough to want to give it a listen.  Tony's persona is so cheerful and likable, as if he's hosting each episode with a big goofy grin on his face because he's so goddamned happy to do what he's doing.  I can only imagine he was playfully ribbing Greg Egan (who I'm also a big fan of) and it fell flat.

No, unfortunately it did happen (Right about 7:30 of the podcast). And Tony was unfortunately unnecessarily rude about it. He was so frustrated with Egan that he refused to link to the story, and suggested Egan didn't understand "the web 2.0" simply because Egan's story had already been podcasted elsewhere.

Ouch, you're right.  He was not playfully ribbing; he was complaining because he felt miffed. 

"The meteor formed a crater, vampires crawling out of the crater." -  The Lyttle Lytton contest


Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #33 on: November 19, 2010, 04:53:51 PM
Yup, his complaining about Egan was not his best moment, for sure.  I haven't seen him do anything like that before or since, and hopefully it stays that way.  I mean, even if Tony WERE paying, it's still Egan's choice to do what he pleases with his own story, and should be able to do so without this reaction.



non-euclidean geo.

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Reply #34 on: November 20, 2010, 05:12:04 AM
I haven't seen him do anything like that before or since, and hopefully it stays that way. 

Well, Smith hasn't done anything like it since, but Larry Santoro did a mere two or three episodes ago. I sincerely hope Santoro returns to health soon. Next to Amy Sturgis he's my favorite contributor to the Sofa. Even when he's just rambling. But.......while covering a fantasy convention he referred to an unnamed author as an "asshole" for not donating a story to SSS and ascribing the author's asshole-ness to the fact he holds opinions like those of Harlan Ellison's.

Santoro's words, Smith's podcast.

Regardless of how much of the fiction is in the public domain, you cannot deny the quality of the non-fiction segments of SSS. It's great stuff.

I don't deny it. Not only do most of the non-fiction segments rock, but how about that stable of readers? Ray Sizemore by himself is reason enough to download the Sofa. If SSS were a lousier podcast, then who cares about any of this? It's precisely because SSS is so damn good that I'm bothered by these things.




Talia

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2682
  • Muahahahaha
Reply #35 on: November 20, 2010, 05:35:34 AM
RE: what Larry said - I heard that, to me it just sounded like he had an encounter with this author where the author came off poorly. It happens. I wouldn't necesarily link it hand it hand with what Tony said previously.

Also, I'd suggest its HIGHLY unlikely they've gotten NO rejections since that first incident. In fact, didn't Larry himself say that Ted Chiang turned them down? Rather, he said, he had "nothing for them," but that sounds rather like a rejection to me. (although taking note of his rather low output - which is cool considering the generally high quality of what he DOES put out - that might be quite literal). Anyway, seems to me they would have had several rejections since then, but its not like you hear him ranting on every week.



goatkeeper

  • Guest
Reply #36 on: November 22, 2010, 06:27:01 AM
RE: what Larry said - I heard that, to me it just sounded like he had an encounter with this author where the author came off poorly. It happens.
Agreeing with Talia (as usual.)  And would further like to ad that we all say dumb stuff that we (later) find ourselves thinking differently about.  The internet immortalizes us in regrettable ways sometimes, and in such a ubiquity of ways that perhaps, at this point, we might even be able to scrap together genuine empathy towards one another. Podcast comments that come out a year or two ago (that's like decades at today's rate!) should be taken as nuggets of learning-- understanding of a period of thinking-- rather than the sum of a person's parts.  The fact that Tony even said "web 2.0" can't help but make me grin with warm regression at 'better times' when baseball cards came with bubblegum and soda pop cost a nickel.

And besides, Tony (and Larry, I surmise) are used to getting stories for free.  It's part of fanfic culture I guess.  There are cultures of sharing and cultures of dollar signs all over the net, and you either belong in one or are trespassing.  The very fact that SSS historically gets the Hugo noms probono and was thus peeved at Egan and other unnamed "assholes" for 'passing', tells us that we're basically making assumptions about a situation that is completely alien to us.  Consider this: SSS says on their site that they don't pay authors-- FACT.   And yet they have published Kris Kathryn Rusch, David Levine, Robert Reed, Spider Robinson, Ben Bova, even Neil Gaiman.  Despite whatever these 'professionals' have ever said to you in workshops about not being low-balled or taken advantage of by publishers-- they also decided that SSS (for whatever reason) deserved their product free of charge.  Think about that.  

Should SSS ever be 'mean' online in immortal form? No, of course not.  Should SSS be shocked by someone turning them down?  Look at that track track record and tell me you wouldn't be.  
--Seriously Egan, this story is already published on your website for free, you're already giving it away-- you're gonna tell me that your story is better than Gaiman's? Or better than all these other Hugo nominees who gave their stories away?  Why won't you just let me speak the words that you  already give away on your website, huh?  What makes you so special?!

What makes it special is that he is Greg Egan. Maybe he doesn't care about Gaiman or the Hugo nominees, maybe he doesn't care about your little podcast wherever the hell.  It's.  His.  Story.  End.  Of.  Story.  

That should never change about 'Web 2.0' and I will always defend that.

I was ruffled by both Tony and Larry's comments but in retrospect I realize that this goes back to what Talia and I said originally:  These podcasts aren't just different planets, these are different solar systems.

....
Now, if you want to talk about how these environments and 'aliens of different solar systems' are also shockingly anthropomorphic in shape and similar to our own (ala Star Trek's hot green alien babes), that's a different and equally interesting discussion.  Don't think I'm not standing here without my hands crossed/eyebrows raised at the these authors that are giving stuff away to competitors of pro-markets like Escapepod (essentially weakening the argument that they should be paid for their work as writers.)

If Egan turns down 100 bucks for the reprint of his story you will hear a different rant from me.  It's still his story and he has every right to do so, but it'll be a different rant from me about a different issue.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 08:28:11 AM by goatkeeper »



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #37 on: November 22, 2010, 02:41:53 PM
Well, Smith hasn't done anything like it since, but Larry Santoro did a mere two or three episodes ago. I sincerely hope Santoro returns to health soon. Next to Amy Sturgis he's my favorite contributor to the Sofa. Even when he's just rambling. But.......while covering a fantasy convention he referred to an unnamed author as an "asshole" for not donating a story to SSS and ascribing the author's asshole-ness to the fact he holds opinions like those of Harlan Ellison's.

Huh, I don't remember that.  Either it didn't bother me, or I wasn't paying very close attention, or I'd skipped past that segment.  I do hope, too, that Larry gets better soon--I especially like his story readings, he's really good at those and he was part of the reason that Eugie Foster's mask story was my #1 favorite EP story.  She wrote a great story, but he made it even better with his versatility of voice, especially when he giggled like a schoolgirl.



DKT

  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • PodCastle is my Co-Pilot
    • Psalms & Hymns & Spiritual Noir
Reply #38 on: November 22, 2010, 05:09:25 PM
FWIW, I believe the story Egan refused to let SSS run was nominated for the BFSA, not the Hugos.

If Egan turns down 100 bucks for the reprint of his story you will hear a different rant from me.  It's still his story and he has every right to do so, but it'll be a different rant from me about a different issue.

Norm, I think your rant is looooooooooooooong overdue.  ;D

Still...I'm actually not angry when people turn us down (it's happened once at PC to us, although I understand it happened several times to Rachel; now we're setting ourselves up for it to happen a few more times). I am disappointed, but like Norm says - it's the author's story, and they're allowed to do what they want with them.


Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #39 on: November 22, 2010, 06:53:11 PM
Still...I'm actually not angry when people turn us down (it's happened once at PC to us, although I understand it happened several times to Rachel; now we're setting ourselves up for it to happen a few more times). I am disappointed, but like Norm says - it's the author's story, and they're allowed to do what they want with them.

I can understand disappointment.  And maybe anger, kept to yourself--I mean, I have gotten angry at things that I know shouldn't make me angry, but I also know that if I shared that anger on the interwebz, I'd make an ass of myself.  It's the broadcasting of said anger that crosses a line.

Anyway, like goatkeeper said, it was years ago, so I'm not going to hold a grudge about it unless it happens more.



kibitzer

  • Purveyor of Unsolicited Opinions
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2228
  • Kibitzer: A meddler who offers unwanted advice
Reply #40 on: November 23, 2010, 02:22:28 AM
Norm, that's a really nicely reasoned piece of writing there. Nice one! Thanks.


Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #41 on: January 19, 2011, 04:04:38 PM
Threadomancy!

I just realized the first two parts of my narration of "Escape from Kathmandu" are already live on the Sofa (episodes 171 & 172). I'm back on 166, which is probably why I didn't know. I hope you enjoy them. If not, I totally accept constructive criticism. Just, not in this thread. Threadjacking is different from threadomancy, after all.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


DKT

  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • PodCastle is my Co-Pilot
    • Psalms & Hymns & Spiritual Noir
Reply #42 on: January 19, 2011, 05:11:36 PM
Oh, cool! Thanks for the threadomancy  :)


Swamp

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 2229
    • Journey Into... podcast
Reply #43 on: January 19, 2011, 05:33:34 PM
I just realized the first two parts of my narration of "Escape from Kathmandu" are already live on the Sofa (episodes 171 & 172). I'm back on 166, which is probably why I didn't know. I hope you enjoy them. If not, I totally accept constructive criticism. Just, not in this thread. Threadjacking is different from threadomancy, after all.

I think it sounds great, Listener.

FWIW I also read a peice for SSS, "Salvage in Space" by Jack WIlliamson, an sf story from Astounding Stories magazine in 1933.  It was on episode 170.

I'll have another reading there coming up soon, a short story by Kevin J. Anderson.

Facehuggers don't have heads!

Come with me and Journey Into... another fun podcast


Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #44 on: January 20, 2011, 09:43:14 PM
I just realized the first two parts of my narration of "Escape from Kathmandu" are already live on the Sofa (episodes 171 & 172). I'm back on 166, which is probably why I didn't know. I hope you enjoy them. If not, I totally accept constructive criticism. Just, not in this thread. Threadjacking is different from threadomancy, after all.

I think it sounds great, Listener.

FWIW I also read a peice for SSS, "Salvage in Space" by Jack WIlliamson, an sf story from Astounding Stories magazine in 1933.  It was on episode 170.

I'll have another reading there coming up soon, a short story by Kevin J. Anderson.

Thanks. I'm almost up to 170. Got about 10 minutes left in the meta show, which is REALLY long even when played at 2x speed. I find myself skipping almost all of SSS's Fact Articles. My favorite parts are actually the interviews -- I went bonkers over the Connie Willis one because she wrote one of my favorite books ever ("Passage").

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


Talia

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2682
  • Muahahahaha
Reply #45 on: January 20, 2011, 09:55:41 PM
I find myself skipping almost all of SSS's Fact Articles.

 :o :o :o

I can see that for the comics and movies parts, but surely not Science News or a Look Back at Genre History?



Unblinking

  • Sir Postsalot
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 8729
    • Diabolical Plots
Reply #46 on: January 21, 2011, 05:57:28 PM
Thanks. I'm almost up to 170. Got about 10 minutes left in the meta show, which is REALLY long even when played at 2x speed. I find myself skipping almost all of SSS's Fact Articles. My favorite parts are actually the interviews -- I went bonkers over the Connie Willis one because she wrote one of my favorite books ever ("Passage").

Interesting, I tend to skip almost all of the main fiction (after giving each story a chance), but I listen to most of the fact articles. 

I was surprised at having my Best of StarShipSofa list playing a prominent role in the Meta Show, especially since the Meta Show was posted 24 hours after my list was posted.  Although I was disappointed that all of the comments there and over on the forums were to disagree with the negatives I listed for the cast, while ignoring the rest of the content (like the list itself).



Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #47 on: January 24, 2011, 07:44:25 PM
I find myself skipping almost all of SSS's Fact Articles.

 :o :o :o

I can see that for the comics and movies parts, but surely not Science News or a Look Back at Genre History?

I can read Science News faster in my reader. It's 20 minutes I don't have to spare. And Genre History doesn't really interest me that much when it's being lectured to me. I'll listen to it coming from an author (like when Samuel Delaney talked about it from his experience) but again, I don't really have enough time to listen to podcasts anymore to spend it on non-fiction.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


Talia

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2682
  • Muahahahaha
Reply #48 on: January 24, 2011, 08:19:58 PM
Fair enough.

I'm no fan of history type stuff generally, but Amy finds the most fascinating things to talk about. It's pretty cool.



DKT

  • Friendly Neighborhood
  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 4980
  • PodCastle is my Co-Pilot
    • Psalms & Hymns & Spiritual Noir
Reply #49 on: January 24, 2011, 09:08:07 PM
I have to agree - I like the fiction StarShipSofa runs, but I'm always disappointed when I don't get an Amy Sturgis essay. She's one of my favorite bits about SSS.