Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!


Tell us what you thought of the January 2007 issue!

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Post January 11, 2007, 12:06:48 PM

Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

To quote Dr. Frankenstein, "IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE!"

So comment on something, already, so we'll feel motivated to actually put out a February issue sometime in February. Of this year. Probably.

Robert M.
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Post January 11, 2007, 12:44:31 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

Let's see the goods. I need a Jan/Feb story before I can comment on it.


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Post January 11, 2007, 01:30:55 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

To quote Dr. Frankenstein, "IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE!"

So comment on something, already, so we'll feel motivated to actually put out a February issue sometime in February. Of this year. Probably.

Robert M.

I thought you just said we were supposed to express our displeasure by ignoring things. :)

I've got a full workday, then my daughter's band concert, so I won't be able to rip into... er, critique Bill's story until around 10 (central) tonight. :)

Nate
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Post January 11, 2007, 01:47:32 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

Let's see the goods.  I need a Jan/Feb story before I can comment on it.


-- david j.


Er, IT'S ALIVE! If you go to http://www.aphelion-webzine.com , you'll see a new cover (which, for a change, doesn't name any of the authors); http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/index2.htm takes you to the usual index page. (You might have to force a refresh by clicking on the browser's reload button or hitting CTRL-R, if you are still seeing the November issue.)

Robert M.
(I figured when Rob or Dan created the 'January 2007' folder, it meant that the issue had gone live, and I was (alert the press!) right.)

[highlight]****WHAT THE???? I SWEAR THE NEW ISSUE WAS UP WHEN I CREATED THIS TOPIC!!!!**** Oh, look ... it's back ...[/highlight]
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Post January 12, 2007, 12:23:32 AM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

I thought you just said we were supposed to express our displeasure by ignoring things. :)
Nate


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Post January 12, 2007, 09:58:31 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

To quote Dr. Frankenstein, "IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE!"

So comment on something, already, so we'll feel motivated to actually put out a February issue sometime in February. Of this year. Probably.

Robert M.

So why did I have to stay up late to post a message if almost 24 hours later, not even ten people had even viewed the post? (Of the ten views so far, 2 were me. Once to make sure it made sense, and another time when I thought of something to add.)


It may not be popular, but I've got to say I think the discussion is slow because the issues were so late. People were trained to watch for the issue the end of the 1st week of the month. That didn't happen all last year (much if it at all). Now, no one knows when to look for it, so many of them stopped checking for it until it's down to the, what, dozen of us left who actually read or post?

Not exactly easy to create interest if no one is looking.

Aphelion shows every early warning sign of a dying magazine, and has for a long time: First, it's a skipped month her or there. Then it's all the time. Discussion in the forum drops to next to nothing. Interest sags. If it continues to follow the pattern from other Zines, next, the issues get further apart, perhaps quarterly or every six months. Preditors and Editors starts listing horrendous response times. Here, frustrated editors and web gurus start thinking it wasn't ever worth this much work to prep stories since no one read them anyway. Then, it doesn't come out at all. It happens fast, too. Maybe one or two issues in the quarterly or more category. Sure there be messages, "On Hiatus", etc., but they don't come back (or I haven't seen one do so). Before long Ralan will list it as defunct. Maybe some site will mirror the stories for a time, but before long the back issues disappear too. After all, why pay the bill for that forever?

It's sad when that happens to a Zine, but it happens. All over the net.

I don't want it to happen here, but don't know what to do about it besides do the Chicken Little thing and shout about the sky falling. If I grill all the stories the way I used to, will that help? Controversy breeds discussion, but it seems too late. I mean, if no one is there to hear the tree falling, what's the point of knocking it over? To hang out in the woods?

Am I wrong?


Nate
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Post January 13, 2007, 12:36:04 AM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

Nate

I have jokingly said more than once that things are delayed because various of the editorial staff have the temerity to HAVE LIVES. Not only that, but they tend to be complicated lives, or at least lives with complications.

In the past year or so, we've had two or three computer meltdowns, deaths in respective families, a wedding, a couple of industrial blowups (fortunately with no casualties), moves, job changes, ...

You teach public school (which I understand involves many hours of work outside the nominal school day), but Jeff teaches college classes. We (the editorial staff) all have full time jobs (and Dan's often involves downright bizarre overtime schedules and switching between day and night shift at odd intervals).

I'd be more inclined to respect your doom-and-gloom attitude and complaints if you were offering to contribute to the production of the 'zine, but you have said that you're too busy to even read more than a few of the stories, so ...

We're doing the best we can. If we can get a few months when NONE OF US have unusual demands on our time, we'll get back to something resembling a normal schedule, I hope. I will be trying to edit and run more stories every month to burn through some of the backlog (including at least a handful of new pieces IN ADDITION TO some Best of 2006 / Best Ever picks for February) -- might even enlist McCamy Taylor's help now that her health problems have subsided enough to let her read and write more.

If that's not good enough for you, well, we'll be sorry to lose one of our few non-lurkers (i.e., someone who actually posts something so we know that at least some of the material is being read), but we don't have time or energy to hold a wake.

Robert 'I should be reading stuff for February' M.
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Post January 13, 2007, 11:55:40 AM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

another month and still waiting for a sign...but i'm going to get working on this one, seems like a corker.

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Post January 13, 2007, 01:09:58 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

Nate

I have jokingly said more than once that things are delayed because various of the editorial staff have the temerity to HAVE LIVES. Not only that, but they tend to be complicated lives, or at least lives with complications.

In the past year or so, we've had two or three computer meltdowns, deaths in respective families, a wedding, a couple of industrial blowups (fortunately with no casualties), moves, job changes, ...

You teach public school (which I understand involves many hours of work outside the nominal school day), but Jeff teaches college classes. We (the editorial staff) all have full time jobs (and Dan's often involves downright bizarre overtime schedules and switching between day and night shift at odd intervals).

I'd be more inclined to respect your doom-and-gloom attitude and complaints if you were offering to contribute to the production of the 'zine, but you have said that you're too busy to even read more than a few of the stories, so ...

We're doing the best we can. If we can get a few months when NONE OF US have unusual demands on our time, we'll get back to something resembling a normal schedule, I hope. I will be trying to edit and run more stories every month to burn through some of the backlog (including at least a handful of new pieces IN ADDITION TO some Best of 2006 / Best Ever picks for February) -- might even enlist McCamy Taylor's help now that her health problems have subsided enough to let her read and write more.

If that's not good enough for you, well, we'll be sorry to lose one of our few non-lurkers (i.e., someone who actually posts something so we know that at least some of the material is being read), but we don't have time or energy to hold a wake.

Robert 'I should be reading stuff for February' M.

Ah, so I should be careful not to let the door hit me in the ass on my way out, eh?

First off, let me dispel a misconception before it festers into fact: I'm not a schoolteacher. I studied to be a high-school English teacher, and in fact, met my wife in a 'Composition for Teachers' class. However, I became lead typesetter/designer for a company that produced 3 newspapers a week. It paid a lot better.

Currently, I'm the Estimator and Plant Manager for a printing company, where we produce all or parts of 45 different publications... plus job printing. Some are twice a year, some twice a week, with circulations from 1,100 to 20,000. Some jobs we print, like maps or inserts, are in the half million copy range. I coordinate and administer all that work, as well as keep the employees producing what they're supposed to do and on time. Sometimes we get pdfs supplied to us, and other times we get a stack of handwritten sheets that have to be turned into 10,000 24-page glossy magazines in 2 weeks. Maybe they'll have to mailed out of a half-dozen post offices, too. And all that with less than 20 employees, from the lady at the front desk to the 3 delivery drivers.

I know all about producing magazines with few people. I know all about people having problems or equipment breaking down and still getting work out. I can't run a printing press or a 36" folder, but I fill in for almost anywhere else in the procedure. Over the years, I've been involved with everything from marketing to planning editorial content to circulation. A lot of marketing, circulation, and distribution. We've experienced nearly 20% growth in each of the last two years doing it that way.

That also means I have to coordinate with customers who are using volunteers to write or design their work. I have to. Presses only make money when they're running, and can't wait while some committee debates whether or not to move their logo up or down a quarter inch.


So, when I say that frequency of publication and on-time delivery makes a big damn difference, I'm not pulling that out of thin air. Readers are conditioned to receive their product at a certain time and in a certain way, especially by established publications. And it doesn't make a difference if they are free or not, printed or on-screen.

The ABC evening news here airs at 5:30 p.m. It doesn't cost me anything, yet I enjoy the content (much like Aphelion). Yet if tomorrow ABC decides to start at 5:46, and the next day at 6:10, and maybe the next day at 8:45, how long do you think it would be before no one watches? There are simply too many other places which to receive your enjoyment from to bother with the wait, and anyone would switch channels.

You want to lose your readership? Don't come out on time.


To the next point, I have offered to help in every way except slush reading and putting the stories into web pages. (And although I've never formatted a story into a web page, it's just text into what should be a standing layout. How hard should that part of it be, unless you're hand coding it all every issue?) AND, I offered to do that, too, for flash contest winners. Remember that flash contest I proposed? To increase readership and discussion? Nobody wanted that done.

There are six active persons listed underneath Dan in the staff list. If you as a group are unable to meet deadlines--add staff or fire those who don't want to work. I'm sure a widespread notice for someone who wants the title of assistant editor of a zine on their resume will bring a lot of young, zealous applicants willing to volunteer for free.


If you'd prefer to think of Aphelion as a hobby instead of a creative product that you help produce, even for free, don't bitch when people won't read it or won't comment on it.

Nate
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Post January 13, 2007, 07:20:03 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

I find the emphasis you place on 'product' rather disturbing. 'Creative' product sounds like an oxymoron (although there are many creative enterprises that DO manage to stick to a schedule, at least most of the time.) If it didn't cost the volunteer-staffed magazines (or your employer) any money to delay things, they might be less punctual. And I'll bet none of your volunteer-staffed print magazines has people scattered across three countries and even more time zones. We don't have coordination meetings -- it would be tough to set a time when everybody would be awake and available to visit the chatroom.

Maybe YOU should start a zine. I'm sure it would come out on time, every month, if nothing else.

Or, hey, Jeff was sort of supposed to be in charge of cracking the whip to get people to conform to deadlines -- maybe you could take over THAT job (I have never received an e-mail or lettercol Private Message asking where the hell the stories are). No reading of slush required -- just an eye on the calendar and enough time to badger -- er, remind -- people about deadlines. Jeff, Dan -- what do you think? Would it help us to have a calendar-conscious person keeping us on track?

(BTW, howcum it's bitching when I complain ONCE about your complaints? What does that make your complaints (repeated multiple times over the past six months or so)? 'Whingeing'?)

Robert 'I do NOT bitch' (stamps foot and pouts) M.
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Post January 14, 2007, 02:13:41 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

I find the emphasis you place on 'product' rather disturbing. 'Creative' product sounds like an oxymoron (although there are many creative enterprises that DO manage to stick to a schedule, at least most of the time.) If it didn't cost the volunteer-staffed magazines (or your employer) any money to delay things, they might be less punctual. And I'll bet none of your volunteer-staffed print magazines has people scattered across three countries and even more time zones. We don't have coordination meetings -- it would be tough to set a time when everybody would be awake and available to visit the chatroom.

Well, don't get hung up on the word 'product'. I myself am not a big fan of calling magazines products instead of magazines, but there is a logic to the 'everything is a product' line of reasoning that the suits use.

A sermon or service in a church can be considered a product, one which the parishioners frequently 'donate' to receive, from a certain line of thinking. The ultimate goal of almost every writer is to be paid to write professionally. At that point, your 'creative' work is a product, which consumers buy. At least, the IRS (or whatever the Canadian equivalent) will consider it such. In Aphelion's case, the 'consuming' is reading, for free, but you still vie for their time and attention to get them to do so.

Maybe YOU should start a zine. I'm sure it would come out on time, every month, if nothing else.

It's been discussed. However, Dan has talked about Aphelion costing about $1000 per year to operate. Any extra grand I scratch up puts clothes on my kids' backs or gets set aside with the rest of the pitifully small amount I have for eventual retirement.

Moreover, it would be morally wrong for me to do so. Creation of a new zine would compete in the marketplace for resources against Aphelion. Resources in this case would be the writers who contribute to Aphelion, as well as the attention of the readership. Since Aphelion is what I'm trying to help safeguard, stealing the writers and readers seems a pretty rotten way to do it.

Or, hey, Jeff was sort of supposed to be in charge of cracking the whip to get people to conform to deadlines -- maybe you could take over THAT job (I have never received an e-mail or lettercol Private Message asking where the hell the stories are). No reading of slush required -- just an eye on the calendar and enough time to badger -- er, remind -- people about deadlines. Jeff, Dan -- what do you think? Would it help us to have a calendar-conscious person keeping us on track?

If someone wants me to do that, sure, I can swing it. I do make a living by planning work and not by being everybody's friend. (Though it is pretty friendly at work.) However, I have to say that there seems to be a simple solution: publish whether or not people are ready. If Jeff, hypothetically, doesn't have the serials ready, just put a line in the zine that they were not submitted in time and leave them out that month. If Jeff (again, hypothetically) cares enough about the job, he'll be on time for the next issue. If a person routinely can't hit deadlines, well, then it's pretty obvious who needs to be replaced.

I'd also that add it looks like there is a clear need for someone to be able to do Rob Wynne's bit when he's not able, if there isn't already. From an outsider's perspective, it seemed that this issue was held up by lack of a cover and folder, and not Dan as he himself claimed. If this really was the case, it seems silly to hold up a magazine because the person who makes the cover and a new folder is on vacation. I believe folder creation is easy with Moderator status, according to the help file, and (speaking without knowing the actual process) the cover looks like quick work with some photoshop and web tools, since NASA provides the artwork for free. Everyone knew Bill's part 2 was going to be running, and Robert had his posted by the 22nd, and Iain by the 23rd. That's all the stories to pick names for the cover from, although the cover for this issue works fine without names. I think Dan had his page made (without the updated link to Bill's story) around the same time. Bill's story was there, what, the 3rd?, but not formatted correctly. Public date was a week later, I believe. (Hey, it's not my fault none of these pages are hidden. Anyone can see the next issue if they look in the right place.)

I don't like blame. I'd rather fix a problem than blame someone, but this seems like something that needs fixing. In any small creative organization, everybody has got to be able to double-up on jobs and fill in. If it's true that only Rob can flip the issue, then that's a big weakness. What if he got hit by a bus tomorrow? (While I do actually know a number of bus drivers, they don't seem the type to go that far to make a hit. :))

Nothing personal against Rob, or Dan, for that matter. If I'm wrong, then I apologize completely to both of them, and their families, and shall undertake never to utter such statements ever again.

(BTW, howcum it's bitching when I complain ONCE about your complaints? What does that make your complaints (repeated multiple times over the past six months or so)? 'Whingeing'?)

Robert 'I do NOT bitch' (stamps foot and pouts) M.

I had to look up 'whingeing', but fine, if you want to call it that.

Actually, I was referring to your message complaining that no one had posted and we all should if we wanted an issue to come out in February, and not your distaste for my post.


Nate
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Post January 14, 2007, 02:46:31 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of yours guys!

Hello All,

First:  Please let me say that we absolutely need people like Nate in our readership.   He takes (and gives) a lot of time and effort to critiquing our work.  More so than anyone else.  .  .including yours truly.  I literally shiver with excitement when I read the headings and Nate is one of those who have chosen to honor me with a post.  No kidding.  

Whatever he has to say is--whether I agree or not--always insightful and well considered.  I personally love the guy.  When I don't hate him, of course.  Sometimes I do both at once.  Do I contradict myself?  Very well then.  I am large, I contain multitudes.  (Sorry Walt, had to do it.)

The very worst thing about Nate is that he is so often right.  He dinged me in this month's posts for not having the story in the can before the first word when online.   And he is absolutely right.  This is the kind of thing that can--and often has--burned the foundation right out of a decent publication.  There are more 'Part I' stories out there that never quite made it to a conclusion than I can shake a stick at.  It's amateur hour.  .  .no two ways about it.

But then again we are an amateur zine.  We really are.   I've shopped around the net quite a bit and let me tell you all--we're also the best I've ever seen.  As a labor of love--and love only--nobody can touch us.  On an average.  .  .every issue contains at least one story that--either as it is or with just a little decent editing--could sell in the pulp world.  And this stuff is free, gratis, many times just for the sheer joy of writing it.

I could follow my 'history' file and name 10-20 free zines that can only dream of Aphelion's hit count, response rate, and quality.  It boggles the mind.  If there's something better out there, I'd love for anyone to send me a link to it.

Al of this being said, I am reminded of Stephen King's (Bachman) novel: The Long Walk.  I read this thing in the 80's and I only read it once; but I remember that there was this one kid who acted as the pacer.  He set the pace for the rest of the herd.  If I'm not mistaken, he was the second-to-last to die because King had this way of letting the underdog triumph through sheer grit.  

Well folks, Nate is our pacer.  He has high standards, he really reads every story before he puts out a post.  And I appreciate every scrap of effort he puts in to this stuff.  I do.  

So while he is absolutely right, we are still putting out a remarkable product.  And unlike the nightly news, the webzine will be there whenever we get around to reading it.  So buck-up little campers.  We may not be equal to the pay magazines, but as a completely voluntary labor.  .  .we have nothing to be ashamed of.  

But Nate is still right.  We all know we could do better and we all know that when it comes to Aphelion, we could use a little more dead in the definition of deadline.  So don't try and argue the point when you know you could do better.  And believe me, folks, I'm as guilty as the rest.

Mea Culpa, Nate.  You are the soothsayer to beat all soothsayers.  .  .but don't forget that it is a thankless task (perhaps except for this brief moment) and also, don't forget what actually happened to Cassandra.

Keep at it,

Bill Wolfe
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Post January 14, 2007, 06:14:01 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of yours guys!

Hello All,

First: Please let me say that we absolutely need people like Nate in our readership. He takes (and gives) a lot of time and effort to critiquing our work. More so than anyone else. . .including yours truly. I literally shiver with excitement when I read the headings and Nate is one of those who have chosen to honor me with a post. No kidding.

[snip]

Mea Culpa, Nate. You are the soothsayer to beat all soothsayers. . .but don't forget that it is a thankless task (perhaps except for this brief moment) and also, don't forget what actually happened to Cassandra.

Keep at it,
Bill Wolfe

Well, when not mortified by the idea of dropping dead just before I can win like Stubbs? Stebbins? or never being believed and then raped by Ajax the Lesser (in the case of Cassandra), I feel rather humbled by such praise. Unless you're going to ask me to lend you money, that is. :)

I am hard to please, but if I've gone too far in my criticism is I who should ask the forgiveness of all.


I pledge that I will make a serious effort to provide more of those critiques that are so loved and hated both.

Nate
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Post January 14, 2007, 07:06:50 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

... but seriously, it wouldn't hurt if you (Nate) sent reminders (nagging Private Messages?) around the end of each month, rather than in the lettercol (where it embarrasses we procrastinating Mafiosi). You know, on the theory that we SHOULD be putting something online no later than mid-month, barring green meteor showers followed by rampaging triffids.

Also, I seem to be the only one who DEFINITELY receives enough material to put out a good selection every month -- from what Jeff and Iain have said in the past, there are times when their in-baskets are nearly if not entirely empty. So ... if we instituted a policy that we put an issue online NO LATER THAN MID-MONTH, EVERY MONTH (except maybe January, which has always been a month off) with new short story content, a new editorial by Dan or (if necessary) a Guest Ranter (ever written an editorial, Nate?), and OPTIONALLY new poetry and / or serial / novella content, we could get back on track.

Dan, Jeff, Rob, Iain, whaddaya think? There are times (Nightwatch-related, mainly) when the Serials / Novellas content are especially important (to keep up with Jeff's mental map/timeline of the series as a whole), but generally, we COULD get by without, or post content AFTER the cover / editorial / short story content is ready. There has already been one month that I know of when we carried over poetry content from one issue to the next ...

Robert 'I REALLY should be reading stuff for the February issue now' M.
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Post January 14, 2007, 07:26:50 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of yours guys!

I am hard to please, but if I've gone too far in my criticism is I who should ask the forgiveness of all.


I pledge that I will make a serious effort to provide more of those critiques that are so loved and hated both.

Nate


Don't forget, Nate, we can hate you for being right, too.  Nobody loves the cop who pulls them over when they're speeding, though most of us both respect and support the fact that they pull all those other dangerous SOB's over.  I mean.  .  .have you seen the way some folks drive?

And that's the position into which you've fallen.  You're the traffic cop, the hall monitor.  And where in the heck would we be without them?  

I'm trying not to sound too much like the Kailhofer Klan Fan Klub.  .  .but Nate takes a lot of crap for his efforts and like it or not, fellow Aphelionites, he's the standard to which we all strive to surpass.  If we had a dozen of him (odd shudder just went through me.  .  .hmmmmm) we would be a dozen times better at what we do.  All of us.

IMHO,

Bill Wolfe
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Post January 15, 2007, 02:05:09 AM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

Wow. A serious discussion brewing here.

No one wants anyone else to start splinter zines. We understand that was frustrated rhetoric.

The really powerful point behind all this is a central issue in all employment. Were paychecks involved, and classical work agreements, someone (Dan?) might decide such a person is not keeping up the pace.

The catch to NonProfit/UnPaid/LaborOfLove/Amateur projects is - there is a reason they have that status. It is to provide just a little slack against the grind of life. But only a little. Nate is right that the far end of the spectrum is the guy who "hangs around talkin' smooth, but never does anything". We will never quite go that far.

The puzzle is how dangerous is the middle ground. It is indeed true that as the schedule slipped, it takes readers several additional weeks to "get around to looking" for the new issue. If one issue is late, then it has less time to get comments, before the next piles upon it.

The role/issue of "friendly reminders" is dangerous. Like everyone else, I dislike cops because, being overworked themselves, they go just a little over the edge. If we're being "dragged" along, it will work some 4-5 months... and build tension like a pressure cooker. Then an explosion occurs that will REALLY damage the magazine.

We had a rough year. Some of us has heart rending disasters... the rest of us just sagged, myself included. All the reasons are fair. There's no cause to 'compete'.

The alternate track to a linear slide ... is a cyclical upturn. I am determined to do my part. I just had yet more computer woes these past couple weeks, and I burned another 8 hours today working at it. But these will subside soon. And after that, I am grimly determined. Oddly, though, my best work comes in batches. It's only partly a joke that I designed my project to be less time dependent. But I have to buckle down on my side as well.

Plus or minus another couple weeks, let's all just declare last year as the year to recover. A few issues made it out, plenty were missed while the team just attended to life.

I had no idea the "Novella inbox" was starved for entries. I assumed all categories were equally crushed with entries. We should create a folder in the Admin section so that when certain categories are completely barren, an alert is posted. I have to believe that someone (INCLUDING myself!) would jump at a chance to see something go live with less than a 3 month wait behind a backlog.

Random note: I am not amused by Dell. They pull all kinds of proprietary lockdown tricks to try to force you to spend hundreds of extra dollars with them by getting Dell monitors, because of funky parts that work nowhere else. I still have to fix my sound card and ethernet on Machine Three. But I see the Plight of Aphelion, and I am gearing up.

--TaoPhoenix
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Post January 15, 2007, 09:42:02 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

... but seriously, it wouldn't hurt if you (Nate) sent reminders (nagging Private Messages?) around the end of each month, rather than in the lettercol (where it embarrasses we procrastinating Mafiosi). You know, on the theory that we SHOULD be putting something online no later than mid-month, barring green meteor showers followed by rampaging triffids.

Also, I seem to be the only one who DEFINITELY receives enough material to put out a good selection every month -- from what Jeff and Iain have said in the past, there are times when their in-baskets are nearly if not entirely empty. So ... if we instituted a policy that we put an issue online NO LATER THAN MID-MONTH, EVERY MONTH (except maybe January, which has always been a month off) with new short story content, a new editorial by Dan or (if necessary) a Guest Ranter (ever written an editorial, Nate?), and OPTIONALLY new poetry and / or serial / novella content, we could get back on track.

Robert 'I REALLY should be reading stuff for the February issue now' M.

Nagging doesn't work if the issue doesn't omit the wayward part when beyond a set date. Otherwise, it's ignored, and means nothing--especially if its through private messages. At least public ones have the potential to coerce though shame.

An editorial? Heavens, has that been a problem? I haven't written an official editorial since my High School newspaper, but yes, I could probably whip one up when needed.

It sounds like a general call for submissions should be included in editorials whenever stocks are low in a particular area.


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Post January 16, 2007, 08:55:49 AM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

Has anyone here checked out OSC's Intergalactic Medicine Show? http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=content&article=home

It's their normal practice to begin a new issue with a handful of stories and articles and then add to them over the course of the next two months or so.  Since it's an online format (like here), it is a great way to entice readers to keep coming back to find new material.  

Now granted, IGMS isn't putting out an issue every month, but they do post enough new material so it feels like they do.  Could this, or a variation thereof, be the answer for Aphelion's deadline woes?


-- david j.
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Post January 16, 2007, 12:13:59 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!


I had no idea the "Novella inbox" was starved for entries. I assumed all categories were equally crushed with entries. We should create a folder in the Admin section so that when certain categories are completely barren, an alert is posted. I have to believe that someone (INCLUDING myself!) would jump at a chance to see something go live with less than a 3 month wait behind a backlog.
--TaoPhoenix


The lack of submissions WAS a problem.  Serials does have a backlog now.  The catch was that they started coming in at the exact moment that things went to heck in a handbasket for both the serials editor and his assistant.  Note that the trigger for said descent was different for both parties but occurred at the same time.  SPOOKY!   :o

We're working on catching up now that things have calmed down.

No one here is doing anything other than his or her best given the realities of the web and the circumstances of life.

Now, everyone holster your fingers.  It isn't nice to point them at people, and, besides, you never know when they might go off accidentally.


--Jeff Williams

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Post January 16, 2007, 01:36:04 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!



Now, everyone holster your fingers.  It isn't nice to point them at people, and, besides, you never know when they might go off accidentally.


--Jeff Williams



In your nose. . . ouch.


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Post January 17, 2007, 01:40:36 AM

Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

whoa have you guys forgotten we're a family?! what the fuck's going on?! cool it!

Robert, you can't tell Nate to take a hike, come on man, you know better than that!

And Nate, you can't rush this, Aphelion's our thing, and yes, it is volunteer-based and yes, it comes out when it comes out. We love it enough to wait a couple of weeks and we love you enough that the thing won't ever be the same without you!

so let us stop this nonesense right now.

Lee
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Post February 01, 2007, 02:15:37 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

... but seriously, it wouldn't hurt if you (Nate) sent reminders (nagging Private Messages?) around the end of each month...

So, this was never officially said.

Am I supposed to be sending out end of the month wake-up calls?

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Post February 01, 2007, 04:42:00 PM

Re: Hey, NATE! And the rest of youse guys!

Uh, I bin zick (coff, coff). Also da dog ade my hobewurg. We* are aiming for mid-month, since December/January arrived mid-January(ish), with a gala 10th Anniversary Issue including 'Best of 1997 - 2000' (or so) short story selections AND maybe 10 new short stories.  Dunno what Jeff and Iain are working on (Jeff has been vewwy, vewwy quiet lately), but Iain has said that he could have new poetry ready anytime it's needed.

So ... you can start the 'Where's February? Is it coming out before MARCH?' topic in about a week. With any luck, we will be jolted out of our Seasonal Addictive Disorder (where your attention is captured by casting and other 'stunts' during February (TV ratings) Sweeps) and ACTUALLY POST AN ISSUE WITHIN A WEEK OF WHEN IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE AVAILABLE. Of course, our luck (when we have any) is usually bad ...

(*So far, nobody has said that they CAN'T be ready before then, and Iain has said that he could be ready NOW.)

The March issue will include 'Best of 200x - 2006' short story picks (x being one more than whatever year February's 'Best of' section covered), plus more new material as I strive to reduce the backlog.

Robert 'Would I lie to you?' M.
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