Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Status Update NOI 2 & 3

I realize that it's been over a month since I've posted a status update for North of Infinity.

North of Infinity 2
Status: Manuscript complete, currently going through final layout/production process at Mosaic Press. No new updates.

North of Infinity 3
Status: Responses to the initial submissions have been completed as of about a week or so ago, and approximately 50 stories have been held back for final consideration. (This does not count any "snail mail" manuscripts that might be sitting at the Mosaic Press offices -- I would ask that if there are any contributors who did mail in a submission to the postal address, or if you did not receive an email response from your email submission that you please send me a quick email - mark (at) markleslie (dot) ca. so we can sync up)

I have not yet begin the final consideration phase. I wanted to take a few weeks off, clear my mind, and approach the short-listed stories with a fresh perspective.

I do have THIS to say about all of the submissions that were received for NOI 3. I used to edit and read unsolicited submissions for NorthWords and Northern Fusion magazines (back in the 90's). I became used to the fact that the quality of the submissions was extremely varied -- from the spectacular to the horrid. Sorry, there's no better way to say that, but opening up an unsolicited submission was the equivalent of Forrest Gump's box of chocolates (or, to use a more recent literary reference, maybe Bertie Bott's every flavoured jelly beans) -- you never knew what you might find.

However, this is the first time I can ever remember going through an open submission reading phase and not receiving a single submission that wasn't good in some way. There wasn't a single story sent in to me that wasn't a good piece of writing, or a good story, or an idea that I found fascinating.

That, in and of itself, made the reading of unsolicited submissions extremely satisfying. It did make the process much harder than before, though, because there were many fine stories that I had to turn down. As it stands, I didn't think I would end up with 50 stories in my short-list, but I wanted to hold back the best of the best, and ensure that the stories I was hanging onto also covered as many different aspects of the arts as possible.

I know that the final selection phase is going to be even more difficult, but the end product should, of course, be a blockbuster anthology, and definitely the type of sci-fi anthology that I, as a reader, have wanted to read for a long time.

I'd like to thank each and every person who submitted a tale to North of Infinity III -- I was truly overwhelmed, both with the number of submissions that came in as well as with the quality of the writing and imagination.