Fiction Inferno: The literary magazine that burns you up

Fiction Inferno

The Literary Magazine That Makes You Hot

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Hey! Welcome to the Blog of Eternal Damnation! Here's where you will see all the latest crap about the Web's hottest Speculative Fiction ezine, Bambi's Eschatological Underpinnings. And every now and again, just for sport, we just might include a little bit about Fiction Inferno: the Literary Magazine that Burns You Up.

Friday, May 31, 2002

Whoohoo! I get my truck back today. Poor thing's been in the truck hospital with a variety of truckish ailments, not least of which was the Very Painful Sounding broken vacuum nipple. *shudder*

Tonight is Cocktail and Movie night for the lovely wife and me. I'll whip up a couple of triple trademark MaxManhattans and then it's Sofa City. Friday doesn't suck.

MaxManhattan Ingredient #1: Wild Turkey 101, Russel's Reserve 10 Year Old Bourbon. Three ounces per serving.

Stay tuned for more! Cheers!

posted by Max E. Keele 12:41 PM

Thursday, May 30, 2002

So I'm sitting here at the day job (I'M ON BREAK, OKAY?) listening to Jeff Beck on the headphones and pondering a few things. Just for a change, I decided to ponder the sorts of things that don't actually have answers, or really consequence. Just ponderable.

If there is consciousness in the universe, does that make the Universe conscious?

If the Universe is conscious, does that mean it has a soul?

If the Universe has a soul, where does it go when it dies?

Of course, I personally feel that whether or not there is some sort of Supreme Intelligence is immaterial. I see nothing in the universe at all that requires a god, and so, by Occam's Razor, there probably ain't one. I could provide a definition of the Universe that includes a god in a way that makes sense, but isn't that just semantics? I mean, if I say that ponderable #1 above is true, then the Universe is God in every sense of the word of which I am aware. Anyway, just some thought. Some day I'll share my bullet-proof afterlife thought-experiment. But only when you're ready.


posted by Max E. Keele 10:10 AM

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Oh say it ain't so! NeverWorlds has suspended publication indefinitely. That's a genuine shame.

NeverWorlds was a pretty cool ezine. The entire medium is poorer for their passing. But thanks, Kevin and Sullydog, and good luck with whatever you're doing.

Ever had one of those years? Well, I'm having one and it's been going on now for a year and a half now. Enough already.

posted by Max E. Keele 6:49 AM

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Okay then. On Timeliness.

I have always intended to maintain a quick response time, but have never managed to average less than 60 days. Why is that, you ask? Why can't I just read the thing the day it arrives, scratch out a few quick comments, and let the author down off that nasty hook of suspense in a humane manner? There are many reasons, most of them made-up excuses for not wanting to spend every hour I'm at home slogging away at the magazine, which, after all, is only a sort of masochistic hobby. Let's take a look at process, shall we?

This is what happens to story submissions.

  • They arrive in my mail box, about four a day on average.
  • Once a week or so, I open all the submissions and log them in.
  • I re-format almost every single submission to meet a standard manuscript style.
  • I print out the submissions
  • I put them in a big stack with all the other submissions.
  • Once a week or so, I take twenty from the top of the pile and read them, making comments in pencil.
  • I send email notices to the declined, and place a bunch of "maybe"s in a new stack.
  • I return to the maybe pile and re-evaluate.
  • I send "sorry" notes to the declined maybes, with some commentary usually.
  • Once a month or so, I buy a story! Maybe it will be yours!

On top of all this, of course, I have to develop the next issue, manage the Very Short Fiction Contest, write the daily Blog, enjoy my wife, indulge my extravagent lifestyle, and work a full-time day job. It's tough being a self-sacrificing, noble sonofabitch, I tells ya.

Anyway, off to the job now, where I advise Presidents, save little old ladies, explore strange new universes, and earn upwards of $13 per hour. Ciao!

posted by Max E. Keele 7:07 AM

Monday, May 27, 2002

Day Two:

We made camp at 27,000 feet in the midst of a squealing biter of a blizzard. No one doubted that this would be our last respite, that tomorrow we would battle to the top of this big pointy rock, or die in the attempt. Someone, Dave I think, suggested a round of nude Twister. It was a blast! Now it's safe to say that we all know the meaning of love just a little more clearly. When the morning light first stabbed up from the eastern edge of the world, we shouldered our gear and moved steadfastly up the peak, the deadly mountain that would never feel quite so barren and cold again.

Spent yesterday sending out "no thank you"s. For me, that's the part of this publishing thing that's hard. Of the 35 stories I rejected yesterday, at least 30 were good enough to be published somewhere. But I've only got room for three per quarter, and so a bunch of 'em got to get slammed. Here's the usual list of common reasons for getting the axe, in order of commoness:

1. Story doesn't fit the stated philosophy of the magazine. I mean really. At least for free Internet magazines there is no excuse not to read a copy before you submit.

2. Story doesn't do anything. I've seen some very well-written works lately that just sort of sit there. No character development, no resolution, no movement. Just scenes, really. For me, even a Very Short Fiction needs to do something.

3. Homicidal maniacs. For some reason probably related to a plethora of I Know What You Did Last Summer movies, a fair percentage of writers now seem to think that if someone is graphically murdered, it's a horror story. Sorry, but I disagree. If you want to write horror, I'd recommend reading some. H. P. Lovecraft. Robert Bloch. Clive Barker. Okay, you can read one or two Stephen King books if you insist, but you have to read two Lovecraft for every King.

6. Vampires. See above.

7. Wrong place, wrong time. Just bad luck. If your beautiful, moving, erotic noir space thriller comes in the same month I just bought a beautiful, moving, erotic noir space thriller from somebody else, well, sorry. Try me with something else.

And that's that. Please believe me when I tell you that I read every single word of every submission. If I could, I would critique all of them. That's not realistic. So I'll comment when I think it's might be useful to you. And maybe I'll be wrong. I've been wrong before, you know. Well, just the once....

As for the timeliness of my response, well, that's a Blog of a different color. See ya!

posted by Max E. Keele 10:38 AM

Sunday, May 26, 2002

Whew. How do you like this so far? I blame Gabe Chouinard and Bob Urell for this, you know. They seemed to be having so much fun...

Well anyway, spent today lighting up this big old blog. Took a while to catch, but once it finally did it went up with a giant FWOOOSH. Just so you know, here's where I'll be reporting on little things concerning Fiction Inferno and maybe tell a few lies about my personal life. For instance, did you know that if wasn't for me this internet thing would never have caught on? It's true. I found out about in 1989 and told three friends who told three friends who told three friends and the rest, as they say, is history!

So ta-ta for now!

posted by Max E. Keele 9:59 AM

Experimental Exposure Level Detector. If this counter reads 99,999 or higher, you have been exposed to a level of mutagenic particle emission that should cause priapism in men and low-level continuous orgasm in women. Please let me know if this is a problem for anyone.

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