Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview with Jonathan Laden of Daily Science Fiction

Daily Science Fiction is an online publication specializing in science fiction in all its forms. Recently, DSF became a qualifying Science Fiction Writers Association market. Today, we're honored to have editor Jonathan Laden with us for an insightful interview.
W1S1: First off, how would you describe your role(s) at Daily Science Fiction?
I, Jonathan, spend more time as first reader than anything else. Michele makes most final decisions. I get much of the glory because I then manage all of the communictaions, contracts, proofs, answering five questions from writing clubs, etc. Nope, you can't speak to Michele. She isn't available at this time.
W1S1: Understood! So what are the top three things you look for in a story?
1. Good writing: I don't think we're a literary venue but we're reputed to be on the literary end of the SF spectrum because we try to see even great ideas conveyed well.
2. Engaging and worthwhile reads. Yes, absolutely, this is a nebulous concept. We get many stories that are worthy of publication. The ones we take are the ones we find the most interesting, that stick with us for some reason, the ones that feel to us that they matter.
3. Short short fiction: We're publishing five days a week, 260 or so times a year. About half of those stories are flash, less than 1,000 words. Another 50 or so will be short short fiction, 1,000-2,500 words. We can "only" publish 52 full length short stories each year. This may be related to why we're a market of such interest to W1S1; you can't write novellas every week. If you can, more power to you! I don't know how to measure, but I believe Daily Science Fiction publishes the most--and the best--science fiction flash in the galaxy.
W1S1: Typically, what makes the difference between a story's acceptance or rejection?
If we told you the secret word, we'd have to change it, wouldn't we?
W1S1: I guess so! What fresh story ideas/themes/genres would you like to see submitted to Daily Science Fiction this year?
We'd love to see more well-done alternate history flash. But for the most part we are agnostic on topic or theme. We endeavor to publish great science fiction (By which we mean scifi, fantasy, slipstream, et al.).
W1S1: If you could change anything about the publishing industry today, what would it be?
Heh. We thought launching Daily Science Fiction was our way to change the publishing industry. As quotable people have said, First be the change you want to see from the world.
W1S1:  Thanks, Jonathan!
So for all of you Write1Sub1ers out there who just might have a story to submit, go check out Daily Science Fiction's submission guidelines here.


  1. I am so pysched to read this interview. I believe we will look back at DSF in a few years in the same way we look back on Asimov's SF now. It utterly changed the SF landscape and become an indispensable part of the field, a driver rather than simply a venue.

    I don't know how you and Michele keep this project going, Jonathan, but I thank you for doing so. It has made a huge difference in my life as a writer. I encourage every member of W1S1 to subscribe to DSF (it's free) and to BUY their kindle bundles as they become available.

  2. Excellent interview, Milo!

    Blast! We don't get to learn the secret to being accepted into DSF. Guess it's back to trial and error. :P

  3. Great interview, and very nice to see DSF highlighted here.

    Like Stephen, I believe DSF to be the most important new SF venue to emerge in the last couple of years.

    Also, I can hardly believe Jonathan hasn't involved any slush readers yet. The amount of submissions they receive must be astounding. He's some kind of a slush machine :)

  4. Yes. Great interview.

    Thank you.

  5. I'll absolutely, 100%, whole-heartedly agree with the sentiments above. Fantastic venue, IMO the best out there at the moment; my favourite at any rate.

  6. You know, if you take all the stories Daily SF has published and run them through a word cloud engine, it turns out the secret word is "be".

  7. I enjoy reading DSF five days a week, and I think one of the reasons it stands out is because they do embrace flash fiction. I don't have time to sit down and read lots of longer stories; I can make time for Daily Science Fiction. That approachability matters a lot.

  8. Adding my voice to the accolades. Great interview. Thanks!