Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Interview with Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Today, we're honored to welcome author and editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt to Write1Sub1. Bryan is the editor of Blue Shift Magazine and author of The Worker Prince, which received an Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. He's edited multiple SF anthologies and hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Twitter.

W1S1:  First off, how would you describe your role(s) at Blue Shift Magazine?

I run the day to day creative show, managing slush, slush readers, making decisions on stories that we buy and how they're edited as well as what order things ultimately get presented in. That includes nonfiction and fiction both. I also write editorials and coordinate advertising with our sales team.

W1S1:  What would you say are the top three things you look for in a story?

A good arc, well-written/engaging prose, and strong conflict driving the story.

W1S1:  Typically, what makes the difference between a story's acceptance or rejection?

There's no easy answer to that. So many factors. I have to figure out which stories fit best together, even though they are varied. I am looking for varied lengths. And I am looking for varied themes. But I also try and tie in our nonfiction to one or two stories, so that can be a factor. I try and include at least one flash piece per issue as well.,

W1S1:  What fresh ideas/themes would you like to see submitted to Blue Shift?

If you do zombies and vampires, it better be nothing I've ever seen. Otherwise, I doubt I'll even finish reading it. They are done and done again. Beyond that, I try and keep a variety of stories and approaches, but slipstream and surrealism are NOT my thing. It's science fiction. So send me science fiction but something that can be appreciated broadly by people from many backgrounds.

W1S1:  Tell us about your latest anthology in the works: Raygun Chronicles.

Raygun Chronicles is a collection of contemporary space opera with a classic feel. We have top authors headlining and writing new stories along with two up and comers. And we have some reprints we pulled from the closed ezine Ray Gun Revival.

Headliners are Mike Resnick, A.C. Crispin, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, Seanan McGuire, Allen Steele, Sarah A. Hoyt and Brenda Cooper. New stories are coming from Keanan Brand and Peter J. Wacks. It's a pro paying anthology from a small press, so we decided to Kickstart funding to make it happen. We have amazing artwork, great rewards, and a great book to come, including hardback and paperback as well as ebook editions. We just need people to pre-order via supporting the Kickstarter to make it happen.

Given the talent pool, and my track record as well as that of Every Day Publishing, I have strong confidence people will get a book they'll value for time to come. We just have to spread the word.

W1S1:  Thanks, Bryan! We'll be sure to get the word out.


  1. A great list of authors. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing, Bryan.

  2. Great interview - thanks.

  3. Yes, this is wonderful information, and a worthy project.

  4. Awesome interview! I chuckled when he mentioned vampires and zombies--the market IS saturated with them. I'll definitely pass on the Kickstarter information to other people. I love Kickstarter for these types of projects.

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