Anthology Contest

by Jamie Ross
(County Ireland)

I have to admit, your contest actually got me writing and I am thankful for it. I am disappointed though in a couple of areas:

(1) There was no feedback on submissions, not even a acknowledgement.

(2) There was no feedback on submissions. While there are recognised authors in the winning list (which wasn't made clear), even a brief feedback would be useful to the other aspiring writers.

While recreating 1950's stories as a retro appeal for older readers, I think updating the genre to be more relevant is likely to attract younger readers. Many older characters were pretty obnoxious.

{Reply from Zendexor: Jamie, you did well to notify me - because some mistake must have occurred. I would never have omitted to respond to a submission or any type of inquiry regarding the anthology, or any other topic for that matter.

Response from readers is worth its weight in gold to me, and the last thing I would do is deliberately ignore it!

As a matter of fact I had a similar complaint from one other writer - and it's worrying; I have no idea why you both "slipped through the net".

I would request, in fact I entreat, you to write again with your submission, which will be considered for volume two of the Anthology, if you are prepared to wait for that.

Now for your other point - the updating of the sub-genre as far as protagonists' characters are concerned.

There is huge scope for a fascinating debate about this issue, a debate in which you are I would be on opposite sides. But cheer up, your side has won! Yes, without going into it just at this moment, I can tell you that your view has more or less prevailed. You'll see what I mean when you obtain your copy of "Vintage Worlds, Volume One". The settings are classic, but the spirit of most of the characters is decidedly Modern rather than traditional, at least in most cases. Which is not to say that the reader's nose is rubbed in relevantitis... my fellow editor and I have fortunately drawn the line at that.}

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Mar 10, 2018
sorry!.. that last post was Jamie Ross
by: Anonymous

Forgot to change the name!

Mar 10, 2018
Hi Dylan, thanks for the welcome
by: Jamie Ross

I would like to help with the OSS community, see if we can expand it with new enthusiasts:) I am a child of the space age, sputnik launched just before my birthday. I devoured all of the OSS stories, from Burroughs to Norton, Heinlein and Bradbury. John Campbell’s Planteer’s Penton and Blake inspired me to go to MIT and learn astronautical engineering. When 30 years of the reality of space was more spy satellites and space lasers than solar satellites and L5 colonies, I left to work on renewable energy. I did get to work on cool proposals for NASA on exploring the oceans of Europa, the moons of Mars and mining of asteroids and some of this forms a background for my writing. After looking for a story to tell for years, I have one uncovered from my psyche so the kickstart of the competition has got me going.. thank you JMG and Z!

On a side note, AOL email has a horrible track record of dealing with email and attachments, so I am looking into this. So far I haven’t heard from Zendexor on my latest emails with attachments so I suspect there is a black hole involved. If anyone else has had this experience, please post it or let me know. There is probably an alternative like Jottacloud or Dropbox ( Jottacloud is Norwegian and doesn’t share their info like Dropbox).

So I am glad to add my voice and tales to the OSS community.. I now live in the rural hills of County Clare across the Irish Sea from Zendexor when I get a good view of the stars at night..

Le Meas

{Zendexor comments: don't worry Jamie, I got your story - one of your emails delivered it, another did not. Some seed falls on stony ground, some takes root, as it says in the Good Book.

It's fascinating to hear of your work with real space-age stuff. Maybe you could send a memo to NASA to draw their attention to this site, so that they can get cracking on the necessary reality-engineering policies... for it's high time the Solar System was brought into line with what it ought to be.}

Mar 10, 2018
A Busy Comment Section!
by: Dylan Jeninga

Welcome, Jamie and John, to Solar System Heritage! It's been a favorite abode of mine for a while, but rather lonely, with only Zendexor and I (and occasionally, John Michael Greer) to keep each other company.

John, I enjoyed Hard Place quite a bit, and I look forward to the sequel! It's my kind of scene, with gritty spacers and gritty space-tech: I love me a good space western.

I'm pretty new to writing myself - one of my earliest attempts, Wanderers of Mars, is available on this site with all its warts. Sometime, I'd like to get around to writing it again, when I've improved enough to justify it.

Jamie - a novel eh? Well, that is exciting! I certainly wish you luck on your endeavor, and look forward to reading your short story as soon as it appears!

Now, about Z's dreaded relevantitis. John is correct in pointing out that science fiction has, in its nature, an excellent capacity for criticizing the society that creates it. That's part of what engendered my passion for it to begin with, and I always try to write scifi that is socially conscious. But I don't think it's wrong, necessarily, to crave space adventures for their own sake. Not every escapade into the starry void needs to make me a better citizen of the world, sometimes its enough just to escape it for a while. Perhaps such stories are better called "space operas", but those happen to be the only operas I frequent.

Lastly, Violet, if you're reading this - I've enjoyed your contributions as well! You seem to have a talent for the dark corners of the System, something I can certainly appreciate.

{Z: I second Dylan's comments, and would add that his fictional contribution to the site extends beyond the early effort "Wanderers of Mars": he collaborated with me in, first, "Pirates of Pallas" and then most effectively in "Mission to the Tenth Planet", which we have still to bring to a conclusion. And of course there is his "Incandescence", but the site is going to have to wave good-bye to that one later this year, as it ascends to the higher realm of the Anthology.}

Mar 09, 2018
email diagnostics
by: Jamie Ross

A side note,.. I was trying to figure out why my submission and subesquent email seemed to disappear into the ether. I have had issues with AOL mail in the past so I sent through several test emails from different addresses (the .ie seems to have had the most problems.) If you don't see any of them please let me know (there should be 3)! my normal email is but also is good


{Z: emails now sent in reply. Communication seems to have been established. The alien gremlins have been foiled for the time being, but we must remain on the alert.}

Mar 08, 2018
thanks for the response!
by: Jamie Ross

Thanks Zendexor, that makes me feel better. I will resubmit my story and appreciate any feedback. I would love to make it into the next Anthology so would be happy to wait. My intent is that my short story is a prelude to a novel (which I am working on) which is going to have relevance.. but to be fair, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells raised similar issues!

{Reply from Z: I'm relieved to hear you haven't given up on us! Now, about H G Wells and relevance... you're right, of course, that his great sf novels raised big issues - evolution in The War of the Worlds (and what it's like to be on the receiving end of imperialism!), social control in The First Men in the Moon, social bifurcation in The Time Machine, and the ruthlessness of God in The Island of Doctor Moreau. But... that great period of his classic sf novels lasted only five years. He went on for a long time after that, but who reads his later sf now? Stuffed full of contemporary relevance, in fact choking with it!

It's so easy to overbalance the right ratio of relevance to story-telling...}

Mar 07, 2018
Close but no cigar
by: Joseph Guzzo

I read the comment from Jamie Ross, and I want you to know that I was shocked at the item saying no response was given. I also wrote some stories for consideration, and even though they did not get into the Anthology, I was provided a great deal of feedback and help.

Whatever happens, I hope Jamie Ross does not let this one experience color future submissions. I too am new to the field. I would have been similarly upset had I not gotten a response. Be assured that Zendexor did a wonderful job with my work, and given a chance will do the same for yours.

I look forward to (hopefully) reading something by Jamie and many others in the next anthology!!

Oh, and one last comment, my characters are quite different from the old, nasty ones as portrayed in the stories from "back in the day." I did give a nod to that type, buy killed his crusty butt early in my tale.

{Comment from Zendexor: thanks Joe for the supportive comments, and let's hope we do indeed hear more from anyone who like Jamie has had the off-putting experience of silence in lieu of a response. I dare say we'll never find out what went wrong. Though not a technophobe, I am a techno-pessimist who simply shrugs in despair when email or suchlike suffers a glitch; I haven't a clue how to prevent it - but fortunately we have the Your Views page as a back-up channel of communication.

Above all we must bear in mind that since only about one in three million of this planet's population is a frequenter of this site, we members of this elite band must not hide our lights under bushels....}

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