For SF&F Writers: The Endless Parade of Knock-Offs

Notes From The Slush Pile

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So here I am, another reading period long done and just back from my vacation, and I remember it’s been a couple months since I posted anything for you lovely people. Forgive me. The sad truth is that as much as I enjoy reading for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, nothing really grabbed me this time around. Maybe I’ll just write about why that is and what you who submit stories can do to work on it, okay? Good. I’d like to give my focus this time to one of the most grinding tasks I go through in clearing the Slush Pile, reading through all the damn knock-offs.

So what the hell do I mean by this? It’s pretty simple. Whenever something is really popular, people start writing stuff that’s like that popular thing they enjoy. Tolkien still inspires a few thousand lousy PG fantasy stories a year. Martin…

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