"My mommy always said there were no monsters--no real ones--but there are."
When I started Bastion last year, I had what seemed to be ample time. I had five or six slush readers plus an assistant editor very graciously volunteering their time, and I myself had a fairly flexible schedule. For most of the year that seemed like enough. Sadly, things change. I no longer have the thirty plus hours each week to put into what was, without question, a labor of love. The passion for speculative fiction remains, though. That will never go away. So while it saddens me to have to put Bastion into cold storage (hopefully not permanently), I am grateful that in its place I can open the doors on The Semiotic Standard, a more personal project of mine.
Semiotic will primarily feature essays, short stories, reviews, professionally produced story readings, guest articles, and other miscellaneous contributions along side the beautiful artwork of the freakishly talented Milan Jaram. Some may recall having seen Milan's artwork featured on various Bastion covers (he did all except one), and it's while working together there that the two of us have become good friends. I'm thrilled to have another opportunity to work with Milan and to feature his work throughout the site.
Other neat features we have planned:
- Round tables, hosted by Andrea Johnson, asking interesting questions to a variety of editors, authors, reviewers, and other members of the speculative fiction community.
- Advice column, where we take a question or two from the readers and dive into it. Think "Dear Abby," but with writing. We're not limiting this to questions on writing/editing, either. Milan will be taking up questions relating to art, so if you're an artist and are dying to know how you should handle the transition between background and foreground or some other such thing, send us a note!
- Author, editor, and artist interviews.
We're launching with a few different things. First is a story by Gary Emmette Chandler, two pieces created by Milan to accompany that story, a reading of it by TG Macklin, and an interview by Andrea Johnson. Check it all out by going to our Stories page.
Second is an essay written by me titled "On the Ethical Standards of Editing, A Letter to the Editor from the Editor" and you can have a look at that on our Non-Fiction page.
Finally, there's a whole gallery of Milan's artwork you can salivate over on our Art page.
We hope you'll let us know what you think in the comments below our stories and articles. All new updates (be they essays, reviews, stories, art pieces, etc.) will appear right here, and will be archived as well on the appropriate pages. Keep in mind this project is run by a couple of guys just doing what they love. Expect content--when it even makes sense--to be irregularly updated. I already have it in my mind to make Fridays a whatever day. You've been warned.
One last thing: we're always looking for contributors. If you have an essay, non-fiction column, article, review, idea, or really anything related to speculative fiction, we'd like to know about it. Ideas for round tables as well as questions for our advice column are also quite welcome. At this time we are closed to non-solicited fiction stories. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet your thoughts and ideas to @BastionSF.