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>>>>This is more subjective, but in my opinion hard sci-fi is where you have the serious science down, but then to be any sci-fi, the science has to be key to the story.

Hook: I agree, but there is such a thing as overdoing it. Quoting from the Analog submission guidelines, "Basically, we publish science fiction stories. That is, stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so integral to the plot that, if that aspect were removed, the story would collapse." That's certainly true in this case. But I also liked what Artemis Magazine (who?) said: "Technical accuracy is an absolute requirement, but don't bog down the story with unnecessary technical detail: remember that in good "science fiction", both terms ought to receive equal emphasis."

>>>>Delving heavily into science without it being relevant to the story (relevant meaning "ties to a plot point"), then it comes off as nerdy techno-geek stuff, without about as much value as graphic sex scenes that have no other point than to titillate the reader briefly.

Exactly, although I have nothing against gratuitous nudity/sex scenes. Gratuitous technobabble, on the otherhand.... <g>

>>>>At first glance, it might appear that adding a third thruster would increase our speed by 50%, from 14 kph to 21 kph.
>>>>This isn't true. Number of thrusters won't increase speed, it increases acceleration. Top speed in outer space is not limited by your thrust, it's limited by fuel, thruster efficiency and time.
>>>>(BTW, I'm not trying to bust your balls on all this, but I figure some tough love early is probably better than nothing =) )

Not a problem. Thanks for pointing out the difference. That's exactly why I was looking for reviewers to help me sanity-check the book. But won't increasing the acceleration ultimate result in increasing the speed (even if it isn't the only factor)? (Besides, I didn't say that adding throusters would increase the speed by 50%, I said it might appear that way.) As for fuel and time, those are finite, as I pointed out, so I don't think that's a problem. They can only keep accelerating for so long because a) they need to reserve at least 50% of their fuel for deceleration (and hopefully for later maneuvering, if they survive), b) they also have to be able to decelerate in time, c) they have to do it all before they run out of air, and d) because these are maneuvering thrusters (not main engines), they aren't designed to run for more than a few minutes at a time, maximum, not hours or days, so the crew is being cautious and not running them nonstop.

At least I didn't make the mistake some writers have of treating a space ship as if it will stop coasting (pesky inertia) just because it runs out of fuel. Or acting as if just because an object is weightless it has no mass (such as one man trying to push an entire spaceship by himself. <g>) I have seen or read both of these non-nos in SF before.

>>>>Actually, now that I think about it, the right approach might be to do a shotgun approach to multiple venues simultaneously, choosing the stories to match the right target. This lets you have multiple simultaneous submissions out there without doing simultaneous submissions of the same piece, and in the process gives you a lot more feedback quickly. I would definitely lean towards that direction if I had that quantity of material available.

Okay, I'm confused. Why *wouldn't* someone have enough material to do this? Unless they sell everything they write immediately, or they wait for years while shopping around one story without writing any others, wouldn't the stories tend to pile up after a while?

I was actually looking at a two-pronged approach: a) send several stories to several different markets concurrently, and b) whenever possible, send the same story to several different markets. There are *some* (not many) that allow simultaneous submission ("simsubs"). For example, Vestal Review, Funny Times, Zoetrope, Glimmer Train, Oceans of the Mind and Absolute Magnitude all permit it (of course one piece won't appeal to them all, but possibly to two or three at a time). Naturally, that only works if you send to two (or more) markets that permit it, and not to one that allows it and one that doesn't. (In the case of Glimmer Train, they ask for a 2-month head start before you send to others, and Oceans of the Mind asks that you just let them know that you're doing it. Hey, maybe that gets them to hurry up and look at yours before the 2 months are up! <g>)

Some also accept multiple submissions (meaning that you can send them two or sometimes three submissions in a month, or between quarterly issues, or whatever. Some of these include Glimmer Train (3 per quarterly "reading period"), Funny Times (no limit stated), and AlienSkin (2 per month).

Combining approaches would seem to "shrink the publication horizon" somewhat. With enough stories covering enough genre markets, you could probably keep a lot of balls in the air all the time. (Some humor, some horror/fantasy, some hard science, some lighter stuff, some SF/fantasy, and all divided among flash/micro fiction and longer pieces.)

That would *have* to be more efficient, and hopefully more effective, than sticking exclusively to one genre and submitting to one market at a time. Of course, it probably requires setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of what you sent to whom, and when, and what their stated response time is (so you know when you can give up on them and forward to the next on the list, if you don't hear back).... <g>

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