So Creative Brother's Sci-Fi Magazine is the first science fiction magazine to accept and publish a short story of mine.
The story, "How to Kill an American Bison: Step 1," will be featured with a poem, cultural commentary on African American science fiction, and a handful of other stories in Creative Brother's Sci-Fi Magazine #9, which is available now.
I have mixed emotions about the acceptance.
As far as I can tell, Creative Brother's Sci-Fi Magazine seems to be the only magazine exclusively publishing stories by and about African Americans, which is a good thing. The genre needs such a market.
But is the world of science fiction ready for such a market? Of course it is, but the better question is, does the the world of science fiction know about the market?
Creative Brother's publisher is doing the magazine print-on-demand through Lulu.com. And while I found out about the magazine through Spicy Green Iguana, I'm not sure many people know about it.
Through his science fiction and fantasy Yahoo discussion group (with an African American focus, of course), the publisher mentioned having some difficulty finding enough submissions to flesh out #9.
And maybe people do know about the magazine and just aren't submitting.
Writers don't have to be black to be published in the magazine, but according to the guidelines, the protagonist does. Maybe there just aren't that many science fiction stories out there that fit the guidelines.
Which again begs the question, is the world of science fiction ready for such a market?
I won't be naive enough to answer yes or no. And even though I have been reading science fiction since I was ten, the very few science fiction magazines I've read did not feature African American-centered stories.
However, this is not to say there aren't other magazines out there that do. Hopefully it's just a matter of time before I come across them.
In the meantime, I'm pleased to be published and paid by Creative Brother's Sci-Fi Magazine, and I'll do what I can to support the magazine, which includes purchasing a copy.
I encourage you to do the same, if just to try something new. I don't claim the magazine is as polished and professional as it could be--the publisher has limited resources, and it shows.
But the magazine has the potential to be a unique and high-quality science fiction market, and I would love to be able to watch it mature to professional quality with the support of a diverse group of readers and writers.
And when the next submission period comes around again in September, one of my stories will be submitted.