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Monstrous Musings

A Medley of Mayhem for Malcontents

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Douglas Cohen
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For six and a half years I worked at Realms of Fantasy Magazine. I started as the Assistant Editor and eventually worked my way up to Editor. In the magazine's 17th and final year of publication (2011), we published our 100th issue, our 600th story, we won a Nebula Award while being nominated for a second one, and we won the Silver Award in the Editorial section in Spectrum 18: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.

More recently, I made the leap into anthologies. Along with co-editor John Joseph Adams, I am the co-editor of OZ REIMAGINED: NEW TALES FROM THE EMERALD CITY AND BEYOND, published by 47North. And even MORE recently I launched my own editorial freelance business to service your literary needs: http://www.douglascoheneditorial.com/

My fiction has appeared in Interzone Magazine and Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. I also have four stories forthcoming in Weird Tales, and another piece coming out in Space and Time Magazine.

When I started this LiveJournal, most of its traffic came from fiction writers who were interested in my work at RoF, particularly my work in the fiction department. One of my responsibilities with RoF was finding publishable manuscripts among the general submissions we were regularly inundated with. Those authors whose stories go on to publication are called "slush survivors." I had something of a knack for finding newer writers, as in my time with the magazine I discovered enough slush survivors to fill up almost a whole year of the magazine. Here is a summary of what I found:

1. Karen Abrahamson--"Lady of Ashuelot"--Arthuriana--Karen's tale was the very first piece of slush I plucked from the piles. Thanks to Karen for getting me off to a great start--April 2006

2. A.C. Wise--"Robin of the Green"--Robin Hood Fantasy--June 2006

3. **Ken Scholes--"Of Metal Men and Scarlet Thread and Dancing With the Sunrise"--Science Fantasy--August 2006
*Locus Recommended Reading List 2006
**Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: 24TH ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Gardner Dozois
***Ken's novels, LAMENTATION & CANTICLE & ANTIPHON, set in the same world as "Of Metal Men," have been published by Tor Books. Sequels to follow.

4. ***Scott William Carter--"The Grand Mal Reaper"--Superhero Fiction--August 2006
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 20TH ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant & Kelly Link

5. Renee Bennett--"Cold Drake"--High Fantasy--August 2006
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 20TH ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant & Kelly Link

6. E. Catherine Tobler--"Indigo With Distance"--Contemporary Fantasy--August 2006

7. Sarah Totton--"A Fish Story"--Funny Fantasy--I worked with Sarah on a revision before we passed this story up the editorial ladder--October 2006
*Reprinted in FANTASY: BEST OF THE YEAR 2007 from Prime Books, edited by Rich Horton
**Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: 24TH ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Gardner Dozois

8. Amanda Downum--"Snake Charmer"--Urban Gothic--October 2006
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 20TH ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant & Kelly Link

9. Jon Hansen--"In the Lair of the Moonmen"--Sword and Planet--December 2006

10. *******Euan Harvey--"The Tao of Crocodiles"--Dark Fantasy--1st professional sale--April 2007
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 21st ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant & Kelly Link

11. Trent Hergenrader--"Black Jack Davy"--Wild West Fantasy--April 2007
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 21st ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant & Kelly Link

12. David Pinault--"Afghan Buddha Payback"--Contemporary Fantasy--David marks the first author I've fished out of the slush with no fiction credits whatsoever. My first discovery if you will--June 2007

13. Elizabeth Glover--"MetaPhysics"--Funny Fantasy--Elizabeth and I were friends before she ever submitted to the magazine, at least while I've been working here. Not that I made things easy on her. "Tweak the ending if you want me to pass this along," I told her. She tweaked. The result? Elizabeth now has her first sale--August 2007
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 21st ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant & Kelly Link
**Reprinted in SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, edited by Tim Pratt

14. *Von Carr--"The White Isle"--High Fantasy--Von and I worked on some light revisions before passing this one up the editorial ladder--December 2007
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR: 21st ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant & Kelly Link
**Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's accompanying artwork to "The White Isle" was nominated for a 2008 Chesley Award for Interior Illustration (this was before I started overseeing the magazine's art department)

15. Greg O. Weatherford--"Under the Skin"--YA Fantasy--1st sale--October 2008

16. **Sharon Mock--"All Beautiful Things"--Dark Fantasy--October 2008
*Honorable Mention in BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR, VOLUME ONE, edited by Ellen Datlow

17. *Vylar Kaftan--"The Luckiest Street in Georgia"--Contemporary Fantasy--Vylar and I worked on some light revisions before passing this one up the editorial ladder--October 2008

18. William H. Wandless--"Pumpkin Jumper"--Dark Fairy Tale--December 2008

19. *Desirina Boskovich--"Sand Castles"--Contemporary Fantasy--1st sale--April 2009
*Available as a podcast on the PodCastle website

20. *Garth Upshaw--"Name Day"--New Weird--April 2009
*Honorable mention in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION: 27TH ANNUAL COLLECTION, edited by Gardner Dozois

21. Ben Francisco--"Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts"--Ghost Story--This was my first slush survivor I got to handle the art direction for--October 2009
*Available as a podcast on the PodCastle website
**Selected for inclusion for Wilde Stories 2010: The Best of the Year's Gay Speculative Fiction, edited by Steve Berman
***A selection of the io9 short story reading club
****Honorable mention in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, TWENTY-SEVENTH COLLECTION, edited by Gardner Dozois

22. S.E. Ward--"Nell and the Devil"--Dark Fairy Tale--October 2009
*Honorable Mention in BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR, VOLUME TWO, edited by Ellen Datlow

23. *Ann Leckie--"The Unknown God"--High Fantasy--February 2010
*Gallegos's accompanying artwork was the winner of RoF's 2010 Reader Choice Award for Best Artwork

24. Christopher Kastensmidt--"The Fortuitous Meeting of Gerard van Oost and Oludara"--Sword & Sorcery--1st pro sale--April 2010
*2010 Nebula Nominee for Best Novelette
**Tangent Online Recommended Reading List 2010
***Co-winner of RoF's 2010 Reader Choice Award for Best Fiction

25. *Aliette de Bodard--"Desaparecidos"--Contemporary Fantasy--June 2010
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, TWENTY-EIGHTH COLLECTION, edited by Garder Dozois

26. T.L. Morganfield--"The Hearts of Men"--Sword & Sixguns--1st pro sale--T.L. and I worked on a rewrite before passing this one up the editorial ladder--June 2010
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, TWENTY-EIGHTH COLLECTION, edited by Gardner Dozois

27. Shweta Narayan--"Sultana Lena's Gift"--Steampunk--June 2010

28. Hannah Strom-Martin--"Father Pena's Last Dance"--Horror--1st pro sale--August 2010
*Honorable Mention in Best Horror of the Year, Volume Three, edited by Ellen Datlow
**Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Science & Fantasy, 2011 Edition, edited by Rich Horton

29. Mark Rigney--"Magpie"--Fable--February 2011
*Honorable Mention in Best Horror of the Year, Volume Four, edited by Ellen Datlow

30. Randy Henderson--"A Witch's Heart"--Dark Fairy Tale--1st pro sale--April 2011

31. Thea Hutcheson--"The Good Husband"--Historical Fantasy--June 2011 (Issue 100)
*Honorable Mention in YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, TWENTY-NINTH COLLECTION, edited by Gardner Dozois

32. Rochita Loenen-Ruiz--"Return to Paraiso"--Contemporary Fantasy--October 2011 (Final issue)

33. Elizabeth Bourne--"Beasts"--Fairy Tale--Fairy Tale--I discovered this story back when the magazine was still in business, but RoF reached its end before it could be published. Too bad--it's a beaut! The good news is this story found a home, in Interzone # 240.

34. Lee Moan--"The Transmuted Engine"--Dark Fantasy--Lee and I worked on a light revision before passing this one up the editorial ladder--1st pro sale--As with "Beasts," I discovered this one back when the mag was still around, but RoF reached its end before this piece could be published. I'm sure it will find a home elsewhere.

*Author's name=subsequent sale to RoF.

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