New meanings are being attached to beauty. GUD exposes you to these, takes you to the edge of the familiar. We bid you, the reader, to step over the line. We open new windows of thought, engage and transport you. GUD delivers intelligent, memorable, and entertaining words and pictures that you’ll want to discuss with a friend. We promise to leave an impression. From the GUD website.
My latest reading material has been a book titled The DNA Detectives by Anna Meyer. There’s mention in there that it’s estimated that 99% of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. Having started my own personal road to extinction at a time when there was an abundance of print magazines showcasing fiction, many of them exclusively, I can say pretty conclusively that 99% of all such magazines are now extinct.
The advent of the Internet has been an interesting development in terms of short fiction and poetry. Publishing something to the Internet is, well, pretty cheap once you get past the initial hardware/software cost of setting up a computer and connecting with an online service. I applaud the arrival of the eZines and have published a few stories there myself.
Part of the problem with eZines is, in some ways, they are too easy. There are an appalling number of bad poems and stories being published on the Internet. I imagine the initial idea of publishing an eZine is a real kick, but once you open that door and the slush starts rolling in, it seems it could become a real drag real fast. Which is probably why many eZines last only as long as the person who started them remains interested. The turnover seems to be pretty high. Half the stories I’ve published that way were on eZines that no longer exist.
And maybe I’m showing my age here, but there is just something about having your story printed on paper that makes all the difference in the world. I was thrilled when Static Movement accepted my story Quiet for inclusion in the June release of their eZine. But I zoomed up into the heavens when they later wanted to include Quiet in their upcoming print anthology (more on this later).
Though I lament it, I understand the demise of print magazines. The cost factor in producing and distributing a print mag are enormous. Couple this with the general decline in reading and anyone with an ear could hear the death knell toll. As a writer, this is a pretty dismal state of affairs. For the budding, unpublished writer, it’s even worse. As the number of print mags declined, the number of submissions to those left increased. The competition became fierce. And, as success for the magazine came with sales, the print mags tended to go with those authors who could draw the readers. Sad to say, most of the remaining print mags, fearful of losing those readers, drifted toward the safe side of the harbor with the result being that all the stories began to blend into this gooey, gray mush. Read one and you kinda read them all.
Which is why I’m rooting for this upstart print mag called GUD (greatest uncommon denominator). They want to push the envelope, turn mediocre on its ear. I’m all for that. I’m tired of reading the same old story over and over. To say the least, as a writer, their submission guidelines for fiction impress (and frighten) the hell out of me. Here they are in their own words:
We publish work in any genre, plus artwork, factual articles, and interviews. We’ll publish something as short as 20 words or as long as 15,000 words, as long as it grabs us. Be warned: We read a lot. We’ve seen it all before. We are not easy to impress. Is your work original? Does it have something to say? Read it again. If you genuinely believe it to be so, send it. We do accept simultaneous submissions, as well as multiple submissions.
Our dictionary defines literature thus: written works, esp. those valued for form and style. And that is what we are looking for: form and style, though be sure there’s substance as well. Any genre, including literary or mainstream, is acceptable. We don’t back away from a fight; if your work screws with convention, breaks rules, makes demands of the reader, then we’re equal to the challenge. Just please, by whatever you hold dear, give us some prize at the end of the fight.
I’m looking forward to their first issue. Right now they’re offering a discount for pre-orders; 10% off the cover price of the first issue and a further discount if you pre-order the first two issues. I’ve got my first two issues reserved. You can get yours by heading over to their site. GUD You’ll be glad you did.