In this nation* of shrinking spec fic short story markets (well quality ones, at any rate) I just wanted to put out a big thumbs up to the good ones, and to thank them. Small Press editing is a heartbreaking job: it's long hours, for little return. You do it because you love it, but you also do it because, in your heart of hearts, you hope that people will read these stories, and maybe dig them as much as you do**.
I know how that is, I edited ten issues of Redsine, and Kirsten Bishop's wonderful, wonderful book "The Etched City". I did it because I really enjoyed finding stories that entertained me, and I was lucky because those stories found something of a readership, not because I was much of an editor (I'm really rather dreadful) but because I reckon I've got a reasonably interesting taste in fiction, and my Co-editor Garry Nurrish had some excellent contacts and a wonderful sense of design, and in Kirsten's case because she is a damn fine writer who succeeded, in spite, not because of me. Anyway by the time I'd finished editing Redsine as a result of a series of rather heartbreaking of events, I was so over giving up my weekends, and weeknights, I swore I was never going edit anything again, and I pretty much haven't(except for one project which I'll talk about in the future).
Now, as a writer I've been blessed with good editors, I don't think a single story of mine has ever been weakened by an editorial suggestion, in fact, any problems with stories certainly stem from my own failings, of which there are many, and of which there would be many more if good editors hadn't pointed them out.
Anyways, I just wanted to name a few names in the small press that I've had dealings with(as a reader or writer or both), and to say that you should check them out, if you want to read good fiction, edited by good, no make that excellent editors who do this because they care, and care enough not only to read through the slush to find the diamonds, but to put their time and money into these endeavours.
Russell B Farr
The ASIM COLLECTIVE