It’s been a slow week at Rocket Science mission control, and the total number of submissions now stands at 38 short stories and 5 non-fiction pieces. So please send in more of each, please.
Having said that, I have also purchased another short story and two non-fiction pieces. However, there’s still plenty of room left. I haven’t decided yet exactly how big Rocket Science will be, but I’m intending it to be a good substantial read – though nowhere near the size of The Hard SF Renaissance, edited by David G Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer; or one of Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction collections.
And on the subject of submissions… when I read manuscripts, there are a couple of keywords I consider good indicators that the story may not be entirely suitable for Rocket Science. One of those words is “ship”. If a story uses the word “ship” to refer to spacecraft, then I suspect it may not really be hard sf – and almost certainly not authentic or realistic. Because spacecraft are not ships. They don’t have bridges, they don’t have helms, and travelling through space is nothing like travelling across a sea. “Ship” is a genre trope, a shorthand for travel between the various locations in which a story takes place. And it completely undermines the vastness of the real universe. There are far more differences than similarities between space travel and sea travel. I want to see stories featuring spacecraft – vessels designed specifically for travel in space, or for travelling to and from a world’s surface into space. And no “shuttle craft” – that term was only ever used in Star Trek. It’s meaningless. A shuttle is a form of transport which travels back and forth between two places, because the word itself originally referred – and still does – to the part of a loom that did just that. As for the Space Shuttle… Well, that was its name.
Now for this week’s statistics. The submissions to date now breakdown by gender and nationality of writer as follows: