Monday, October 25, 2010

A Winner Is ME!!!

Last month I wrote in this blog entry about the KGB Fantastic Fiction raffle, and how various authors and professionals in the SF industry were donating items and services to help keep the reading series funded through the next two years and beyond. Go ahead and click on the link if you don't remember my particular dilemma this time around.

The short of it was, I knew at the time that several writers and editors would be donating their critiquing services for winners of the raffle, and I was bound and determined to be one such lucky recipient this year. Problem was, I first had to win. And then, secondly, I needed to make sure I had a somewhat decent work-in-progress to submit for critiquing. I wanted to submit a story which I knew needed work, but which I also felt had a decent chance of being published somewhere (anywhere) once it went through a rewrite or two. I had 5 good candidates out of the 10 short stories I've written this year, but was able to narrow it down to 2 by the end of last week.

Then I stuffed the ballots at the raffle and crossed my fingers. What? You didn't know that this is the secret to winning raffle drawings? For shame! Each raffle were only $1, but with no limit on how many single-dollar tickets you could buy for any one prize. Needless to say, I found items on the KGB raffle site that I absolutely, without a doubt, had to have . . . and then stocked up on as many tickets as I could for each to balance the odds in my favor! :)

Well . . . surprise, surprise! The results were just announced today, and out of the 4 separate prizes I purchased raffles for, I won 3 of them! Yay for me!

I'll list the three down below, with descriptions provided from the official KGB FF site itself:


Description: Gordon Van Gelder, editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, is donating a one-year subscription to the magazine.

2) Signed ARC: FOR THE WIN by Cory Doctorow

Description: Cory Doctorow is donating a signed ARC of his most recent novel, FOR THE WIN.

(Cory Doctorow ( is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger -- the co-editor of Boing Boing ( and the author of the bestselling Tor Teens/HarperCollins UK novel LITTLE BROTHER.)

3) Story critique by the Altered Fluid Writing Group

Description: The writers group Altered Fluid ( will critique a story up to 7000 words, in person or via Skype.

(Altered Fluid is a speculative fiction writers’ group based in Manhattan. They have been meeting since 2001 to workshop their members’ short works of science fiction, horror, fantasy and slipstream. The critique will be delivered by all ten regular members. They use the Clarion Writers Workshop style of critiquing, which means each reader takes a turn making comments and suggestions, and the writer doesn't speak until the open discussion at the end. The group will spend 30-60 minutes analyzing the story.)

I mean, seriously, can you believe my luck? This is so AWESOME, I don't even have the words to describe --- [passes out]
Okay, now that I've recovered . . . I love all my prizes, but it's the last one for which I stuffed the ballot the most (now that doesn't sound dirty, does it?)
This crit group is no joke! I see various members of Altered Fluid all the time at KGB readings, but never had the courage to say "hi" before. Well, except for Nora Jemisin, author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, whom you may remember I met (and took Tarrell's picture with) back in August when Mary Robinette Kowal was a guest reader. I wish I could have taken the pic and at the same time jumped in there with Tarrell, but at least I got to meet two lovely newbie writers who's works I admire greatly.
Still, I'm totally geeked out by this win. Although, to be honest, I'm also a-scared shitless at the thought of being alone in a room with all these supremely talented people and having them take turns ripping my WiP to shreds -- YIKES!!! But I tell myself: what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. Yes, I must keep telling myself that. Writers need to be made of stern stuff, and learn to take constructive criticism, yep.
Ultimately, I think I'll be too excited to be scared. It's going to be an amazing learning experience for me, and I'm sure I'll learn a ton about the craft -- especially about making this specific short story better --  when all is said and done.
I'll update you all once me and my story have been put through the ringer. Assuming I survive. *meep*
P.S. -- The title of this entry is an inside reference for gamers. Bonus points if you can guess which video game I riffed it from. *Hint: it's from the 1980s 8-bit console era. Any true gamers from my generation will know the answer.


  1. Congrats! Of course I always knew you were a winner ;)

    I'll have to ask my sons about the gamer reference.

  2. Well done, David, and good luck with the critique. I hope it helps you polish your story on its way to a new publication credit. Remember - no pain, no gain ;)

  3. David -- Hi, and congratulations! We're looking forward to that crit as well. (Though we may have to come up with a nickname for you to distinguish you from Evil David.)

    Paul Berger
    (Altered Fluid)

  4. Yes, Paul, I hinted as much in my e-mail reply to David. Two Davids from the Bronx in one SF crit room? Perhaps I might recommend growing a goatee. Since he's "Evil David," it'll have to be him. That's how it works in the Soaps . . . and in South Park "spookyverses," apparently.

    Btw, thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you and the gang soon!


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