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[Ezine] Helix

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Claudia Gray

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If you're considering submitting to Helix, you might want to reconsider after reading this:

http://yhlee.livejournal.com/1184976.html

Not only did the magazine publish some highly questionable content, but when a writer asked (politely, with the full understanding that they had the right to refuse her request) that her story be removed from their online archives as a result of their questionable practices, they responded with an extremely offensive e-mail to her and a nasty public posting on their site.

I wouldn't touch that place with a ten-foot pole, after this.
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
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Submissions to HelixSF are by invitation only, so I doubt it'll affect many people.

What is the "highly questionable content" that they've published? Their editor has been the subject of a lot of online debate, but I've not heard anything but praise for the quality of the stories they publish.
 

eqb

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Submissions to HelixSF are by invitation only, so I doubt it'll affect many people.

What is the "highly questionable content" that they've published? Their editor has been the subject of a lot of online debate, but I've not heard anything but praise for the quality of the stories they publish.

Just to clarify, Helix was invitation-only just for the first issue. It's now limited to writers with professional credits (SFWA, HWA, etc.), or if the editor decides to make an exception.

Which is a moot point for two reasons. One, he's shutting down the magazine later this year and his inventory is full. Two, even if he were looking for more stories, he's doing a smashing job of convincing writers they don't want to put up with his behavior.

Four writers (including me) have withdrawn their stories from the site. The editor is now charging a minimum of $40 to comply with any new requests.

All this is a shame, because the magazine has published a number of fine stories and poems.
 
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IceCreamEmpress

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I assume that by the "questionable content" Claudia meant things like this.
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
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Yes, the editor's behaviour has been atrocious, but the stories and poems published in Helix have been excellent, and it's introduced me to some amazing authors. Which makes the whole mess even more of a pity. However, I can't imagine those authors will have any trouble finding homes for their stories elsewhere.
 

eqb

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As a follow-on to the controversy, a number of Helix authors have created a new website, Transcriptase. In addition to posting our stories and poems from Helix, we've posted a general statement about why we've done this. Several authors have added personal statements as well.
 

CaoPaux

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As a follow-on to the controversy, a number of Helix authors have created a new website, Transcriptase. In addition to posting our stories and poems from Helix, we've posted a general statement about why we've done this. Several authors have added personal statements as well.
Nicely done. When life hands you lemons....
 

eqb

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Nicely done. When life hands you lemons....

It was Vylar Kaftan's most excellent idea. She and several others (including AWer nojojojo) did the main work of contacting writers and building the site. I'm delighted with the results and grateful for their work.
 

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I am friends with Lawrence Watt-Evans, one of the editors, and this whole thing really saddened me. Helix is (was) a good ezine, with great writing. To see it flushed down the toilet because the editor in chief couldn't keep his mouth shut is a shame.
 

eqb

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I am friends with Lawrence Watt-Evans, one of the editors, and this whole thing really saddened me. Helix is (was) a good ezine, with great writing. To see it flushed down the toilet because the editor in chief couldn't keep his mouth shut is a shame.

I couldn't agree more. I used to be on the staff, too, and I thought the magazine published some damned fine stories and poems. It's too bad the senior editor has such a self-destructive streak.
 

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I"m so glad there is a place for those stories again. There are indeed many damned fine stories and poems there.

Thanks for the link, Beth.
 

eqb

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In the spirit of completeness:

Helix has formally closed down and removed its archives. The senior editor has posted his final editorial and an explanation why he removed the archives.

Transcriptase.org continues to archive stories and poems from Helix. We've added a number of works since August, too, so do drop by and see what's new.
 

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