Being Out-of-Date

iPad-typewriterI’ve been doing some research this week on various markets to start submitting short fiction, and given my own tendencies in genre I have been exploring the best short fiction markets for speculative fiction, including Asimov’s, Analog, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It was this last one that caught my attention, however, when I was looking at their submission guidelines.

We do not accept simultaneous or electronic submissions. Please type your manuscript on clean white bond, double spaced, with one inch margins.

Did you catch that? The terminology here is so old that it was almost too old for me, and I was born in the mid-80s. What caught my attention was the use of two words with regard to how MFSF accepts submissions. Those words were “type” and “bond.” If you didn’t know, these are terms that were used to discuss typewriters. I’m supposed to type my manuscript on bond paper? I’ve heard of being behind the times, and all of us in this new era are well aware that traditional publishers are behind the curve in terms of adopting new technologies, but this is amazing. According to the strict interpretation of their submission policies, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction still requires you to submit your manuscripts after having been typed on a typewriter. To put this in perspective, this means that they have not updated their submission policy since the magazine was founded in 1949!

This means MFSF is behind two major technological developments since that time. The invention of the personal computer and the printer, and then the internet. Which is, frankly, stunning. But I find it really, really funny in a charming, nostalgic sort of way. Its quaint and quirky and is reminiscent of the old pulp days. Long live the pulps.

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