Tompkins, David G. Science Fiction Writer's Market Place and Sourcebook. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, c1994.
(Note: This review is on the first edition of the book. A second edition has been published with the main differences being updated entries for each publisher and magazine and a slightly different title to include the genres fantasy and horror. Otherwise, content is the same.)
Reference type: Ready Reference
Authority: This book is published by Writer's Digest, the number one source for materials on writing and publishing. Contributing authors include such established writers as Orson Scott Card and Nancy Kress.
Audience Relation: This book is specifically designed for authors in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.
Scope: This book is written to help science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers both develop their work to a higher quality and find the perfect market for their work.
Content Evaluation: This book is perhaps the most useful book reviewed at this site. Not only does it help authors develop their work and hone their skills, it provides valuable information about the shape of the science fiction publishing market and for what the editors of each publishing house and magazine are looking. These entries were written by the editors themselves in clear, precise language about what they will and will not accept. Additionally, submission procedures are outline for each house, including payment terms for accepted work.
The book opens with essays from established authors on various points of refining one's craft. Then, there are two large sections on the markets, one for short stories and one for novels. Finally, there are additional resources in the back, such as a list of all national science fiction writing contests and how to enter them as well as bibliographies of award-winning science fiction and fantasy work.
The format of this book is a sturdy hardback that would fit on almost any reference shelf or in any briefcase for easy travel. The pages are stitched, not glued, in the binding for durability. The paper is light buff with a nice medium to large font. Headers are larger and in boldface for easy skimming through the text.
Overall, this is the one book that every science fiction author should have in his or her personal collection if a career in publishing his or her work is the eventual goal.