One of my favorite Beatles moments is from the intro to Sgt. Pepper’s: “The singer’s going to sing a song, and he wants you all to sing along, so let me introduce to you, the one and only Billy Shears and Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band!”
I’m hardly Paul McCartney, but I’m here to introduce the band anyway. It’s been suggested that I talk for a moment about where the name “Substrate” comes from.
Open up a dictionary and search for its definition, and you’ll probably find a singularly unhelpful entry:
Turn subsequently to the entry for substratum, grumbling all the while, and you will find it much more helpful:
1. Something that is spread or laid under something else; a stratum or layer lying under another.
2. Something that underlies or serves as a basis or foundation.
Substrate — this group, our group — consists of a wild variety of writers, with a wide range of proclivities, inclinations, and tastes. Some of us write fast, others slow. Some of us write with a goal of making a living from our fiction; some of us write for fun, and only for fun. Some write shorts, others novels; some fantasy, some science fiction, some write things that can fall nowhere else but aren’t quite comfortable on the F&SF shelf at Barnes & Noble either.
So what underlies all that shifting and changing? What’s the substrate?
Writing. Especially writing that takes the imagination out for a ride.
A bit about myself: traveler, currently happily grounded in Cambridge. I love writing, I’m trying to make a life of it, and have had a couple short stories published on websites and in anthologies so far. I’ve finished a couple novels and am trying to place them with agents now. My favorite science fiction author is Roger Zelazney. My favorite non-genre author is Dame Dorothy Dunnett, but there’s some contention for the top spot on that list.
The Substrate blog will be a place for us to talk about our work, to meta-write, and to discuss life. We’ve got a lot to say to one another, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of this forum.
So, without further hesitation: let me introduce to you…