Once again, I have Larry to thank for finding this interesting article by Carol Pinchefsky.
Here's an excerpt:
Editors mingle with each other, as well as professional and fledgling writers, publishers, agents at science fiction conventions and other events. Many of them have longstanding personal as well as business relationships, including traveling together, sharing hotel rooms, and dating, marrying, and sometimes divorcing one another.
Add fans into the mix, some of whom have been attending conventions and meeting their favorite writers and editors for decades, and well, the word "incestuous" springs to mind.
Because of this ultra-socialization in the genre, editors tend to buy stories and novels from people that they often already know, at least tangentially.
Does knowing an editor personally -- and buying him a round at the bar -- increase a writer's chances of getting published? Are editors swayed by the charms of friendship and the chance to write off every lunch as a business expense? Is there favoritism in science fiction?
Read the whole article here.