Further, I love writers who know the difference between a dash and an em dash. Editors shall grant you a special place in heaven for exercising that knowledge.
If I had to boil it down, I'd say that sample pages drew me in for their voice, clarity of prose, and quickly established tension. Many sample pages did not have a hook at their opening, or they had a hook but the tension dissipated as soon as the hook ended.
We've been vocal about seeking more science fiction and more romance (within all speculative fiction genres), but neither was enough to tip the scales into a request. Nothing is an "automatic request" nor an "automatic rejection."
Of course, "the thing" that makes us decline a query or request more pages is far more difficult to describe than anything that can be quantified on this page.
Queries received in total: 64
Length of query period: 28 days
Received after close of period: 1
Received via Facebook (where we don't accept queries): 1
Note: Not all of these number sets add up to 64. This is because sometimes a manuscript fits in multiple categories, or because it didn't provide info for a particular data set, or because we screwed up the tally somewhere along the way. Please don't get too nit-picky about the numbers; we're word people, not statisticians. Although we did love watching Numb3rs on TV.