REJECTION!! and the coming wrath of con.

16 05 2010

What happens when you wish for Venice on the monkey's paw.

Well, now it has been a bit. There were many pressing matters on hand here in Nashville including (but not limited to) the Noachian level flood that destroyed half my city and a short sabbatical to the mountains for some recharge on subject matter and a lot of reading. I’m talking about something on the order of forty+ short stories in the last two weeks. I’ve also been planning a fossil hunting expedition to the birdsong shale out toward Memphis, but I’ll get to that later down the line.

Now for the fun part: my bimonthly rejection notice. The wonderful people at Intergalactic Medicine Show got the first crack at a story I wrote back in December, and they promptly said they wanted to pass it on to an editor. Then, not terribly long after that they said they were sending up to the big-ed for final consideration. Five months later I have finally been rejected. Now they have reasons for this- an emergency surgery and a stolen or destroyed office computer (wow, they have an office!). So I forgive the five months and, really, just to get that far with them is a nice feeling. I don’t want you to think that five months is acceptable for a story that hasn’t been held for further consideration. I have a story that has been floundering at Apex for about five months (maybe six now) that I think got lost in some sort of slushy shuffle of staff.  On the flip side of all this, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (Australian), the magazine that I have been rejected by more than all others, has held a story for final consideration. They have a grueling three round process and frankly I have never made it past round one until now so I am happy.  I didn’t think the story was terribly good, but Maggie Jameson gave me a really good slap on the virtual face regarding hyper criticism and picked up on some themes that I hadn’t considered (thanks- ;-;).

So, for your edification, my rejection followed by my round three hold.


Thanks for submitting this story to IGMS, and for being patient while I got to reading it. Unfortunately the story feels considerably more ‘told’ than ‘experienced,’ which is more the kind of story I’m looking for. It’s a style preference, and hopefully another editor will feel differently. Best of luck with it in other markets.

Edmund R. Schubert
Editor, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

that actually felt kind of sweet to me, but moving forward…

Just informing you that your submission has passed the
second round of readings at Andromeda Spaceways, so
your submission is now on our shortlist, while we see if
we can find a place for it.
This will probably take us a while to decide for
sure, though, and we would like to hold onto your
submission for another three months.
(Please note: currently about 1 in 20 submissions make it
from the short-list to acceptance.)
Assuming this is acceptable, we will be in contact with you within this 
In the meantime, feel free to send in other submissions.
Thanks for your patience.

And there you have it. One door closes and another door turns out to be the yawning mouth of the abyss.

Many things are occupying my writing at this juncture. Just wrote a love story about the end of the world (fun), working on a Robin Hood story to help me stomach the shite that is coming from Ridley Scott (really dude, what the fuck happened), and of course I have a story that came from a dream I had in the mountains that had I shared said dream with my girlfriend would have quickly ruined our trip in the mountains. Man, that shit was dark! So there is all that.

Finally, it is Con time in Nashville. I honestly haven’t been to an honest to goodness con in over a decade, but I love them.  Nashville’s speculative fiction convention is the half decade old Hypericon, happening from June 4-6. For those of you with an interest these things are a lot of fun, but be warned- the regional cons are not the same things as Trek conventions or some sort of Renaissance fair for futurists (okay sometimes they are). These things are full of business getting done. Think of them as a convention for insurance sales people if insurance sales people were the most creative and entertaining people on earth. Man that shit is dark.

Okay, I am devoting myself to nothing but wall to wall Hypericon coverage for the next two weeks, so stay tuned for my take on guests and functions, etc.

Oh, I will also be airing my distaste for the Robin Hood movie. I feel like I dropped the ball a few months back by not shit talking Avatar enough and I won’t make the same mistake twice. That movie proves that if you give ewoks boobs teenage boys will love them. Hey James Cameron, go to hell. I mean really? Terminator to Avatar? Blade Runner to Robin Hood? Empire Strikes Back to… well everything after that. Yeah.

The Science of Fiction (is back in action)

Maybe I'll see you at the CON!!!!




6 responses

21 05 2010
maggie Jamison

LOL, glad to help. Also: J-A-M-I-S-O-N. The “e” is a common spelling, but I’m an uncommon kind of person. XD

21 05 2010
maggie Jamison

Also, that rejection from Mr. Schubert is AWESOME. Be proud, sir, be very, very proud.

25 05 2010

Ease up on Avatar. The movie was well done, you can’t question that. A little trite, but very well done. (But Ewoks with boobs…that’s funny.)

I wish Hypericon was in the stars for me, but I’m headed east to Charlotte for ConCarolinas/Deep South Con. Jerry Pournelle is GoH and I have a friend who lives about a mile from the hotel. Win-win for me.

Congrats on the IGMS showing. I can’t get the time of day from them. I also have two stories on hold at ASIM, a huge switch from the revolving rejections I used to get. But 1 in 20 held stories reaching publication? I think I might prefer a timely rejection to a slow one that leads me on. Maybe they’ll take one of mine; if not, then yours. Or the stars could align and we could get two Tennesseans in the same issue of an Australian mag.

Anyway, good luck. Hope you’re keeping dry!


25 05 2010

Oh hell. It was more than well done. The thing looked brilliant. And I give it props on several fronts not least of which are raising the bar for production of far future sci fi in film and (hopefully) encouraging more young’ns to enjoy the genre. But it is trite and though I may be verging on unthinking artistic absolutism, I still believe we can ask for more from the story, a little complexity, a little grey area. Oh well, it’s not Dostoevsky.

28 06 2011
Sue Bursztynski

You want to know why it’s one in twenty now? It’s because of the huge number of submissions.

On my slush plate I’m currently reading stories which have numbers in the 16700s. We can’t take everything, even if it gets to the slushpool (third round). There’s the matter of balance. We simply can’t fill up an issue with long-lost-elvish-zombie-prince stories, or we lose our readers.

But if you make it as far as the slushpool, it means your story is publishable and if we don’t have room for it, someone else might – sometimes even someone who can pay you more than we can! In fact, that’s happened a number of times. And good on you for keeping on trying!

If you ever have a go at slushing yourself – and we can always use more slushers – you’ll understand better. Frankly, I’m tempted to stop bothering with comments. You can’t win. If you’re nice about it, people complain, “So why didn’t you take it?” and if you’re not nice, they whinge about the horrible people who called their baby ugly. We do this for love, not money, so give us a break, eh? 🙂

9 07 2011

Just a note- everything in a continuum! Give comments until you can’t stand to any longer, pass on great things that fit poorly, accept things you don’t understand later- whatever you do- you are a hero to me!

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