Yesterday a “guest post” from yours truly was put up on “The Zombie Feed” website. You should click the link and read the (really long… hmm) post I gave them. It’s a type of dovetail marketing campaign for “The Zombie Feed Anthology Volume I.” which is now out and ready for your reading pleasure- containing, as it does, a very short story by moi. You can order it at the web-site, and digital copies are way cheap so I no longer believe price is an excuse. The whole antho is great, by the way. I’ve purchased a couple of z-theme anthologies in the past year just to see what a certain press was putting out and I decided to accuse them of breach of contract to get my story rights back. This is the opposite of that. Wonderful stories from start to finish. That’s Jason Sizemore for you.
So a note on rejection, I have another and I will post it for you now:
Thank you for submitting to Andromeda Spaceways. Unfortunately, while we liked your submission, so far we have not found a place for it ... and it is against our policy to hold onto a story indefinitely. Much as we'd like to, we just don't have the room to print all the stories we get -- not even all the good ones. So sadly, I'm going to have to very reluctantly let this one go. If it got this far, you can rest assured that your story is of high quality and you should be able to find a home for it. I look forward to hearing from you again. Better luck next time! I have supplied some notes from the readers, in case you find them useful. (All these are only the opinions of the readers.)
Well now, wasn’t that nice. It was from Andromeda Spaceways, the Australian magazine I keep almost getting into. This is the closest, though. They held the story for three months. I appreciate the inclusion of the readers notes, but I am following the advice given by Heinlein and George R. R. Martin, “If you love your story, set it free. If it keeps coming back to you rejected, throw a tantrum, smash some shit in your house, give up writing and then spend the night crying and eating ice-cream novelty treats.” Well, now that my insulin levels have righted themselves from a sixteen hour tears-and-drumstick binge, I can say that the readers notes were actually helpful, but ultimately not useful and here is why-
They were helpful in that they pointed out that I used the incorrect form of “discrete.” I had used “discreet” instead. This made it through about a dozen edits of mine. They also pointed out that I had missed a possessive. That was the extent of the editing remarks. (though the comment that I needed to take some copy editing lessons was a bit much… really? …. living on the wrong side of the globe where it’s winter in June… I mean “global south” is the phrase for “world’s ghetto” for crying out loud, and yeah, I said ‘world’s’ with the correct possessive, so go choke on a roo steak!)
Sorry. Really, I just ate a lot of ice-cream novelty treats and I’m not thinking too clearly. It really is a wonderful magazine, and what Heinlein and Martin really said was “know when it’s right, and don’t let rejection make you second guess. Only change your story if an editor asks you to as a condition of publication. Be done with your story and let it go.” That is great advice. Other than the couple of copy editing fixes, this story stands just fine on its own. One reader told me to cut about six pages worth of material and frankly, though I understand the request, I don’t understand the request. This story has made it to the final round of cuts at four (4!!) professional markets, the most for any story I’ve ever written, published or not. It is good. It is one of my best. It will find a home. Hopefully soon, as it is getting ready to take a tour of some of my favorite magazines. Unfortunately I don’t think I can submit this one to Apex as it is an oddly hopeful story with very little in the way of darkness.
Oh well, keep reading, keep writing- that’s what I’m doing.
I also want to make sincere apologies to Notable Australian, Peter M. Ball and Australian transplant Dee…. well, Ball! (both Australians I know have the same last name… huh, weird) I’m sorry for the fit. I think Australia is a wonderful country/continent- with its majestic peaks, and lush interior, and its six deadly poisonous animals per every citizen… and, oh, Midnight Oil, let’s not forget about Midnight Oil! Oh, and Men Without Hats, right? Men Without Hats…. pretty cool. No, wait, they’re from Canada, well it’s in the Commonwealth, so, yeah… Men Without… Hats. Eeeeee.
That’s all for now. More when I’m feeling plucky!
Andrew Clark Porter
The Captain Cook of science fiction.