Here is the rejection I got from Shimmer Magazine:
Thank you for allowing us to consider ‘Mahdi’, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass. It was interesting, but overall it was too vague, and the tone was too detached for our tastes, which meant that I struggled to work out what was going on, and I didn’t feel that I got to ‘know’ the characters enough to care about them. The syntax also felt a little awkward in places, and there were a few grammatical errors, and while these are minor slips, they do disrupt the flow of the story so I’d suggest scanning over the piece again should you choose to send it to other markets.
These are just my opinions, of course, and are intended to give some (hopefully helpful) insight into why it didn’t quite work for us. All the best in placing it elsewhere, then, and good luck with your writing!
All in all one of my favorite places to get rejected. First of all, every rejection I’ve gotten from Shimmer (about a dozen now) has been quite nice, in tone I mean. Take the opening sentence, “Thank you for allowing us to consider….” Allowing us to consider, that’s rich! It is also a perfect way to begin telling someone that their story isn’t going to sell. She made it sound as if I was doing them a favor and, frankly, I think it’s all class. Her break down on the problems within the narrative was fair and even and she ends them with the “just my opinions,” caveat which is serves two purposes. First, it is a simple statement of truth, the story didn’t read well for her, but it might be just the ticket for another editor. Second, it keeps writers from writing back and angrily saying, “well, that’s like, your opinion man.” Her comment on my grammar is disturbing. I’m generally pretty careful with my product when it’s time to ship it out and though on occasion “its” might live where “it’s” was supposed to be, I try and send clean copy. I can tell you from my time slushing, get that grammar right! (I am very embarrassed) She does have good points about the story. Unfortunately I was trying to write a sparse, almost mystical apology for a sort of transhuman Judas, and that diffusion is on purpose. That might mean that the story is going to be difficult to place, but as I generally publish only about one out of thirty short stories, them’s the breaks!
So thank you Nicola- you’re a class act! For that, Shimmer Magazine is my favorite rejection of the month (for the second time)!
The science of fiction
Andy C Porter