Mary Soon Lee's 1995-1999 Mailbox Blues
This page contains Mary Soon Lee's
mailbox mutterings from 1995 to 1999. For more recent news see
the latest Mailbox Blues.
A quick summary of my story-submitting fate in 1999 (this includes
the two S&S acceptances mentioned above, which I estimate arrived
on 29 December 1999):-
For comparison, my career statistics to date are:
- 95 responses to submissions
- 73 rejections
- 22 acceptances, including one at the start of the year
from David Hartwell for the Year's Best SF #4
and one from him at the end of the year for the Year's
Best SF #5; two stories accepted
and two stories accepted for Sword & Sorceress 18 & 20.
- 10 stories published for the first time, including my first
appearance in Amazing
- 766 responses
- 680 rejections
- 86 acceptances (in perhaps half-a-dozen of these, the magazine
folded before publishing my story)
- 48 stories published, with quite a few more reprinted;
I have had stories appear in English, Czech, Dutch, German, Italian,
Polish, and Spanish.
21 December 1999: Electric Wine acceptance :-)
'Tis the season for selling reprints.
Electric Wine have
accepted reprint rights to my story "Conversation Pieces,"
which first appeared in Beyond #2, June 1995 :-)
18 December 1999: Year's Best SF #5 acceptance :-)
Today I received contracts from David Hartwell for my story "Lifework"
to be reprinted in next year's Year's Best Science Fiction #5
anthology. Hip, hip, hooray!!!! "Lifework" first appeared in
Interzone #144, June 1999, and is among my favorite stories.
Hip, hip, hooray, again!! :-) I also recently received
friendly rejections from Altair and On Spec.
10 December 1999: Altair rejection
A thoughtful and friendly rejection from Altair.
6 December 1999: An end to silence...
Today I received two friendly, encouraging rejections, one from
Amazing Stories and one from Darkling Plain.
1 December 1999: The great silence...
My silence on this page is merely a reflection of the vast
quiet stillness of my mailbox. Perhaps a dozen replies will
arrive tomorrow morning....
6 November 1999: Pulp Eternity acceptance :-)
I haven't updated this mailbox page for a few days, and have
accumulated three story responses. Firstly an acceptance from Pulp
Eternity for my story "Spell Night," to appear in the "I Am Cat"
issue. Hurrah! :-) :-) Also rejections from SF Age and
Vampire Dan's Story Emporium.
27 October 1999: Asimov's rejection
Just as I was wondering what had happened to all my stories,
a 118-day rejection from Asimov's Science Fiction.
18 October 1999: Lost Ages publication :-)
The Lost Ages Chronicle today published "Dry Water," the story
of mine that they accepted earlier this month :-) This story was first
published in Random Realities #7 in June 1995. Alas, I also
received a rejection from TransVersions.
16 October 1999: Pulp Eternity
Today I received a second rewrite request from Pulp Eternity
in response to my first revision of the story.
14 October 1999: Lost Ages payment :-)
The Lost Ages Chronicle paid me today for the story they
accepted earlier this month :-) Also in the mail, a 64-day rejection
11 October 1999: Phenix acceptance :-)
An unsolicited acceptance from the French magazine Phenix,
which will be reprinting my story "The Day Before They Came"
(first published in Interzone).
6 October 1999: Lost Ages sale :-)
The Lost Ages Chronicle recently solicited a story from me, and
today they accepted reprint rights to "Dry Water," first published in
Random Realities #7 :-)
4 October 1999: Dark Regions contract :-)
Today I received the contract from Dark Regions for last
month's sale of "Dragonslayer" :-)
2 October 1999: Pulp Eternity
Today I received a rewrite request from Pulp Eternity.
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Marion Zimmer Bradley died yesterday, September 25th, after suffering
a major heart attack on September 21st. I only just learned the news
and still cannot fully absorb it.
Marion Zimmer Bradley was a pivotal figure in fantasy, both for
her own fiction and for all the encouragement and opportunities
she gave to newer writers. I can't think of any other major
author who helped so many other authors, through her beautiful
magazine and the many anthologies she edited. I was lucky enough
to have a story ("The Hollow Dancer") in Sword & Sorceress
XIV, one of the many anthologies we owe to her.
Many, many sympathies to all who knew Marion Zimmer Bradley.
13 September 1999: SF Age rejection
A 13-day rejection from the ever-swift SF Age.
11 September 1999: Dark Regions acceptance :-)
Today I found a message from Dark Regions on my phone machine,
requesting a disk copy of my story "Dragonslayer" as soon as possible
-- returning the phone call I confirmed that they were indeed
accepting the story :-)
10 September 1999: Nowa Fantasyka payment :-)
Today I received a check from the Polish magazine Nowa Fantastyka
for my earlier reprint sale of "The Day Before They Came" (first
published in Interzone) :-)
28 August 1999: Mail catch-up
Two rejections to report, one from Adventures of Sword &
Sorcery and the other from F&SF. Much more happily, I also
received payment for my recent acceptance from On Spec :-)
20 August 1999: Etoiles Vives rejection
A friendly 22-day rejection from Etoiles Vives.
19 August 1999: Waxing & Waning publication :-)
Today I received my contributor's copy of Waxing & Waning #1,
containing my short story "The Mother" :-)
17 August 1999: TOTU publication :-)
Today I received contributor's copies of Tales of the Unanticipated
#20, containing my short story "The Turtle God." This is the
first trade-paperback issue of Tales of the Unanticipated, and it
looks beautiful in its new format.
11 August 1999: Altair publication :-)
Today I received contributor's copies of Altair #4 (the special
Aussiecon III edition) containing my short story "1-800-Clone-Me" :-)
9 August 1999: F&SF rejection
A friendly 17-day rejection from F&SF.
4 August 1999: On Spec acceptance :-)
Good news today: I received contracts from the Canadian magazine On Spec for my short story
"No-Name in the Long Winter" :-) This will be my second appearance in
2 August 1999: Talebones rejection
A swift and friendly rejection from Talebones.
31 July 1999: ByLine rejection
A 14-day rejection from ByLine...
24 July 1999: Pirate Writings payment :-)
Today I received payment for my story "Slush" published in
Pirate Writings #17.
22 July 1999: Three months old :-)
William is three months old today, and now weighs sixteen pounds.
He is getting ever more vocal, and particularly enjoys squealing.
He is also getting much better at holding onto rattles and other
toys.... Also today, a friendly 21-day rejection from Maelstrom.
17 July 1999: Italian acceptance, Mind's Eye royalties :-)
The editor of the Italian web-magazine Intercom asked to reprint
my story "The Day Before They Came" (first published in Interzone) which will be
my first story to be translated into Italian :-) And I also received
my first royalty check from Mind's Eye
Fiction. Less happily, I had a rejection from Pirate
16 July 1999: Interzone publication :-) :-)
Today I received contributor's copies of
containing my story "Tranquillity" :-) :-) :-) This is my sixth story
to appear in Interzone.... Also today, a friendly rejection from
13 July 1999: Writing again :-)
I have now completed my first new story since William's birth :-)
I am trying to write for an hour a day, but it is certainly not
such an easy task as before he was born.... Meanwhile William
is going through a phase of fascination with the wonder of owning
a left hand.
9 July 1999: Odyssey folds :-(
Alas, sad news indeed that Odyssey is folding. I had one
story in their slush-pile, which now needs to be submitted
elsewhere. Also a rejection yesterday from Rosebud; they
are reorganizing and the form slip invites me to resubmit my story
to them next year.
7 July 1999: Whoops
I see I am woefully behind with my mail reports. I've received
three rejections since my last update (from Asimov's,
ByLine, and Story).... William is doing very well.
Nowadays he occasionally manages to roll over, and he is also
learning the important art of thumb-sucking.
21 June 1999: Waxing & Waning payment :-)
Today I received payment for my recent sale to Waxing & Waning :-)
19 June 1999: Interzone publication :-) :-)
Today I received contributor's copies of
containing my story "Lifework" :-) :-) :-) This is my fifth story
to appear in Interzone.... Also today, a rejection from
Pirate Writings.... On the baby front, William is
becoming more mobile and beginning to learn to roll over :-)
12 June 1999: Altair rejection
A friendly rejection from Altair.
10 June 1999: The Urbanite rejection
A 14-day rejection from The Urbanite.... On the non-writing
front, William is now holding cooing conversations with us.
1 June 1999: Waxing & Waning acceptance :-)
Today I received an acceptance from a new Canadian magazine,
& Waning; I also received belated contributor copies from the
Polish magazine Nowa
Fantastyka for two stories printed in 1997 :-)
24 May 1999: Sword & Sorceress royalties :-)
Today I received royalties for my short story "The Hollow Dancer"
from Sword & Sorceress XIV :-)
In non-writing news, William had a check up today. He is now one
month, two days old; he weighs 12 pounds, 2 ounces; he is 24 inches
long. He is growing well!
21 May 1999: Papyrus payment :-)
Today I received $100 payment from Papyrus for reprinting
my short story "Silent in the Cities" :-)
20 May 1999: Flesh and Blood contributor's copy :-)
Today I received my contributor's copy of Flesh and Blood #4,
containing a reprint of my story "The Hollow Dancer" (Sword
and Sorceress XIV), and also received the contracts for my
recent sale to Nowa Fantastyka, plus a friendly
rejection from Altair.
18 May 1999: Gigamesh acceptance :-)
The Spanish magazine Gigamesh will be reprinting my
story "Ebb Tide" (F&SF, May 1995) later this year :-) This
will be my first story to be translated into Spanish :-)
10 May 1999: Year's Best and Talebones publication :-)
Today I received my contributor's copy of the Year's Best SF #4,
edited by David G. Hartwell, published by HarperPrism, ISBN 0-06-105902-1.
This is the first time I've had a story in one of the Year's Best volumes,
and I am delighted :-) :-) I also received my contributor's copy of
Talebones #15, containing my story "Vigil" :-)
William continues to be exceedingly cute. Yesterday Andrew bought
him a new toy, an activity gym, and William lay in it absolutely
fascinated by the bright toys dangling above him.
9 May 1999: Belated birth announcement :-)
I'm behind with everything; my e-mail and snail-mail in particular is
building into a terrible To-Be-Answered pile. The reason for all
these undone tasks was born into the world shortly after midnight on
April 22nd: William Chye Lee Moore, weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces at
birth, 22 inches long. William is the first child of myself and
Andrew (my husband), and he is one hundred percent cute. He was
born by unplanned C-section, and developed jaundice on his second
day of life, but the jaundice is now nearly gone, William and I
are home, and all is well :-) :-) :-)
Andrew has been sifting my mail for me, so I can also report that
the Polish magazine Nowa Fantastyka will be reprinting
my story "The Day Before They Came" (Interzone #133, July 1998),
and that I received the contracts for my earlier sale to Pulp
Eternity. I've also had a few rejections, but I'm not yet
even sure for which stories (I haven't looked at that section of
20 April 1999: MZB's rejection
An encouraging 29-day rejection from Marion Zimmer Bradley's
15 April 1999: Double rejection
After Monday's rare and very welcome double-acceptance, today
comes a (sadly) more common double-rejection: one from Talebones
and one from Asimov's....
12 April 1999: Interzone double-acceptance :-) :-)
A double-acceptance from Interzone
of my short stories "Tranquillity" and "Lifework." I am thoroughly
delighted :-) :-) :-)
10-11 April 1999: Papyrus acceptance :-)
A 12-day acceptance from Papyrus, who will be
reprinting my story "Silent in the Cities" in May 1999 :-) :-) (This
story was originally printed in Aboriginal SF #51-52, December 1996.)
I also received a friendly 10-day rejection from Altair.
5 April 1999: SF Age rejection
A prompt, friendly rejection from SF Age.
1 April 1999: Aboriginal rejection
A 129-day rejection from Aboriginal SF with some helpful
feedback, and an invitation to rewrite the story.
29 March 1999: Asimov's rejection
A friendly 56-day rejection from Asimov's.
25 March 1999: Talebones page proofs :-)
The page proofs for my story "Vigil" arrived from Talebones,
and all looks well :-) Also in the mail, a 58-day rejection from
23 March 1999: Amazing Stories publication :-) :-)
Today I received contributor's copies of
Stories #596, Spring 1999, containing my story
"Luna Incognita." Happiness :-)
20 March 1999: Realms of Fantasy rejection
A 53-day rejection from Realms of Fantasy.
17 March 1999: Visionair contract :-)
Today I received the contract for my recent pair of sales to
Visionair, and also a "came close" rejection from F&SF.
15-16 March 1999: Transversions publication, TOTU acceptance :-)
It's been a good couple of days mail-wise. First I received payment
and contributor's copies of Transversions #10, containing
my short-short "Courtly Love." And then I received an acceptance
from Tales of the Unanticipated for my story "The Turtle God."
11 March 1999: Year's Best payment :-)
Today I received payment and the signed contract for my January sale of
"The Day Before They Came" to the Year's Best SF #4, edited by
David Hartwell. This is a particularly exciting sale for me: it will
be first time in a Year's Best anthology :-) Also in the mail today,
a 118-day rejection from Gotta Write Network.
10 March 1999: Visionair acceptance :-)
A 156-day acceptance from the Dutch magazine Visionair for
my story "Universal Grammar" (F&SF, April 1997) -- with the
unexpected bonus that they would also like to reprint my story
"Ex Terra, Ex Astris" (F&SF, May 1998). Yippee!! :-)
4 March 1999: Space & Time rejection
A friendly and encouraging 77-day rejection from Space & Time,
telling me that my story was in the final batch held for
3 March 1999: Tiger Moon Press payment :-)
Tiger Moon Press have now sent the second half of the payment
they owed me for a story published all the way back in 1994 :-)
1 March 1999: Avon anthology rejection
After a quiet week, a 74-day rejection from the Avon anthology.
22 February 1999: Galaxy publication, Talebones payment... :-)
"The God on the Glass Cross," a story that I sold back in 1994 has now
been published on the Galaxy website. Also today I received payment
from Talebones for my forthcoming story "Vigil," and I had a
rejection from Science Fiction Age.
18 February 1999: First place in Best of Soft SF Contest :-)
Yippee!!! Today I learned that my story "Cause and Consequence"
from Interzone #136, October 1998, came first in the
Best of Soft SF Contest. I am very pleased, not just because
of the $100 check, but because this story is a personal favorite
of mine..... N.B. Brian Wightman's story "Nocturne Bride" came
second in the contest, and Leslie What's story "The Cost of
Doing Business" came third.
16 February 1999: Pirate Writings re-publication :-)
Some people may recall that only half of a short-short of
mine appeared last year in Pirate Writings #16. Today
I received a contributor's copy of Pirate Writings #17 --
and, happily, this time it has the story in its entirety :-)
9 February 1999: Altair payment + contracts :-)
In the mail today, the contracts and payment for my sale of
"1-800-Clone-Me" to Altair :-)
5 February 1999: Talebones contracts :-)
Today I received the contracts for the January sale of my short
story "Vigil" to Talebones :-)
3 February 1999: Pulp Eternity acceptance :-)
After 8 days with no story responses, I received email from
Pulp Eternity accepting
my story "Star-Crossed." Yay! :-)
25 January 1999: Triple rejection
Ouch! A triple-rejection day, courtesy of Amazing Stories,
Realms of Fantasy, and Glimmer Train.
24 January 1999: Honorable Mention :-)
Today I learned from Patrick Swenson that my story "The Three
Kingdoms" from Talebones #12 will be receiving an
Honorable Mention in the next Year's Best Fantasy & Horror :-)
23 January 1999: BSFA shortlist :-)
My story "The Day Before They Came" (Interzone #133, July 1998)
has made the shortlist for the British Science Fiction
Association Award for best short fiction :-). Better yet,
one of the other four stories on the shortlist is by friend
and fellow Worldwright Timons Esaias :-)
22 January 1999: Two rejections
A double-rejection day from Best of the Rest 2 and
21 January 1999: Weird Tales rejection
A 78-day rejection from Weird Tales.
19 January 1999: Nebula preliminary ballot :-)
Today I received my copy of the
ballot, which includes my story "Monstrosity" from F&SF,
August 1997 :-) Less happily, the mail also contained a 92-day
rejection from Zoetrope.
16 January 1999: Year's Best contract :-)
In the mail today: copies of the Year's Best SF contracts
arrived from David Hartwell :-)
15 January 1999: Amazing Stories proofs :-)
Today I received the proofs for my story "Luna Incognita," which is
currently scheduled for Amazing Stories #596, April 1999; I am
very happy with the story's layout.
13 January 1999: Year's Best SF acceptance :-)
David Hartwell telephoned to say he would like to
reprint my story "The Day Before They Came" (Interzone #133,
July 1998) in his Year's Best SF anthology series.
Hurray! :-) :-) :-)
11 January 1999: Talebones acceptance :-)
An email acceptance from Talebones for my
short story "Vigil." This was a first for me: Talebones initially
rejected the story three months ago. Then at the end of December,
Patrick Swenson said they would like to accept it after all.
Meanwhile I had submitted the story to Odyssey, but,
thankfully, Liz Holliday was extremely friendly when I asked to
withdraw it from there. And so I have my first sale of 1999 :-)
Also today, a 100-day rejection from Lynx Eye.
6 January 1999: Tiger Moon Press payment :-)
Over four years since they published a story of mine, Tiger Moon
Press sent the first half of the payment. Late but still welcome
2 January 1999: Tales of the Unanticipated
The mail-year begins with a friendly 92-day rejection from
Tales of the Unanticipated.
1 January 1999: Happy New Year!
A very happy new year to everyone :-)
26 December 98: Czech publication :-)
Petr Sladek very kindly sent me a copy of the 5/1998 issue of
the Czech edition of F&SF, containing the translation
of my story "Universal Grammar." It's always strange to see
my stories in another language. Also today, a rejection
from F&SF.... I hope everyone had a great time over
23 December 98: Asimov's rejections
Two rejections from Asimov's, one after 68 days and the
other after 30 days. Methinks they are going through their
slush pile before the New Year.
21 December 98: Altair acceptance :-)
Happiness! Today I received an acceptance of my solicited rewrite
In further good news, Robert Stephenson's son Joshua was born today!
(Robert is the editor of Altair.)
16 December 98: Double rejection
Two rejections today, one from the Avon anthology and one
from Realms of Fantasy.
15 December 98: Altair rewrite request
A very prompt and friendly rewrite request from Altair.
14 December 98: Dark Regions copies :-)
Today I received my contributor's copies of Dark Regions #10,
containing my story "To Have and to Hold." This was one of my
oldest unpublished stories, accepted back in 1995, written in 1992,
and I am happy to see it finally in print :-)
12 December 98: Analog rejection
A 33-day rejection from Analog.
10 December 98: Czech translation :-)
Today I learned that my story "Universal Grammar" (F&SF, April 1997)
was published in the 5/1998 issue of the Czech edition of F&SF
under the title "Univerzalni gramatika." I would love to get a
copy of the issue.
7 December 98: Double payment :-)
A very good mail day: I received two checks, one from Amazing
Stories for the story they accepted in November, and one
from Dark Regions for a story they accepted in 1995.
5 December 98: Cemetery Sonata rejection
A very encouraging rejection from Cemetery Sonata.
4 December 98: Redbook rejection
And a 46-day rejection from Redbook.
2 December 98: Alfred Hitchcock rejection
A 41-day rejection from Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
27 November 98: Amazing Stories contract
Today I received back my signed copy of the Amazing Stories
contract, together with a friendly letter saying that payment should
arrive by mid-December.
23 November 98: Tales of the Unanticipated rejection
A 52-day rejection from Tales of the Unanticipated.
21 November 98: XOddity acceptance :-)
A 207-day acceptance from XOddity for my story "Emily, Gerald,
and the Dragon," provisionally scheduled for their January 2000 issue :-)
20 November 98: Talebones rejection
Very friendly 18-day rejection from Talebones.
18 November 98: Amazing Stories contract :-)
Today the contracts arrived for my recent acceptance from
Amazing Stories :-)
12 November 98: Two rejections
Alas, two rejections today, one from F&SF and one
11 November 98: Amazing Stories acceptance :-)
Good news! Tonight I had an email message from Kim Mohan of
Amazing Stories, saying he would like to buy my story "Luna
Incognita." Hurray! In the last few days, I have also received three
rejections -- from Asimov's Science Fiction, Amelia, and
Best of the Rest.
5 November 98: Expecting :-)
In non-story-related news, I am very happy to report that I am now
three and a bit months pregnant! This morning we had an ultrasound,
and the baby looks well, and earlier in the week we had a favorable
result from the multiple marker blood test. Fingers crossed that
everything continues to go well.
2 November 98: Dragon rejection
A 115-day rejection from Dragon Magazine.
30 October 98: Pirate Writings rejection
A rejection from Pirate Writings.
28 October 98: Interzone payment
Today I received payment (and contracts) for my story "Cause
and Consequence" in the October issue of Interzone :-)
Also in the mail, a 177-day rejection from Best of the Rest 2.
24 October 98: Talebones rejection
A friendly rejection from Talebones.
21 October 98: Royalty check
Today I received my first ever royalty check, for my story "The Hollow
Dancer," published two years ago in Sword and Sorceress 14.
It's a strange -- but very pleasant feeling -- to be paid more than
once for the same publication.... Also in the mail, a rejection from
18 October 98: Crank! rejection
A 16-day rejection from Crank!
17 October 98: Zoetrope rejection
A 158-day rejection from Zoetrope.
15 October 98: Two rejections
Alas, two rejections today, one from SF Age and the
other from ByLine.
10 October 98: Interzone publication
Received in the mail today, my contributor's copies of Interzone
#136, October 1998, containing my story "Cause and Consequence," a
story with Jane Austen as one of the characters. This is my fourth
story to appear in Interzone.
9 October 98: Analog rejection
A 30-day rejection from Analog.
3 October 98: Realms of Fantasy rejection
A 29-day rejection from Realms of Fantasy. Also today,
I mailed out a long overdue withdrawal note to Artemis.
I should have done this months and months ago, but I kept
hoping they would at least answer my query letters.
1-2 October 98: And again...
Another busy couple of days at the mailbox, with rejections
from Talebones (an almost-made-it-but-not-quite),
Altair, and F&SF.
26-27 September 98: More rejections
Eeek! The rejections continue, with four more arriving
over the weekend: one from Tenebres (a French
magazine) by email, one from Altair by email,
and lengthy personal rejections from Amazing Stories
and Weird Tales.
25 September 98: Double rejection
Ouch! Too many rejections in too few days! Today I received
two more, both from Asimov's (one after 56 days, the other
after 17 days).
24 September 98: Bending the Landscape rejection
A friendly 77-day rejection from Bending the Landscape.
23 September 98: SF Age rejection
After a week of mail-silence, a 26-day rejection from SF Age.
16 September 98: F&SF rejection
A friendly 34-day rejection from F&SF.
12 September 98: Adventures of Sword & Sorcery rejection
A friendly rejection from Adventures of Sword & Sorcery.
8 September 98: Double rejection
Alas, a double rejection day, with rejections from Asimov's
5 September 98: Space & Time rejection
A friendly rejection from Space and Time.
4 September 98 (later): Terra Incognita acceptance
Yay! Terra Incognita accepted my short story "Rewind" :-) :-)
4 September 98: Altair rejection
After ten days of mail-silence, a friendly rejection from Altair.
24 August 98: Maelstrom rejection
A friendly and thoughtful rejection from Maelstrom.
17 August 98: Contributor's copies
A good mail-day: I received my contributor's copy of "Between the
Darkness and the Fire" (the SFF Net anthology) and of Visionair #1
(the first issue of a new Dutch magazine). Coincidentally, both
publications contain reprints of my story "Ebb Tide" from F&SF, May
1995, although the SFF Net anthology contains a somewhat revised
version of the story.
15 August 98: Aurealis rejection
An encouraging rejection from Aurealis.
14 August 98: Maelstrom rejection
A friendly rejection from Maelstrom.
10 August 98: Glimmer Train rejection
A 10-day rejection from Glimmer Train.
9 August 98: Interzone acceptance
Happiness! Interzone accepted my story "Cause and
Consequence." I am always delighted to sell to Interzone, but this
story is a particular favorite of mine, and so I am especially pleased.
7 August 98: Between the Darkness and the Fire publication
Whilst wandering through the Dealers' Room at Worldcon, I found that
the first SFF Net anthology, "Between
the Darkness and the Fire," has been published. The anthology --
which looks beautiful -- contains a revised version of my story "Ebb
Tide," first printed in the May 1995 F&SF.... I also received
an e-mail rejection from the Best New Horror #9.
4 August 98: Black and White Fiction Series
Alas, the Australian market Black and White Fiction Series
31 July 98: CONduit 8 contributor's copies
Today I received (a little late, but very welcome) my
contributor's copies of the CONduit 8 program book, containing
my story "Monstrosity" (first published in F&SF, August 97).
Also in the mail today: rejections from Adventures of Sword &
Sorcery and from Slip Into Something Uncomfortable.
30 July 98: Talebones publication :-)
Returning from a week at a (non-science fiction) conference, I was
reunited with my mail. Ah, the pangs of separation! Amongst the sad
little pile of rejections, I found my contributor's copies of
Talebones #12, containing
my story "The Three Kingdoms," beautifully illustrated by Chris
25 July 98: Pirate Writings re-publication :-)
Ed McFadden of Pirate Writings e-mailed me to say that they
would reprint the whole of my story in the next issue of
Pirate Writings :-) I am very grateful to him for his
quick response, and for the chance to have the story reprinted
in its entirety.
22 July 98: Pirate Writings semi-publication
The good news is that this morning I received my contributor's copies
of Pirate Writings #16. The bad news is that the issue only
contains the first half of my story, presumably due to some printing
or layout error. ARGH!
15 July 98: Interzone publication :-)
Today I received my contributor's copies of Interzone #133, July 98,
containing my short story "The Day Before They Came." To keep me from
being too elated, I also received a rejection from Weird Tales
13 July 98: Logo!
Many thanks to David Jackson for sending me a logo for this web-page!
Less happily, I received two rejections today, one from Tenebres
and one from Crank!
10 July 98: Double rejection day
Twin rejections today, one from Rosebud and another from
Realms of Fantasy.
9 July 98: Mail catch-up
Returning from a most enjoyable holiday in Hatteras, North Carolina,
I found two rejections waiting, one from F&SF and one from
26 June 98: Altair rejection
A prompt and friendly rejection from Altair.
25 June 98: TransVersions acceptance
Good news! Today I received contracts from TransVersions for my
story "Courtly Love" :-) The story is scheduled for TransVersions
24 June 98: Interzone payment
Today the contracts and payment came for my story "The Day Before
They Came," due to appear shortly in Interzone :-) :-) :-)
22 June 98: Realms of Fantasy rejection
A rejection from Realms of Fantasy.
20 June 98: ByLine rejection
A friendly and very fast rejection from ByLine.
18 June 98: Amazing Stories rejection
My first rejection from the revived Amazing Stories,
with detailed and thoughtful comments.
15 June 98: Altair rejection
A quick and friendly rejection from Altair.
11 June 98: "Between the Darkness and the Fire" proofs
Today I received the page proofs for "Ebb Tide," due to be reprinted
(in a revised version) by SFF Net in
the anthology "Between the Darkness and the Fire." Also in the mail,
a rejection from Glimmer Train.
10 June 98: Transversions publication
Today I received my contributor's copies and payment for my
story "Heron," published in Transversions #8/9, a
beautifully produced double issue :-) Less happily, I
also received rejections from Weird Tales and
6 June 98: Asimov's rejection
A 33-day personal rejection from Asimov's.
5 June 98: SF Age rejection
A 10-day rejection from Science Fiction Age, still my
nominee for the fastest professional market.
4 June 98: Sturgeon finalist
Dave Truesdale emailed me to say that my story "Universal Grammar"
(F&SF, April 97) is one of the twelve finalists for the
Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the Best Short SF.
I am thrilled :-)
3 June 98: Black and White rejection
A friendly rejection from Black and White Fiction Series.
1 June 98: Mail catch-up
Returning from a very enjoyable five-day holiday in England,
I found -- alas! -- rejections from F&SF, Adventures
of Sword & Sorcery, and Space & Time.
26 May 98: Interzone rejection
A very friendly rejection from Interzone. And speaking of
Interzone, I believe my story "The Day Before They Came" has been
scheduled for the July issue :-)
22 May 98: Dragon rejection
A 3-week rejection from Dragon Magazine.
19 May 98: Two checks
Definitely a good mail day: I received payment from Talebones
for my story "The Three Kingdoms," and from CONduit 8 for
reprinting my story "Monstrosity" :-)
13 May 98: Realms of Fantasy rejection
Despite the fact that I received a rejection from Realms of
Fantasy, this was actually a very good day, because two
of my e-mail friends -- Lisa Silverthorne and Vera Nazarian --
sold stories to Sword and Sorceress XVI :-) :-) :-)
11 May 98: double rejection
Ouch! Rejections from both Zoetrope: All Story and
Sword and Sorceress.
9 May 98: SFF Net payment
The SFF Net anthology contract and check arrived today :-)
5 May 98: CONduit 8 contract
Today I received the contracts for the CONduit 8 progam book
reprinting of "Monstrosity" (F&SF, August 1997) :-)
4 May 98: Sword and Sorceress rejection
And another Sword and Sorceress rejection :-(
2 May 98: Sword and Sorceress rejection
An 11-day rejection from Sword and Sorceress, my second
for this reading window.
1 May 98: Altair rejection
A prompt and friendly rejection from Altair.
30 April 98: Talebones contract
Today I received the contract from Talebones for the story
they accepted at the start of the month :-)
29 April 98: double rejection
This has been a hectic few days for mail, and unfortunately today
was not one of the better days: rejections came from Weird
Tales and Science Fiction Age.
28 April 98: SFF Net acceptance
Yow! In a super-fast one-day turnaround, I sold reprint rights to
"Ebb Tide" to the SFF Net anthology edited by Jeffry Dwight. ("Ebb
Tide" first appeared in F&SF, May 1995.) The speed of this response
is even more startling given that Jeffry Dwight made some very good
suggestions for revisions, and I duly made the revisions, and he
approved them, all within thirty hours of my first e-mailing him the
27 April 98: double rejection
Another double rejection day :-( Both rejections were very speedy, the
first from Sword and Sorceress in 10 days and the second from
Malestrom in a super-swift 5 days.
26 April 98: SFF Net anthology rejection
A friendly 9-day rejection from the SFF Net anthology.
25 April 98: double rejection
Alas, two rejections in one day, the first from Aurealis
and the second from Asimov's.
22 April 98: CONduit 8 acceptance
Today I sold reprint rights to "Monstrosity" (F&SF, August 1997)
to appear in the CONduit 8 Program Book in May 1998. Yay!
21 April 98: Altair rejection
Alas, today I learned that my latest submission to Altair
has been rejected (but I'll try again: I like the magazine and
16 April 98: Paper accepted + Kenyon Review rejection
It's not science fiction or fantasy, but today I was very pleased to
learn that a paper I wrote with Andrew Moore, Jeff Schenider, and
Justin Boyan has been accepted for this year's Machine Learning
conference. The paper has the magnificently compelling title: "Q2:
memory-based active learning for optimizing noisy continuous functions."
Also today, I received my first rejection from a literary market called
The Kenyon Review.
13 April 98: Preliminary Nebula ballot + SF Age rejection
After a quiet couple of weeks, today I learned that my story
"Monstrosity" from the August 1997 issue of F&SF has qualified
for next year's preliminary Nebula ballot, and I also received an
11-day rejection from SF Age.
Later on 1 April 98: Talebones acceptance
Yay! I received an e-mail acceptance from Talebones :-) :-) :-)
1 April 98: Maelstrom rejection
Resisting the urge to try an April Fool, I shall simply report
today's rejection: Maelstrom Speculative Fiction, 14 days.
31 March 98: Altair rejection
A friendly e-mail rejection from Altair after 11 days.
25 March 98: AlphaDrive rejection
A 111-day rejection from AlphaDrive, who seem to be returning
all their submissions while they are reorganizing (they expect to
resume reading manuscripts in September).
20 March 98: Double rejection
Swings and roundabouts: yesterday I had two reasons to be happy
about the mail, today I have two reasons to be glum. Rejections
came from Asimov's and Realms of Fantasy.
19 March 98: F&SF publication
Today I received contributor copies of the May 1998 F&SF,
containing my story "Ex Terra, Ex Astris." This story is a sequel
to "Universal Grammar" (the one recently accepted for the Year's
Best anthology). Happiness :-) :-)
I also received payment from Pirate Writings for my last
two stories there. Definitely a good day for my mail!
18 March 98: F&SF rejection
A prompt and friendly rejection from F&SF.
14 March 98: Playboy rejection
A 58-day rejection from Playboy. This was my first
ever submission to Playboy.
13 March 98: Year's Best Science Fiction acceptance
Weirdly and wonderfully, this afternoon I received a contract
asking for reprint rights to "Universal Grammar" to appear
in the anthology Year's Best Science Fiction 1997, edited by
Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Martin Greenberg, to be published by
Hambleton-Hill Publishers. This is neither the long-running Year's
Best series edited by Gardner Dozois, nor the new Year's Best series
edited by David Hartwell. But I'm delighted!
Less happily, I received a rejection from Writer's Block Magazine.
12 March 98: Visionair SF payment
Today I received payment for reprint rights to "Ebb Tide"
from the Dutch magazine Visionair SF.
11 March 98: F&SF rejection
A friendly 34-day rejection from F&SF.
10 March 98: Interzone acceptance
After the disappointment of the rejection from Starlight
earlier today, I just had much better news. David Pringle of
Interzone e-mailed me to say they would like to publish my
story "The Day Before They Came." Yippee! I am delighted to sell
another story to Interzone, who published two of my stories
back in 1995.
10 March 98: Starlight rejection
A 14-month rejection from Starlight (e-mail reply to a query
about the story's status).
7 March 98: Asimov's rejection
A friendly rejection from Asimov's after two months....
5 March 98: Double rejection
Two rejections in one day, the first from Omni, the
second from F&SF.
2 March 98: Altair contributor's copy
Today I received my contributor's copy of Altair #1,
containing my story "Interior Landscape." Altair is a new Australian
magazine, and the first issue looks beautiful.
27 Feb 98: Transversions rejection
A friendly 46-day rejection from Transversions.
25 Feb 98: Crank! rejection
A 67-day rejection from Crank!.
19 Feb 98: Flesh and Blood payment
Happier news: I received payment from Flesh and Blood for
reprint rights to my story "The Hollow Dancer."
18 Feb 98: Story rejection
A 26-day rejection from Story. I think it may be time
to slow down my submissions to literary magazines, as so far
I haven't had any success with those markets.
17 Feb 98: Atlantic Monthly rejection
A 40-day rejection from the Atlantic Monthly.
13 Feb 98: CONduit rejection
A friendly 55-day rejection from the CONduit 8 program book.
10 Feb 98: Visionair contract
Today I received the contract from Visionair, the Dutch
magazine who will be reprinting "Ebb Tide." I'm impressed by their
speed, especially given the overseas postal delay.
5 Feb 98: Triple rejection
Ack! A triple rejection day, courtesy of F&SF (prompt and
friendly), Gotta Write Network (not-so-prompt but friendly),
and Adventures of Sword & Sorcery (not prompt at all, but still
2 Feb 98: Visionair acceptance
Fun :-) Visionair, a Dutch magazine, accepted reprint rights to
my story "Ebb Tide." This will be the third language in which the
story gets printed (after English and German) :-)
31 Jan 98: Brutarian rejection
An 8-day rejection from Brutarian; I had never tried this
market before, but their prompt reply will definitely encourage
me to try them again.
26 Jan 98: Story to appear in May 98 F&SF
Today I was delighted to receive e-mail saying my story "Ex Terra, Ex
Astris" is scheduled for the May 1998 issue of F&SF. This
story is a sequel to "Universal Grammar," F&SF, April 97.... Less
happily, I also received a rejection from Realms of Fantasy.
22 Jan 98: Double rejection
Alas, two rejections on the same day, one from F&SF, and the
other from Glimmer Train.
17 Jan 98: "Ebb Tide" in German :-)
Today I received a copy of the German anthology "Die Halle der neuen
Gesichter," containing my story "Ebb Tide" ("Ebbe" in German). I've
never seen any of my stories translated before, so this was a great
14 Jan 98: Asimov's rejection
A 37-day rejection from Asimov's Science Fiction.
10 January 98: Troll Magazine rejection
A 21-day rejection from Troll Magazine.
8 January 98: Preliminary Nebula ballot
Yippee! I am delighted to report that my short story "Universal
Grammar" is on this year's
preliminary Nebula ballot. "Universal Grammar" was published in
F&SF in April 1997.
6 January 98: Pirate Writings contributor's copy
Toady I received my contributor's copy of Pirate Writings #15,
containing my short-short story "Roadside Stop" :-)
5 January 98: Mail catch-up
Returning from holiday, I found half-a-dozen rejections (alas!), and
my contributor's copy of Odyssey #1.
20 December 97: Double rejection
Alas, a double-rejection day, with rejections from The New
Yorker and (a very encouraging one) from CONduit 8
19 December 97: Writer's Block rejection
A friendly 56-day rejection from Writer's Block Magazine.
15 December 97: Altair payment
Today I received payment (and a nice note) from Altair :-)
13 December 97: Science Fiction World rejection
In the mail today, a 105-day rejection from Science Fiction
World, my first ever rejection from China.
10 December 97: Odyssey #1 copies
My story "Puppetta" was recently published in Odyssey, but
there's been a delay in my receiving a contributor's copy. Since I
wanted to get some extra copies anyhow, I ordered them last week --
and today they arrived. The magazine looks great, and Vera Nazarian's
illustration for it is beautiful :-)
Less happily, I received a letter from A Splash of Crimson
saying they have not been able to find a publsiher for the
anthology (they had accepted a story of mine contingent upon
finding a publisher).
8 December 97: Aboriginal SF payment
In the mail today, payment from Aboriginal SF for my story
"Silent in the Cities," and also a short personal rejection
6 December 97: Analog rejection
Back to normality with a 37-day rejection from Analog.
5 December 97: Flesh and Blood acceptance
Another happy day :-) I received an e-mail acceptance from
Flesh and Blood for reprint rights to my story "The
Hollow Dancer," first published in Sword & Sorceress XIV.
4 December 97: Altair acceptance
This evening I received an e-mail acceptance from Altair :-)
This is my first ever sale to a market in the opposite hemisphere :-)
I am pleased :-)
Also today, by regular mail, a friendly rejection from Troll Magazine.
3 December 97: Non-Stop non-rejection
In the mail today, a 113-day something from Non-Stop.
It's certainly not an acceptance, but nor was it a straight rejection.
The note said "Try sending it to me again in 6 months. Remind me that
I asked you to re-submit it." Whatever one calls such a note, I
certainly prefer it to a standard rejection :-)
2 December 97: Altair rejection
Another swift and friendly rejection from Altair.
28 November 97: Singularity acceptance
This is definitely a record for me: I got a same-day e-mail acceptance
from Singularity. A zero-day response time!! Singularity will
be a new science fiction publication based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The (very friendly) editor had e-mailed me soliciting submissions, and
warned me that they would only be able to pay in copies. I try to
sell first rights to my stories for at least a token amount of money,
but I am more relaxed about reprint rights, and so "One Small Step,"
first published in Pirate Writings #14, should shortly be reappearing
in Singularity :-)
19 November 97: Glimmer Train rejection
A 47-day rejection from Glimmer Train with the "we enjoyed it
and would like to see more" option checked on their list.
18 November 97: Altair rejection
Another very friendly rejection from Altair.
13 November 97: Altair rejection
A 3-week rejection from Altair -- definitely amongst the
friendliest and most encouraging rejections I've received (and
I now have well over 400!)
12 November 97: A Splash of Crimson update
Earlier this year, Amy Grech and Tasha Young accepted reprint rights
to my story "Winter Shadows" for an anthology called A Splash of
Crimson. Today I received a friendly letter telling me that
Masquerade Books has expressed interested in the anthology -- here's
hoping they decide to buy it :-) I am fond of this story, and would
really like it to reach a wider audience.
Also in the mail, two friendly rejections, one from Terra
Incognita and one from Space & Time.
10 November 97: SF Age rejection
An 18-day rejection from Science Fiction Age.
5 November 97: JAIR acceptance
It's not story-related mail, but I did get an acceptance today, and I
am very happy about it. A paper I wrote with Andrew Moore has been
accepted by JAIR (the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research).
The paper has the thrilling title "Cached Sufficient Statistics for
Efficient Machine Learning with Large Datasets."
Also today, I received the encouraging form rejection from Realms of
Fantasy (Realms of Fantasy has at least two types of form
rejection, one more encouraging than the other).
3 November 97: Transversions rejection
A friendly 81-day rejection from Transversions.
1 November 97: Lynx Eye rejection
An 80-day rejection from Lynx Eye.
29 October 97: F&SF rejection
After a week of postal silence, an 8-day rejection from F&SF.
22 October 97: Catching up...
My apologies for the gap in the mailbox reports: I was away on
holiday. Alas, I received a bunch of rejections while I was gone and
no acceptances. But I was very happy to find a subscription copy of
Aboriginal Science Fiction,
the first issue I've received in about 10 months. I'm fond of
Aboriginal, and hope it is now back to a regular schedule.
9 October 97: Gotta Write rejection
A 4-month rejection from Gotta Write Network.
4 October 97: Realms of Fantasy
A form rejection from Realms of Fantasy.
3 October 97: F&SF rejection
A prompt and friendly 8-day rejection from F&SF.
2 October 97: MZB's rejection
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine has a collection
of different form letters, from which they pick the one most
appropriate to the story. Today I received a member of the
collection I'd never had before, explaining that they don't
take stories which are romances with a fantasy element, though
they will consider stories which are fantasies with a romance
29 September 97: CONduit 8 rejection
A friendly rejection letter from the editor for the CONduit 8 program
27 September 97: Artwork!
Today I received an e-mail message from Christopher Reynaga, who
very kindly created an updated -- and much more beautiful! --
picture for this web page. *Many* thanks, Christopher :-)
24 September 97: Triple rejection
Alas, three rejections in one black mail-day, from Asimov's,
Altair, and Story.
18 September 97: F&SF
A friendly 24-day rejection from F&SF.
13 September 97: Atlantic Monthly
An 18-day rejection from The Atlantic Monthly, ending
the long mail silence.
8 September 97: No news, good or bad
Two weeks without any story-related mail! Ack! I am getting
25 August 97: No good news
Since I last updated this report, I've been on holiday in Michigan,
and on a business trip to Atlanta, and I have received quite a few
story responses (seven?), but, alas, they were all rejections. Some
were very encouraging rejections, but rejections nonetheless.
11 August 97: Double rejection
Alas, two rejections today, one from F&SF and one from
Worlds of Fantasy & Horror.
4 August 97: Asimov's rejection
And in today's mail, an encouraging 94-day rejection from Asimov's
3 August 97: Another mail mountain
Returning from ten days holiday, I found a huge mound of mail,
including -- alas! -- seven rejections. More happily, the mail
also included three extra copies of the March 1995 issue of
Thirteenth Moon (containing my story "Seeing Deeper"),
very kindly sent by Jacob Weisman in case I wanted them.
21 July 97: Pirate Writings rejection
After a week with no story-related mail, today I received a
rejection from Pirate Writings.
13 July 97: Mail buildup
I've been away for ten days, traveling to Seattle and Nashville.
During my absence I thought about my mail much too often, and
finally we have been reunited. In my absence I accumulated
three rejections (two from Adventures of Sword & Sorcery,
one from Thirteenth Moon, which, sadly, is ceasing
publication). But in happier news I also received contributor's
copies of Pirate Writings #14, containing my story "One
Small Step." Even better, the story also contains stories by
two friends of mine, E. Jay O'Connell and Andrew Burt :-)
30 June 97: Infinite Edge rejection
A very friendly rejection from Infinite Edge.
28 June 97: no mail
After rejections on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
this week, it was quite a relief to find no story responses in today's
27 June 97: SF Age rejection
A prompt, friendly rejection from Science Fiction Age.
26 June 97: Double rejection
Alas, I had rejections on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this
week -- and then two more today! One from The New Yorker
and one from Infinite Edge. Woe is me.
25 June 97: Omni rejection
A 43-day personal rejection from Omni.
24 June 97: Adventures of Sword & Sorcery rejection
A friendly 207-day rejection from Adventures of Sword &
Sorcery; they still have a story of mine which I submitted a month
earlier. Perhaps that will appear in tomorrow's post....
23 June 97: Space & Time contributor's copies
After F&SF four days ago, today I received contributor's copies of the
long-lived small press magazine Space & Time,
now up to issue #87. Also in the mail, a response from The Tale
Spinner saying they are folding.
19 June 97: F&SF contributor's copies
I received my contributor's copies of the August issue of F&SF, with
my fantasy "Monstrosity" as the cover story :-)
This is the first time I've ever had a cover story, and I am very
happy indeed :-) The issue should be on sale in bookshops in July.
16 June 97: Transversions acceptance
Good news: my story "Heron" has been accepted by the Canadian
for issue #8, Fall/Winter 97 :-)
15 June 97: Mind's Eye publication
Today I received e-mail saying that my story "Voices in the Wind" is
now available from Mind's Eye Fiction :-)
Realms of Fantasy repeat-rejection
I'm unsure of the precise date because I was away in West Virginia,
but I received a rejection from Realms of Fantasy for a story
submitted thirteen months ago. Back in March I received a reply to a
query about this story's status saying "I have no record of ever
receiving your piece." There must be some ancient slush pile lurking
at Realms of Fantasy, which the editor has to pluck up her
courage to inspect.
4 June 97: Mind's Eye acceptance
Today I received an e-mail acceptance from Mind's Eye Fiction,
a web-based publisher
which lets people read the first part of a story free, then charges
for the second part. They accepted a contemporary fantasy -- almost
mainstream -- story of mine called "Seeing Deeper" some time
ago; the story they have just accepted is a high fantasy piece called
"Voices in the Wind." Although I doubt I'll ever gain vast fortunes
from Mind's Eye Fiction, I think it's an interesting venture, and I am
impressed by some of the stories they have available, including three
Hugo award winners.... Also in the mail, a friendly rejection from
2 June 97: Lynx Eye rejection
A 95-day rejection from Lynx Eye.
30 May 97: Cover story :-)
Today I received my subscriber's copy of the July F&SF, and
learned that my story "Monstrosity" will be the cover story in the
August F&SF. This will the first time I've had the cover story
-- and I am very excited!
23 May 97: Writer's Block Magazine rejection
A friendly and encouraging rejection from Writer's Block Magazine.
14 May 97: Odyssey acceptance
Happiness :-) In a wonderfully fast 4 days, Liz Holliday of
sent me an e-mail acceptance for a short fantasy story.
I'd been looking forward to Odyssey's forthcoming launch anyhow (the
first issue will be released at this year's World Fantasy Con), and I am
thoroughly delighted about this sale.
12 May 97: Two rejections
A double-rejection day, always disheartening; one rejection from
Glimmer Train, and one from The Tale Spinner.
10 May 97: Terra Incognita rejection
A very fast and very friendly rejection from Terra Incognita.
9 May 97: The Plastic Smile rejection
And another rejection, this time from The Plastic Smile.
6 May 97: Sword & Sorceress rejection
Alas, my third and final submission to Sword & Sorceress XV
has been rejected.
5 May 97: Crank! rejection
A form rejection from Crank!
1-2 May 97: Sword & Sorceress rejections
After a lull in the mail, I received two quick and friendly
rejections from Sword and Sorceress.
20 April 97: Valkyrie rejection
And another rejection, this one from Valkyrie.
18 April 97: The Tale Spinner rejection
The mailbox is getting busier: another rejection today, this
time from The Tale Spinner.
16 April 97: Pirate Writings rejection
Just as I was starting to believe none of my stories would ever come
back, I received a rejection from Pirate Writings.
31 March 97: Asimov's rejection
Encouraging personal rejection from Asimov's SF.
28 March 97: Response from the void
Ten and a half months after I submitted the story, and two and a half
months since I queried about it, I had a response from Realms of
Fantasy to say they have no record of ever receiving the story.
This is a real shame, as this is the second time Realms of
Fantasy has mislaid one of my stories (something no other major
magazine has done). I like the magazine very much, but it has dropped
several notches in my places-to-submit ranking.
26 March 97: Aboriginal SF rejection
Alas, a rejection from Aboriginal SF.
19 March 97: Pirate Writings payment
In today's mail, a check from Pirate Writings for my short-short
"Zero" in issue 12.
15 March 97: On Spec rejection
A 6-month rejection from On Spec. This was my four hundredth
rejection! Whilst accumulating such a mammoth stack of rejections, I
also had 46 acceptances. 26 of my stories have been published so far,
and some of those have been reprinted. 6 of those stories appeared in
professional markets (two in F&SF, two in Interzone, one in Aboriginal
SF, one in Sword & Sorceress XIV), and I have another two stories in
the F&SF inventory, plus one in the Aboriginal SF inventory. And I've
spent a rather large amount of money on postage....
8 March 97: Bardic Runes rejection
Friendly rejection from Bardic Runes, in which the editor
very generously sent me a sample copy of the magazine.
3 March 97: Ikarie rejection
Friendly rejection from Ikarie.
26 February 97: Pirate Writings acceptance
Good news in the mail today, my short-short "Slush" was accepted by
Pirate Writings. Also in the mail, a rejection from The
22 February 97: Lynx Eye rejection
An 84-day rejection from Lynx Eye.
18 February 97: Yes, no, and maybe
Three story responses in one day: A Splash of Crimson
accepted my story "Winter Shadows" (though publication depends on
their securing a publisher for the anthology); Transversions
liked my story and are holding it for further consideration; and
lastly a form rejection from Story Magazine.
15 February 97: Sword & Sorceress XIV publication
This isn't strictly a mailbox item, but today I found Sword &
Sorceress XIV on sale in a bookshop, containing my story
"The Hollow Dancer." I am thrilled about this; it's a triple
first for me: my first publication in a book rather than a magazine,
my first fantasy story to appear in a professional market, and
the first time I've been published with friends of mine (three of
my friends also have stories in this anthology :-))
13 February 97: F&SF publication
Two days of good news in a row! I just received contributor's
copies of the April 97 issue of F&SF, containing my story
"Universal Grammar." And there was much happiness upon the face
of the Mary :-) This story is a personal favorite of mine,
though I am unsure whether it will appeal to others. I've written
a sequel to the story, which has also been accepted by F&SF.
12 February 97: Freezer Burn publication
Good news in the mail today: contributor's copy, payment, and a
friendly letter for my story "The Mural" in Freezer Burn #7.
The editor was a pleasure to work with, and the story appeared
less than four months after acceptance.
6 February 97: Asimov's rejection
Alas, a 114-day personal rejection from Asimov's.
3 February 97: The Silver Web rejection
A fast and friendly rejection from The Silver Web.
1 February 97: F&SF publication approaches
In today's mail, a postcard from F&SF saying my story "Universal
Grammar" will be in the April 97 issue, on sale in March. Yay!!!!!
(Also a you-didn't-place response from Rose Secrest's Writing
Contest, but it scarcely put a dint in my happiness.)
23 January 97: Best of Soft SF prize
Happier news in today's mail: my story "Mail-a-Day" (published
in Pirate Writings #9), won third prize in the Best of Soft SF
22 January 97: Keen SF rejection
A friendly rejection from Keen SF.
18 January 97: Century rejection
Well, it didn't take a century, but ten months was long enough: today,
a 306-day rejection from Century. This was one of those rare
rejections I was pleased to receive, as it was for one of my favorite
stories and I had started worrying that the story would never emerge
from a mail-black-hole.
15 January 97: SF Age rejection
Another fast and friendly rejection from SF Age.
13 January 97: F&SF rejection
A friendly and encouraging rejection from F&SF's new editor,
Gordon Van Gelder, in a very promising 11 days. Perhaps F&SF
is about to compete with SF Age in the fast-response-time
10 January 97: Fantastic Worlds rejection
Form rejection from Fantastic Worlds. Two rejections in
two days; sigh :-(
9 January 97: New Worlds rejection
A friendly 127-day rejection from the UK anthology New Worlds.
1 January 97: Aboriginal SF Publication, Holiday Mail
Returning from an *excellent* holiday in Florida, I found a veritable
heap of mail. Sifting through the layers, there were three
story-related pieces of mail: a rejection from F&SF and another
from SF Age, and contributor's copies of Aboriginal SF #51-52,
containing my story "Silent in the Cities." I am delighted to see
"Silent in the Cities" in print -- this is only my second story to
appear in a U.S. publication that SFWA recognizes as professional,
though I have upcoming stories in F&SF and Sword and
Sorceress XIV. With luck the issue of Aboriginal SF should
be on sale later this month in some of the larger bookshops such as
19 December 96: Aboriginal SF rejection
Another day, and, alas, another rejection, this time from Aboriginal
18 December 96: SF Age rejection
Short personal rejection from SF Age, still top-of-the-league
in prompt writer-friendly responses.
12 December 96: Newsgroup!
It's not a story response, but I'm including it anyhow.... As of
today, I have a newsgroup under SFF
Net at sff.people.mary-soon-lee.
Please post a message to the newsgroup if you are passing by!
11 December 96: F&SF rejection
Alas! In today's mail, a friendly letter from Kris Rusch at F&SF,
saying she would normally have accepted the story, but due to the
approaching end of her editorship she is buying very few stories :-(
5 December 96: Where did the mail go?
Almost two weeks with no story responses.... Beware the temper
of mad mail-deprived author....
23 November 96: Double rejection
Returning from two nights in West Virginia, I found a down-turn in the
mail: rejections from Sense of Wonder and the Writers of the
20 November 96: Publication in Distant Journeys
Today I received contributor's copies of Distant Journeys,
a beautifully produced science fiction and fantasy anthology,
containing my story "Not Another Unicorn." It's been a fun couple
of days at the mail-box :-)
18 November 96: Publication in Little Green Men
In today's mail: contributor's copies and payment for my story Dry
Water, originally published in Random Realities #7, and now
reprinted in Little Green Men
8 November 96: Plot Magazine rejection
After almost three weeks without a rejection, today I received
one from Plot Magazine.
6 November 96: Pirate Writings publication
Today I received my subscriber's copy of Pirate Writings #12,
containing my short-short science fiction story, "Zero."
26 October 96: S&S page proofs
Today I received the page proofs for "The Hollow Dancer," due to
appear in Sword and Sorceress XIV next summer -- I am eagerly
anticipating its publication, as this was my first sale to an
anthology rather than a magazine.
25 October 96: Freezer Burn acceptance
Today I received the contract for the recently solicited rewrite
from Freezer Burn. It was a pleasure dealing with such
a friendly -- and efficient -- editor.
19 October 96: Strange Fiction rejection
A four month e-mail rejection from Strange Fiction.
17 October 96: Pirate Writings acceptance
Happiness :-) In today's mail, an acceptance of my story "Roadside
Stop" from Pirate Writings.
11 October 96: Rewrite request
Today I received a very friendly and encouraging rewrite request
from Freezer Burn.
10 October 96: Double rejection
As predicted, the rejections are now beginning. Today I had two short
personal rejections from Science Fiction Age and Worlds of
Fantasy & Horror.
9 October 96: Silence
Over two weeks with no story-related mail. Any day now, the
rejections will come flooding in....
23 September 96: Voice from the Grave
From the sadly-deceased Pulphouse, an eleven month rejection,
explaining that a box of manuscripts (including mine) went astray when
they moved offices as Pulphouse folded. Also in the mail, a
friendly rejection from F&SF.
20 September 96: Fantasy Macabre rejection
Another day, another rejection, this time from Fantasy Macabre.
19 September 96: Writers of the Future rejection
After ten days with no mail, even a rejection can be welcome. Today's
rejection joins nine others that I've accumulated from the Writers
of the Future contest. Once I reached the heady heights of a
semi-finalist, but I've never yet been a finalist (let alone a prize
9 September 96: Galleys
Today I received the galleys for the fourth story I sold to F&SF,
"Ex Terra, Ex Astris." Less happily, I also received a rejection from
4 September 96: Double rejection
Just when I was getting impatient about my lack of mail, two
rejections today, both friendly, one from Tomorrow and
one from On Spec.
26 August 96: Tangent author profile
In today's mail I received the latest copy of Tangent
(an excellent magazine reviewing short speculative fiction), containing
an author's profile that I wrote. Also in the mail, a friendly
rejection from Transversions.
25 August 96: More separation pangs
Once again I was parted from my mail for more than a week, this
time due to a holiday in Michigan (I have not been working hard
this August). This time I found three rejections waiting when
I returned, from F&SF, Interzone, and Tomorrow.
16 August 96: Separation pangs
I was parted from my mail for over a week, while I visited my
mother in London (most enjoyable). Upon arriving home, I tore
through the mail mountain, and unearthed just a single story
response (a friendly rejection from Pirate Writings).
31 July 96: And another double rejection
Another double-rejection day: Pirate Writings and Tomorrow.
27 July 96: Double rejection
Alas, two rejections on the same day, one from Analog, and the
other from Plot Magazine.
22 July 96: MZB's rejection
A 48-day rejection from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy
Magazine. I've had quite a range of Marion Zimmer Bradley's
tailored form rejections, but this was the first time that I have
received the "not suitable for our intended audience" letter. (No,
there wasn't any explicit sex in the story! But there was some
18 July 96: Fantastic Worlds rejection
125 days to receive a form rejection from Fantastic Worlds,
noting that they will be closed until October....
15 July 96: F&SF payment
A happy mail day: I received the contract plus check for my recent
sale to F&SF.
11 July 96: Galleys
I received the galley proofs for "Silent in the Cities," now due out
in the Fall or Winter 96 issue of Aboriginal SF. This is one
of my earliest stories, and was accepted over three years ago.
8 July 96: Double acceptance
Despite a rejection from F&SF, this still counts a very good
mail day: I had acceptances from Pirate Writings and Little
6 July 96: Little Green Men rejection
Another fast and friendly rejection from Little Green Men.
4 July 96: Little Green Men rejection
A very fast and very friendly one-day rejection from Little
Green Men (the wonders of e-mail allowing rejections to
arrive even on days when there is no regular mail).
30 June 96: Honorable Mention :-) :-)
Not strictly a mailbox item, but still good news: today I learned
that my story "Ebb Tide" (F&SF, May 95) received an Honorable
Mention in the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror #9.
28 June 96: F&SF acceptance :-) :-)
In the mail today: an acceptance from F&SF :-) :-) :-)
The story was a sequel to one I'd previously sold to F&SF, and is
the first sequel I've ever written. I am very happy indeed.
24 June 96: Asimov's rejection
A swifter response than normal from Asimov's Science Fiction,
who included a postcard noting their change of address as of today.
20 June 96: Tales of the Unanticipated rejection
I seem to be mired in a morass of rejections; today's came from
Tales of the Unanticipated.
18 June 96: Zone 9 rejection
And another rejection, this time from Zone 9.
17 June 96: Tomorrow's rejection today
A fast and friendly rejection from Tomorrow.
12 June 96: Transversions rejection
Encouraging rejection from Transversions.
8 June 96: Worlds of Fantasy & Horror rejection
Quick, friendly rejection from Worlds of Fantasy & Horror
7 June 96: One check, one publication
A decidedly good day at the mailbox: I received payment for "The
Hollow Dancer," my story recently accepted for Sword & Sorceress
14 and I received contributor's copies of Deathrealm #28,
containing one of my few horror stories, "The Voice."
3 June 96: Crank! rejection
Swift 13-day rejection from Crank!.
30 May 96: Sword & Sorceress acceptance
I am very happy indeed: I just found out that my story "The Hollow
Dancer" has been accepted for Sword & Sorceress 14. This is my
first ever sale to an anthology rather than a magazine, and also my
first sale to Marion Zimmer Bradley.
29 May 96: Slow rejection
An almost nine-month rejection from Cemetery Dance. When
rejections take as long as this, my relief at finally getting the
story back outweighs my disappointment over the rejection.
25 May 96: Deathrealm payment
Better mail than I have had for a month: payment from
Deathrealm for "The Voice," a story they accepted a while ago,
and which will be in the June issue.
24 May 96: TOTU rejection
A friendly ten-day rejection from Tales of the Unanticipated.
18 May 96: Story rejection
I.e. a rejection from the magazine called Story.
17 May 96: F&SF rejection
A "came-close" rejection from F&SF after 111 days.
The remaining stories that I have out are now polarized into two
groups: thirteen stories that have been out for no more than nine
weeks, and three stories that have been out for seven months and up.
I am getting a little impatient about the three lengthy response
13 May 96: Telephone rejection
Yesterday I had an email rejection; today, for the first time, I had a
telephone rejection call. Jacob Weisman from Thirteenth Moon
kindly phoned to apologize for the delay in responding (eight months).
12 May 96: Email rejection
An email rejection from Adventures of Sword & Sorcery after five
11 May 96: More TOTU rejections
Another two friendly rejections from Tales of the Unanticipated.
9 May 96: TOTU rejection
Encouraging rejection from Tales of the Unanticipated, mentioning
that he is still holding my other two submissions.
6 May 96: Glimmer Train rejection
One-month rejection from Glimmer Train...
30 April 96: Doom, Doom, Doom
Rejections are always painful, but, with practice, I can now go about
my daily business with barely a visible scar after receiving a
rejection. But on days when I receive two rejections at once, I may
limp a little, or stop in the middle of the street and sigh. And
today, a terrible blow occurred: three rejections in one day! Wailing
and gnashing of teeth! (The rejections came from Sword & Sorceress,
Tomorrow, and Realms of Fantasy---the last one took almost nine
25 April 96: Plot Magazine publication
Today I received my contributor's copy of Plot Magazine #5 (and
was very favorably impressed by the magazine's appearance and layout).
I was happy to see this story, "Hillun of Troy," in print. There is
always a risk in submitting to a new small press market, but I often
do so anyhow; in 1994, I submitted "Hillun of Troy" to a new magazine,
Between Dimensions. They accepted the story, but, alas, folded
later that year without publishing a single issue. May Plot
Magazine have a long and successful life!
24 April 96: Pirate Writings rejection
Prompt and encouraging rejection from Pirate Writings.
20 April 96: Silver Web rejection
A quick rejection (9 days) from The Silver Web. Alas, such
promptness is not universal; five of my stories have been sitting at
magazines for over six months.
15 April 96: Asimov's rejection
Today I received my second ever personal rejection from Asimov's
14 April 96: Talebones rejection
A few magazines permit email submissions, and that allows for some
record-breaking response times, such as, alas, today's 3-day rejection
11 April 96: Distant Journeys payment
Friendly letter plus payment from Distant Journeys for a story
accepted two years ago, and now scheduled for publication in August.
(Patience is important for short story writers!)
6 April 96: Preliminary Nebula ballot :-)
Today I received the latest copy of the SFWA forum, and found that my
story "Ebb Tide" (F&SF,
May 95) has qualified for the preliminary ballot of the Nebula award :-)
:-) :-). (The Nebula awards are voted on by the SFWA membership in a
three-part process: if a story receives ten recommendations it
qualifies for the preliminary ballot, issued once a year; the five
short stories that receive the most votes when the preliminary ballots
are returned are placed on the final ballot; the short story that
receives the most votes on the final ballots wins the Nebula.)
Also in the mail: rejections from Terra Incognita and Worlds
of Fantasy & Horror.
4 April 96: Story rejection
... by which I mean that I received a rejection from Story
magazine, the first time I had tried submitting to this market.
3 April 96: Pirate Writings acceptance
:-) "One Small Step" was accepted by Pirate Writings, my third
sale to them, and they are also the third magazine to buy three
stories from me (the others being F&SF and the now-dead
Random Realities). I have yet to manage to sell four stories
to a magazine.
1 April 96: Mini-mail flood
Returning from a weekend meeting up with friends, I found two
rejections (from Transversions and Blood & Midnight), an
acceptance from Aberrations, and the galley proofs for
"Monstrosity," which will be my third story to appear in F&SF.
28 March 96: Mind's Eye acceptance
A second day with good news via e-mail: my story "Seeing Deeper,"
first published in Thirteenth Moon, has been accepted by
Mind's Eye Fiction, and should be
available online soon.
27 March 96: eSCENE acceptance
I was delighted to receive e-mail saying that my story "Pandora's
Dogs" has been selected for eSCENE 1996 (eSCENE is an annual
selection of the best online fiction).
25 March 96: alphaDRIVE rejection
A rejection from the online magazine alphaDRIVE.
21 March 96: Not again!
16 days ago I had two rejections in one day. 8 days ago I had two
rejections in one day. Today I had two rejections in one day (Dead
of Night and a personal rejection from F&SF. I am not
looking forward to March 29th!
20 March 96: SF Age rejection
With his usual speed (one of the main reasons I like this market),
Scott Edelman of SF Age returned a story of mine in 9 days.
18 March 96: Galleys
In the mail today, galleys for my story "Hillun of Troy," due out
shortly from Plot Magazine. The galleys looked good, and I
got an advance peek at the artwork for the story :-) Alas, some bad
news too: a rejection from Analog.
13 March 96: Another double rejection
Alas, a mere eight days after my last double rejection, today it happened
again; this time the bad news came from Terra Incognita and
9 March 96: F&SF acceptance :-) :-) :-)
And there was much happiness upon the face of the Mary: today I
received my third acceptance from F&SF :-) :-) :-)
8 March 96: Lynx Eye rejection
An 83-day rejection from Lynx Eye.
5 March 96: Double rejection
Ouch: two rejections in one day :-( Personal letters from
Tomorrow and Century. Somehow receiving two
rejections in one day is considerably more than twice as
painful as just getting one....
4 March 96: Space and Time payment
In the mail today, payment for a story earlier accepted by Space
and Time, and, alas, a rejection from The Leading Edge.
29 February 96: Edge Detector rejection
Nearly ten months after my original submission, today I had a friendly
email message from Edge Detector, saying that they were unable
to find the funding for the magazine, and are returning submissions.
27 February 96: Intermix anthology acceptance
In the electronic mailbox today, an unexpected bonus: Intermix are trying to
arrange for a Best of Intermix anthology, and would like to use my
22 February 96: Worlds of Fantasy and Horror rejection
A nine-day personal rejection from Worlds of Fantasy and
Horror; a rejection is always disappointing, but at least this one
20 February 96: Pirate Writings publication
A happy day: I received my contributor's copy of Pirate Writings
#9, containing my short-short story "Mail-a-Day."
16/17 February 96: Two more rejections
I was out of town for two valuable mail-days, so I am not quite sure
whether these arrived on the 16th or the 17th: a 25-day rejection from
Dead of Night and a 4-day or 5-day rejection from Terra
12 February 96: Fractal rejection
In today's mail came a story that I had started to worry would never
make it home. It had been at The Fractal for eight months;
today it returned--battered, rejected, but finally reunited with me.
10 February 96: Analog rejection
A 31-day rejection from Analog.
7 February 96: Asimov's rejection
After fifteen previous rejections from Asimov's, I have now
received my first ever personal rejection from Gardner Dozois. This
has proved considerably harder than selling my stories to other
5 February 96: !#?!*! revisited
Another ten days without any story responses -- and this despite
having twenty stories out at the moment. If it weren't for the steady
arrival of bills and junk mail, I would believe the postal service had
26 January 96: Double-barreled rejection
Ouch: in today's mail a 7-day rejection from SF Age and a
92-day personal rejection from F&SF. :-(
22 January 96: Intermix acceptance
Gloomily I sifted through my post: no story responses. But in the
evening I received email from the electronic magazine Intermix -- accepting my
story "Voices in the Wind," which was first published in Star
18 January 96: !#?!*!
Ten days without any story responses. Grrrr! Still, I did receive
my preliminary ballot form for the Nebula awards. Since this is the
first time I've been eligible to vote, this was an exciting event.
8 January 96: Mail avalanche
I returned from my holiday to find a gargantuan flood of mail awaiting
me. And buried amongst the Christmas cards and the junk-mail were
several story responses. First the bad news: rejections from
F&SF and Pirate Writings. Then the good news: an
acceptance from the small press magazine Deathrealm, plus a
letter saying that my story "To Have And To Hold" won second place in
the annual Best of Soft SF contest. The latter really pleased me, and
the accompanying fifty dollar check was an added bonus; the story was
earlier accepted for Dark Region's virtual reality issue.
21 December 95: AAAAAARRGGHH!!!
I've had no mail in a week, and I am about to be parted from my
mailbox for over two weeks. Much as I am looking forward to spending
time with friends and family in England, I wish my mail could come
14 December 95: Tales of the Unanticipated rejection
A 69-day rejection from Tales of the Unanticipated, saying that
my story made the final 31 out of 255 submissions received this
7 December 95: Double rejection
Alas, two rejections in one day, one from Pirate Writings and
one from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine. The latter
was that dreaded beast, the "I really liked this, but it seemed like
the start of a novel" rejection. Especially as I agree with the
comment in this case, but the thought of all the effort needed to
write a novel is horrendous!
5 December 95: Interzone payment
Today I received payment for "The Tinkerbell Theory" in the December
95 Interzone :-) It's been over two weeks since my last
rejection, and I anticipate bad news any day now....
30 November 95: Intermix publication
Today I received payment and a printed copy of the electronic magazine
a reprint of my story "Marna-Li," first published in Random
28 November 95: Interzone publication
Happiness. Today I received the December 95 Interzone,
containing my story "The Tinkerbell Theory." This is the second time
I've been published in Interzone, and I am very pleased :-)
20 November 95: Writers of the Future
In today's mail, I found a "you got nowhere" reply from my latest entry
to the Writers of the Future contest. In principle this contest
always sounds like a good idea -- no entry fee, significant prize
money, publication in a well-distributed anthology. In practice I
always end up being rejected :-(
21-22 November 95: Two rejections
Two short personal rejections, one from Writer's Block Magazine
after 77 days, and one from the Ellen Datlow/Terri Windling fairy tale
anthology after just 9 days.
20 November 95: Journeyman responds
In May 94 I submitted a short story to a small press magazine called
Journeyman, and received an encouraging rejection in just 15
days. In June 94 I sent them a second story, and waited for a reply.
And waited. And waited. After two query letters and two withdrawal
notes, today, 17 months after I submitted the story, I received an
acknowledgement of its withdrawal. The editor had scrawled a two line
note saying they had gone bankrupt. My commiserations to the editor,
but other small press magazines that have folded have done a much
better job of informing the authors.
18 November 95: Dream Forge payment
In the mail today, a twenty dollar check for "Afternoon Story," which
was reprinted in the October issue of Dream Forge, an
electronic magazine. This is more than I was paid for the story's
first publication. (Alas, writing short stories is a terrible way to
try to get rich.)
17 November 95: Glimmer Train rejection
Form rejection from Glimmer Train.
15 November 95: Pirate Writings acceptance
This has been a Pirate Writings month for me: first they
published and paid for a story of mine, and today they accepted
another story. Happiness.
9 November 95: Honorable Mention
In September I submitted two stories to Rose Secrest's Writing
Contest. Today I heard that "Ebb Tide" got an honorable mention,
for which I received a ten dollar check :-)
8 November 95: Pirate Writings payment
Today I received the check for the story of mine that Pirate
Writings just published. That pacified my mail-needs for the day,
but I am getting agitated about the lack of story responses. In the
past two and a bit weeks I have had only one rejection, despite having
over twenty stories out. Another couple of weeks of this and I shall
be camping out by the blue box on the street where the mail gets
stored before the postman delivers it (what is that box called?)
3 November 95: Pirate Writings publication
Today I received my contributor's copy of Pirate Writings #8,
containing my story "The Dragonfly." I was particularly pleased with
Darren Cerone's illustrations for the story.... I also had some
more depressing mail: a 102-day rejection from On Spec.
28 October 95: Tales of the Unanticipated response
After 21 days I received my second Tales of the Unanticipated
rejection of this reading window; this magazine opens to submissions
for just one month in every eight, but allows authors to send in
up to three submissions at a time.
21 October 95: A long-awaited response
Back in June 94 I submitted a story to Galaxy. Now,
sixteen months and three withdrawal notes later, I finally have the
17 October 95: Lynx Eye rejection
An encouraging 95 day-rejection from Lynx Eye.
15 October 95: Home to two rejections
Returning from a few days out of town for a friend's wedding, I
discovered two speedy rejections, both with short handwritten notes,
one from Tales of the Unanticipated and one from SF Age.
6 October 95: F&SF rejection
A 64-day personal rejection from F&SF; I'm a little more
despondent than usual about this rejection as it was for one of
my favorite stories.
5 October 95: Radius replies
After repeated attempts to contact Ewan Grantham of Radius,
today he sent me friendly e-mail acknowledging the withdrawal of the
story I first sent him a full year ago. Getting this story free for
submission again was almost as good as getting an acceptance.
3 October 95: Mail deluge
I returned from a few days away to find a small mail flood. First the
good news: an e-mail acceptance from Dream Forge, plus payment for a
story published earlier this summer in the new British magazine
Beyond, plus contracts for upcoming stories in Interzone and Distant
Journeys (I already knew these two had been accepted).... And the bad
news: rejections from Absolute Magnitude and F&SF (the latter would
consider a significantly rewritten version of the story).
28 September 95: Two speedy rejections
In today's mail: personal rejection from SF Age after six days;
I don't know of any other editor who can match Scott Edelman's
consistently fast response times. But yesterday's rejection
(Crank!, thirteen days) came from one of the second-place
contenders in the speedy editor stakes.
24 September 95: Interzone acceptance
Mailwise this has been a splendid weekend. After yesterday's check
from F&SF, this morning I received email from Interzone
to say they are accepting a second story from me :-) :-) :-)
See the 5 August 95 entry for news of my
first Interzone publication.
23 September 95: F&SF payment, Aberrations rejection
Today I received a very encouraging personal rejection from
Aberrations, and a contract plus $320 check from F&SF
for the story they accepted earlier this month :-) :-) :-)
16 September 95: Omni rejection
Personal rejection from Omni in nineteen days.
14 September 95: The Leading Edge rejection
After 205 days, I received a rejection from The Leading Edge,
including two brief critiques of my story. The Leading Edge is
a small press magazine with slow response times, partly because it
sends each submission to two or three people who each provide some
12 September 95: Mail-lessness
It's been a full week since I last had any story-related mail. Today
I was so over-eager that I collected the post before it had all landed
on the doormat. But despite gathering a sheaf of junk-mail and an
issue of Spaceflight, there were no story responses.
I have either sixteen or nineteen stories out at the moment, depending
on how you count pieces in the process of being withdrawn from
consideration: in the past few days I have sent withdrawal notices on
three stories that have each been out over two hundred days. Filled
with paranoia that an acceptance letter is heading toward me at the
same time that my withdrawal note is heading toward the editor, I
suppose I shall allow at least a couple of weeks before submitting the
stories again. In each case I had sent an earlier query letter, but
received no response.
5 September 95: Tomorrow rejection
An eight-day rejection from Tomorrow, but it hasn't managed to
deflate my bubble of happiness from the weekend :-)
2 September 95: F&SF Acceptance
If anyone has been reading these mailbox mutterings since June, they
might remember that Kristine Kathryn Rusch of F&SF (The
Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) requested a rewrite of one
of my stories. Today I got an acceptance letter for the revised story
:-) I am very, very happy :-)
30 August 95: Century rejection
Century promptly responded to my email query to say they are
rejecting the story I submitted there some 230 days ago. Also Edge
Detector returned my snail-mail query to say they would like to
continue holding my story for the moment.
29 August 95: MZB's Rejection
A very speedy eight-day rejection from Marion Zimmer Bradley's
Fantasy Magazine. She enclosed a copy of their latest guidelines,
and the upper limit on story lengths has been lowered significantly
from 7500 to 5500 words.
26 August 95: Worlds of Fantasy & Horror
Another day, another rejection, this time a personal letter
from Worlds of Fantasy & Horror in a speedy eleven days.
25 August 95: Analog rejection
A second-tier rejection from Analog
after 25 days.
22 August 95: Intermix acceptance
An email acceptance of reprint rights to "Marna-Li" from
Intermix, an electronic
magazine; "Marna-Li" was first published in Random Realities
#3, June 1993.
19 August 95: Writers of the Future rejection
After a year of abstaining from this contest, I submitted a story in
June. Result: one more rejection to add to my files. Sigh.
17 August 95: $25
Today I received $25 from Dream Forge, slightly belated but
welcome payment for a story they published back in April. This is my
one and only sale to an electronic market. The editors were very
friendly and encouraging, but it still seems a little odd not to have
a physical copy of the published story that I can clutch in my grubby
15 August 95: Post-holiday rejections
Returning from a thoroughly enjoyable holiday on the Outer Banks,
North Carolina, I found two rejections: one from Starlight
after about 70 days, and a nice letter from Pulphouse after
about 120 days.
Yay! I received my contributor's copies of the August 95 issue of
Interzone, a British magazine, together with a check for 120
pounds. The issue contains my story "Assembly Line," as well as
several other stories -- including a very good tale by Geoffrey Landis.
See the 3 June 95 entry for the story
of my first ever submission to Interzone.
3 August 95: Worlds of Fantasy & Horror rejection
An encouraging rejection letter from Worlds of Fantasy & Horror
after 27 days, with a very kind P.S. added to say that they loved my
story "Ebb Tide" (published in the May 95 F&SF).
31 July 95: The Blind Spot publication
Today I received a $10 check and six contributor's copies of a small
magazine called The Blind Spot, containing my story "Unity." I
believe the issue was published in April, so this was a little
overdue, but no less welcome.
28 July 95: Asimov's rejection
A second-tier rejection from Asimov's after 71
days.... Some of the bigger magazines have tiered rejections. Most
of the slush is sent back with an anonymous form rejection. But if
your stories improve, you eventually earn a much more encouraging form
letter (in Asimov's case they type your name at the top as well). I
appreciate every such "Dear Mary" rejection from Asimov's, and yearn
for the day when I will receive a truly personal rejection.
22 July 95: Fan mail :-)
I've received a few email messages from people who've liked my
stories, and they were very much appreciated, and today for the first
time I received an old-fashioned snail-mail letter with some very kind
comments on my stories. Were it not for the sad fact that I also
received a rejection letter (Glimmer Train, three weeks) I would be
13 July 95: Midnight Journeys
Today I received a contributor's copy of "Midnight Journeys"
containing my story "Shelter," my one and only foray into the nuclear
holocaust subgenre. This has been my most fruitful two months in
terms of publication, with four of my stories appearing. Happiness.
11 July 95: Darkside rejection
Friendly rejection from Darkside after just twelve days.
8 July 95: And Canada makes three
Today I received contributor's copies of my story "Memory's Child" in
the Canadian magazine "On Spec," and so now I have been published
in British, Canadian, and US markets. I guess it's time to start
submitting to Australia.
Also in the mail, a 64 day rejection from Marion Zimmer Bradley's
5 July 95: Sirius Visions
Friendly and encouraging rejection from Sirius Visions after 83 days.
29 June 95: F&SF rewrite request
Today I received a rewrite request from Kristine Kathryn Rusch of F&SF
for one of my favorite stories. STRESS! I'd very much like to sell
this story to F&SF, and so I have spent many hours poring over the
manuscript, trying to nudge it in the recommended direction. I know I
prefer the new draft, but will Kristine Kathryn Rusch?
Also today, a 6 day rejection from SF Age (encouraging handwritten
28 June 95: Writer's Block Magazine rejection
After eleven rejection-free days, I had my first rejection from
Writer's Block Magazine. Sniff. But since they pay respectably (5
Canadian cents per word) and they replied promptly, I certainly intend
to try them again.
26 June 95: Ten dollars
Only three weeks after the acceptance letter, today I received a ten
dollar check from Plot Magazine. This is my smallest payment check to
date, but receiving it within a month of the acceptance is an
agreeable change from the usual small press policy of paying on
16 June 95: Lynx Eye rejection
After a long postal silence, today I had a rejection letter from
a small magazine called Lynx Eye.
11 June 95: Slow markets
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday all went by without
any story responses coming in the mail. I have sixteen stories out,
of which four have been out for over two hundred days:
ARGH! I've always hated waiting a long time for story responses, but
I never thought they could slow down to over a year. Doubtless I'll
feel more kindly about these magazines if they ultimately accept my
stories. Indeed I am much less impatient with Galaxy than with
Journeyman, since Galaxy bought an earlier story of mine, and even
paid on acceptance.
- Journeyman - 366 days, a year and a day; no response to repeated
- Galaxy - 364 days.
- Radius - 251 days; back in January the editor said he would reach
a decision "soon".
- Genre Sampler - 213 days; no response yet to a May 6th query letter.
5 June 95: Plot Magazine acceptance
One of my older stories, a veteran of some fourteen rejections plus
one acceptance by a magazine that then promptly folded, was accepted
today by Plot Magazine, a new small press magazine that pays a
flat ten dollars per story. Not exactly enough to pay the rent, but I
On my fourth attempt, and after a wait of 123 days, I sold a story to
Interzone, the best known of the British science fiction
magazines. I am disproportionately happy; if the truth be known, this
was my fifth submission to Interzone.... Back when I was in high
school in London I sent them a single-spaced manuscript, with narrow
margins on small paper. They were kind enough to merely send a polite
form rejection, rather than any sarcastic remarks. It was over a
decade before I made any other fiction submissions.
Also in the mail today, contributor's copies of Random Realities #7,
containing my story "Dry Water." This didn't officially count as a
sale, since it was only for contributor's copies. But Random
Realities previously bought - and published - two of my stories at the
grand rate of 1/2 cent per word, and the editor, Jeff Dennis, has been
A happy mail-day :-)
31 May 95: Contributor's copy, "Beyond #2"
Today I received a contributor's copy of Beyond #2. This was a happy
event: my first publication in a British magazine. As an added bonus,
the issue also contains stories by two authors I greatly admire, John
Brunner and Brian Stableford.
25-26 May 95: Double rejection
Returning from a brief trip to Washington D.C. and Delaware (where I
saw wild dolphins for the first time), I found two rejections: one
from F&SF after 108 days, and one from Worlds of Fantasy & Horror
after 92 days; both were short personal notes.
22 May 95: Space & Time acceptance
In today's mail, one acceptance letter from Tom Piccirilli of Space
& Time. Yay! Space & Time is a small press magazine that was
established in 1966.
18 May 95: Form rejection
Form rejection from Starlight after 146 days. I'm glad they finally
replied--now I have a mere nine stories that have been out for over
17 May 95: Grumble, grumble, grumble
As of today I have ten stories that have been out for 100+ days, at
markets ranging from Galaxy at an incredible eleven months, to F&SF at
100 days. In the past five weeks I have had only one new story
response, despite having twenty-one stories out. Any day now there
will be a loud thud, and my doormat will sink into the floor under the
weight of a dozen large envelopes stuffed with rejected stories.
8 May 95: After long silence
After almost four weeks without any story responses, I finally got a
rejection today. My story reached the final ten before being rejected
by Tales of the Unanticipated; the editor said that he would like to
consider a rewrite of the story for the next issue.
4 May 95: Canadian money
No mail yesterday, and no story responses today. But I did get a
check for $108 Canadian dollars from On Spec for "Memory's Child."
After a remarkably baroque ceremony at the bank, they deposited
seventy-seven US dollars into my account.
2 May 95: Galley proofs
Today I received a copy of the galleys for "Memory's Child,"
due to appear in On Spec later this year. Apart from one
accidental merging of two paragraphs, the galleys look good.
But still no reply on any of the twenty stories that I have
out at the moment. Mutter, mutter....
1 May 95: Minor good news
Still no responses on the twenty stories that are out. But I
did receive a check for $32 from Midnight Journeys for a story
that was accepted a while back.
30 April 95: Where did all the mail go?
I have twenty stories out at various markets, but I haven't had any
responses since April 12th. This is my longest period without
responses in ages. And I hate it: I have reached the point at which
even a rejection would be welcome.
The worst offender: Journeyman....
I have had a story at Journeyman since June 1994. In December 1994 I
sent them a query letter, but there was no reply. In March 95, I sent
a second query letter, stating that I would be withdrawing the story
if I hadn't heard back by May 1st. Surprise, surprise: they haven't
replied. Now I have to decide whether to submit the story
Other slow markets....
I have had stories at each of the following since sometime in 1994:
Galaxy, Radius, Genre Sampler, Starlight. The only one I've queried
so far is Radius, and to give Ewan Grantham credit he politely
answered my query--but he still hasn't made up his mind about the
The fastest markets
To switch to a positive note, the following markets have
performed in an exemplary fashion.
- Absolute Magnitude
- Dead of Night
- Science Fiction Age
The above list only includes markets with at least four responses in
the Pittsburgh Worldwrights database, and a maximum response time of
forty days or less.
Other Mailbox Blues
The most recent Mailbox Blues
2000-2002 Mailbox Blues
2003-2009 Mailbox Blues