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.

1999 Summary

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:

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 from Playboy.

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 On Spec.

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 Writings.

16 July 1999: Interzone publication :-) :-)

Today I received contributor's copies of Interzone #145, containing my story "Tranquillity" :-) :-) :-) This is my sixth story to appear in Interzone.... Also today, a friendly rejection from Talebones.

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 Interzone #144, 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, Waxing & 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 mail).

20 April 1999: MZB's rejection

An encouraging 29-day rejection from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine.

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 Glimmer Train.

23 March 1999: Amazing Stories publication :-) :-)

Today I received contributor's copies of Amazing 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." Yippee! :-)

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 consideration.

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 Amelia.

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 Nebula preliminary 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 the holidays.

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 from Altair. 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 from Altair.

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 Glimmer Train.

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 and Cicada.

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 is folding....

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 Whitlow.

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 Playboy.

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 #10.

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 The Atlantic.

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 story.

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 its editors).

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 friendly).

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 day :-)

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 Program Book.

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 from Omni.

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 element.

29 September 97: CONduit 8 rejection

A friendly rejection letter from the editor for the CONduit 8 program book.

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 withdrawal symptoms!

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 Science Fiction.

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 mail!

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 magazine Transversions 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 Hobson's Choice.

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 Odyssey 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 Fractal.

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 Contest :-)

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 stakes.

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 Borders.

19 December 96: Aboriginal SF rejection

Another day, and, alas, another rejection, this time from Aboriginal SF.

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 Future contest.

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 #2.

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 winner).

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 Pirate Writings.

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 implied homosexuality.)

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 Green Men.

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 times.

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 months....

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 months.)

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 Science Fiction.

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 from Talebones.

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 Pirate Writings.

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 :-) :-) :-) Yay!

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 story "Marna-Li."

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 was swift.

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 Incognita.

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 magazines!

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 ceased operation.

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 Tiger.

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 with me.

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 reading period.

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 Intermix, containing a reprint of my story "Marna-Li," first published in Random Realities.

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 story back.

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 feedback.

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 fingers.

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.

5 August 95: Interzone publication

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 hideously smug.

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 Fantasy Magazine.

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 note).

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 publication.

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.

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 am pleased.

3 June 95: Yes! Interzone acceptance

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 singularly encouraging.

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 100 days.

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 elsewhere.

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 story.

The fastest markets

To switch to a positive note, the following markets have performed in an exemplary fashion.

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