Well, yesterday I lamented that I hadn't heard from Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine regarding a story I was rather fond of, which was submitted Sept. 9. Yes, F&SF has 10-day turnaround, which is amazing. Well, I got my response yesterday—a rejection. Still, there is some bittersweet comfort to be found here.
First, the story was rejected by Gordon Van Gelder, rather than slush pile editor John Joseph Adams (AKA The Slush God, of whom I have previously expressed appreciation for professional courtesy). That's technically a step up in rank. Though it's far more likely this is merely a consequence of workload distribution, but I'm choosing to see this as progress. In my pathetic fantasy, The Slush God kicked my story up the chain, where it died at the hands of a ranking officer. These are the strands of hope to which I desperately cling.
Second, the rejection letter was personalized. Mr. Van Gelder complimented my "narrative voice" but didn't care for a little thing like the actual content of the story. I may actually take the response to my writers group next month to show off. Yes, I'm a wretched freak.
Today, I'm going to send off a new tale to F&SF and try my luck with the recently rejected attempt at Asimov's. It probably won't work, but fortune favors the bold. And the stupid.
Back to the salt mines...