After Hours

Writing career changeup ends in another strike

Well, I'll say this for Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine: They respond much more promptly than Asimov's mag, and they are far more polite.

Compared to an Asimov's rejection letter, this is practically a love note:

  • Dear J. M. Garmon:

    Thank you for submitting "Victory or Death," but I'm going to pass on it. This tale didn't grab my interest, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks for sending it our way.

    Sincerely,

    John Joseph Adams
    Assistant Editor

I should also note that it appears Mr. Adams actually signed the letter by hand, which is also unsual in my very limited experience. Now, for all I know, this is blatantly a form letter with some mail-merge fields thrown in for the appearances of personalization, but I at least appreciate the effort. I should also note that the turnaround time was a mere 10 days, which is obscenely fast. Asimov's has had another story under consideration for over a month, and in the past have taken 7-8 weeks to reject my stuff. F&SF doesn't waste my time, even when I'm wasting theirs. That's nice. I'll probably make them my first point of submission in the future, based on this experience, even though they pay a little less than Asimov's.

Still despite the velvet glove of the slapdown, I'm in a bit of a funk. I talked to an old high school buddy today who has been chasing dreams of stardom in Hollywood for over five years, and despite the fact that he's been trying to get on as an actor, in the last few months he's managed to land a scriptwriting gig. I'm jealous as hell, and happy for him all at once. It all adds up to a bit of a crisis of confidence.

Anyway, I'm probably going to tinker with the story and give it the Asimov's treatment some time next month. In the mean time, I've got a couple of new ideas that I've got get into shape (one of them, at least) in time for my next writer's group meeting on Aug. 2. One of these days, I'm going to write something halfway decent. Statistically speaking, it has to happen eventually, right?

Back to the salt mines.

About Jay Garmon

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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