Monday, February 16, 2009

Rejection: Provenience

Another rejection, but again I was met with great feedback and a super quick response. Wow'ed again by the time and encouragement here:

Dear Ms. Anderson,

We're going to reject this one as well, but thank you for letting us read it.

We all enjoy your writing style. It's bold and evocative without turning purple, and fits the voices of your characters.

This story, though, left us confused, more so than the last. It takes a very long time to get started, and when events happen, we're unsure of what they mean. What were David and Evarian hoping to harvest that would entirely wreck this species they've found? DNA? That can betaken from living bodies. Organs? Why, when they grow babies in tubes and garages. Foodstuffs and biologics? If they've found a primitive hunter-gatherer society, or even one just now developing agriculture,it wouldn't be necessary to kill them to take what the Syndicate needs-- the locals are going to be few in number and neither using nor needing most of the planet, so with a bit of care the Syndicate could harvest much of it to their hearts' content. Ores and minerals? Those can be found on asteroids and other small bodies, without life or a deep gravity well to complicate matters.

David as narrator seems to exist to direct the reader what to think.He asks the questions you hope to prompt from the reader; in the end he draws the conclusion you hope the reader to draw. He also provides infodumps that are unimportant to the story -- while the Gaian and Mechan enhancements and structures are an interesting idea, there's no room in this story for a three-page interruption reviewing them.

And on a side note, the implication that humans stopped having sex when they stopped needing it for reproduction rings false. It's going to take a great deal more than some genetic tampering and interesting robotics to get humans to give up on sex.

Nevertheless, we really enjoy your writing style and your penchant for awesome space Amazons. We're not tired of hearing from you, so please feel free to submit again if you have another story that fits our theme, or rework one that we've seen.

Deanna Hardin

Editor: Triangulation: Dark Glass

I'm beginning to see a trend, and I think the source of the problem is my short stories are often drawn from manuscripts I'm working on. Which means I'm trying to fit the ideas I've expanded into a full fledged novel into a space that's painfully short. I've never been excellent at short stories - they often evolve into something much, much longer.

I've decided to take one more stab at it - and hopefully I'm not making the same mistake. I've decide to explore a place in my manuscript HOUND IN BLOOD AND BLACK. A place I didn't visit in the manuscript because it's gone at the time of the book. I know, I know. You're thinking, but you just said that's your problem! What are you doing woman!

Well...this is different?

Hah, it sounds so...justificational...if that's a word? Here's the reason behind the madness.

My "Dark book" - the source material for both EIDOS and PROVENIENCE - is huge. The politics, the history, the world are all very complex. I think I was kidding myself when I believed I could condense that into a 6k or 4k word story. The world of HOUND IN BLOOD AND BLACK, is significantly less complex. The world needs little to no explaining. It simply is the post-apocalyptic version of our planet post undead virus. I'm confident I can explain the world and how it works in the setting of Albis without burying myself in an attempt to explain a galactic empire with four warring species - six if you count three factions of humans. Seven if you count Scalderi half breeds. Eight if you count the Gachs...half human, half machine. But I digress.

I have until March 21st. With this kind of encouragement, I think I might be fool if I didn't make one more go at this anthology.

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