Monday, October 5, 2009

Rejection: Shine Anthology

I heard back from the Shine Antho this weekend. The answer was no, as this post's title implies, but the rejection letter was personalized.

This was an interesting story where the boundaries between real and virtual life often blended over so much that the distinction between the two became unclear. More importantly, the virtual world seemed to function as a conduit that made the actual world, which felt rather dystopian to me, more bearable. And even if there was some light at the end of this story's tunnel, I prefer stories where things are better than today. So I'm giving it a pass.

When I wrote PERCIVAL, I wasn't sure where to begin. I like hardship and feel that adds strength to the fiction I write. For me, I felt it was optimistic in terms of how Percival felt and acted - the belief that no matter how tough things were, he could (and did) improve the world. But I had a feeling that might not be quite enough for this antho for the very reason the editor discussed in the rejection letter. Still, always worth trying.

The editor did go on to recommended a few places I might submit it to, which was a very pleasant touch to the letter and encouraging. Why, I do think it would just be silly not to take his advice, don't you? :)

As for other markets, Asimov's would be one of your best bets, as Sheila Williams told me personally at last month's WorldCon how much she was looking forward to Shine, but also wrote in her July 2009 editorial: "I know it will be hard for writers to resist turn inward and that there is great value in holding a mirror up to our lives, but I'd also like to see stories that uplift us, show us some way out of our current circumstances, and offer us some grand new vistas of the future." And I can assure you she's not the only editor (several asked me at WorldCon: "How do you get writers to write upbeat stories?") out there. Also, markets like Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, Analog and Futurismic (and Baen's Universe, if they hadn't closed shop) might be well worth a try.

I certainly wish I could say ‘try me again’, but a second Shine anthoplogy will only happen if this one sells well. Shine is slated for an early 2010 release, and until that time I will keep several features (‘Optimistic SG around the World’, ‘Music that Makes You Feel Optimistic’, etc.) running on the Shine blog, while adding new ones.


scott g.f.bailey said...

Sort of a best-of-all-possible rejections, I guess. Still, some good leads there. Good luck with Asimov's; that would be way cool!

lotusgirl said...

If you have to get a rejection, that's the kind to get. He must have really liked your writing. Congratulations. and good luck sending it on around.

Lady Glamis said...

I'm so sorry it didn't make it! I really liked the story, Erin. And it was written really well. What an awesome rejection, though. Really! Just keep trying. It'll make it somewhere!

Davin Malasarn said...

Erin, I think this is pretty great news. It's not the perfect result, but it's quite helpful, and it shows that they actually read your book. I think that's good news!

Tess said...

How cool is that? As I am learning all to well, it is so much about finding that perfect fit. Easier said than done, but worth the effort in the end. We want and deserve an editor who 'gets' our work. I know you know that already.

The Screaming Guppy said...

Thanks guys. You're awesome. :)