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Shadow Wrought asked...

rk (6314) writes | more than 5 years ago

User Journal 4

so, I answered. Once upon a time, I flirted with the idea of writing fiction. The most luck I had with a short story was a personal rejection letter from Gordon Van Gelder at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (hey, I got it right, Fun Guy!).

so, I answered. Once upon a time, I flirted with the idea of writing fiction. The most luck I had with a short story was a personal rejection letter from Gordon Van Gelder at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (hey, I got it right, Fun Guy!).

So I can (somewhat) control the continued publication status of the story without deleting journals, I am linking to Laren Grey Steals The Stars instead of including the text here. This is more or less the same story I sent to F&SF nine years ago. The only change I made was a technical astronomical edit because those damned exoplanet researchers reduced the chances of a Terra-like planet in the original system I picked to almost nil. Obviously, they need their funding cut. :-)

Feel free to comment on the story. Constructive criticism is welcomed and you really can't be too harsh on it. I workshopped it with a bunch of serious SF writers, some of them now published, so I've probably heard worse. It's obvious it's not great, because if it were, I would've sold it!

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4 comments

Thanks! (1)

The Fun Guy (21791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26259841)

Thanks for sharing this! I enjoyed reading it. It's not easy to write something that is seamlessly engaging.

I have a better understanding of the writing and publishing process with every example from different places on the spectrum of "concept-draft-revision-final-submitted-published".

Excellent (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26260855)

I thoroughly enjoyed that, I don't know why you didn't get published. Maybe the style these days is dark ominus fiction, I don't know. But keep at it.

It feels "old school". I like it.

My only negative critique is the title, but I guess it's better than I kissed an ex-marine on the lips [slashdot.org] .

Re:Excellent (1)

rk (6314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26263893)

I have a huge problem coming up with good titles. This one's major fault is it tips my hand, but I've not come up with one I like better. If anybody has a better one for it, I'm all ears.

Yes, it is very much an old school story, which is why I think I have a hard time for finding a market for it. So many of the mainline professional SF magazines have fallen victim to either dreary clinical postmodern navel-lint examinations (which IMHO already ruined mainstream short literary fiction decades ago) or (especially since LOTR and Harry Potter) magical fantasy (I don't have a problem with this, per se it's just not generally my cuppa). Honestly, I haven't read the SF shorts in years, so for all I know the pendulum has already swung away and maybe I could try it again.

As to your title, frankly, it's perfect. It's short, summarizes the article, and is almost everything I've come to expect from a mcgrew journal entry. Yes, that's a compliment. No, really! :-)

Rather Heinleinian... (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26269257)

Very old school in that regard which I liked very much. It was also thoroughly engaging and it carried you through to the end. But it seems to be missing more conflict. You have these two old school, kick-ass characters, smart educated, tenacious, etcetera; and you don't give them anything to really overcome. He finds her, she already has the ship, and they off they go to colonize a planet. I think your short would be a fantastic old school novella if the two had far more acrimony between them but had to overcome that in order to get the ship working before it was destroyed. Just throwing things out, but have some faceless corporation which has been sucking down resources trying to find FTL travel and now here comes something that does. It would destroy the corporation, so they would destroy it and everyone who knows about it. Something like that.

Thank you very, very much for sharing, I really did enjoy reading it.
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