I know it’s a rejection, but…

I got a rejection yesterday that I’m really happy about! Sheila Williams said of my story “Mutual Feelings”: “This story was interesting, but it isn’t right for Asimov’s.”

It’s an erotic and disturbing science fiction story centered around the problems caused by a futuristic sex toy. I honestly didn’t think it would be right for Asimov’s, but, well… urged me to try. :-) I wouldn’t have been surprised to get back a form telling me to read their guidelines, so I’m honestly pleased.

Cecilia Tan had held onto “Mutual Feelings” for two and a half years (with my permission) and assured me when she eventually rejected it that it was a great story she was sure I’d sell. I looked over it again after that (since it had been a while :-)), made the dialogue more natural, and fixed something that was causing the ending not to work for some readers. Asimov’s is the first place I’d sent it to since, so again, I’m really pleased. I think I’ll be able to find the right fit for it eventually.

11 thoughts on “I know it’s a rejection, but…”

  1. I have a few rejections like that–one I keep on the edge of my monitor to remind me that I do write well, people want to see my work. It reads:

    “Do not be alarmed at this strip of paper. I send out very few of these, and they’re meant to tell you that I truly enjoyed reading your story. While this one’s not quite right for us, do send others, please.”

    It’s a rejection, but, yea, a rejection to be happy about because it’s still an affirmation of you as a writer. And that’s the neat stuff. ;)

  2. I do keep an eye out for erotica anthologies where it might fit. I’d like to sell it as science fiction, but we’ll see. :-)

  3. This is the part I wouldn’t have believed until after I got a slew of rejections on my first novel (about three, four years ago) — then, getting a note at the bottom of the xeroxed page that said, “you write an excellent query” was a week-maker. Now, I get rejections that say, “this is well-written and solid; unfortunately, it’s not what we’re looking for but we’re certain you’ll find the right agent. keep at it!” which isn’t just a week-maker but a month of happy quiet pleasure.

    There’s rejection, and then there’s rejection-with-hope.

  4. Did this story come out of the one you workshopped in the OWW, lo those many years ago? If it is, or even if it is anything like that one, I want you to know that I still remember that story and the intense sexuality of the writing.

    Congrats, nonetheless. Keep on keepin’ on!

  5. Yeah, it did. What I workshopped was just a scene–I added a plot and more scenes to it. :-)

    I’m glad you remember it, though. People do seem to think I write sex well, which I find heartening. :-)

  6. Have you thought about submitting to Strange Horizons? They recently published my stripper story – sexual content clearly doesn’t phase them.

  7. It’s a tough market. Look at it this way. They get something like seven hundred submissions per month and publish what? Seven to nine fiction pieces.

    Then there’s the reader’s side of this too. I really like about one in three stories in that magazine. I will endure two out of three. If I feel like I’m being contacted in some kind of arcane literary code I get pissed off and quit.

    If I see present tense that reads like a baseball play-by-play it better be one helluva ball game or I’m done in three paragraphs. Yeah, I’m picky that way!

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