Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Tiny Victory.

I submitted a short story called "The Party" to the Pill Hill Press annual anthology which is this year titled "Triangulation: Final Contact." At this point, they were the fourth market I'd sent the story to, my initial enthusiasm over a tale I'd found to be rather unique diminishing with each "It's not for us" I received. My other stories were doing well as far as acceptance went and I'd assumed this one would, too. "Final Contact" was an after-thought, an attempt to submit the story to fresh eyes that would hopefully like it and find it suitable to the vague theme of their anthology.

Two months after I sent it to them, it was accepted, rating an 8 out of 10.

For those who fear the rejection of editors, read the (slightly edited) comments below for a better idea of their thinking processes in regards to how they make their decisions:

Story 184 (2/16/2011 Horror 3000 words)

First Reader: “This is a strange little tale about [something]. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it at first, but it grew on me. I think it might be a bit too long, but the narrator is unreliable without a doubt. Very strange.” (plot spoiler removed)

Interesting opening line. Inverts expectation, characterizes and gives just a hint of context. Nice, active prose. Especially like the fourth para on p2. This scene ends well too. I like a story that plays with my expectations to build something new. I think I’d like just an occasional snippet of concrete detail in the here and now, maybe something of the socialite’s features (perhaps mutated by his perception, but real). I like the surreality of the musings, but am missing a contrasting concreteness just a bit.

The scene on p6 (end) is nicely described. It would feel even more effective, I think, with some concrete detail in the prior here and now scene. We don’t actually know which is real, but they are connected through his experience. Since he’s all over the place in his head, one way to separate the time lines (so to speak) would be to concretize the here and now elements enough to subtly set them apart from memory. Hope that makes sense. It’s not a huge deal; I’m still enjoying, but I do feel just a little (artificially) adrift.

I like this. I like the way it ends, the ambiguity of it. I’ll send it on to other editors to see what they make of it. Probably a 50-50 proposition at this point. I’m a little concerned about it fitting the theme, but I think a justification can be made.

Slush-o-meter (1-10): 8 A bizarre SF tale featuring an unreliable narrator who just might be saving the world, or not.

This resulted in the acceptance email I received this morning (below):

Dear Christopher Nadeau,

Thank you for sending this our way. We may suggest some edits based on reader comments, but you will have final say on any significant changes. Contracts will go out in the next month or so and payment is made upon publication in July.

Thanks again.


Stephen Ramey

Triangulation: Last Contact


Rock Writer and Media said...

I feel lost just from reading that! LOL

c nadeau said...

Which part?