Five Minute Rant

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:48 pm

hazlett wrote:...or perhaps to slow their spaceship down to a subluminal speed? There's way too much time dilation over there.


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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby AlistairKimble » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:08 pm

My longest submission was 317 days and was by mail to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

I received a form rejection in the mail. I expected at least a note of apology, but got nothing. Has that stopped me from submitting there again? No. Why? There aren't that many pro-paying markets for mystery short stories.

Still, Tor was putting that 317 day rejection to shame until recently. I only submitted to Tor since they decided to hire two pro-level rejectioneers--Datlow and VanderMeer.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:47 pm

hazlett wrote:If you are going to follow an archaic practice, at least respond to folks in a reasonable amount of time. Lightspeed and Clarkesworld put Analog to shame. For instance, according to soon-to-be-obsolete Duotrope, Lightspeed sees nearly 4x the volume of submissions as Analog, yet Analog takes nearly 13x longer to respond to the average submission, and that's when its average response time was 23.6 days vs. the higher number it will be when the magazine finally starts responding to all those folks who have had a story there for 90+ days, but will still get a rejection anyway. I'm not saying that 1.7 days should be the standard. All I'm saying is that Lightspeed currently has the best-in-class response times, which is why many send their stories to Clarkesworld and Lightspeed first before they send them to Analog.

Can someone please tell Analog to get off dinosaur time, or perhaps to slow their spaceship down to a subluminal speed? There's way too much time dilation over there.

OK. Rant over.

wotf020



Hmm, until this new guy took over Analog-for that matter Asimov's-had been speeding up, at least with my stories. Of course both head editors knew my writing well enough to know what to expect but still the time had dropped to about a month. I wondered if something happened to that new guy.

F&SF has always been quick, until the internet maybe the quickest. JJA over at Lightspeed seems to have gotten the habit with all the work he did for F&SF.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:11 pm

Yes, I thought the main markets were getting a little quicker, but lately, clearly, they've gone into reverse.
I thought Duotrope might have something to do with the speeding up, as we can all see so easily who is responding quickest. But it looks like any pressure from Duotrope will be reduced now, sigh.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:58 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:Yes, I thought the main markets were getting a little quicker, but lately, clearly, they've gone into reverse.
I thought Duotrope might have something to do with the speeding up, as we can all see so easily who is responding quickest. But it looks like any pressure from Duotrope will be reduced now, sigh.



I'm way behind is sending out stories therefore haven't sent one to Asimov's for a couple of months but my last one was about one month even. To me it's IGMS who needs help in that matter. They take the longest. Of course I've never sent one to Tor.

White Cat took a little while too as I recall.

I forgot about Escapepod. They used to take a very long time. The editor always started his rejection with an apology for that. But still it took a LOONG time. I think they speeded up some.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:18 pm

Speaking of taking so long don't forget Lightspeed closes to subs for a month starting the 15th.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby E.CaimanSands » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:05 am

LDWriter2 wrote:Speaking of taking so long don't forget Lightspeed closes to subs for a month starting the 15th.


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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby bobsandiego » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:01 pm

Okay here's my five minute rant....
&*&^%^*&@#)(&^(*&*&#_+
That Q4 is a good story or I am deluded, I really don't see a third option. There are times when I feel like the awards for this contest are on a dice roll. I can get R's, HM's, and SF's, but not with any sort of consistency,
This year has been HM, SF, R, R,. What is this a saving throw?
grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:11 pm

bobsandiego wrote:Okay here's my five minute rant....
&*&^%^*&@#)(&^(*&*&#_+
That Q4 is a good story or I am deluded, I really don't see a third option. There are times when I feel like the awards for this contest are on a dice roll. I can get R's, HM's, and SF's, but not with any sort of consistency,
This year has been HM, SF, R, R,. What is this a saving throw?
grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Totally. I have no idea. Clueless.

So, when the world is mad, or I am, it doesn't matter! I will write, submit, write, submit and that's it. Until the day I die. If I happen to get some nice surprises along the way, all the better. wotf007
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:44 am

LDWriter2 wrote:Hmm, until this new guy took over Analog-for that matter Asimov's-had been speeding up, at least with my stories. Of course both head editors knew my writing well enough to know what to expect but still the time had dropped to about a month. I wondered if something happened to that new guy.


Just an FYI from WorldCon... The new guy, Trevor, was very much Stan's right hand man. He read everything Stan accepted and probably most of the "not close enough" stories as well as some of the slush. And before he was Stan's right hand man, he was Sheila's. So he may also know your writing pretty well.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:49 am

bobsandiego wrote:What is this a saving throw?


87, at least. The trick is that the entries get better each year, so the saving throw is forever increasing.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby hlf » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:28 am

bobsandiego wrote:That Q4 is a good story or I am deluded, I really don't see a third option.


Third option (in my completely unsubstantiated guessomancy-only opinon) is that one should never send a good story to q4. In my mind it's the hardest of quarters to crack because 3/4 of book is already selected and the q4 stories will have to balance out whatever elements are missing/lacking and without knowing what has been selected and which spots filled so how could you hope to complement teh shape of the anthology? For what that's worth.

On the flip side q1 is a fresh slate. Q1 stories will set vibe, tone, breadth, trend. Again, in my completely unsubstantiated guessomancy-only opinion.

But rant away. I enjoy a good rant.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:31 am

hlf wrote:
bobsandiego wrote:That Q4 is a good story or I am deluded, I really don't see a third option.


Third option (in my completely unsubstantiated guessomancy-only opinon) is that one should never send a good story to q4. In my mind it's the hardest of quarters to crack because 3/4 of book is already selected and the q4 stories will have to balance out whatever elements are missing/lacking and without knowing what has been selected and which spots filled so how could you hope to complement teh shape of the anthology? For what that's worth.

On the flip side q1 is a fresh slate. Q1 stories will set vibe, tone, breadth, trend. Again, in my completely unsubstantiated guessomancy-only opinion.

But rant away. I enjoy a good rant.


Hmm. This would also apply to stories that push the word limit. I'd think shorter stories would have a better chance by the end of the year. The contest is also requesting a move away from the longer works.

ETA: However, if DF liked a story and thought it was a good fit for the market, he'd give it an HM, right? As for complementing the anthology, that's for the stories that he's seriously considering.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby WriteToLive » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:24 am

Just as I'm about to get out of this semester and catch up on the writing ideas which are floating about in my head, I find out there is a convention at MSU regarding comic book literature. That's right. Comic Book Literature. Oh, cruel fate, why doest thou torment me with conferences that I want to go to when I have writing to do?
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:12 am

hlf wrote:
bobsandiego wrote:That Q4 is a good story or I am deluded, I really don't see a third option.


Third option (in my completely unsubstantiated guessomancy-only opinon) is that one should never send a good story to q4. In my mind it's the hardest of quarters to crack because 3/4 of book is already selected and the q4 stories will have to balance out whatever elements are missing/lacking and without knowing what has been selected and which spots filled so how could you hope to complement teh shape of the anthology? For what that's worth.

On the flip side q1 is a fresh slate. Q1 stories will set vibe, tone, breadth, trend. Again, in my completely unsubstantiated guessomancy-only opinion.

But rant away. I enjoy a good rant.

I'm adding my guess to the guess list. I remember last Q4 being a shock-fest too.
What I don't understand is - yeah, why not an HM? There will still be 100 or so HMs, so did a bunch of good writers all write terrible or cliched stories for Q4 two years in a row?

I'm not saying the HMs in Q4 aren't deserving stories. I'm just wondering why it *seems* like a bunch of previous high scorers get nailed in Q4. I mean, have you seen Dr. Phil's resume? Maybe we should ask him if all his rejections came in the fourth quarter. wotf001

I'm not feeling bummed about my Q4. This was my rejected Q1 reworked. Clearly, there's something about this story he doesn't like. Bounty hunter / contract killer as the protag? Who knows.

I'm actually more upset about my recent, and second, second round reject from DSF.
I want a pro sale so desperately I can *not* taste it.

D
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Kary English » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:43 pm

I have a crackpot theory about Q4s...

*dons tinfoil hat*

Before I start, there is ZERO inside info here. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I wonder if Q4s are different all the way around, from the Big R all the way up to finalists? See, by the time the first reader gets to Q4, she (if KD) or he (if Dave) already has a pretty good handle on what's going to be in the anthology. So let's say there are three robot stories, five assorted hard sci fi, two paranormal genre-benders, and two fantasies. If he gets a robot story, it might get dropped right away because it would unbalance the anthology. Ditto another random hard SF. Or, if the best Q4 robot story isn't better than the already chosen Q2 robot story, it won't get in even if it the best robot story in Q4.

So possibly Q4 represents a different sort of choosiness. Quality, yes, but more scrutiny on topic, content, genre and theme than there might be in the other quarters. And while it would be nice if that really good but redundant (for the antho) robot story got a full read so it could get HM or SF, the reality may well be that as soon as DF knows he can't use it, it gets the big R.

Does that make any weird sort of sense? It's almost like Q4 has to go up against the winners in all of the other quarters, not just the the rest of the Q4 subs.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:57 pm

Dustin Adams wrote:]

I'm actually more upset about my recent, and second, second round reject from DSF.
I want a pro sale so desperately I can *not* taste it.

D


Love your cliche twist here :)

I hear you about the wanting to rake in some pro sales. I wanted to give a good rant the other night when I got yet another final round rejection from Flash Fiction Online (the one that does the long long personals where each editor gives their two cents on why they eventually didn't publish it). Then I thought, "no I'll let the Q4er have their day on the rant thread." Then I just got one from Penumbra, which by the way if you subbed for the Ray Bradbury issue they just made their final final cuts. Basically, I missed it by a hair and the last one to be cut.

DSF had a line at the end of all my submissions for several months running "This one was an almost for us." on my rejections. I started to think they put it on every submission, so I sent in something crappy to see, but the line was not there. See, I was starting to think that editors were messing with my head.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Dustin Adams » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:37 am

FFO publishes so few stories I can't imagine being one of them.
But I think their odds are better than WotF, so double dumbass on me.

I'm planning to send them my most recent 2nd round DSF R as soon as I get one more opinion on it. (Tina, you were gracious enough to look at it already, so I thank you for helping it get as far as it did.)

My thing with pro is that I want into Codex. That's the "next level" the "evolution" of my writing career and the longer I'm not there, the more I feel like I'm just standing still while everyone Autobahns past me.

D

(p.s. this rant isn't about others' success, but my lack of.)
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Strycher » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:04 am

gower21 wrote:DSF had a line at the end of all my submissions for several months running "This one was an almost for us." on my rejections. I started to think they put it on every submission, so I sent in something crappy to see, but the line was not there.


Yeah, that's their upper tier form.

Also, found this recently: http://www.rejectionwiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

It's not super browse-able, but the search function works.

Dustin Adams wrote:That's the "next level" the "evolution" of my writing career and the longer I'm not there, the more I feel like I'm just standing still while everyone Autobahns past me.


wotf030 You will get there. Don't get discouraged.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby bobsandiego » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:09 am

Dustin Adams wrote:FFO publishes so few stories I can't imagine being one of them.
But I think their odds are better than WotF, so double dumbass on me.

I'm planning to send them my most recent 2nd round DSF R as soon as I get one more opinion on it. (Tina, you were gracious enough to look at it already, so I thank you for helping it get as far as it did.)

My thing with pro is that I want into Codex. That's the "next level" the "evolution" of my writing career and the longer I'm not there, the more I feel like I'm just standing still while everyone Autobahns past me.

D

(p.s. this rant isn't about others' success, but my lack of.)

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby morshana » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:53 am

No. No one is broken. We are ALL *already* there, but we experience time in a linear fashion, so some of us just haven't experienced our success yet. Stupid time.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby liz » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:41 pm

morshana wrote:No. No one is broken. We are ALL *already* there, but we experience time in a linear fashion, so some of us just haven't experienced our success yet. Stupid time.


Indeed! wotf009

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby septimiuss » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:13 pm

Q4 rant.
Second entry, second rejection. Well, it’s not really that unheard of, in fact I dare say it’s only natural. As a matter of fact most people in the world can’t write so: welcome to the rest of the world. Oh, but what a downer, come on, those stories I sent are beautiful, are they not? Certainly, certainly. Than again, perhaps the first one, my Q3 that giant elephant unfit for WoTF, deserved its R. Who would ever love such a monster other than its creator? But Q4? This pretty story, all up to modern standards, this sexy little beast? My Q4 rejected? No matter, I’ll cut it in half and put it out there, people will be thrilled to read it. I’ll read it myself right now, the beautiful beast, I’ll rejoice in seeing it if it is as I remember it. There we go… page one…

God! Take it away! Take it away!... can’t look!… eyes melting… terrible writing…

Come one, I’d recognize bad writing anywhere, reading is all I did the past 20 years, the only way I could have read more was if I were one of ‘em read-whole-pages-at-time-folk. And my very own story which I have read and re-read to betray me like this? How could I ever have produced such bombaclot and not see it? Such amateur prose, such unappealing introduction, such dull exposition, such a rushed ending, oh, how it bores me, it bores me bad, make it stop, please!

Oh, thou poor wretch with thou self-proclaimed selfe that can promptly accomplish anything thou setst thine minde to. What blatant lack of talent in the area in which you were supposed to excel by nature. Shame! Shame!

Certainly it is not me upon whom the fault lies. It is my literature teacher’s curse, which she surely must have placed upon me for writing in foreign tongues. Why, it must be this very language in which I write and is not mine that is my undoing. What terrible arrogance possessed me to write in English? So perhaps I know the difference between dungeons and tombs, who is to say it that my level of English does not lie meekly under that of them manga animation translations?

Now that look on my Q4 with a fresh eye, I know it was a terrible story, that should never have wasted anyone’s time. But what now? Well I can say with utmost certainty that I did a fine job quitting college so that I have more time for writing. Fine job taking this undemanding job as a bartender, a job that never gets me anywhere but lets me concentrate on my prose. Fine job moving to Germany (though perhaps I did that for love at the time. Stupid kids, wasting time with love). Fine job living in a sssscheisse apartment full of notes and manuscript pieces, and scotch and cigarettes. Fine job giving up being a good looking 24 year old and saying no to parties and clubs and strippers. No, no, no, I stay home, I get drunk alone, I write, me lone wolf, me lone writer. Now you know kids, this is what happens if you drink and write.

I now have 2 entries ready for Q1 why shouldn’t I just toughen up and send one? Damned stories as soon as I read one I itch to rewrite. There’s always something they lack, too much dialog here, not enough description here, how about an olfactory image, yeah, let’s put some smell there, make ‘em judges happy, no I don’t want no smell I don’t care what they say, it’s in space, I never been there, but I’m pretty sure space dosen’t smell, certainly, certainly, but your MC has a spacesuit on, let him drop a deadly silent, the effects of such have never been compellingly discussed, what new territory do I step on, and am I ready for it? Surley, surely, I must revise.
Never once have I written a story that I could not rewrite in perpetuity. And the stories I have are horrible, they need rewriting. Naaw, I’ll just send them as they are, don’t rewrite, just send. No. Yes.

So, I either rewrite in perpetuity or continue to send bombaclot and continue to get rejected. Oh, the important decisions. I wonder what he’s gonna do next. Is it not exciting?
God, it’s 4 in the morning, I let the insecure chick that’s in me come out and rant instead of writing and rewriting, and I feel she’ll be asking for chocolate real soon, but she will not be receiving any, no sir. I’m going to have a smoke!


stop

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:47 pm

Interesting...poem?


But you keep sending bombast as you learn to write and one day what you may still think of as drivel may change in a poof of smoke on the way to the editor into a well written story. It has been known to happen.


Not to me of course but I know people it has happened to.



Now onto my rant:

Seems like only one editor likes what I write,

On Dean Wesley Smith's onling workshop "Essentials" I had to write a 300 word opening.

He called it powerful and basically the only thing it needed was two commas. David doesn't think of my stuff like that. Neither does JJA. Nor Sheila Williams. Well, I was going to say the same with the new guy at Analog but than again I don't know if he has read my story or any others since he took over. So Not Even what's his name at BCS likes my stuff. No Go-s at IGMS also. For that matter only rejections from Daily SF so far and not even a maybe from FlashOnline.

Hard work, learning, imagination, time, effort and waiting and still a good word from one guy.


By nice if he invites us to send a story one of his anthologies.


Okay, Okay, Okay there was one other editor that liked a story a little. But I can't send that story to anyone else because no one is looking for fifty word stories....and it's got too many characters for Twitter stories, I checked.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby dantzel » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:21 pm

Crap. I forgot that I subbed a story to Asimov's on 11/30, and just made another sub to them today. Do I withdraw one of them? Apologize? Just pretend I don't notice, and hope they don't either?

I've never made this mistake before. I blame it on the baby.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby gower21 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:57 pm

dantzel wrote:Crap. I forgot that I subbed a story to Asimov's on 11/30, and just made another sub to them today. Do I withdraw one of them? Apologize? Just pretend I don't notice, and hope they don't either?

I've never made this mistake before. I blame it on the baby.


shhh, just walk away. It's not like you hit another car in the parking lot. All you did was run off the road for a minute on a deserted road. No harm no foul, right?

We'll keep your secret, you horrible person, you. :)

And Sep (who's name is longer and I can't remember it to type it out and I'm in 'editing" mode so I can't go look it up and yet even more lazy to open another internet window, yet not lazy enough to type all this out...) I think your rant is awesome. I love it.

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:27 am

septimiuss wrote:Now that look on my Q4 with a fresh eye, I know it was a terrible story, that should never have wasted anyone’s time.


Or maybe not. We're always the worst judge of our own work. We praise it too highly, we criticize it too harshly, sometimes simultaneously.
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:39 am

dantzel wrote:Crap. I forgot that I subbed a story to Asimov's on 11/30, and just made another sub to them today. Do I withdraw one of them? Apologize? Just pretend I don't notice, and hope they don't either?

I've never made this mistake before. I blame it on the baby.


As crimes against nature go, this one rates about a 15... on a scale of 1 to 10,000.

Here's a secret about editors: like Soylent Green, they're people. They make mistakes. Therefore they know that people make mistakes. And with a few exceptions, they expect writers to make mistakes, too. A mistake now and then is normal. It only becomes a problem if there's a pattern of mistakes or a failure to correct mistakes when they're pointed out.

If this really bugs them, they'll let you know. If you made a habit of it, the odds of it bugging them would go way up. But for one incident, I doubt they'll blackball your works across all spacetime and tell all their editing friends to shun you like the goofy new kid in school.

I know we're not supposed to argue with rants (somebody said that on this thread a long time ago, but what does he know?); but frankly, I hope they DO notice and send you a note to say, "Please space these out a bit." Why? Because that would mean they recognized your name enough to recognize your mistake. It would mean they're PAYING ATTENTION to your stories. And it would mean they have enough hopes for your work that they want to give you some guidance.

(And for you devious sorts... No, do NOT start flooding them with multiple submissions just to see if they've noticed you. Bad writer! Bad! No cookie!)
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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:41 am

RANT! RANT! RANT! RANT! RANT!

Off to Duotrope!

Sorry, after The Hobbit last night, I just can't work up the ire for a solid rant.
http://Shoemaker.Space
Other worlds from award-winning author Martin L. Shoemaker

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
NNiNN

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Re: Five Minute Rant

Postby austinDm » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:15 pm

RANT!

Clarkesworld rejected my Q4 HM after one day! It's taken them longer to read some of my barely-above-flash stories. Hmpf.

Next market!


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