Friday, October 9, 2020

Querying the Editor


 I've been on a short story binge lately. I've got three stories scheduled to appear sometime in the next year and another four out on submission. As new writers can tell you, editors like to hang onto stories for a long, long, long time before they respond. Which is yet another reason why I miss Gardner Dozois. (That's him, up above, in the white jacket.)

Back in the day, when mastodons roamed the earth and Gardner was the editor of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, I felt free to call him up at work and say, "Fish or cut bait, Dozois. Are you buying that story or not?" I could get away with that and I felt that I had an obligation to younger writers to do so. Just to demonstrate that things could get easier for them as their careers developed. Sheila Williams, who has that position now, would probably let me get away with it, but I'm sure it would annoy her, so I don't.

At a New Year's party once (Gardner and Susan loved their New Year's parties), Gardner said to me, "You know, Michael, you're the only writer I know who calls up to complain that I've been sitting on a story after two weeks."

"Oh, don't exaggerate, Gardner," I replied. "I call you to complain after one week."

And since it's still October . . .

Jack Frost's Wake (part IX)


Plain text: and the windows are rimed with frost.


Top: Marianne Porter, Gardner Dozois, Susan McAninley, and Frank Crean. Photo by Michael Swanwick. Probably taken at a Philcon.


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