Friday, January 21, 2011

One Door Closes, and Another Opens

his afternoon while working on my novel, I received a rejection email from Asimov’s Science Fiction for a story (“The Cristóbal Effect”).  Certainly not the first I’ve received from the kind Sheila Williams, and I will not relent in my mission to sell her a story.  All roads lead to the Tower.  While I was preparing that story for submission to another science fiction magazine (you have to snailmail a hardcopy manuscript to this one), I received another email from bestselling writer-slash-editor-slash-screenwriter-slash-filmmaker John Skipp.  John was kind enough to extend an invitation to submit a story for consideration in an upcoming anthology of new and reprinted fiction he is editing for a themed October 2011 publication.

If you write fiction as a career or at night after your day-job, like me, you must maintain a positive attitude and work ethic.  You are going to receive your share of rejections (no matter how many professional sales you've racked up), but. . .another opportunity will avail itself.

If you’ve read Skipp’s recently released Werewolves and Shape Shifters: Encounters with the Beasts Within and last year’s successful Zombies: Encounters With The Hungry Dead, both published by Black Dog & Leventhal ( and ), the new anthology promises to be an amazing collection, and I was thrilled to be even given the opportunity to submit a story.  The book will undoubtedly be chockfull of superb talent.  I’m excited!

But like the last themed anthology I wrote a story for, I wondered, as I read the detailed guidelines, can I come up with an idea exciting enough to fire up the engines?  Within thirty minutes I had my “what-if” idea, main protagonist, working title and a story arc.  The little guys in the basement who kick up ideas are at DEFCON 1 alert these days, and I am very, very grateful for that.  The deadline to submit a story for this book is tight, but I’ve already started.  I’ve got an even shot if I work hard, and that is all a writer can ever ask for -- the opportunity to contribute.  The rest is up to me.

If you aren’t familiar with the work of John Skipp, get your hands on a copy of Spore (his latest novel co-written with Cody Goodfellow).  You can even order a signed slipcase special edition for a very reasonable price ( ).  Skipp’s classic novel of ecological horror, written with Craig Spector, The Bridge, was also recently re-released (I re-read it and it is well worth the dough), along with The Light at the End ( and ).

The multi-author novel I mentioned a couple of weeks ago with Books of the Dead Press is gearing up, so my writing plate, happily, if overflowing. 

More news on this project as things unfold.

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