Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction

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Hope and Experience

Writing, or at least submitting stories for publication, is a continuous battle between hope and experience – or at least it is at my level. I’ve had a few things published, mostly in anthologies (covers and links to them are on the sidebar to the right – clink on them and buy them!), but a couple of things in prominent ‘pro’ magazines. My work colleagues were most impressed with the story I had in Nature, but my SFnal colleagues were more impressed by the one I had in Analog, the premier hard-SF magazine. But the sad fact is that I’m still at the level of collecting far more rejections than acceptances. Submitting things is thus a constant battle between the hope of getting a story accepted by someone – and hopefully by a prominent ‘pro’ magazine – and the experience of the ever mounting mountain of rejection slips.

So this evening, while still a bit too addled by jet lag to get back to the story I’m currently working on (in a phase of what one of my writing group colleagues has called ‘novel avoidance’), I’ve gone through the process of submitting something to a major magazine.

Hope won over experience, this time at least.

At work, I’m also getting closer and closer to having a paper on what I hope is a major result ready to submit. Unlike fiction, this paper will have a host of co-authors and, also unlike fiction, the journal editorial and refereeing process will allow me to make changes in response to their comments so that the paper is likely to eventually be accepted.

The cultural differences between fiction and academic publication are rather interesting, but the jet lag is unlikely to make such an article coherent at this time, so you’ll have to look for that article at a later date.

And, just for statistical purposes, this newly submitted story means I now have three fiction submissions out at three different magazines. I think that’s a record for me!