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Xiphias Gladius

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We turned up something even cooler than the Vic20... [Dec. 2nd, 2013|11:42 pm]
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Okay, we pretty much finished going through the boxes from Lis's parents' attic. I mean, we probably should make another pass through the stuff that we're taking back -- we may yet decide to get rid of some of the stuff that we have, but nonetheless, we've recycled 60% of it, mailed off the Vic 20 and Atari, and only have, like, one box of stuff to take home, of the six or seven boxes we started with.

And we found many nifty things, but one of them was so cool that it makes me love Lis even more.

It's a rejection letter from Asimov's, signed by Gardner Dozois. Form letter, of course, for the sort of thing that is rejected over the transom on the first paragraph. But that doesn't matter. It's a genuine rejection letter, from when she was in middle or high school.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that almost all of us have made up science fiction or fantasy stories. Fewer of us have written them down. Even fewer have shown them to people. Fanfic authors are all in this small group, and deserve kudos for getting that far. Some fanfic is good; more of it is terrible, but even the terrible stuff deserves honor.

But Lis went even further and submitted her stuff to an actual paying market. Now, at the time, she was in middle or high school, and there HAVE been a few people who've been good writers by then, but not a lot. So it was bounced.

I don't care. I love Lis even more for having the guts to submit her work.

Some of you have gotten to the point that you have submitted work, gotten it published, gotten paid, and won awards with it. Lis didn't do THOSE parts. But she did the two hardest parts: put words on paper, and sent that paper to someone who could buy it.

[User Picture]From: thespian
2013-12-03 04:48 am (UTC)


I got a letter from Marion ZImmer Bradley, rejecting a submission for MZB Fantasy Magazine, when I was 17. I was so freaking excited my roommates at the time commented that they were afraid if she'd accepted the story, I'd have had a heart attack.

It was actually a personal letter, not a form letter, and it wound up telling me she had a number of similar stories already in the queue, but she'd like to see more of my work. Sadly, she passed about 6 months later, and I never had a chance to submit her anything else.

But even rejections can be important, when they're the right rejections.
[User Picture]From: supergee
2013-12-03 10:58 am (UTC)


I never had the guts. Probably just as well.
[User Picture]From: etrace
2013-12-03 10:11 pm (UTC)


That's great about the letter. I have the great-American-sci-fi novel stuck in my head. Started it a couple times, never got more than a few paragraphs. Clearly I am NOT a writer.

But I want to hear more about the Vic 20! That's cool! I still have mine. I'm always going to bring it out and play with it "one of these days." Hey, maybe I'll write that novel ON the Vic 20! How cool is that? ;)
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-12-03 10:48 pm (UTC)


I posted to Facebook, and we sent it to, not the first person who claimed it, but rather the first person whose spouse(s) or equivalents all contacted me to say that they didn't mind the person collecting obsolete electronics.
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-12-04 04:31 am (UTC)


Also -- writing the great American sci-fi novel on the Vic-20 will work only if the great American sci-fi novel is four pages or fewer. Which means that, if you've gotten a few paragraphs, you're probably most of the way there.