Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another sale to Analog

Well, it happened again. When I saw that it had been three months since I'd submitted a short story to Analog, I queried. I wondered if the managing editor was just taking a little extra time over the rejection letter or something, but no, they're going to buy my story. Once feels like luck. Twice feels like a lot of luck. You know, I'm not sure I'll ever move on to a sense of security where it doesn't feel like luck to make a sale.

The title of the story is Darwin's Gambit and it features the same characters that are in the first short story I ever sold, and in an unpublished novel I have. It's the crew of a nuclear pulse propulsion ship bound for Ganymede, except it sort of missed orbit and crashed into Ganymede. The horrifying thing about this, aside from the cool explosions and stuff, is that when one draws up an evacuation plan in case of emergency, the most qualified people need to get off first. This is how you maximize the survival rate for the most people. The least qualified people are the lowest priority.

This ship has children on it. The viewpoint character is a mother, going through something that would send me straight to an asylum. As awful as it would be to lose a child, how much worse would it be if it happened in circumstances you could foresee and even had a hand in creating? It's the old exercise of writing what scares you.

I stopped updating my reject-o-meter when I started querying agents for my novels, as I'd heard that a high count looks bad if an agent Googles you. But for what it's worth, the count got really high. This story, though, sold the first place I sent it to. The last one sold to the second place I sent it to. Am I turning a corner? We'll see....


  1. Woohoo!!! Congratulations! And what a fabulous premise for a story.

  2. Congratulations! I think you must be turning a corner, and I'm sure that you'll sell many more stories on the first try. This premise sounds extremely scary to me as a mother, too; I guess "women and children first" does not apply in deep space. Another scary thought -- writers aren't exactly "qualified people" either, at least not when it comes to survival.

  3. Thanks guys! It was a story that took me eight years to get to work. But now that it does work, I feel like maybe I could get the novel to work too (Jenn, you've read parts of another novel with the same cast of characters, not that I'd expect you to remember after all this time.)

  4. Wow! That's fantastic, Emily!