Monday, April 27, 2009

Remember When Rejections Came From Typewriters?

Here's an oldie but a goodie from Keith Grahams. A rejection slip from 1970 when he was 18 years old.  Guess the form hasn't changed much in all these years.  BTW, this is the rejection that stopped him from submitting another story for 33 years.


NM said...

Actually, F&SF fairly rarely uses forms, or at least has a few different forms that reflect whether or not he put the story down before reading it.

Sounds like the guy is in to making unusual decisions—he could have sold his entirely obscure webzine URL to one of science fiction's more prominent publishers, but didn't want to. Now Baen's Universe is doing fine and even someone as steeped in SF as I am is hearing of Keith Grahams only today...

on a blog whose commenters would of course reject anything he wrote out of hand as being non-"literary."

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Wow ... 33 years? Nobody likes rejection, but that's taking a form letter a little too seriously.

Keith said...

This reject, of course, is well before Gordon Van Gelder's time. In 1970 Edward L. Ferman printed the rejects on the backs of the leftover covers.

The story behind the domain name was that Jim Baen wanted to use and I talked him out of it. Dell Publishing owns the rights to Astounding (predecessor to Analog Magazine). I told him that the Suits would camp out at his door if he tried.

I stopped writing mainly because life got in the way. I had to work for a living, put myself through college at night and then work two jobs for about 30 years before I found the urge to put pen to paper again. My stories really sucked back in 1970, so it is a good thing that I waited before trying again. Most of my stories still suck, but at least I have been able to find sympathetic editors on the nets.

I'm not sure what NM is talking about with his non-"literary" comment. I have an eclectic set of readers, probably most of them aren't that into Spec Fic. I don't watch TV SF and don't like SF movies, and my opinions on SciFi alienate 99% of readers who prefer that kind of spec fic.

Keith P. Graham

Dan G said...

I submitted a really dumb story about a unicorn to them circa 1981 or so - I think I was 13 and thought I was a hot shot writer. They were kind enough to offer some nice feedback on the tone, plot construction, etc. Looking back on it that was really nice of them to do for a young kid - I had put my age on the byline so they knew I was young. So they definitely had their kinder, gentler side.

NM said...

Keith seems incapable of reading for context. My first remark about F&SF rarely using forms is an obvious reference to the remark made by W,R in the post proper (Guess the form hasn't changed much in all these years.)

The "literary" comment of course has to do with the general tenor of this blog and again, nothing to do with Keith.