Thursday, September 17, 2009

That Just About Covers Everything

I've never really seen a rejection that was quite such an impersonal slap in the face.  Helpful, and yet, really not.  I would be confused by it, though I'm sure these are the most common reasons for rejection at most magazines: idea, basic skills, wow-factor.  And yet somehow summing it all up in a form rejection feels cold.  Am I wrong?


Anonymous said...

That first paragraph is a standard reason in f&sf rejections. But I always wonder about this part:

a great many of the ideas that may seem innovative to an SF newcomer are in fact over familiar to readers more experienced in the field.

To me, that sounds like you have to cater to readers who have read every SF book ever printed. Some ideas may have be written many times before, but that doesn't mean they were done well every time, or that all the nuances were exhausted.

What if someone wants to re-explore themes from Philip K Dick novels, and leave out all the snide misogyny? I'd read that.

Anonymous said...

Asimov himself was the definition of pot meet kettle.

android said...

summary of every PKD book ever written:

*loser guy is married to a shrill ugly woman that he hates

*loser guy has a chance meeting with an underage hottie who travels in a different circle

*sci-fi hijinks ensue, with loser and jailbait being chased by bad guys and/or jailbait's boyfriend

*loser/jailbait sexual tension increases

*resolution and sexual fulfillment. somehow the wife always disappears.

dude was married five times. gotta wonder if he loved women, or hated them.

Lit J said...

That's the meanest, crudest, most horrible form letter rejection I've ever seen.