Random Rejection: The Leading Edge, “Draw”

It’s been quite a while since I reached into my giant pile of rejection letters, so today I spun up random.org and it told me to pick the third letter from the “L” folder. As it turns out, this is a rejection from the magazine The Leading Edge for my short story “Draw”, a science fiction Western, previously excerpted in a Teaser Tuesday.

The Leading Edge is a science fiction & fantasy magazine published by BYU, and it’s still in operation some 20-odd years after I sent them “Draw”. No doubt their continued operation is a reflection of their good taste, as evidenced by their very favorable/encouraging comments on my short story, even though they declined to accept it for publication.


Looks like a standard form rejection, but wait! There are comment sheets! Let’s check them out …

Thoughtful and extensive comments, but nothing stands out for better or worse
More thoughtful and extensive comments, and lots of things stand out! Sadly, one of them is a lack of coherence. But still!

I don’t think I ended up making extensive modifications to this story, which was eventually published in the genre mashup anthology Crossings, edited by Megan Powell.

Now, the astute reader will note that the second comment sheet indicates that “Draw” was “extremely original”, and may say, “Hey! A science fiction/Western IN SPACE! mashup isn’t all that original! Firefly already did it!” Ah, but although Crossings was published in 2004, I wrote “Draw” in the 1990s, thus anticipating Firefly by five to ten years. So obviously Joss Whedon must have seen a copy of my story floating around somewhere and thought it sounded like a good genre to pursue.

Browncoats everywhere, you’re welcome.

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