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.
So this week (or rather, last week, by the time this appears), I am (or rather, was) reading Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente. As one may guess, this is a retelling of the “Snow White” story as a Western, in which Snow White is a half-Crow gunslinger, the Evil Queen (known only as Mrs. H) is the second wife of a robber baron, the Huntsman is a Pinkerton agent, the Seven Dwarves are outlaws, and Charming is a horse. And yes, it’s still written as a fable.
This week I’m reading Husk, by D.P. Prior, in which a
bounty hunter “Maresman” arrives in the Old West alien town of Portis on the trail of an outlaw “husk”, or demon, who is apparently responsible for the deaths of at least five people. Hilarity does not ensue.
So this week I’m about halfway through Hallowed Ground, and at this point authors Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson have sufficiently muddied the waters that I’m not entirely sure who the bad guys are. Is it The Deacon and his band of revival/freak show misfits? Is it the mysterious traveling snake oil purveyor Balthazar? Is it both? Hmm, I bet it’s both. Oh, and there seem to be people around who can turn into crows.
So this week I’m reading Hallowed Ground by Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson, in which a questionable (is there any other kind?) old West preacher called the Deacon sets up a revival tent in a gulch outside the little town of Rookwood.
So this week I reached into my big folder full of rejections (and the occasional acceptance) and pulled out something new: A contract! Arriving as it did in November of 1997, this was, if I remember correctly, my first-ever contract, for a story called “The Short Route” (AKA “My Cousin Susan’s Favorite Story Of Mine Ever”), in which a tenderfoot from Back East discovers that there’s more than just cattle on his first cattle drive. The story appeared in “Vampire Dan’s Story Emporium” a tiny regional magazine published in Syracuse that ran from 1997 to 2001.