It was a good run

On a sad note, SciFiction is a gone thing. Of course, wherever Ellen Datlow lands next will be the new hot spot for speculative stuff. Just hope the wait isn’t too long.

My selfish reason for being sad, of course, is that I cut my teeth on OMNI’s fiction* back in the 80’s. Which is to say Datlow introduced me to the short story, more or less. So I’ve been amassing rejection letters from her for about twelve years now. Maybe longer, even. I should rig them up in some kind of display case, really, charting changes in letterhead, all that. Going to miss that monthly rejection, though. You get addicted to it after a while. Well, that and the hope that there’s an acceptance in the mail too, one that’ll bring you (me) full circle, as far as the short story goes. Foolish as it sounds, I’ve always felt like I owe her one good story, as thanks for all the good ones she’s shared over the years.

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Exclusives from way back / the old site

I can only remember two–the first-first glimmerings of BIRD & FAST, then the full glossary for BIRD (okay: there were two novellas as well, but they’re gone, now, sorry).

That FAST piece, I wrote it deep in the morning, after having just lied to an editor at a party that I’d finished the novel already. so I went home and started it. and, BIRD: it ook forever to find the right and proper voice for that one. but then of course it turned out to be many voices. as for that glossary, it’s surely best FC2 had me edit it down so much. some of those terms, though, I miss them. anyway, three links, here:

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Back when

Early, scary stuff here. All of it right about fifteen years old. Not sure how I ever learned to write, really. Just that I had to. Included: “The Parrot Man,” which has a scene in it I’ve still yet to stop trying to tell; “West Texas Dirt,” which got me my first-ever fiction award, and $150; “Breakfast for Two,” which maybe had potential; then the first story I ever turned in for workshop, “Whiter Shade of Pale.” back when I thought song-lyrics were cool in stories. Or when I thought nobody else knew that song. I don’t know. Then the first story I ever wrote, sitting in another emergency room at nineteen years old, a blank spiral in my lap–all I’d had when the cops pulled me from World Lit, escorted me to the hospital for a three-day wait. What I remember best from those seventy-two hours–it was Halloween–would be this huge, big guy, who’d taken his kid trick or treating but got a flat, was changing it, got hit and dragged by a drunk driver. He was tore up all kinds of bad, of course, and really shouldn’t have been alive, but–I still get all shaky talking about it–the way he kept rising from that bed, fighting the lines and wires, fighting everything, just to live. It’s never left me. And, at the end of it, I had a story in my spiral. And here I am. But maybe I’d trade it just for that guy, I think. So he could have just taken his kid door to door, collecting candy.

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