Gordon Van Gelder at The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction usually sends very terse rejections — one or two sentences on a half-sheet of paper. But on my last submission I got a two-page letter, identifying the problems he had with the story and saying he would consider it again if I could come up with a way to address them. I’m honored to receive so much attention. I know that few editors these days have the time and energy to help new writers with their craft the way John W. Campbell did back in the day. However, I know that GVG is trying to provide more feedback in general, so it’s probably not just me. But it’s still keen that he took the time. Anyway, I did rewrite the story to address his concerns, and I’ll put it in the mail tomorrow. The rewritten story is more aggressive, nastier, and more science-fictional. It’s also not quite the story I had in mind when I started (the original major theme has gotten somewhat lost, although the plot, main character, and especially the climax are stronger), so if GVG rejects the rewrite (as he has in the past, alas) I’m not sure which version I’ll send to the next market. Whatever. I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it. Onward and upward.
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