Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Rare and Beautiful Thing

I've commented in the past how I knew that I was lucky to have assistant editors weeding out the really bad stuff before passing the rest on to me. I am now, however, beginning to question that logic. You see, even as we brought in another assistant editor to help wrestle the pile of submissions into manageable size, I have also thrown myself hip-deep into the submission pile and been reading some of the first-round subs, too. And, oh, the joy I have deprived myself of. You see, there are not that many truly great stories. I wish it were otherwise, but anyone who reads or writes will tell you that truly great stories are just not common. Nor, it turns out, are truly dreadful one. Which does not stop me from enjoying them, mind you - the great and the dreadful?. Who knew reading slush could bring such wicked glee...

8 comments:

LMD said...

Oh, my ... I can see what you mean about the writing, although as a writer and writing coach/editor, I find it sad. I cringed more than laughed, but maybe that's the process of being bludgeoned with it for hours on end, rather than for a few minutes in a blog.

Edmund R. Schubert said...

Linda, It takes a special talent to write this bad - a talent I know you are lacking. ;-)

Nancy Fulda said...

>>I cringed more than laughed, but maybe that's the process of being bludgeoned with it for hours on end, rather than for a few minutes in a blog.

Laughter is a release of tension. And believe me, reading slush for several hours at a stretch can make one pretty tense. ;)

Dena said...

You're a sick man, but we knew that before this post. What disturbs me is thinking about some of my early writing sent out, which I'm sure brought the same level of malicious glee to some editor.

Mary Robinette Kowal said...

It is odd how the truly horrible story is almost as exciting, in its own way, as the great story. I have been tempted to buy two stories that were soooooo bad it was hard to believe that it wasn't deliberate.

Edmund R. Schubert said...

How about an issue of the very worst stories we can find. It's actually a rare story that can be terrible in an amusing way; usually they're terrible and painfully boring. These gems were so bad I wanted to go on just to see what other attrocities they could come up with.

Zompi said...

As a contributer to the slush pile(and a recent rejectee as well), it's good to know rejected stories can still bring a smile, albeit a tense one, to the face of an editor fraught with deadline worries.

Now, I'm going to go and write a truly awful story and send it in...mind you, it's possible I've already done that - hence the rejection : (

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