Sometimes the news comes thick and fast. I was thrilled a week ago to receive a letter from Stan Schmidt, editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, telling me he was buying my latest short story. I had the good fortune to meet Stan a year ago at Worldcon in Los Angeles when I was invited to the Analog / Asimov party as one of the new contributors to Asimov’s. Asked if I had a story for him, I was able to say it was in the mail. Alas, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” was too “bleak” for Stan–hey, I’m Canadian!–but it was subsequently picked up by Holly Phillips for Tesseracts Eleven, which will be out later this month.
So, I sent Stan “The Right Chemistry,” a short, funny piece that made him laugh out loud, but wasn’t what his readers expect science fiction to be. I had been reading Analog all along, of course, but I got out all my old copies and re-read the short stories, trying to analyze what the commonalities might be. Then I wrote “Back” specifically for Stan, and put it in the mail.
One night I came home from work and checked the mail. There was an envelope in my own handwriting, and I thought, “Oh, which one rejected me?” I only had two stories out in circulation at the time. I opened the flap and saw the “Analog” letterhead and thought, “Stan had that story a long time; I really was hoping he was going to buy it.” Oh, well. Then I read the letter. His first three words were “I’m buying BACK!” Needless to say, I had to jump up and down a few times before reading
the rest of the letter. He had a couple of edits for me, which I sent off within the week.
Ahh. Good times.