Love is rejection.
Acceptance is divine.
To err is human,
To moo bovine.
A response so bad it jams in your fax machine
Is what you get for writing something mean
Or for writing something that isn't quite right
For the magazine or book publisher on this day or night.
Hi, Spud! the editor writes. Cute, but no cigar.
I hope you will excuse this form letter.
Thank you very much for letting us see your work.
This one has a plot, characters, and a story arc.
A step in the right direction!
I have gotten another rejection.
Time is flying....
Dear Spud--Inventive, but a little unfocused.
Sorry, Spud. Cute, but not for us.
Edyne asks some good questions at the end.
Too bad the story doesn't answer any of them.
Better, Spud. Keep trying. Ow!!!!
I'm afraid, however, that it's not quite what we're looking for right now.
The volume of work has unfortunately
Made it impossible for me
To respond to each submission individually,
Much as I'd like to be
I do appreciate your thinking of Asimov's, and I hope you will let us see
More from you.
And I can see
That I will...uh...
Words in blue are direct quotes (with some capitalization changes) from the number 2 rejection from Asimov's; words in red are Gardner Dozois's handwritten notes to me.
First published online at the Asimov's Forum, 2002.
Copyright © 2002 by The Invincible Spud and Bewildering Stories.