Saturday, 14 June 2014

In Praise of Mr Clarke

No, not Arthur C. but Neil of Clarkesworld.

Has he taken one of my stories?  No.  Actually, no for the the seventeenth time.

No, the reason for this praise is when Mr Clarke decides not to accept a story he takes no more than 48 hours telling me.  (Unless, of course, he has some email rule which rejects anything from my address after a plausible reading period...  Hold on, I may be on to something). took nine months to tell me they almost liked a story enough to publish it.  EscapePod have currently asked for an additional two or three months on my story 'The Soul of Solomon Kismet' which has gone to the 'final round of review'.  One possible outcome is that they take it and I'll be delighted, natch, but another possibility (probability? - I have no idea of the conversion rate) is another delayed rejection.

Before anybody thinks this is a criticism of those publishers that take weeks and months to accept or reject work I am realistic, I know how stretched resources are, and I know these frustrating waiting periods come with the territory.

Hence it's nice when somebody appears to be fully on top of their backlog.

Talking of backlogs I understand how easy they are to build up, but what I find harder to comprehend is a constant unchanging backlog.  Take Britain's two speed postal service.  I understand first class: get it there asap.  But what of second class?  Do they engineer in a delay?  Today's first class gets dealt with before today's second, but what of yesterday's second versus today's first?  And if they put in an extra half day yesterday would that mean they could process everything as first today and forever?  And what of the time taking to sort first from second, couldn't that be use to, ahem, get more post to us?  And will there be second class post in space?  (Had to remind myself this is meant to be about sci-fi).

Neil Clarke obviously thought my first seventeen stories somewhat second class.  I wonder how long he'll take if he thinks my eighteenth first class?


  1. That's hilarious! And I agree - I love submitting to Clarkesworld because of the fast turnaround, and so does everybody else. Great story today in Daily SF.