02 July 2010

The Other Side of Editor Comments

I recently posted about how specific comments from an editor on rejections can be encouraging to authors. However, I just experienced the other end of the spectrum. I recently submitted a dark, near future SF story to a [to remain unnamed] magazine. The premise is that the penal system involves chemical treatments of inmates so that the inmates no longer experience emotion. You know, it makes them behave when they are in jail. The story is about the girlfriend of one of these inmates who finally gets out. The relationship does not go well and, at the end, the boyfriend ends up dying of an overdose of "emotion" drugs.

The comment on the reject was that my story was more of a "SF Romance" and their magazine didn't do romance. Huh? There's almost no romance in story other than the girlfriend's hopes and dreams at the beginning, and the death of the "boyfriend" at the end pretty much takes it out of the romance category all together.

So, in this case, it was pretty clear to me that the editor who made the personal comment read very little of the story, probably not beyond the first page. I'm not complaining about that. I confess I often don't read beyond the first page of a submission when it is clear to me it is not for Electric Spec. However, I would never made a personal comment about such a submission. In those circumstances, a form letter is best.

7 comments:

lesleylsmith said...

So, to be clear, you're saying form rejections are good?
Wowsa. ;)

David E. Hughes said...

Yeah, sort of like, "if you don't have anything good to say, then say nothing at all."

sanChy said...

Hey David you are right! anyways, I like the topic :))
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