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Analog buys “The Whole Truth Witness”

My combined mail and e-mail contained six writing-related documents today:

  • The contract and check from   for "Lineage";
  • One form rejection;
  • One personal rejection;
  • One e-mail from a slush reader saying, "I like it, but the editor won’t, but I’ll send it along anyway";
  • One submission acknowledgement card; and
  • A letter from Stanley Schmidt at Analog, informing me of his intention to buy my story "The Whole Truth Witness", and suggesting a few editorial changes.


You can imagine the amount of jumping-up-and-down I’m doing. Below the cut, I have some more personal comments about what this particular sale means to me.

* * *

Analog was my father’s favorite magazine. He started reading it back in the days when it was still Astounding, and Campbell still at the helm. He used to force his college roommates to listen to long passages from its pages while he lay on his bed in his underwear. He bought me my first subscription when I was twelve. When I was fifteen and took my first stab at writing an SF story, Dad paid me the highest compliment he knew: "Send it to Analog." (I did, and actually got a personal rejection: "Starts out fairly well, but fails." In retrospect, that comment was maybe a bit too kind for that story.)

I stopped writing fiction at about age twenty, and my father died when I was 32, some fifteen years before I started writing again. When we were cleaning out his things, we found a few decades’ worth of Analog.

Given my father’s love of science fiction and the pride he took in his children’s accomplishments, I wish he had lived to see me start writing again. I wish he were alive today, for many different reasons.

But this story is for him.

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