Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wow, That Was Fast

Well, I sent off the novel on Friday, and on Saturday, I got an email from Charles Ardai, the editor/publisher of Hard Case Crime. And it was the nicest rejection you could imagine, but it was still a rejection.

Which leaves me in a bit of a tough spot, because it was so completely designed for them, including the length. 53,000 words is a really short novel, perfect for them, but a hard sell anywhere else. And I can't see trying to pad it out to 70-80,000 words. That's half-again what I've written already, and the story just won't support that.

And then there's the genre problem, which was part of what made Hard Case say no. Death Wave is a crime novel, a noir revenge thriller, but it has science fiction overtones and elements. Albert Einstein has an early cameo, and there's a MacGuffin which is a notebook by Philo Farnsworth, which gives it an alternate history flavor as well. And it's funny, at least in the early chapters, so it's hard to tell right at the start what kind of story it's going to be.

I tried to telegraph that ahead of time with my opening sentence, which starts with the words, "The day I baked Hyman Mankiewicz...," which at least lets you know there's death in the works (and death in some abundance, I should say), but I can see how that might throw some people off.

I suppose I could rewrite the opening to make it darker, and cut down on the speculative elements. But I wanted the book to have its own distinct flavor, and those things give it that distinctiveness.

So I'm getting ready to put together a submission for Tor, and I'll try to keep my eyes open for other possible publishers. I would really like to get onto Codex again and see if anyone there has a suggestion, but I kind of burned my bridges with them with my post-election blow-up.

Which sucks, because Codex was a great group, and I really liked the people. But I can't see going back there again.

Oh well. Just have to keep trying.

1 comment:

sargon999 said...

Well shit.