2008 has not been a good year for me on the short-fiction front. I haven’t written much, though that’s largely due to being in novel-mode for all but one month of this year (the month between me finishing 100K and hearing about the book deal). I slacked on submissions for a good three months or so after the book deal; my head was just kinda spinny for awhile there. =) The short stories I’ve been sending out haven’t sold yet; I keep getting “almost, but not quite” or “I liked it a lot, but” or “I held this awhile, but finally decided not to buy it” emails from editors. Frustrating, but that’s how it goes in this business. You either get used to it or you give up, and — well, obviously I’m still here. =)
But as a result, I haven’t sold a single story this year, and have had only a few published from among last year’s sales. That’s pretty sucky by my standards, so I’m going to have to buckle down and get back to work on that front.
Fortunately, I found a source of motivation: a good review! Here’s what SFRevu.com had to say about my latest-pub’d story, “Playing Nice With God’s Bowling Ball,” out in the August issue of Baen’s Universe:
“Playing Nice with God’s Bowling Ball” by N.K. Jemison starts with Detective Grace Anneton interviewing a little boy named Jeffy Hanson. Jeffy is upset because his friend Timmy Johnson has disappeared through a black hole, one that Jeffy had made. Grace, of course, doesn’t believe him but starts investigating the disappearance of Timmy. Jemison makes a fine debut here and gives the story a good ending. …I’ll look forward to more stories from Jemison and Crowell in the future.
(Alas, Baen’s misspelled my byline name, and this review perpetuates it. I’ve emailed Baen’s about it, but no biggie.)
So yay! They liked me! Now I need to write more shorts.
By the way — remember that Baen’s is a pay-to-read site, so you’ll need to subscribe or send them $6 to read the story, if you’re curious. They’re a great magazine, publishing lots of good up-and-comers, so please support them! Even without paying, though, you can read the first half of the story, which includes some hilarious and lovely illustrations by Russ Hicks. Check it out!