Another rejection (hey, what’s new?). Drawing Dead (rejected by about five others now — each time getting to the second round…for large, respected publication). This time, it was rejected in the first round. I would’ve prefered a form letter, instead, he sent me this:

I thought this had potential, but the poker scene killed this dead.

Sigh, the aces lose to the royal flush. The worst clich√© there is, made all the worse with the Mage’s rules crap.

Now, there’s one thing to have constructive criticism. There’s another to just be a dick. And this guy’s a dick. He obviously never read past page three. You see, four aces losing to a Royal Flush is impossible? Why, because there are only FOUR ACES IN A DECK. If you have four aces, you have the highest hand (when there are no wilds). Because a royal flush MUST have an ace.

On page three, that was setting up everything — that the actual suit of the card (or the value) has no meaning whatsoever. And that someone smart (ie, not my hero) would learn this ‘mage’s rules’ that everyone was talking about.

But he didn’t learn the game, which meant he went into another game…where things got a whole lot worse.

Of course, he didn’t read past page 3. I know this. 100%.

I’m not upset because someone didn’t like my story. I’m upset because he sent me his opinion based on reading three pages of the story (it’s about 22 pages). So you don’t like it (and never finished it)– simply say ‘didn’t work for me’. Don’t be rude. Don’t be offensive.

There are lots of magazines that I really like their professionalism — even if they have rejected me (lots). Abyss and Apex, Strange Horizons, On Spec (they take a ridiculously long time, but they warn you about that)…

I know it’s not a bad story. I think it’s too long (7000 words) but Intergalactic Medicine Show — well, it made it to the editor’s desk where it was ultimately decided…it was too long.

I just really hate that I have to be professional, that I have to always be polite…and they can do whatever they want.

And let’s face it — this wasn’t even an editor. This was a first-line reader.