We completed our second Saturday reading session with me participating remotely. After some initial glitches it went smoothly enough.
The stories this time were stronger in general. We had more debate than last session and fewer clear rejections. Part of this is due to each editor doing a first rejection of some stories, but much of it was due to more stories actually fitting the theme. We had to turn down a couple of potentially excellent stories, one because it recently appeared in Asimov’s — while we do consider reprints we will generally prefer to discover stories from smaller presses that deserve a wider audience than the other way around — and one because several editors were just not compelled enough to work through it. It was ambitious and fit the theme and drew together a great many styles and concepts, perhaps a few too many for 5000 words.
We issued a rewrite request and held one story for next session while we do some infighting in the background. The question there is not whether we like the story — everyone did to different degrees — but whether it fits the theme well enough for inclusion. It’s short and a nice change of pace from other stories we’re likely to print, so I’m holding out for ‘publish’ at this point.
Episode 2 of our weekly podcast is done and will be posted here soon. It’s well worth checking out, particularly for the brainstorming session at the end.