Last friday I've received a small envelope in the mail, upon which the words F&SF Magazine were quite clearly stamped. It was, at last, that magazine's reply to my story "Love Machine", which was submitted to it about two months previously.
It was a rejection note.
Well, I must admit I'd have been tremendously surprised if my first submission ever to a know US SF magazine was accepted just like that, but still I couldn't avoid feeling just a bit of a disappointment. Luckily, friday was the day the Turntable became really fully operative, so whatever sadness which might have been involved was just washed away.
That rejection note, however, wasn't the standard automatic "thank you for submitting, it's a dead fish", or even the horrible "go learn english". No – it was a personal note from the magazine's editor, Gordon Van Gelder. He said that: 1. He liked the narrative; 2. He liked the translation; 3. The idea was just a bit too silly for his taste.
First thing I did come Sunday was sending the story to Analog. With some luck, in a month or two, I'll have their flattery too. And meanwhile, another story of mine is being translated ("Vegescan" – think of the possibilities!), and will be sent to Gordon as soon as possible. I already thought for a nice opening line of my submission letter:
Dear Mr. Van Gelder,
I gladly received your rejection note…