Friday, June 6, 2014

Waiting in the Wings

It's easy to lose faith in a piece of writing you've produced, particularly when a fair amount of time has passed since you wrote it. We all look back in horror at those dreadfully earnest works of fiction we penned in secondary school or university and wonder, 'how on earth could I have thought that was any good?'

Horizon is a novel I wrote a number of years ago. It's a deep space exploration story which is also a political and ecological thriller / murder mystery with some cool science. After sitting on it for a while, I subbed it to the Harper Voyager Digital Submission callout in October 2012.

Like everyone else I waited. And waited. To be fair the Voyager bods were absolutely overwhelmed with the response. They got literally thousands of manuscripts and while at last update they promised to get back to everyone by end of January 2014 by the looks of the site there's still a few people waiting.

In any case I am one of the lucky ones, being contacted a few weeks ago to say Horizon was under active consideration. So it's back to the waiting game. Although having subbed the piece way back in 2012, I did start to worry that now - after writing another 170-odd thousand words in my Lenticular cycle - the writing from pre-2012 Keith Stevenson may be embarrassing to the 2014 Keith Stevenson.

There was nothing to do but read the blooming thing in anticipation of a call from Voyager, and - happily - Horizon does not suck. Some dialogue needs a tweak here and there, and I'd really like to get a professional insight from a Voyager editor on any improvements they think might be possible, but at least - if it does get picked up - I'm not going to embarrass myself.

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