‘The Good Old Days Were Anything But…’

It’s been a personal goal of mine for some time–almost a decade, in fact–to get a story published in Weird Tales. I mean, it’s the grand ol’ mag, ain’t it? The greats graced its pages, back before they were great. Then, it wasn’t quite such a grand ol’ mag then, if you read between the lines. Lots of bounced checks back in them days.

Still, dreams are hard things to shake. 

I used to submit to Weird Tales once every six months or so, like clockwork. I say ‘used to’–I stopped a year or two back, sometime during Ann Vandermeer’s tenure as editor, after realizing that what I was then producing either (a) wasn’t up to snuff or (b) wasn’t what they were looking for, style-wise. To this day, Ann’s have been some of the most-cherished of the estimated six gazillion rejection letters I’ve received. I decided not to submit to WT again until I could produce something that was either more market-appropriate or simply so good that they’d have to take it.

When Ann Vandermeer was replaced as editor by Marvin Kaye recently, a hard, nasty, mercenary part of my soul (i.e. the largest part) thought, simply, ‘Life Goal Achievement: Unlocked.’  I knew Kaye’s work, I’d read some anthologies he’d edited and I figured my writing would sit better with him than it had with Vandermeer. Not quite a sure thing, but close.

Then this happened.

I didn’t think too much about it. Lots of crap books find patrons in the oddest places. Then, I read N. K. Jemisin’s thoughts on the matter.  After that, I read Foz Meadows’ analysis of why the book itself is so problematic. I followed the Twitter meltdown and I sat and thought and wondered and finally…

Finally I decided to get a new life goal.

I could get into Weird Tales. I’m good enough, these days. But I don’t want to anymore. Marvin Kaye may, or may not, be a racist. He may simply have made a bad judgement call. He may be working under the assumption that any publicity is good publicity or he may be swinging a vorpal blade.

Doesn’t matter.

I won’t be submitting to Weird Tales under its current management.

EDITED 23:13 20/08/2012: The editorial staff of Weird Tales appears to have had a change of heart. For the record, I haven’t.

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