Another rejection for The Devil atYour Heels. This is from Andromeda Spaceways, an Australian genre zine that has been around for quite a few years (unusual in the Australian scene). The editor was kind enough to send me the thoughts of the three readers who had been assigned my story. Their comments make sobering reading and have given me some food for thought (along the lines of ‘I’m crap at this game’). Hmmm…
Thank you for submitting to Andromeda Spaceways.
Unfortunately, your story did not pass the second
round of reading, so we must reluctantly release
Thanks again for submitting to us, and we hope to
hear from you in the future.
Some notes from the readers. These are provided in the hopes that
you will find them useful. All these are no more than the opinions
of the readers:
Look — it’s over-written and overwrought, but we don’t get much horror and a good editor could bring this down to a usable form.
I started skimming after a while. There’s no protagging here.
I felt that this piece was overwritten: “The road was a narrow bitumen
gouge stretching back into memory and forward into the unknown,
surrounded on both sides by verdant, empty pastures.” is quite a
lovely image, but with sentences around it also verging into the same
kind of lyricism, it gets a bit tiring for me to read. There’s a
little too much “business” — we, the reader, observe the movement and
thoughts of the narrator, rather than seeing the effects. This
distances us from the action, as does the use of passive construction
for action. I can understand some of these choices in a horror piece
as a way to build tension and a softer feel to the work before it
sucker-punches us, but to be frank, it just didn’t work for me.
Hope that’s of some help, and better luck next time!