Those wonderful, brave, and intelligent folks at Daikaijuzine published my short story, Power Unlimited, today. These are the wonderful, brave, kind, and intelligent folks who published another of my short stories, Cold War, last September.
Power Unlimited originally appeared in the April 1992 (and now defunct) ARAASP and my self-published anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires V1 2016.
Daikaijuzine’s editors and publisher have exquisite taste. Don’t you think?
The story behind the story
I first wrote Power Unlimited in 1984 as an assignment for a by-mail writing course.
Note that: by-mail. Not email, not online. You USPOed your finished assignments to your teacher, they USPOed their comments and your next assignment back.
I was overcome when my teacher, science fiction and technical author Michael Banks, wrote back he wished he’d written it, it was perfect, and I should send it out.
Which I did.
And which nobody bought.
I sent it to Weird Tales editor George Scithers, who wrote back he loved it but wouldn’t buy it because it used the long-established “aliens are among us” idea and, as good as it was, didn’t bring anything new to the field, but please do send him something else.
Which I did.
And received a scathing reply to stop annoying him or he would blacklist me.
Note that: not my work, me.
That reply was one of many reasons I stopped submitting my work to editors and publishers. Newly married, establishing my first business, living in Dartmouth College’s married students housing, being asked to contribute a monthly column to a technical journal, etc., I didn’t have time for that kind of hot/cold bullshit. Especially when it came without explanation.
I realize everybody has bad days. Spreading the bad to innocent others, helpless bystanders, etc., is an indication of psychological ill-health. It’s a form of abuse, specifically what’s called power abuse.
Power abuse occurs when A exerts force (emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological) on B so B submits to A’s actions or desires against their will or under duress (and for-what-it’s-worth, I define most forms of abuse as variations of power abuse)
You find power abuse in all industries, in all areas of life. A boss who intimidates their workers, threatens their job, etc., is guilty of power abuse. The parent who beats a child is guilty of power abuse. Rape is power abuse (please don’t blanketly assume rape is about sex. It rarely is). Professors sleeping with students. Co-workers harassing each other. Schoolyard bullies.
Power abuse, all, and any form of abuse kills one’s soul if not addressed and stopped.
I refuse to subject myself to power abuse and stopped it by stepping back from an industry (at the time) fraught with it. I’ve done that more than once in business and life and slept easier each time.
Now readers tell me it’s a favorite.
Remember, folks; editors know what they like, not necessarily what readers like. Good editors recognize good writing even when the story itself doesn’t appeal to them. Great editors promote writers/authors who write well even when a particular story doesn’t appeal to them.
Be patient. Keep your soul alive.