As long as I'm providing "director's commentary," I might as well round out the trio for 2014. Except, apart from thanking Patrick Bazile once more for giving life to my beloved barbers and expressing my gratitude for appearing in four Drabblecast
episodes in one year, I don't have much to say about this story that I didn't already say in this interview
back when the story was published.
I will add that it was a particular thrill to finally publish in the illustrious Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
, a place I've dreamed of seeing my name since I was a kid. I didn't honestly expect to break in with this one. I sent it to Asimov's
first (it's atypical for them, but they do publish atypical stories, which they can't publish if they don't get), and Intergalactic Medicine Show
--both rejections. I tried for the non-shared-world slot at Grantville Gazette
(which involves submission via a forum), and one of their resident wet blankets immediately snapped that it was more than twice as long as it should be (I wasn't surprised, even if I don't share the low opinion most editors seem to have of their readers' attention span and intelligence.) F&SF
was the last professional magazine left that accepted stories of this length, so I gave it a shot.
The best thing about selling to F&SF
is that they pay on acceptance, so my acceptance letter, which was exciting enough, was wrapped around a check for seven hundred fifty dollars. The only drawback: by the time the story sees print, the money's long gone...