Not long ago, I blogged about a short story I’d written — a “twisted little baby” that I was sending into to the harsh, cruel world of fiction-journal submissions.
Today, I am announcing that the story has found a home: the resurrected Plots with Guns magazine run by novelist and English professor Anthony Neil Smith. The story will appear in early 2008.
For five years, Plots with Guns ran some of the best crime fiction around. Everyone from established novelists to unknown writers to future stars contributed, and the ‘zine shined. But as Smith and cohort Victor Gischler began to publish their own novels, it was too hard to “balance the magazine with other concerns,” as Smith explained. Now, three years later, Smith feels he can balance those concerns a lot better, and he’s inspired.
Plots with Guns does feel like the perfect place for my story, “Upper Deck.” If you’ve read my other stories, you already know they don’t exactly leave you with visions of fluffy bunnies hopping through sun-splashed fields of daisies. I write about low-functioning characters doing low-functioning things, and with “Upper Deck,” the unacceptable behavior enters a new strata of psychosis. So I knew the story would need an understanding guardian, someone who sees the beauty in depraved activities.
In Smith’s acceptance note, the author of some wonderfully sick crime fiction called my story “NASTY and wonderful,” and he was waiting for my wretched little one with open arms. I sat back and beamed. Oh yes, my sick little baby had found its home, and Daddy couldn’t have been more proud.