A few years back I wrote a gritty futuristic called "To Stop A War." If the link's still up at Baens, it's probably over there on the sidebar - or a rough version of it, at least. It's about a fifteen-year-old soldier in an American civil war between thinly veiled Liberals and the Religious Right. This ignorant kid, who learned how to shoot at Boy Scout Camp and lost his family to early attacks in the war, is picked up as a sniper for a front line battalion. They're fighting near Wichita, smack dab in the middle of the continental US. Things heat up and something in him snaps. He decides to kill the other side's general to stop the war.
For an unpublished story, I sure have gotten a lot of mail about it over the years, even just from folks reading it off the sidebar. They like the story. That's a good thing, makes me happy. I like the story, consider it among my best work.
It got picked up at Baens, made it all the way to Eric, who abruptly wrote me a nice note saying that in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, he didn't feel he could publish it. Commence disappointment.
It's since been to fifteen or twenty other paying markets, been short-listed a couple of times, but no takers. It's sitting now at Big Pulp. It's kind of against my religion to submit to a magazine that's bought prior stuff of mine. Doesn't look great on the resume. But I thought it might be a fit. I quite like the folks over there (big shout out to them - they publish my kind of fiction).
Now some fucker shot a bunch of soldiers at Fort Hood.
I'm waiting for my rejection letter to arrive any day.
I'm trying to be responsible, think ahead, try to fake you out with a grown-up move. But I'm a bit at a loss as to what to do with this story. Shall I post it here, where it shall fade quickly into obscurity? Shall I try to sell it for 99C on Kindle? (I'd need to find cover art, I s'pose.) I could put it in my own magazine. There's a spot for that kind of thing. I think we feature some cool-ass fiction in our Editors Corner slot, personally. (And I've had some welcome compliments on this issue's article, which makes me happy.) But self-publishing seems... cop-out- ish, somehow. I could put it up here as a link with a donation/tip button. Or do I just keep surfing for more markets?
Advice for me on this one?
addendum: I don't want anyone to think I'm belittling what happened at Ft Hood. this problem is minuscule in comparison. There's a memorial today. Please spare a thought or prayer for our lost soldiers.