The Faery Reel is an anthology wonderland, which has a prominent spot in my fantasy bookcase, so it was with glee that I stumbled across a Q&A with co-editor Ellen Datlow. Sometimes, when I'd rather not froth at the mouth trying to revise 300-plus pages of my own fantasy tale, I take to adventures in the realm of Blog. This is where I found her hanging out at Canadian writer/producer Joseph Mallozzi's site.
A few things she said stuck with me, so I'm sharing. But first, if you don't know her, she has creds that stretch decades from fiction editor at Omni to co-editing the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror with Terri Windling. The Faery Reel has pieces by Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Tanith Lee, Kelly Link and more; Delia Sherman's delicious Catnyp is set in New York Between where a public library catalog is a lion and a changeling tries to research her human heritage. Okay, so now you know Datlow has serious experience and marvelous taste.
I was interested in a question to her about the future of sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres, especially since I read elsewhere that many editors are tired of epic fantasy. Datlow's response to the road ahead for speculative fiction: No shocks. Everything evolves.
That had a calming effect on me. She tossed the ball back into the writers' court, saying that markets fluctuate, and it is up to the writers to research before submitting. Then once you do submit to appropriate places, work on something else. If you get a dreaded rejection, just send it out again and again and keep writing other stuff. In simple terms, she said if you don't submit, you don't get published.
It made me think of an analogy which may work or not for you. I'm going to think of writing as a river flowing, not a backyard pond. So the work goes continually out into the wider world and doesn't sit around waiting for someone to discover it on the back 40. (acres, in ranch lingo, and, no, I'm not a cowgirl, sorry). As always, love to hear any reaction.