When [DELETE] is Better Than [SEND]

Most authors are quite considerate people, especially those who realize how small and tight-knit the science fiction and fantasy community is, but every once in a while one takes out their frustrations on your friendly Slushmaster General. We call this showing off one’s authorial (un)professionalism.

Consider this love note I received after sending one of our standard “thanks, but no thanks” e-mails:

Oh really, then perhaps you’ve missed the fact that every professor to janitor who has picked it up loves it and has asked for a sequel.
Did you even read the synopsis? Clearly you’ve not even taken the time to read that.
This book is the diamond on the ground you fail to look down and see.
It’s on many levels and those who read it see this fact.
I’ll enjoy proving you wrong once Oprah picks it up, FOOL!


It’s good to know that at least the author was sincere.

Beyond the grammar itself, the most amusing part is the bit about the synopsis, because the author’s submission did not include one. I even went back and checked — my notes said “no synopsis,” but last it was possible that I missed it. My notes, it turned out, were correct: the synopsis wasn’t there, so of course I didn’t take the time to read it.

I understand the cathartic thrill we can get from writing an e-mail like this (I’ve written a few myself). And, given the fact that I see hundreds of submissions every month, the chance that I will remember the author’s name in a few months is actually quite small. Still, I believe this falls into the category of e-mail that, once you’ve written it, is best to “delete” rather than “send.”

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