4 Jan


At first blush this looks like a standard form rejection. And it probably is–which is to say, this might be a template into which my pen name, and the title of my story, were inserted. Still, it took time for Stephen Mazur to plug this data into his Word document, and to scratch his signature at the bottom; his response is particularly charitable, considering that the story I sent him is not right for the magazine at all.

“The Sands” is a straight-ahead horror tale about five friends returning home from a Steelers game who crash their car off of a bridge and into a pit of quicksand. Fantasy & Science Fiction does occasionally publish horror, providing the story in question contains some element of fantasy, or science–of which “The Sands” has neither.

I was grasping at straws with my submission to MFSF, desperately trying to keep its chances for publication afloat, even as I knew that with every “genre” magazine that rejected the piece, my hopes for ever seeing it in print were fast slipping away.

“The Sands” is one of my strongest, strangest stories; but due to its gratuitous sex and violence, juxtaposed uncomfortably with long discursions on football and geology, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it will not find a place in the commercial short story market.

Fantasy & Science Fiction submission guidelines:


One Response to “Quicksand”

  1. The Hours Productions Network March 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Actually Ernesto, this story you are talking about does contain fantasy. That being the quicksand. The editor must not know Pittsburgh.

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