Exciting news! For those of you who don’t follow me via social media, you may not know that my science fiction story “Daddy’s Girl” appears in this month’s issue of Redstone Science Fiction.
This publication is especially bounce-worthy for a number of reasons. First off, this sale was the one that qualified me to join SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) as a full member. Secondly, while this isn’t the first science fiction story I sold, it is the first one to be published where everyone can read it. And it has shown me that I can write stories set in an awesome space setting and sell them, which is a particularly happy thing to know.
I discovered this story’s seed while I was working on a bigger world building project. I was considering writing a YA novel with a space setting, so I sat down to figure out how my milieu would work. At a certain point I pulled my husband in to get answers to all my burning scientific questions (the immense perk of being a writer with a physics PhD and lifelong space enthusiast at my disposal).
We were talking about water, and the difficulties of procuring water in space. And he said something like, “Oh, you could just mine comets for their ice and haul it back in.”
Mind you, this was a completely tangential issue to anything having to do with the novel I was considering. But my imagination was instantly captured by the idea of an ice ship and the spacers who lived in it, constantly chasing after comets to bring back that oh-so-valuable resource, ice. (I have since learned, from Bill Bryson’s At Home, that there used to be an important market for ice in the past as well, pre-modern refrigerator and especially for shipping/transport issues, but I wasn’t thinking about this at the time.)
So I decided to write a short story to explore my ice ship idea further. At which point I found my character Lolly’s voice, began to understand her story, and was completely hooked.
For those of you interested in process, I wrote this story fairly quickly, did a quick revision and sanity check with my husband, and sent it off to my friend (and frequent commenter) E.F. Kelley to take a look. He identified an important scene that was missing (thanks again, Eric!), I added the scene while revising again, and then sent it off to market. I did one final revision pass before sending the story to Redstone in order to fall within their 4,000-word maximum length limit. (It had previously hovered just a few hundred words above that number, and I’m very happy to have tightened it further.)
Interestingly to me, the whole process was fairly painless, as has been the case with most (all?) of the stories I’ve sold, although certainly not the case for all the stories I have written. I imagine there is a lesson in this fact.
I hope you enjoy!