My nineteenth Captain Quasar tale has been accepted for publication, this time scheduled to appear in the January issue of Bards & Sages Quarterly -- a publication where the good captain has never gone before. It took a little work to get him through the door, though. Here's what the slush reader had to say:
The characters are a little one-sided at times, with Bartholomew easily accepting his crew members' reanimations in exchange for having three zombies capable of doing grunt work. One would think that a captain would feel some sort of connection or sadness over the deaths of his crew. It also seems a bit arbitrary for Quasar and Hank to dismiss suicide outright. While Quasar says that aliens can't be possessed, Hank does get "possessed" in a sense that he is no longer in complete control of his body, so that is a little confusing as well. Overall, an interesting read.
The editor made me an offer I couldn't refuse: address each of these concerns, and she would reconsider my story for publication. I got right on it, adding close to 200 words that answered each of the questions raised. The end result? A better story overall, one I'm proud to see published.
I hope I never get to the point where I think my work is too good to be improved. I know full well my Captain Quasar stories are an acquired taste, and not everybody gets the humor. So when I find an editor who gets it and wants to help me make it better, the sense of accomplishment is twice as sweet.