Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Short Story: The Mission

 It wasn’t every day that you saw a nun on the hover bus to the outermost part of town. Riley was stunned when he got on, and the driver had to remind him to pay. He sat down across from her; it was just them and some old fart snoozing in the back. According to his cube, she was of Korean descent with some Hispanic traits; her oval brown face--a face that said she was in her late-thirties--poked out of the black wimple. She didn’t have any luggage, only a small backpack on her lap.

Live from AE - The Canadian Science Fiction Review, my science fiction story The Mission.

If you do read it, please read the comment I posted below for the actual ending, which makes significantly more sense. I'm not sure how the ending got botched, but my guess: a rushed job. It was literally just the other day when I confirmed the edits. I had wanted to retain part of the original ending, because it matched the theme--and they said okay, we'll put the key lines back. And yes, they sorta did put them back, but not in the right order. So yes, please read the comment, I swear I don't write endings that jumbled up. 
*edit* Disaster averted! It's all fixed now. :)

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with the editing on the story--a story that I never really expected to sell pro, let alone SFWA-pro. Not putting the story down, I think it's a perfectly good, entertaining tale; it just wasn't something I thought the upper markets would be interested in. Maybe because it's not an emotional heart-string puller, maybe because it isn't pretension bullcrap.

The inspiration for this is kind of odd--or more of a realization. I had read The Third Attractor at A&A, and it stuck me how rare it was to see a non-bigotry religious character in a story. I'm not exactly religious myself, but I do feel bad about how much religion, especially Christianity, gets bashed in fiction. 

So I figured I'd write a story involving a nun and it wouldn't even be about religion. And here we are. Not bad for a first SFWA-qualifying sell, huh?


  1. I have no idea why AE published mine either, and the same goes for the story I sold to Nature; so now I'm thinking I should send stories where they have no shot -- not because they're written badly or anything, but because they're not the "pretentious bullcrap" most pro-zines publish. Who knows, maybe the editors think our stuff is fresh? Regardless, I enjoyed your story with the nun; she's now another one of my heroes.

    1. Who knows, maybe we'll usher in a new wave of good ole entertaining stories. Would love to see Clarkesworld turn a leaf in that direction (though my gut feeling says "no").