Sale! Clockwork Chickadee to Clarkesworld

Yesterday, while working at the theater, I ran to an internet cafe so I could check on the status of a prop I’d ordered. Two things popped up in my email.

1. Your account has been suspended.

2. An IM from Neil Clarke asking if I’d like to sell him “Clockwork Chickadee.”

So, while I’m on the phone with technical support, I’m also having a conversation with Neil about the story. See, the funny thing is, that I didn’t submit “Chickadee” to Clarkesworld. I sent it to Fantasy Magazine. Yeah… A week or so back, I had a conversation with Cat Rambo, editor, about how she liked the story but had reservations about anything clockwork, because she’s expecting a deluge of them due to the Shimmer Clockwork Junglebook issue. ((To which, I’m not allowed to submit anything because I’m on the staff)) But she liked the story, so she showed it to Sean Wallace, who then showed it to Neil and they decided to move the story to that venue.

This is, I think, the most roundabout way that I’ve ever seen a story of mine take, but I couldn’t be more delighted. It’s due out in June.

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39 Responses

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      Thank you! But, I think it’s the first time I’ve had clear evidence of the dangers of writing something for a themed anthology. The nice thing, and this is where going to cons comes in handy, is that I know all the editors so we were able to talk about timing of this in relation to the Shimmer issue.

  1. David Loftus

    It must be really nice to be “in the loop” editorially at the same time as you’re firing on all cylinders at home — when you’re creating — too.

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      It is, I’ll tell you. And surprising, too. This is really the first time this has happened. They’ve all rejected other stories of mine, even knowing me. Story first, but knowing an editor can help if there are any reservations.

  2. Charles Tan


    Well, editors/publishers scouting you is better than you scouting them! Less effort, same profitability/exposure. (And they can’t reject you for something you didn’t submit!) =)

  3. -e-

    Oh, I’m so very fond of this story (knowing some of the characters as I do). I’m glad it will be reaching a wider audience. Congratulations.

  4. -e-

    Ooh, how thrilling! I hope she uses her powers for good, not evil. Actually, who am I kidding… I don’t really care how she uses them! Thanks.

  5. Evan Nichols

    Excellent! And Congratulations! Nice to hit that tipping point where editors come to you.

    (And sorry to hear about the suspended account thing; are computer problems being some sort of Karmic Balance?)

  6. David Loftus

    >> When I’ve taken over the world, I’ll be sure to send out a press release.

    Ummm . . . won’t we already realize it by then?