December 9, 2012


Somewhere around thirty years ago, I met Bruce Bethke for the first time – when I responded to an ad in a newspaper for a science fiction writers group seeking new members. I called, then sent in an “audition story” and was invited to join the group at the ORIGINAL, original Loft Literary Center (before grant money started flowing) in Minneapolis. One of THEM reviews books now, the other published a few books and short stories but no longer writes. Bruce doesn’t write much lately except for non-fiction; he is currently executive editor of STUPEFYING STORIES, an irregular anthology of new speculative fiction, he mostly works for a super computer company as well as presiding over Rampant Loon Press. These nuggets of wisdom can be found here: They are used with the author’s permission.

3. We have made a decision to turn our lives and our professional careers over completely to our New Agent. God help us.
As I’ve only HAD a first agent, this is a tough one to comment on, so I’ll have to rely on the blogosphere regaarding First Agents:

I gratefully signed with an agency, and we sold my first and second novels…in a two-book deal. But within twelve months, the blush of first love rubbed off the bloom, and I discovered that my first agent was not my match.” (

“I was about to give up hope and on the verge of falling into a deep depression, when a big fat letter showed up from…a Literary Agency…’Dear Mr. Manchee, I have read your most extraordinary book and would love to represent you…someone thought my novel was ‘Extraordinary,’ so I read [in] the contract proposal…that he wanted $1800 to do some polishing of the novel…” (

“…the first agent who took me on was a paragon of imperfection…we communicated only by phone, fax, or letter…She said my first novel was brilliant…I trusted her…she or her assistant rarely returned a call or replied to a fax…I never received a single copy of a rejection letter...The relationship was a black hole…I sent her a registered letter ending the relationship.” (

From what I can tell so far, God IS the only one who can help here…I don’t mean that in a bad way, but as a Christian, I have a decent idea about what I can control and what I have to leave in His hands. I can’t control anyone but myself (and if you put me in a room with a fresh Boston Cream Pie, I cannot even guarantee that…)

So according to Bruce Bethke, that is exactly what I’m going to be doing!

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