Some months ago I saw an open call for a 007-themed anthology. For those who don’t know, the literary incarnation of James Bond is now in the public domain in Canada. Obviously, I didn’t get into the anthology, or else you wouldn’t be reading this post.
Rejection is no big deal. Please don’t assume this is some sort of sour grapes thing; it’s not. The table of contents for Licence Expired looks amazing, and I can’t wait to read it. Yet I still find myself in something of a unique position.
Under normal circumstances my rule with a story that’s been rejected from a themed antho is to put it into cryogenic sleep for six months. When I was slush reading I would always end up drowning in rejected stories from themed anthos. Nothing soured me faster on a motif than having to read 20 stories that explored it. The problem here is that there’s nowhere else to sell the story.
I now find myself the unintentional author of a piece of 007 fan fiction. Granted, I could try and self-publish it, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to go that route. Quite honestly, if this story is terrible, which it very well may be, I’d rather not have it up on Amazon for all time.
Instead, I made a very crappy cover in GIMP and posted it below. Also, I didn’t put any additional effort into editing, because at this point who cares?
A word on the story: the call for submissions to this antho wanted writers to “…combine the guilty-pleasure excitement of the vintage Fleming experience with a modern critique of it.” Keep this in mind when you find yourself wondering why my take on James Bond is a little less than conventional.