“A Lincoln in Time” sees the light of day
My short story “A Lincoln in Time” is now available in Heir Apparent – Digital Science Fiction Anthology 4. This is one of my persistence success stories. Sometimes, after a story gets rejected at a few markets, I decide that the story isn’t really all that good and I stop sending it out. Occasionally, though, I still believe in the story and so I continue to send it out despite repeated rejections. “A Lincoln in Time” is one of the stories I still believed in.
A couple of times it came close, but the editors wanted me to change the manuscript in ways that conflicted with my vision for the story, so I ended up withdrawing it.
Digital Science Fiction was the fifteenth market I submitted the story to, and I was very pleased that they liked it, and that their suggested editorial changes did not conflict with what I wanted for the story.
I originally wrote this story for the first Codexian Idol Contest, way back in 2005. The contest involved submitting the first 500 words of a story in the first round, then next 1000 words in the second round, and the rest of the story in the final round. “A Lincoln in Time” was first place in the first round and first place in the second round. But when I read the ending of another story in the third round, I knew it would win. That story ended up at InterGalactic Medicine Show: James Maxey’s “To Know All Things That Are in the Earth.” For my story to come in second to that one is no shame.
To whet your appetite, here’s the beginning of “A Lincoln in Time”:
Booth raised his derringer, but it was too late—Lincoln had seen him coming. With an agility that belied his gangly frame, Lincoln sprang from his box seat, turning as he rose, and in one smooth motion drew a Smith & Wesson revolver and fired a bullet into Booth’s right eye.
I shook my head. The patrons of Ford’s Theatre began their usual panic at the gunshot. Ignoring them, I made my way to the box. Lincoln was comforting his wife as I stepped through the curtain. His hand moved for his gun until he recognized me.
“We need to talk, Mr. President,” I said, stepping over Booth’s body.
He nodded, so I activated the extemp field. The noise of the crowd vanished as they froze in place. I extended the field to include Lincoln.
“I must admit to being surprised by the accuracy of my shot,” he said. “Not that I was aiming for his eye, but I thought my moving might make me miss him entirely.”
To read the rest, go buy Heir Apparent – Digital Science Fiction Anthology 4 at Amazon. You’ll also get nine more stories by: