Date Published: 01-27-2022
Publisher: Black Rose
Welcome to Berlin. Population: desperate. In the throes of the climate
crisis the green tech pioneers are king, and if you aren’t willing to be
their serf then you’re surplus to requirements.
Carbon credit for sleeping on the job. That’s the offer a dreamtech puts to
Mara Kinzig, and she jumps on it. After all, the city ain’t getting any
Then somebody changes the deal while she’s dreaming in the tank.
Now Mara has a body on her hands, an extra voice in her head, and the law
on her tail. Only the Vanguard, a Foreign Legion of outcasts seeking an
alternative path in the dust between the city states, might be able to help
her figure out what went wrong. First, though, she’ll have to escape the
seething streets of Berlin alive.
From the Author… How to Avoid the Rejection Blues
Before we get into this, let’s acknowledge one thing: Rejection is part of life. Unless you’re the dictator of some backwater archipelago with absolute control over your subjects, you can’t govern how another person will receive what you’ve created. Humans are complex, you know. They have good days and bad days. They’re susceptible to different moods. They get hangry. Being persistent in writing comes from accepting this. That short story you spent six months honing until it’s as sharp as a razor blade might be fantastic, but if an editor didn’t have their coffee that morning, there’s a chance they’ll punch the form rejection button just to get back at the world. Not your fault. Not the editor’s. Literature is like astrology: the stars and planets have to align. Moon conjunct Pluto, that kind of thing.
With that out of the way, here are five ways to avoid the rejection blues.
- Go for a bracing walk
Sound simple? You’re dead wrong. The trick is this: It either has to be freezing cold or extremely warm outside. For the former, make sure not to wear a jacket. For the latter, put that sunscreen back on the shelf and don’t even think about popping a hat on your head. Then walk around aimlessly for an hour. When you return home, you’ll be feeling miserable, but that’s thanks to hyperthermia or dehydration/sunburn, not because your 900-page opus about a corn-farming family in Iowa was rejected.
- Watch some videos of baby elephants frolicking on YouTube
Everyone likes elephants. Well, except hunters, but they’re not human. Five separate agents shoot down your satirical novel about sexy clones this week? Time to open the valve on the Internet Content Pipe and gorge yourself on perky pachyderms. Those baby elephants don’t care that your manuscript probably needs another polish, and neither should you. I mean, you should, but not now. Now you feast.
- Read The Circle by Dave Eggers
Leaf through the pages of this bestselling novel. Characters more wooden than the Mayflower, unrealistic dialogue, paper-thin plot piggybacking on then-current events, a jejune message hammered home on every page. Take heart. If something as insipid as this can find a publisher and shift a billion copies, there’s hope for your space werewolf trilogy yet, my friend.
- Buy yourself some doughnuts
Just received a rejection email where the magazine didn’t even bother to address you personally? It’s time for doughnuts. Buy a box of six and have a good old bite each time you feel the forces of self-flagellation gathering at the base of your skull. Once you hit that fourth ‘nut, you’ll either be riding a sugar high or ready to puke.
- Write something new
Write the truest thing you can. A sentence, a paragraph, a full piece from start to end. Then permit yourself to feel good about it. Remember: You’re doing this for you, not for anyone else.
About the Author
Grant Price is the author of three novels: Static Age (2016), By the Feet
of Men (2019) and Reality Testing (2022).
He has lived in Berlin, Germany, for too long.