Schrödinger’s email

schrodingers-catAh! An email from magazine xyz, where my story has been held for the last several months. My fingers hover over the mouse, anxious. In this moment, there are two possibilities – acceptance or rejection. Once I click and read the email, the possibilities will appear to collapse into one cold certainty. But while the email remains unread (and ignoring statistical information from the past, which veers heavily to form rejections), both are equally possible.

At last I can no longer bear the suspense. I click on the email, and the wave function appears to collapse. What really happens, according to the many-worlds hypothesis, is quantum decoherence. When I read the email, the universe splits into those where my story has been rejected by the magazine (boo) and those where it has been accepted (yay!). Just like Schrödinger’s cat, which is simultaneously dead and alive, I am simultaneously elated and depressed in different branches of parallel universes that are equally real.

You can tell that 1) I’ve been reading cosmologist Max Tegmark and 2) I’ve been racking up the rejections.

To end on a happy note, in this particular branch of the universe, I just sold my sixth story of the year. Ghosts of Englehart has been accepted by AE – The Canadian Science Fiction Review. Yay!

About Rati Mehrotra

Science fiction and fantasy writer. I blog at: Thanks for dropping by!
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7 Responses to Schrödinger’s email

  1. Now that is the proper way to be rejected. Well done, Author.


  2. Widdershins says:

    Phew! You had me on tenterhooks right up to the end. Congratulations! 🙂


  3. Rahul says:

    The acceptance vector has clearly turned upwards…Congrats!


  4. Nice one, Rati. Congratualtions!


  5. Thank you, everyone! This post was almost as much fun to write as the story itself. And I have a seventh sale to report – ‘Four Faces of an Alien God’ has gone to LampLight. I’m pleased as a pickle!


  6. Bittersweet, but you know of course that there will be many, many rejections before the acceptance ones start to pile up. The good news is twofold, though. First, as long as you persevere it will happen and second, with each rejection comes the possibility of learning something new. All the best…


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