Exactly twenty-five years ago tonight, on New Year's Eve, 1996, I received a letter in the mail (yeah, snail mail back then) that I still remember fondly.
The letter was from the (even then) multi-award-winning Canadian SF writer, Robert J. Sawyer, and his award-winning poet wife, Carolyn Clink. Rob and Carolyn were guest editors of the next instalment in the annual speculative fiction Tesseracts anthology series, which would be Tesseracts6. And the letter was their acceptance of my story, "Spirit Dance," into the anthology.
It was my first sale. What a way to end a year and start a new one.
Twenty-five years ago. A quarter of a century. Yikes.
I've sold over two hundred stories since then and seen them published in twenty-seven countries and thirty-five languages. I've published three collections (Chimerascope, Impossibilia, and the translated La Danse des Esprits), a novel (The Wolf at the End of the World, which is a sequel to "Spirit Dance"), a writer's guide (Playing the Short Game: How to Market and Sell Short Fiction).
And I am currently finishing the last chapter in the final book on a new urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream Rider Saga, the first book of which, The Hollow Boys, will be released in 2022.
But it started with that first sale. "Spirit Dance" was also the first story I'd ever written (well, as an adult), so that made the acceptance even more special. And it led to my first award, when a French translation of the story won the Aurora Award after its appearance in the Quebec magazine, Solaris.
So thanks, Rob and Carolyn, for accepting the story and making that New Year's Eve one of my best ever.
And if the quarter of a century that's passed doesn't make us feel old, this picture from the launch should do the trick. Left-to-right: me, Scott MacKay, Rob, Ed Baranosky, Carolyn, Andrew Weiner, Peter Bloch-Hansen.