The Slush Pile
David Haglund has a good takedown of the schmo who copied a story from the New Yorker and got it rejected by a bunch of journals, including the New Yorker. I haven’t decided yet whether the prank exposed the inherent subjectivity of reading and judging fiction, or the complete arbitrariness of journal acceptances (the former is head-smackingly obvious, the latter less so). One thing it DID do, however, was make it harder for anybody to get published, because now all stories in the slush pile will be approached with suspicion—is one of these manuscripts trying to trick me?—rather than eagerness. That helps no one.