art by Melissa Mead
by Alex Shvartsman
Bob shuffled into his editor's office with all the confidence of a cat venturing into a kennel.
"Peter," he nodded.
Peter waved him over. "Come in, come in. Have a seat."
"I got your message," said Bob. "What's the bad news?"
"Why do you presume it's bad news?" asked Peter.
"I've been doing this a long time," said Bob as he balanced himself on the edge of the chair. "An editor doesn't summon a writer for an urgent meeting less than a week after a new manuscript has been turned in just to say how much he enjoyed it. So what is it, Peter? Is the publisher culling the herd again? Am I getting dropped?"
"Relax," said Peter. "It's nothing like that. I read the book, and it's mostly good stuff. I wanted to discuss some minor changes that would make the story just a little more realistic."
Bob settled deeper into the chair. "Realistic how? It's an adventure yarn with faster-than-light spaceships and laser guns."