I never blogged about this! Because I’m terrible at promoting myself, and this particular story has been a curious one. “What Lasts,” the flash piece accepted July of 2015 in Daily Science Fiction, was reprinted in August in Wilde Stories: Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction.
The collection itself is put together by Lethe Press, who do incredible work. Here’s a link to their Patreon. They do good work! Without more support, they won’t be able to have more annual collections like this one, which is a total shame. The last thing the publishing industry needs is to become more homogenized and bland and have Year’s Best collections that don’t publish me.
As to the story. It’s a big source of impostor syndrome for me, for several reasons. The least of these is the incredible TOC! E. Catherine Tobler and A. Merc Rustad and Sam J. Miller and Haralambi Markov and agh! All fantastic stories, engaging and beautiful, and it got a starred review from Publishers Weekly. So now PW has said of my story that “love transcends humanity,” which, you’re goddamned right.
Impostor syndrome, though. I can handle being in a big-named TOC. Totally fine with that. It’s a weird story because “What Lasts” is 800 words of flash sci-fi I riffed off at work. I love it, it’s a little gem, and it’s (loosely) part of my novel’s universe, but I wrote it in an ephemeral heat, showed it to no one, did no editing, and sent it to Daily Science Fiction. Which I say not to brag at all, but it threw me through a bit of a loop. Rejectomancy can be a confounding beast, so here’s Jared W. Cooper, with his more ambitious stories and plots and more rounded characters, his stories upwards of 3,000 words, and those are bouncing off with form rejections and lovely personals.
But I’m a slusher. That’s the game. I get that. Impostorism is not rational. So when I doubt, I just have to open this genuinely good-looking hardcover and see my own name.