Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Demon Dragonfly

by Mickey Hunt
      The slave Mao Ping picked himself up from the street and dusted off his elegant embroidered robe. His cowardly porter peeked from behind a vendor stall, stumbled out to him, and bent over to reclaim the brown, cloth-wrapped package.

      Happily, Mao Ping thought, the mysterious package did not appear damaged. It might be the open umbrella of a princess, but was heavier, as he had noticed earlier when they collected it at the wood carver’s shop.

Demon Dragonfly (2644 words) was rejected 29 times.  It was a finalist in the 2016 Neoverse writing competition. Read the story HERE.


  1. Mo Yan, of the People's Republic of China, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012. His novel "Frogs" features an unwilling abortionist. The frogs are symbolic representations of the children she aborted during her lifetime. The official Nobel Prize website says: 'Prize motivation: "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary."'

  2. "Thank you for giving me a chance to read "Demon Dragonfly." There was a lot in this story that I liked, especially the interactions between Mao Ping and third son, but in the end the story didn't quite win me over. I'm going to pass, but I wish you best of luck finding the right market for it. I appreciate your interest in F&SF and hope that you'll keep us in mind in the future."

    C.C. Finlay
    Fantasy & Science Fiction

  3. Dear Mickey,

    Thank you so much for your Quantum Fairy Tales Submission. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept Demon Dragonfly. First off, we just want to say that we LOVED how creative you were with your steampunk approach. "Chinese steampunk=aweome!" as one of our editors said in reference to your story.

    While there were things we liked about your story, we also found some issues. One of the big issues we found was the relationship between Mao Ping and his master. We felt that slave-best friends relationship was a little hard to believe, especially with Chinese culture. Also, another editor commented on the ending being a little too abrupt.

    Like I said before, the editors loved your steampunk approach and would love to see some more of your work in the near future. Thank you again for your support to Quantum Fairy Tales. Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Ruby-eyed Cyborg

  4. I don't agree with the comment about the relationship between the two main characters, but I've heard the ending criticism before, and I extended the end of the story in the most recent version. Presently I have the story submitted to an anthology that the story fits to a T.

  5. I found another publication that might like it, so after closing in on on 30 rejections, I'm still trying.