The Jan./Feb. 2010 issue of Interzone (number 226) contains my fantasy novelette "Into the Depths of Illuminated Seas." Of all the stories I've written, this is one of my favorites. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Which isn't to say the writing was easy. I've worked on this story for at least four years, with an earlier version published last fall in a small press zine edited by Pete S. Allen. But none of these earlier versions matched my original vision for the story.
And yes, this means I spent way, way more than 20 hours on this story. I wrote so many versions that at one point I forget which version I was working on, did a rewrite on a discarded draft, and ended up with two competing versions. Only a painful line-by-line edit was able to condense these two drafts back into a single story.
The version published by Pete came closest to my vision, and I owe him a massive debt of gratitude for preventing a major mistake with the story (without giving too much away, it involved me almost removing the daguerreotypes from the tale). Pete read this daguerreotype-less version and said a polite "hell no," which was the totally right thing to do.
If you read the earlier published version of "Into the Depths of Illuminated Seas," the final reworking in Interzone massively improves the love story and totally changes the ending, among other changes.
In my Interzone author's note I thank both Pete for publishing that earlier version, and Andy Cox and the IZ editors for taking a chance on this reworking. It's not often a previously published story is allowed a second chance at life, and it's not often a writer gets to work with so many talented editors on a single tale. So thank you, thank you, thank you!