Sleepers will be appearing in the Fall issue of Deep Magic released next month. Deep Magic is pro-payment magazine that is, in their own words, “dedicated to professional quality fantasy and science fiction that is free of graphic violence, sex and vulgarity, and with almost no profanity.” They’ve recently re-opened for publishing, so check them out for submissions if you’re a writer. Editions are $3.99 AUD, links on their page.
About the story
Sleepers is a two-thousand word short I wrote back in my days as a sleep tech for a Melbourne tertiary hospital and sleep research assistant at Monash University. I think my first completed draft was 2010, but certainly it has been beta read and edited a few times since then.
I read articles partly out of interest in expanding knowledge of my field, and partly because new science is exciting. Researchers recently had been able to use transcranial electromagnetic stimulation to stimulate slow-wave sleep in the brain (I’m not sure this is the paper I read but it’s more information if you would like to read about it). At the time more was being discovered about how deep, slow-wave sleep appears needed for healing from trauma, and induced comas were already used for people healing from severe trauma.
From that came my regeneration labs, and somewhere, the idea of two people whose electromagnetic signals crossed and came together. A love story blossomed out of that to create Sleepers.
Persistence paid off
Sleepers went to twelve professionally-paying markets (6c/word) before it was accepted. I have a note in my records that it first went out on sub on the 25th of January 2015. It sat at several major markets for over 6 months. I was lucky to get a little encouragement early which kept me optimistic about its chances. A little bit of luck happened to connect me to Deep Magic, and as I read more about the e-zine, I realised it would be a perfect home for this story.
Sleepers was the first piece of my own work that I’ve believed in, and the reason I returned to writing. There’s a beautiful symmetry in this story being my first professional-rate publication.
Publishing is one part luck, one part hard work and one part persistence, and just for this moment, I am savouring this one small moment of intersection.
Please check out the Fall 2018 Issue of Deep Magic in September for this story, and if you liked Sleepers and/or others, please do some authors a favour and leave a review (Amazon, Goodreads, anywhere really).