Local author and News-Press copy editor, Ted White, had his short story added to a book, titled, “The Best American Mystery Stories 2019,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
The story, “Burning Down the House,” was written with science-fiction readers in mind, so the addition of it to a book of stories focused on crime/mystery came as a surprise to White.
White originally wrote the story in 2013. Its protagonist is an orphaned girl living in a dystopic future. White felt the story and the triumph of its main character made it worthy of publication, but the science fiction magazines to which it was submitted did not. It was roundly rejected.
In 2017, Gordon Van Gelder, one of the editors who had initially passed on the story, asked to see it again, this time for an anthology he was editing. The story had stuck in Van Gelder’s mind, and this time he bought White’s story for “Welcome to Dystopia” (OR Books), a collection of 45 stories, published in 2018. Though glad to see the story finally in print, White was convinced it would be lost in such a large book, until the news of it being added to the prestigious collection, “Best American Mystery Stories,” reached him.