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A long time ago, Stephen King discussed one of his science fiction short stories. I believe it was The Jaunt or possibly another story from Skeleton Crew. I do not remember where I read the discussion.

King said that he originally tried to get the story published in a science fiction magazine that was more prominent than the one that eventually published it. But the prominent magazine rejected the story because one of the elements of the story was totally unbelievable in terms of the science (he mentioned what it was, but I don't remember it). He said he agreed with them and that he should have changed that aspect of the story.

Does anyone know which story this is, and what aspect of the story caused it to be rejected?

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It was The Jaunt.

Google Books has an extract from Stephen King from A to Z, which opens its entry on The Jaunt like this:

According to King, in his afterword to Skeleton Crew, this story was originally submitted to Omni magazine but was rejected on the grounds that its science was too “wonky”. True enough, which is what makes it ideally suited for Twilight Zone magazine, where it first appeared.

And indeed, if you read the afterword of Skeleton Crew, a section where he explains the motivation behind each story includes this tale:

The Jaunt—This was originally for Omni, which quite rightly rejected it because the science is so wonky. It was Ben Bova’s idea to have the colonists in the story mining for water, and I have incorporated that in this version.

However, it doesn’t mention which aspect caused the rejection.

  • Good find, I may have misremembered that King mentioned what caused the rejection. – pacoverflow Nov 2 '14 at 17:29
  • Based on King's comment, I would say the rejection revolved around what the colonists were mining... – Omegacron Nov 3 '14 at 19:05

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