A short story titled “The Last Hope” first hit Sheila Williams’ desk in early January. Williams, the editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, reviewed the story and passed on it.
At first, she didn’t think much of it; she reads and responds to writers daily as part of her job, receiving anywhere from 700 to 750 stories a month. But when another story, also titled “The Last Hope,” came in a couple weeks later by a writer with a different name, Williams became suspicious. By the time yet another “The Last Hope” came a few days later, Williams knew immediately she had a problem on her hands.
“That’s like the tip of the iceberg,” Williams says.
Since that first submission, Williams has received more than 20 short stories all titled “The…