This is my "bureaucracy in Heaven" story, which I originally wrote at Clarion West (2000). It was the best-received of the lot and I knew it wouldn't take very much to make it publishable. And indeed I didn't make a lot of changes to it... it just took me until 2006 to get around to them. And then it took two years and eight rejections before it finally sold. Just another overnight success.
This story is the bookend to "The Curse of Beazoel", my "bureaucracy in Hell" story, which appeared in the anthology All Hell Breaking Loose (2005). However, although "Beazoel" appeared first, "Joy" was written much earlier.
One last reminder for Portland folks: I have a Space Magic reading tomorrow (Wednesday May 14) at Powell's in Cedar Hills at 7pm. Hope to see you there! And if you aren't in Portland, after tomorrow you should be able to order a signed copy from powells.com. Or you can order an unsigned copy from wheatlandpress.com and get it in front of me somehow, and I'll be happy to sign it.