The time it takes for a publisher to get back to you can drive some people bananas. There is an online magazine named "Clarksworld" which I hear accepts a manuscript in a mere 3 days. There is a lot of great fiction on the site and a request for donations and you can buy the fiction in book form. It seems a sci-fi magazine but it has good writing. Most publishers recommend you enclose a postcard so they can let you know that they've recieved your manuscript. Good Idea. There is even a site called The Black Hole which keeps statistics on how long it takes publishers to get back to you, which is a sci-fi, horror, fantasy site it appears also. There is a lot of help online for those of sci-fi persuasion. Cobblestone Press has a community you can join with workshops to help aspiring writers. It's all helpful, especially if you're wondering if your manuscript you are waiting to hear about so desperately isn't, really, lining someone's birdcage and catching poo.