Monday, July 12, 2010

The world is changing like crazy, and I've been watching and waiting for my chance to jump in. It's scary... But, around last summer, I couldn't take it any more. Somehow, between reading all of Dinosaur Comics (backwards) and watching The Guild's music video, "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar," I couldn't stand working away at my fiction in silence. Sending it out into the void of magazines and editors who send back unsigned form letters or -- oh joy! -- a rejection letter signed with a real ballpoint pen.

Yeah, being a writer can be depressing. So, I invented SPACE HOUNDS! to stave off the dissatisfaction. I have no idea how many people read it (because my attempt at tracking those statistics was bugged, and I haven't figured out how to fix it). But! I can write it and then put it up where readers can see it, if they want to, immediately. And that feels nice. It makes the whole process feel a little less pointless.

However, I'm not really a comic writer. Sure, SPACE HOUNDS! is fun... But my heart always has been in my short stories and novels. And, the common knowledge among writers is that you should never, ever, ever put your fiction up on your website or self-publish in any sort of way. So, I was stuck.

Then, I found out about Peter Watts. I read Blindsight and loved it before discovering the story behind it: Blindsight was dead in the water, so Peter Watts posted it for free on the internet under a creative commons license.

The internet is changing things. But, I still wasn't ready to take that leap for myself. (Because, yes, I'm aware that my situation is completely different.) However, two weeks ago, I discovered the music of Owl City. Yet another success story via non-traditional, internety means. More importantly, though, it was a shot of optimism. Which is what I really needed.

So, the practical upshot? In an act of either manic optimism or desperate despair, I've published my novel Otters In Space: The Search for Cat Havana on Smashwords. I have no expectations. But... I do hope that any people out there who've been wishing they could read a work of hard science fiction starring talking cats, dogs, and otters will find it. I know it would have made me very happy when I was... well... any age. I would love this book at any age.

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