HUNTER is here.

Hunter is a short Sci-Fi story set in a dark and desperate world. It is just about 2500 words, which is about the length of a story you'd read in a magazine. I'm not really sure what the appropriate cost is, so I'm experimenting with the Pay What You Want model that seems to be working really well for a lot of artists I respect and admire.

If I sold Hunter to a magazine, I'd probably get around $125 or so (assuming I could get the SFWA professional rate of five cents a word. I figure that at least 125 people will want to read this, so if all of them donated a dollar, I'd feel really good about this, and I'd be able to do it again in the future. If you're interested (and I hope you are) you can download Hunter and pay what you want (even the low low price of NOTHING AT ALL) at Wil Wheaton Books dot Com.

A couple of FAQs:

Is this about the amazing 80s cop drama HUNTER starring Fred Dryer?

No, it's an original work of fiction set in a world I made up. 

Where could I find out more about HUNTER and Fred Dryer?

Oh, I bet Wikipedia will help you with the show and its star.

Don't you mean "it's"?

No, I don't. This rhyme from Strongbad has served me well: "If you want to be possessive, it's just I-T-S … if you want to use an apostrophe, it's I-T-APOSTROPHE-S!"

Can I use something other than PayPal to give you filthy money?

Not at the moment, no.

But PayPal is evil!

I know. Luckily, you can stick it to me and PayPal at the same time, if you want. Yay!

What about Google Checkout?

I'm working on it. Well slap my fanny, I figured out how to use it. Yes, you can use Google Checkout. The only thing is, I couldn't find an option that lets you set your price, so I set it at $2.00, which seems to be the average people are choosing to pay.

Can I download the artwork and use it for the cover?

Yes! I tried to embed the neat image Will Hindmarch designed into the files, but apparently I haven't unlocked that skill yet.

Are you going to expand this story?

Maybe. I know a lot about the world and other stuff that would be spoilery, because I've thought about it a lot, but I don't know if I'm ready to expand this particular story much more. I think I'll be revisiting [spoiler] at some point, though, because it's very intriguing to me.

So I've decided to pay for this. What do you suggest?

A billon dollars seems about right to me, but most people are choosing between 1 and 5 bucks.

Can I print out the PDF?


I bought the [mobi | pdf | epub] but now I want [some other format] do I have to pay you again?

Of course not, but thank you for asking. You're a good guy or girl.

Can I give my copy to a friend?

Yes, but I'd prefer you link them to the Hunter page at Wil Wheaton Books dot Com where they can download their own copy. I hope that this will introduce new readers to my work, and if they're at my virtual bookshelf, maybe they'll check out my other work.

Are you doing an audio version?

I don't know. Maybe in the future.

Isn't Wall of Voodoo an amazing band?

Hell yes! I've been listening to The Index Masters pretty much non-stop for three days.

Will you put this in the Amazon or iBooks store?

Probably not. I'd like to keep it DRM-free and pay-what-you-want.

Okay, that just about covers it. If you like this, please tell your friends.

92 thoughts on “HUNTER is here.”

  1. Emailed you a new ePub. (With cover) THEN found IrishHatGirl has already told you the “secret” to doing this with Calibre. (Other than “by hand”) I’m sure your “geek points” are much higher than mine, but if you rename “.epub” to “.zip” you can open and see/edit the source material.

  2. I absolutely loved it, Wil! Great job! I downloaded the ePub version, threw it into iTunes and then synced it to my iPad. iBooks was perfect for reading it. I only paid you what I could for it, as my paypal account is seriously lacking in money, but I wanted you to know that I would have paid more for it if I could have. I would love to read more about these characters and this storyline, for sure. You got me hooked very quickly. I will be sure to tell people about this story for sure. Tak care and have a great day!

  3. You need to finish this!! Great start!! I liked it so much I was going to pay for it AFTER I read it, but my phone was being wonky, so I bought “Just a Geek” using the Kindle Android app. Loved that too!!

  4. Wil:
    Have you heard of the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield (
    I’ve not finished it yet and I’m not I’d completely agree with everything he says, but it does address a lot of how you’ve expressed that you feel when releasing your thoughts into the wild.
    Just thought you might like to take a look.
    On the subject of this particular work: all I can say is thanks. Thanks for taking the chance. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for all you contributed.

  5. I read last night (in the middle of the night) Just a gig, from Google books, just a portion though, I must buy this book and read the rest of it, it is awesome, Wil, it’s awesome because that kind of open honesty and naive purity (this is ment as a compliment)is quite a rare quality, the thing is that Wes Crusher is not just an abstract fiction, it is created with your help largly, so that is why it is your alternate reality (somewhat). I am just glad I stumbled on your website and I just wanted to say so much, maybe I’ll find a way to e-mail you, but I wanted to say thank you for being you and for writing, Just a Geek, even in its portions and missing pages from Google books was a great help for me last night and I am greatful to you for that (I’ll definitely buy that book )

  6. Flattr is a microdonation system.
    Users are able to pay a small amount every month and then click Flattr buttons on sites to share out the money they paid in among those sites, kind of like an Internet tip jar.
    (Paraphrased from Wikipedia)
    Could be that it’s currently more of a European thing… :-)

  7. I paid $4 up front, and now I’m glad that I did. You have a great story-telling ability, and the emotions and images came through very well. I know too well the jitters of allowing your creation to be let loose to the whims of readers, and my honest opinion is that you should have nothing to fear. No matter if you get negative comments, you have the ability to create a scene and get a message across to your reader that few have. An interesting and impressive story (as is the imagination behind it)!

  8. Great story, I liked the short story idea – it was helpful to actually finish the story in one reading. I like the outcome and I like how I couldn’t be sure this would be the outcome. Great writing.

  9. Some style guides or house styles tell you to capitalize after the colon, others don’t. If I wrote a style guide (and of course everyone has a personal one in their head) it’d say never to capitalize after a colon.
    Unless there’s internal inconsistency it really doesn’t matter what Wil chooses, and I really don’t think you can read anything into it unless such an internal inconsistency were present.

  10. I downloaded this on a whim and i am really glad i did so.
    I rarely read fic outside the fandoms I enjoy (lack of time/busy life yaddayadda) but I thoroughly enjoyed HUNTER and found the scene/imagery building and story to be delightfully easy to actually visualise.
    Many thanks for the pleasant and well written diversion.

  11. For what it’s worth, it’s fairly easy to make good (and validated) ePubs with Sigil – – which is open source and cross platform and reasonably WYSIWYG.
    You can then convert to multiple formats using Calibre.
    However, enough of the techie bullshit…
    The story rocks. You should definitely write fiction more often.

  12. I just read Hunter… as if I watched a movie, so well written, and very vivid. I must say that I hate horror stuff and scary stuff, but as writing – it is excellent. I like the mind-bending aspect and instant karma. The words flow smoothly and it takes you on a journey like a river’s current-effortlessly. But the darkness of that realm is very scary. Would be nice if Hunter would be a part of a big story, where events unfold from this hell to a better reality where mind soars to a totally different level, and because this Pyke felt sorry he would reincarnate to ….ok,ok, I am getting carried away. However, I wander, where this darkness is coming from?? This world is in your mind, Wil, and now it is in mine. And you want me to pay for that? Just kidding.
    Your writing is really good.

  13. Hey Wil!
    Just ran into you at the bar, I just wanted to thank you again for saying hi! So very cool of you. My co-worker Dave will be talking about this for a long time, so will I! Thanks again.

  14. I hope it will, that snowball has to start somewhere. 😉
    This video explains well how it works I think.
    What I like about it is how it looks at all of us as both producers and consumers of content, which is more and more what this internet-web thing does. Every personal diary blogger out there *creates* something (but he or she might possibly not get as much flattrs as, say, an awesome short story by Wil Wheaton). :)
    Above all it’s easy to set up, it can be as expensive as you like and then all you have to do is click to give money to things you like.

  15. So, I’ve attempted to download both the kindle and the epub version to my phone in the presence of wi-fi AND I’ve attempted to download them to my computer to then save to phone.
    I have failed at all of these endeavors.
    When I try to download them to the comp all I get is a 22kb file, and when I put that on my android phone it force-closes. Can anyone give me some advice? If I have to I can just print the pdf, but I really really wanted this on my phone.

  16. Hi Wil
    Good story bought and paid for, thanks.
    I liked the handy mind control plot device.
    Also the formatting and design felt like I was buying something ‘proper’, so well worth it.
    Noticed someone asked if you’d sold film rights and yep agree it’s got lots of mileage and if it’s got ray guns too, @lescarr would definitely be watching it.
    I’ve also done a quick review of Hunter here:

  17. Hey Wil, did the numbers work out on this little experiment? I hope so, I like Hunter a lot and would love to read more from where that came from. :)

  18. I still need to read this after buying it over the weekend. Then I got distracted by all the shiny things that you’ve written before. Then I spent 9 hours listening to Just a Geek. My brain has been Wheatoned.

  19. Really enjoyed this, chipped in $2 on Google and got the mobi version to send to my wife’s Kindle. She’s an avid reader and loved “Just a Geek”. Sure she’s going to love this, especially since it should just show up next time she syncs it.
    I read through the .mobi using the official Mobipocket software. Windows-only, I think, but an okay experience, especially if you’d like this on your Kindle. Thoughts on the story:
    I really, really enjoyed the world you built. Other commenters have mentioned how immersive it was, and I’d really second that. I would love to hear more about the eyestalked Gan in a future piece of fiction. I’m a bit of a sucker for invasion/resistance stories, so this really was a great experience for me.
    My favorite line: “Everything rippled, like his reality was the surface of a pond on a windy day”. That line really caught me. Not sure why, but I felt like it was the *only* way to describe what you were thinking, and was spot-on.
    The ending was pitch-perfect. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but I really liked the last line. Again, left me wanting a lot more. I can see this being a very strong piece in a short-story collection. Any chance we could see that soon?
    Oh, also: I’m a media composer who’s been trying out the donation model too. It would be interesting to hear your results afterward. I haven’t gotten PayPal set up, but I have had some success with Bitcoin, through which I’ve managed about $10 in donations for an album I put up for free/donation*, after what looks like about 100 downloads. Not a terrible conversion rate if you ask me.
    Thanks for the story, looking forward to reading more of your fiction.
    * If anyone is interested.

  20. So, I downloaded it a couple days ago, but only had a chance to sit and read it last night. LOVED it! It totally left me wanting more…what happens next? What can the other sisters do? How will they defeat the Gan? Gladly donated my share for this story. (And even though I had already planned on it, makes me want to buy your other books even more now! –Also, disregard the fact that the donation came in my previous married name…I never got around to changing the email account it was attached to, lol)

  21. Hey Wil-
    Long time reader, first time poster :)
    After reading the first few sentences of ‘Hunter’ I was like “Aw crap please don’t be another adjective-heavy load of……..
    ………and then I woke up, with no more words on the page I was ripped out of that sweet-ass world and cast back into reality. Great job flipping things around and turning that asshole Pyke into a blubbering, dying fool! I really, really enjoyed it!
    – Tanner
    PS- I’d also like to echo previous comments about you locking Scared Wil in the basement and pressing on with Hero Writer Wil. That guy has some real talent!
    PPS- I’d like the remaining 300 pages of this story on my desk by next Friday. Thankx.

  22. That was really good. I could easily see that turning into a series as popular as “The Hunger Games”. It was just as compelling, fun and well written.
    If you don’t mind, I’m going to give you a few bucks in person at ECCC.

  23. Wow, Wil! From the preview you gave I didn’t think I would like this, but I’m glad I read the whole thing. I like this story because I’m not sure how to feel, and that’s so much more satisfying than “Look at all these heroes parading around! We can has fanfare?” or “Boo you are totes evil and I hate you.”
    I also love how in only 2500 words, I’ve got a pretty solid sense of the world your characters inhabit. I’m not to that point in my own writing, and I’m glad that you do it, because while you’re the awesome Wil, you’re also just a guy, and if just a regular guy can do this, then heck, so can I!
    So, you know, well done you. XD I hope to visit Goa again!

  24. Hi.
    I’ve just finished reading “Hunter”. It’s a great story and I hope you will write more about this universe.
    You should be thinking about giving a French translation of your works, you hve a lot of admirers in France.

  25. That was a great read Wil. Using supernatural abilities to tell the story while getting out the necessary exposition was quite clever. It certainly would have made the story darker, but, I would have liked to hear more about Pyke’s atrocities. And, I am sure you could get some mileage out of Pyke’s fall from grace. He has no family or friends now but it couldn’t have started that way…..or if it did that would be interesting as well.
    Keep it up! I’d love an audio version and more RFB when you get the chance.
    Again great work,
    Nicolas Jackson

  26. Hi Wil,
    I just finished reading HUNTER and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I very much hope that the overall response to this has been positive and gets you inspired to write more and post the story’s continuation through your website bit by bit! :-)
    Hope to see you at Fed Con in Germany!

  27. After reading The Day After (fortunately before my dog took a liking to my copy), I had a feeling I’d enjoy Hunter. The way you write just draws one in; it’s so close to home, I guess I’m saying. With Hunter, I really felt vengeful the more the memories came. I’ve donated $5 because I really want to read more of your character-driven writing!

  28. I know I’m weighing in a bit late here, since I only recently discovered your blog. But I wanted you to know that someone out there agrees with you: Wall of Voodoo is an amazing band. Dark Continent is one of my favorite albums of all time.

  29. Hi Wil,
    Love seeing you on BBT and The Guild as well as anyplace else you pop up.
    Just watched The Guild Panel at the TFAW comicon and was ROTFL at how it went. Funny stuff!
    I heard about your writing efforts watching that panel so I decided to pop by and plunk down some money on the “Hunter” pdf.
    Can’t wait to read it (too tired tonight. End of a long day).
    I’ve written a few small things myself. One of my favs is entitled, “Living Hell”. I even turned it into an audio version one night. Would love to hear your thoughts on it.
    Hope to read more of your stuff in the near future. Good luck to you in all your endeavors!

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