Tag Archives: short stories

anyone interested in a short fiction collection?

I have a question for everyone who reads my blog: if I put some short stories I'd written together into a little collection and sold it at Lulu, would you be interested?

I ask this because I collected a few short stories into a limited edition chapbook for last year's PAX Prime, and it's been sitting here, in my computer, just sort of staring at me accusingly and asking why I didn't release it to anyone in the world who wanted it.

It's just four short stories – well, two short stories and two stories that are slightly-longer than flash – that haven't been collected in any other place.

It will be available worldwide (anywhere Lulu ships). I'll keep the price down, and offer it in print and digital editions (probably around $7 and $5 each, if I've calculated the economics on Lulu correctly) … but here's the catch: it will only be available for one week. (I don't have a good reason for that, I just think it's cool to make something that's a limited edition. Wait, that's a perfectly good reason; a cromulent reason, even.)

Here's the introduction to the PAX edition:

The Day After and Other Stories

Every year, before the summer convention season gets underway, I pull a few excerpts from whatever I plan to release in the fall, take them to my local print shop, and make a deliberately lo-fi, limited edition chapbook to take with me on the obligatory summer convention circuit.

I’ve done previews of Dancing BarefootThe Happiest Days of Our LivesMemories of the Future, and in 2008, I pulled together a sampler that eventually became Sunken Treasure

While Memories of the Future is 2009’s “big” fall release, it didn’t make sense to me to release a Memories-based chapbook this summer, because one already exists. 

It looked like there wasn’t going to be a 2009 entry in the traditional Wil Wheaton Zine-like Chapbook Extravaganza, until I realized that I have several pieces of unpublished fiction sitting in my office, just waiting to be published. 

“Hey,” I said to myself, “people keep asking me to write and release fiction, and I’ve been waiting until I have an actual novel to give them. But these things totally don’t suck, and I bet readers would enjoy them.”

“That is an excellent idea, me,” I said. “And have I mentioned how smart and pretty you are?”

“Oh, stop it. You’re embarrassing me,” I said.

Together, myself and I collected some of my (mostly unpublished) fiction and put it into this chapbook, for safe keeping.

Even though this is limited to just 200 copies, it represents a significant step for me in my life as a writer, because it’s the first time I’ve collected and published stories that I made up. (You know, like a writer does.) I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for your support!

Wil Wheaton



So, knowing all of this, are you interested?

in which progress is made

A few months ago, while playing Left 4 Dead, I found myself cowering in a closet, absolutely terrified to go back out and face the horde. I knew that I had to move so the game would continue, but I just didn't want to go out and take my chances. I didn't know at the time that L4D has this sinister AI called The Director, which keeps the game constantly changing depending on what the player does, adjusting things to keep the game fun. For example, if you're cowering in a closet and think you're safe there, The Director will send a bunch of the Infected to claw down the door and give you a friendly little nudge so you'll keep going.

Eventually, I was dragged out of the closet by a Smoker, saved by Francis, and went on to finish the level, heart pounding and my hands trembling just a little bit. It was awesome.

The next morning, while I ate breakfast, I was thinking about what it would be like if that was real. What would it be like if you really couldn't just cross the street any more, because there were zombies everywhere who wanted to kill you? What would it be like if you knew that, whatever you did, wherever you went, there would always be more zombies coming at you, night and day, until you died? In zombie stories, the characters are always heroic and noble (with rare exception, and even then we know those characters are just there so they can get their comeuppance) so I wondered what it would be like to write a story where the main character looks around and decides that sooner or later the zombies are coming in, the survivors are going out, and either way, they're totally fucked.

I wrote the whole story, doing my very best to ignore the various voices of doubt and such that keep coming back (yes, like zombies) no matter how many times I think I've killed them. It was really fun to write. I knew more or less what I wanted to do with it, and I sort of knew who the characters were, but I didn't stop myself from making things up as I went along, if something caught my eye and seemed worth exploring.

Yesterday, I finished the major rewrites, and though it still needs some editorial polish and Andrew's Red Pen Of Doom, I'm anxious to publish it with some other shorts I've worked on recently.