While I’m talking about other people’s stories that I’ve bought, allow me to note an upcoming experiment I’ll be doing here on the Whatever. While I was going through the submissions to Subterranean for the cliche issue, I came across the story “Who Put the Bomp?” by Nick Mamatas and Eliani Torres. It made it past the first couple of cuts for the magazine but when it came time to make final cuts, I cut it because it didn’t quite mesh with the other pieces I was planning to buy. The problem was that I really liked the piece — I kept coming back to it, and to be entirely honest, it was just so unclassifiably weird that it grew on me each time I read it.
So I bought it. Not for Subterranean Magazine, but for myself — paid the going rate I was offering the writers for Subterranean but paid for it out of my own pocket. And in return I get the right to post it here on the Whatever, which I plan to do in a couple of weeks: January 20, in fact.
I’m doing this because aside from liking the story enough to pay for it myself, I’m curious to see how something like this is received, and how effective the Whatever is in getting exposure for fiction (which is to say, someone else’s fiction — I’m pretty confident it’s been good for my own). This site’s daily readership is larger than the circulation of every science fiction magazine out there, save the big three of Asimov’s, Analog and F&SF, so potentially there’s a good chance of Nick and Eliani’s piece getting seen widely inside the usual SF circles — and being seen outside them to, since not everyone who visits the site is a hardcore SF reader.
Running someone else’s professional-grade fiction on a personal site isn’t the usual thing, but who’s to say it can’t be an effective way to show off the work, particularly when the site has a healthy and diverse readership? It’s an interesting enough question that it was worth me investing some of my own cash to check it out and see what happens, and I’m grateful that Nick and Eliani gave me permission to personally buy the piece and use it for this experiment.
As for all of you, I hope you’ll swing by on the 20th and check out the piece — I’ll post it in the morning and then keep it as the top post over the weekend (that’s the weekend I’ll be at the Synthetic Confusion convention) so there will be lots of time to read the piece and let me (and the authors) know what you think.
And thus we come to the end of a day of writing announcements and schedules. Thank you all for your indulgence.