Your International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day Gift: The Durant Chronicles

Happy International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day! This is the day when all of us Webscabs celebrate our undermining of the dominant paradigm by giving away free reading to the lot of you. Because it just feels good. Tingly, kind of. Like a nine-volt to the upper lip.

And what am I giving away today? How about the first half of a young adult novel I wrote ten years ago, called The Durant Chronicles: Crisis at Tlada? It’s filled with excitement, adventure, interstellar political intrigue, and, of course, alien fruits the size of your head. Now, you may ask, why give away only the first half, and not the second half? Because I never wrote the second half, that’s why. No, I don’t remember why; I actually like this story, so I didn’t stop writing it because I was bored. Maybe I’ll get around to it again if sufficiently motivated, and that’s a big hint to you YA editors out there. In the meantime, however, I think the rest of you might enjoy what’s here.

Here’s the link. It’ll take you to an .rtf file, which should be readable on just about anything electronic that reads text. Feel free to reformat it to your tastes. Also feel free to share (non-commercially) with family and friends, although I would appreciate if you write about it that you link back to this entry rather than host it on your personal site (that way I know how many people downloaded it).

This novel fragment is yours free to read; you don’t need to pay me a damn thing for it. However, if you find yourself enjoying it so much that you feel the need to show your appreciation in the form of cash, allow me to suggest that rather than sending the cash to me, you instead send it to Reading is Fundamental, which is an organization that supports literacy in children and adults, and that’s something I can really get behind. Indeed, I would ask all participants in International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day to list a charity and ask their readers to support it, in lieu of paying for all the delicious free reading they’re getting today.

But wait, there’s even more technopeasant goodness! As it happens, yesterday at Penguicon, the utterly fabulous science fiction/open source computing convention, I was on a panel with Charles Stross and Tobias Buckell about using free electronic works as a way to market one’s self. The recording of that discussion is up now on the Time Traveler blog for your enjoyment, and yes, we talk about International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day. Because how could we not. And speaking of Charlie Stross, he’s got something up today, too — go here to find out what it is. I assure you, it’s even cooler than what I’m giving away.

I’ll post more links about International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day if I get a chance, but remember I’m traveling today. So — if you are participating and you want to get the word out, drop a note in the comment threads! I’m all about the Technopeasant pimping today. (Note: if your comment gets trapped in the moderation queue, don’t panic — I’ll release it as soon as I get a chance.)

Update, 5:39am: Jo Walton, who founded the day, lists more participants here.

Update, 6:40am: The IPSTP LiveJournal community also has a nice listing of free reads.

And of course I’ll remind all and sundry that I have a standing entry of all the other creative stuff I’ve given away over the years.

37 Comments on “Your International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day Gift: The Durant Chronicles”

  1. I’m in, as nothing I’ve written has ever been published, it’s all on my site for everyone to read at any time.

    Some sci-fi, a vampire short story and the first draft of my mystery novel, at least up to chapter 16.

    http://www.w0pht.org/author.php

  2. Just when I think I may have a glimmer of understanding book publishing, you three threw me a thought bomb that now I have to figure out what to do with CC and all those other media! Thanks a lot, guys.

    Sarcasm aside, it was a good panel – I had some trouble hearing bits of it and heard none of the audience questions – but I enjoyed it greatly and will probably listen to it again.

    Thanks to TimeTravelShow for putting it up.

  3. I just put another of my Asimov’s stories up on my short stories page. That’s three Asimov’s stories (“Vasquez Orbital Salvage and Satellite Repair,” “Captains of Industry” and “Language Barrier”) and one original (“This Thing of Ours.”)

    That ought to hold them.

  4. Hi-

    I’m in. It’s my birthday, too!

    My new book, Plague Zone, is here:

    http://www.brokentype.com/pz

    It’s a story about a city full of zombies and a guy who wants to find just one of them–for very personal reasons. This is a book length work, serialized every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Thanks!

  5. Scott Marlowe – Rockwall, TX – Scott Marlowe divides his time between writing fiction, mountain biking, and designing software systems for the accounting and medical industries. He currently lives in Texas with his wife and two crazy dogs. You can find more information about Scott at scottmarlowe.com.
    Scott Marlowe

    I put the complete text of my fantasy novel, The Hall of the Wood, out on my web site as a free download.

    RIF… great idea!

  6. Me too me too!

    I’ve posted an older story, my Asimov Award (now Dell Magazines Award) winner “Calling into Silence.” I decided to muck around with the benefits of pixels while doing so, too; I’d be interested to hear whether the games I played with font colors add to or detract from the story’s effect. (Had I more time, I might have also tried to change fonts for those bits, but it turns out just dealing with color is a pain in the neck. No wonder people don’t do it on a regular basis.)

  7. Oh, thanks! As if I didn’t have enough reading to do already :-)

    I ran Crisi at Tlada through LaTeX to get a nicely typeset pdf for printing out. Much nicer to read that way. I can email it to you if you want?

  8. I’ve got two contributions, since you’ve asked nicely. This link to my blog has the text of a brand new first draft story “The Head of the Line”, as well a link to today’s Ficlets posting.

    The story is based on an incident in a novel I was typing back in the dark ages before I owned a computer — Royal manual portable with a chemical keyboard, in case you were wondering — more than twenty years ago. Not sure where the manuscript is, or even whether it’s worth resurrecting, but this story’s fun.

    All hail the Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Wretches of the World!

    Dr. Phil

  9. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, for rizzle.

    Ooh, can’t wait to read that.

    You know, T. Buckell needs to do something with his hair if he’s going to be on a panel with you and Sir Stross of Charles. I’m not sure what, though. Mohawk? Muttonchops with bald pate? Bald pate and jazz beard?

  10. I posted a link to the download page of my ebook, “50 Ways To Reach Your Goals.” It’s a self-helpy thing I wrote during my life-coaching years as a web freebie. It’s actually been pretty popular, and it’s full of fun (and funny) helpful tips and tricks for making good on all those goals on your to-do list. :-D

    Plus, it’s CC licensed (there’s a link to a .doc file on the download page for easier remixing), so you can play with it and share it at will.

  11. Also, on my blog, ten story ideas just for you to steal and use. They’re all listed as “story bones.” Don’t forget to read, “Da Rules.”

  12. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, for rizzle.

    Ha! None of you have the speaking voices I expected you would! Stross sounds like the guy at my dry cleaner’s whose from Lincolnshire. And someone from the BBC. Scalzi sounds like… a Scalzi. T. Buckell sounds like… well, I had no expectation of how he’d sound.

    But the talk is awesome! And I’m loving Accelerando!!!

  13. Pingback: International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day « Hyperpat’s HyperDay

Exit mobile version
%%footer%%