A Shareware Short Story: “How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story”
(Artwork: Bob Eggleton)
Around the time I was editing Subterranean Magazine’s cliche issue in 2006, I wrote my own short story based on a science fiction cliche (“Aliens! And humans! Having sex!!”). The story, “How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story,” was not printed in the magazine itself, but was printed in a chapbook for the 80 or so folks who bought the hardcover limited edition of the magazine. So you could say this story has had an extremely limited circulation — indeed, it’s easily the least seen published story of mine. Which I think is too bad, because it’s a pretty funny story (which, yes, features alien sex). I’d like to see it have a bigger audience
And so: Starting right this very second, a (zipped) pdf version of “How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story” is available for you to read and enjoy. I’m offering it as shareware — that is, it’s free to read, but if you like it, you’re encouraged to send a little money my way. How much? Up to you (but, you know. Not too much. It’s a short story, not a novel). You can send money through PayPal or through Amazon. Links to both of those are coming in a minute.
What happens to the money? Half of the money you send (after PayPal/Amazon fees are subtracted) will be donated to The Lupus Foundation of America, a favorite charity of Subterranean Press publisher Bill Schafer (who has graciously given me permission to use Subterranean’s beautifully designed and typseset version of the story). The other half goes to me, because it’s nice to get paid.
Why am I doing this? Well, because I’ve done it before: my novel Agent to the Stars was originally offered as a “shareware novel,” and did okay, financially speaking. This isn’t a novel, it’s a short story, and I’m curious to see what the market is for shareware shorts (or, at least, my shareware shorts). Basically, I think it’s an interesting experiment. Also, I think it’s a fun, fast story, one that folks will enjoy reading — i.e., if any science fiction story could make a go at converting readers into buyers, it’s this one. And finally, today I just paid a plumber lots of money to fix the pipes coming into my bathtub, and for a new faucet. I could use the cash.
If you read it and enjoy it, then you can pay me either through PayPal (send the money to “firstname.lastname@example.org” — Please put “STORY PAYMENT” in there somewhere so I can track it), or through Amazon’s Honor System payment thingy. Note: if you use Amazon, you have to pay at least $1; in the case of PayPal, there’s no minimum, but PayPal takes 30 cents + 2.9% for each transaction, so paying more than 30 cents would be, you know, nice.
Feel free to link people to this entry or to the zip file directly (links encouraged!) or to even host the zip file on your own site (although I really prefer a link, because I want to track the number of downloads). If you decide to host this on your own site, host it as the zip file because I include a note on how readers can pay for the story if they like it. Thanks. Also, since I know people will be curious about how this plays out, I’ll be sure to give status reports from time to time — downloads, sums raked in, and so on.
Enjoy the story!