Free the Words

One of my very favorite writers of both novels and short stories is Lewis Shiner. Lew writes these amazing, intricate gems. His novels are always something to clear the calendar for, reading events made more precious because they’re relatively infrequent. His short stories are likewise always a great pleasure, and have become reading events of their own.

The very good news for you today is that Lew has decided to start putting his short fiction online for free — this is old stuff AND new stuff — at his new Fiction Liberation Front site. In a manifesto explaining why, he says:

There’s been no living to be made from short stories in my lifetime. But short fiction endures because it provides a way of introducing writers to new readers, and because there are stories that need to be told at that length.

For all these reasons I’ve decided to open myself to this uncertain future. Starting now, I plan to make all my short fiction and articles available on the web, both in HTML for easy browsing and in typeset PDFs for those who might want to print them. The process of conversion will take a while, but I hope to get to everything eventually, including a number of previously unpublished pieces.

I’ll also be adding new short fiction, music reviews, and articles from time to time, though I won’t guarantee that I won’t also publish short pieces elsewhere. I’m launching the site with three previously unpublished stories ("Straws," "Fear Itself," and "Golfing Vietnam") plus a major story from 2004 ("Perfidia") that’s had only limited circulation, and as a special bonus, my previously unpublished "vampire lawyer" screenplay, THE NEXT.

You read that right — you can go over there and read THREE previously unpublished stories; "Perfidia," which was originally published in Black Clock; and a vampire lawyer screenplay. If this isn’t a yay!worthy occasion, I don’t know what is.

So go over and give Lew your support. If it’s your first time reading his work, you won’t be disappointed.

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