Thursday, January 4, 2007

RunBinary Launches

A couple of days ago I launched my little pet project, RunBinary. It was about three or four months in the making, ever since I decided that I wanted to create a webzine with the theme of exploring the social impact of the internet in science fiction. Exactly one day later I realized I was too broke to pay for any other stories but mine, so I sat on the idea for a little while until I read Cory Doctorow's article in Wired about giving fiction away. I realized he had the right idea. So I'm going to write one story a month and put them up on this website for free.

I mean, what are short stories for, anyway? Why do we as writers try so hard to get in print? It's not the money. Magazines pay very little for the amount of effort that goes into each story. It's the recognition. That someone who has been deemed an Expert by the publishers had selected your work out for quality, thus proving to everyone who could have dared doubt that you are worth reading?

I know what it's like to be in an editor's shoes, so don't think I'm ragging on them. At work I'm in charge of vetting game pitches; I more or less choose what gets made and what doesn't (of course my boss has the final say, but I'm the first line of defense, so to speak). It bothers me sometimes what little quirks of concept or gameplay differentiate a winning pitch and one that's going to end up in my "rejected" bin. Luckily, short stories are almost by nature a solitary endeavor. I don't need to pay artists and animators and programmers to make them happen. I don't need a budget. While going through some more pitches I came to the realization: I don't need the approval of some editor somewhere. I just need to get my stuff out there and let people vote with their eyeballs. If it goes well, maybe I'll get some fans out of it. If it goes badly, I've just wasted 12 stories - which must have not been all that good anyway. I can always write more stories.

Not that I'm abandoning traditional ink publishers. I've got quite a good story that doesn't fit the RunBinary theme, so I'll continue to submit it and others like it to traditional publishers. I'm honestly just so damned lazy when it comes to formatting the story, printing it, putting it into an envelope and mailing it that this website is a more attractive option. The writing's the fun part. Mailing...not so much.

Well, if anyone ever sees this little experiment, thanks for coming. I guess we'll see how it goes.


tickle said...

i like your idea, chris.
you have a wonderful imagination,
and its awesome to see this part of ya.
*kudos for giving freely*

Chris Pasley said...

Thanks! I hope I'm able to keep up with the schedule.