Please join me in welcoming MeiLin Miranda, a webfiction/weblit author and contributor to the Other Sides anthology. She has agreed to give us a run down on weblit, offered us some great links and an introduction to one of my favorite brands of storytelling!
More info on the anthology will follow her post. Enjoy!
What do you get when you add the ancient sociability of campfire storytelling to the serialized novels of the 19th century, and put it up the web? One of the most accessible and fun fiction reads around. Some people call it "web fiction"; some call it by the broader term "web literature," abbreviated as "weblit." Whatever you call it, it's growing in both availability and readership.
People have been publishing fiction on the web since the web began, though. What makes weblit different?
Weblit is usually posted on a weekly, biweekly or even daily basis, an episode at a time. It involves the audience in direct conversation with the writer, as the story is unfolding--not all weblit is written "on the fly," but a good deal of it is. Depending on the writer, an update can be posted hours or even minutes after finishing it; comments start coming in not long after. It's this direct discussion of the story in progress that really makes weblit stand out.
Readers rarely have the chance to influence a story they're reading, but in this case, readers' questions can push a storyline in directions unexpected even by the writer. For instance, I write a novel series called "An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom" that started out as serialized weblit. The questions my readers asked me about the story and its world--everything from why characters were the way they were to what kinds of cheeses they made in the various provinces of my fictional kingdom--helped me build out the world and the story in ways I would never have imagined. Readers tell me that seeing their questions become part of the story is thrilling on their end, too.
Another good part: These stories are almost always free, though I'd suggest throwing a few bucks at the writers now and again for encouragement's sake.
Finding weblit isn't hard. There are several good directories out there, including WebFictionGuide.com and Muses-Success.info, and an ezine that covers nothing but the web fiction scene: Ergofiction. If you're a lover of genre fiction, especially fantasy and science fiction, you'll find endless hours of enjoyable reading inside those guides.
For a quick introduction to weblit, Ergofiction has compiled twelve stories by fourteen weblit writers into a collection called "Other Sides" (including me, full disclosure). All are in the science fiction/fantasy/horror genres and run the gamut from a poet with sentient guns to gender-changing aliens. "Other Sides" is a free download at http://www.ergofiction.com/ebooks/ as well as in paperback at Amazon.
If you read weblit, you won't get smoke up your nose from a campfire, or ink on your fingers from a pennydreadful. But you may get a pretty darn good yarn.
Other Sides Anthology:
The advent of digital publishing has seen the rise of a new breed of writers: independent, experimental and unfettered by convention. This brand new anthology features a small sampling of these very writers, in a speculative fiction collection that will capture the imagination and dazzle the senses. The storytelling genius in this collection is most evidenced by its memorable characters: a young woman haunted by her ex-boyfriend's sweater, time travelers with a suspicious interest in babies, a gender-changing alien desperate to heal a loved one... In these stories, fourteen independent authors display the imagination, insight and wonderful originality that characterizes the unique world of online fiction.
Title: Other Sides
Genre: Speculative fiction
Length: 30,000 words / 12 short stories
Publisher: Ergofiction magazine http://www.ergofiction.com/ebooks/
Release Date: October 14 2010
Zoe E. Whitten lives in Milan with her husband. She describes writing as her hobby, but has put enough hours in over the last few years that it may safely be called an obsession instead. She is an avid fan of horror, fantasy and sci-fi, and her writing fuses elements from each genre into her weird fiction amalgams. For more of Zoe’s writing see http://www.zoewhitten.com/
G.L. Drummond is a gun-toting alien with a fetish for fur and four-legged creatures who writes fiction & tweets. She also wields a mean katana and is prepared for the coming zombocalypse. For more of her writing see
MeiLin Miranda is the pen name of Lynn Siprelle. She writes a series of novels called “An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom,” and the more comic webserial “Scryer’s Gulch: Magic in the Wild, Wild West.” Both are available in installments free on her website, MeiLinMiranda.com; Gulch updates Wednesdays, and History updates Mondays and Fridays. “History” book one, “Lovers and Beloveds,” is also available as an ebook and a paperback, for those who don’t want to wait an entire year to find out what happens. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, two daughters, two cats, a snoring floppy dog, and far too much perfume and yarn.
MCM is the creator of the animated series “RollBots”, and the author of “The Vector”, “Typhoon”, “Fission Chips” and “The New Real”, which features Darvey and Kaps and their adventures in the CSA. He lives at 1889.ca, as well as physically in Ottawa and Victoria, Canada, where he is also insane.
Lyn Thorne-Alder lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York State with her husband and their flesh-eating cat. When she’s not writing, or working her day job, she enjoys hiking gorges and old cemeteries, knitting, sewing, drinking wine, and watching the geekiest television she can find.
Chris Childs studied engineering, but now runs a retail store, and spends his spare time writing. Go figure. When not working on Addergoole with Lyn, he enjoys roleplaying and other creative endeavors, which is to say he spends almost no time actually in reality. When grounded, he lurks in upstate New York. http://addergoole.com/
Isa K is a webfiction author and entrepreneur. She publishes webfiction on community writing platform fluffy-seme (http://www.fluffy-seme.net/) and in the erotica letter series Coquette (http://www.cqtt.us/)
M. Jones is the creator and author of the sci-fi/horror/dramady web series 314 Crescent Manor. When she isn’t busy peeking into parallel universes, she can be found digging up dead Victorians in her series Black Wreath and taking care of the hearts of zombies in the upcoming series Frankie & Formaldehyde. You can find M. Jones and all of her nefarious deeds at her main creative hub: Bloodletters ink (http://bloodlettersink.com/)
Erica Bercegeay goes by Irk in most circles, for ease of use and sometimes for sheer descriptive purposes. She’s been writing and illustrating The Peacock King since 2008 — in her spare time she has a day job. When not doing any of those things, she enjoys bothering her cat. http://peacock-king.infernalshenanigans.com/
Charissa Cotrill goes by Char in most circles. Her persistence in editing, story doctoring and worldbuilding led to The Peacock King being written, finished, and polished. She is the other artist for PK and the website guru that makes sure nothing important goes boom. Char has two kids, a husband, a dog and two cats to ensure that nothing is where she remembers it. http://peacock-king.infernalshenanigans.com/
Terra Whiteman is currently working on her Bachelors in Biology, Pre-health, and Chemistry at Avila University’s School of Science and Health, and also serves as Vice President of Tri-Beta National Biological Honors Society (Phi Iota Chapter). The Spaces in Between is a stand-alone piece based on her web series The Antithesis (http://the-antithesis.net/). In her free time, she enjoys writing, drawing, and reading. Some of her favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe, Bret Easton Ellis, William Faulkner and Garth Ennis.
M.C.A. Hogarth has been many things—web database architect, product manager, technical writer, massage therapist and rather more side jobs—but is currently a parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens. This excerpt concerns one of them: the Jokka, featured in Strange Horizons and Oceans of the Mind. Her writing has also appeared in the Leading Edge, and her art in RPGs and on book covers. You can keep up with her current projects at her website, http://www.stardancer.org/, or Livejournal, haikujaguar.livejournal.com
A geologist turned web programmer turned writer and graphic artist, Nancy Brauer (http://nancybrauer.com/) has yet to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. She’s been writing, drawing, and cracking open rocks for as long as she can remember. Her latest works are the sci-fi/romance novel Strange Little Band (http://www.strangelittleband.com/) and the paranormal thriller Tori’s Row (http://www.torisrow.com/). Nancy lives in southwestern Virginia with her partner, a dog who’s allergic to nearly everything, and two allergy-free cats.
A.M. Harte is a speculative fiction enthusiast and a chocolate addict. She is the author of DarkSight and the Above Ground series, which is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans live underground whilst the infected roam the surface. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and enjoys procrastinating over at amharte.com.
Published by Ergofiction Magazine (http://www.ergofiction.com/), an ezine for readers and fans of webfiction. Established in December 2009, Ergofiction showcases the impressive depth and breadth of online fiction. The ezine is dedicated to suporting the Free Culture movement, patronage of independent authors and literacy worldwide, because a world without stories is no world at all.