A while back, Howard V. Hendrix sounded off about people posting works for free online, calling people who do so “webscabs” and “Pixel-stained Technopeasant Wretch[es]”. Given that he’s the current VP of the SFWA, the organization for professional writers of science fiction and fantasy, and so many SFWA members have posted works for free online, it caused quite a bit of uproar. In response, Jo Walton, who is up for a Nebula this year, decided to turn this into something good and declared April 23rd to be International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day.
On this day, everyone who wants to should give away professional quality work online. It doesn’t matter if it’s a novel, a story or a poem, it doesn’t matter if it’s already been published or if it hasn’t, the point is it should be disseminated online to celebrate our technopeasanthood.
Whatever you’re posting should go on your own site. I’ll make a post here on the day and people can post links in comments to whatever they’re putting up on. If you are a member of SFWA, or SFWA qualified but not a member (like me) you get extra pixel-spattered points for doing this. If other people want to collect the links too, that would be really cool. Please disseminate this information widely.
I’m taking part, though my contribution is not a novel, story or poem. It’s a tutorial I sold to PC Plus UK last year on how to write a text adventure using the programming language Inform 7.
In the spirit of the day, here are some of my picks for what you might enjoy reading.
- April 29th, by Nick Mamatas. The aliens have arrived on Earth, and Jeremy is coming to grips with them.
- Bury the Dead, by Ann Leckie. A family’s Thanksgiving dinner, complete with family secrets.
- The Famous Ape, by Chris Roberson. Apes and elephants and the tensions between them.
- Missile Gap, by Charles Stross. Charlie’s alternate-history novella involving the Cold War. Currently on the Locus award shortlist for best novella.
- Parting Gifts, by Diane Duane. One of the few short works set in her Middle Kingdoms universe.
- Redemption, Drawing Near, by Michael Jasper. The aliens have landed, and they want a priest.
- Think of a Pink Ship, by Chris Roberson. Caution: contains adult content. The aliens have landed right next to Clay and Molly.
UPDATE as promised:
- Bad Medicine, by Martha Wells. A wielder of magic and something from the world beyond.
- Domovoi, by M.K. Hobson. The main character is a murder, a rapist, and a real-estate developer.
- Dragon Offerings, by Janni Lee Simner. Do dragons really like Oreos?
- Glass: A Love Story, by Jay Lake. Love and loss in an unusual urban fantasy.
- Immortal Sin, by Jennifer Pelland. A tutorial on how to outrun God.
- New Hope for the Dead, by David Langford. The approaching singularity can be tough on posthumans as well.
- The Queen’s Mirror, by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald. I’m a sucker for stories that play off of fairy tales.
- The Seventh Letter, by Sean Williams. Georges Perec would be pleased.
- Signs of Life, by Barbara Krasnoff. Drug use and deafness in space.
- A Terror in Flesh, by Andrew Plotkin. Zombies, plus something else I shan’t say for fear of spoiling the story.
- Thorns, by Martha Wells. Did I mention that I’m a sucker for stories that play off of fairy tales?
- Wellsprings of Genius, by Robert Reed. One of the more interesting choices for the day, given its topic of intellectual property.
- When Jabberwocks Attack, by Kelly Mccullough. What happens to classics majors who need jobs.
- Words Written in Fire, by Yoon Ha Lee. A very short story about a young firebug.