Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Writing Like It's 1942

What a 'magazine' might look like

Long, long ago, Back in the Day, there were things called 'magazines.' They were made from paper - you guys remember that, right? - and in these old-timey, non-digital compendiums they published genre fiction. The old school science fiction masters like Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov would sell their shorter stories to them, and very often they would do serial works, as well. These magazines would publish a chapter per issue and people would eagerly pick up each installment, breathlessly waiting to see what happened next.

Sounds fascinating, you say? Well, a new site called JukePop Serials is bringing you all the serial content you can handle.

I lost most of my Friday to JukePop. The site is truly insidious because you can end up being referred from one story to the next by way of comments or clicking on tags. It's just one chapter! It'll be quick to read! Aaaand there goes your whole day. One of my Twitter pals sold a sci-fi romance to this site, so I had to go check it out (this gal always links some truly awesome stuff, like a pony creator or Mass Effect porn - in related news, there is Mass Effect porn! I love you, Internet.). While I was there, I was browsing around and there's a lot of cool stuff on this site. Romance, adventure, action - you name it. The quality of the writing is pretty even, too, and there are a wide variety of styles.

Mind you, some of the old school magazines are still around. Analog, of course, and Asimov's, as well. In actual paper, no less. (Ahh, paper. That takes me back.) JukePop brings the serial out of the 20th century. You have a virtual bookshelf that you can add your favorites to. You can also vote for the serials you enjoy the most. Loved that saurian/cephalopod interstellar romance? Vote that sucker up! The more votes a serial gets, the more financial incentives the author receives. It's a good way for the site to know what's popular and to incentivize the authors to keep spinning the tale.

One of the things I love about this site is that it is crowd-sourcing the financing of genre fiction, and it's doing it based on reader preference. What are people reading? What do they like best? That's what they pay the most for, and if that doesn't get us some cool and quality stuff, I don't know what will.

That said, it's early days yet.  I read a lot of promising first chapters, and that was fun. However, I am fairly certain that a few of the stories will reach the point where I am going to DIE when I have to wait a week between chapters. That will be awesome.

Start with the first chapter of Jenn Marshall's story, InterplaNet. Then just sort of go from there. [Stellar Four is not liable for lost productivity.]
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