FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ebooks for Handheld Devices Usher in a New
Golden Age of Short Stories?
of Palm/Win CE Owners Discover eBooks
In 1950, "Grand Master of Science Fiction"
Damon Knight published the short story "To Serve Man,"
creating a classic that was later the basis of a beloved episode
of the "The Twilight Zone."
The chilling last line of the story is hard for anyone to
this timeless tale had been lost to new generations of short story
and science fiction fans—the collection that contained it was out
of print for many years. A
search on Amazon.com does return some of Knight’s latest books,
but also a frustrating list of out-of-print short story collections.
A direct search for "To Serve Man" on Barnes and
Nobles' online book store brings up a cookbook!
Yes, that's amusing, but you still can't read the story!
the Palm Pilot/Win CE Devices, and their millions of loyal users, may have just changed
that, and in the process revived an entire genre of literature—the
short story. The reason?
The emergence of "eBooks," and particularly short fiction
eBooks, for handheld devices.
are exploding in popularity," said Stephen Pendergrast, co-publisher
of the online short fiction eBook seller, Fictionwise.com. "Many
people won’t read a full length novel on the Palm, but do enjoy
reading stories that they can finish in a single sitting. The result
is an enormous increase in demand for quality short stories."
short story authors lament the fate of their work. Typically a professional-quality short story
is picked up for publication in one of several monthly or quarterly
fiction magazines. Then,
after its run there, most will disappear forever.
Some will be reprinted in anthologies—collections of several
authors’ work—and some authors manage to print a collection containing
about a dozen of their best stories. But even anthologies and collections
are soon out of print—in most cases in just a few years.
Not only are great works lost, but short story authors have
limited ways to earn a living from their efforts.
authors must either have a ‘day job’ or are forced to write novels
to make ends meet, even if that is not their strong suit,” remarked
Stephen Pendergrast. “Many authors have talents that naturally favor
short or mid-length works. Short stories are an art in themselves,
and require different strategies and techniques than novel-length
make matters worse, two major science fiction and fantasy magazines
closed their doors just this year. Science Fiction Age published
its last issue this May, and The Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy
Magazine just announced its demise this month. In addition, the
whole industry has been under pressure, with fiction magazine subscription
rates falling and publishers reducing page counts to make ends meet.
Knight commented, “I must say I'm delighted by the eBook reception
of my story ‘To Serve Man,’ which has been unavailable for many
years. I know that many
writers will agree with me when I say that money is important, because
it keeps writers alive, but being read is more important, because
it keeps the stories alive.”
Serve Man" is one of the best selling stories and currently
the highest rated story at Fictionwise.com (http://www.fictionwise.com). Other classic
short stories from Damon Knight are already available, and some
of his most acclaimed short works such as “Masks,” “The Great Pat
Boom,” and “Semper Fi” will be listed on Fictionwise by the end
is completely dedicated to bringing new and old short fiction stories
to Palm users in eBook format. The website has short stories from an impressive
list of authors, including: Robert
Silverberg, James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel, Nancy Kress, Mary
Soon Lee, Barry Malzberg, Tom Purdom, Mike Resnick, Michael Swanwick,
and Damon Knight. Many of
these authors' best works, including numerous award-winning stories,
are available at Fictionwise. Currently
over 100 short stories are listed on the site, with new stories
and additional authors being added by the week. Fictionwise projects
they will have over 500 stories available within the next six months.
we offer all of these stories in Adobe Acrobat and Rocket eBook
formats, our Palm/Win CE versions are by far the most popular,"
commented Scott Pendergrast, co-publisher of Fictionwise.com.
"We're finding that a lot of handheld device users were science
fiction fans in their youth, but as they built families and careers
time became a problem. Now, they are re-discovering their passion
for great stories, and they are reading them on the Palm whenever
they have a few minutes free. Ten
minutes left over during their lunch break, riding the train in
to work, or even standing in a checkout line gives them the opportunity
to enjoy a great short story."
which launched on June 1st, began by focusing on science
fiction short stories and is now growing its collection in other
genres, including fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, horror, and humor.
Fictionwise.com at http://www.fictionwise.com