Thursday, June 08, 2006

Life after Pub-date

The life of short story fiction is erratic, unless it's one of those very rare monster classics. You write the story, after months or years, it finds a few pages in a magazine or an anthology, and then after its short selling season, it vanishes off the radar -- in most cases, forever. Hey, if it was good enough to be published once, it's likely still good. I think every short-fiction author imagines an anthology of old favorites. I certainly did.

After several requests for real paper copies of some of the short stories I have available on my main web site, I decided to put together one or more chapbooks, that together will be the "Henry Melton's Best Short Fiction" anthology I dream will still come to be.

All this self-publishing stuff gives me the giggles. For so many years, I held firmly to the mantra that I had to send all my stuff through the established, ISBN-toting publishers. Maybe the grey hair is giving me the courage to try a few additional communication channels between my archives and real live readers.

So here comes Looking Back at Looking Forward, containing three short SF stories from the '70s and '80s. Of course it features the big one, Catacomb, that has gotten so many nice reviews in the gaming forums. Do I expect to sell a million copies? Hardly. But some people just like real paper pages and some of those like autographs.

The original magazines age so rapidly, and my copies are mine. I'm not selling those. So until I find a publisher for ten unpublished novels, it'll be handy to have this at conventions as well. Something to have in my hand for all those smiling faces who've never heard of me.

And three more old stories get a new life.


Henry Melton said...

Just an oops that doesn't deserve a blog entry of its own.

I composed an email message about the chapbook to send to my little mailing list of people interested in my writing. I looked it over and clicked Send.

And then realized in a flash that I'd forgotten to include the URL of the page where people could buy it! In a panic I quit out of before it could complete the send. I started up the mail program, but it immediately started to send again.
I quit it.

Going to the directory, I located the file 25026.emix in the Outbox mailbox. Dropping it on BBedit, I edited the file directly in the text editor, saved and started the Mail progam again, letting it complete. It was sent, and this time, with the URL included.

Whew! What a stupid mistake.

Chris said...

Am I on the list? I do not think I got the e-mail.