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April 23, 2007

Your International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day Gift: The Durant Chronicles

Happy International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day! This is the day when all of us Webscabs celebrate our undermining of the dominant paradigm by giving away free reading to the lot of you. Because it just feels good. Tingly, kind of. Like a nine-volt to the upper lip.

And what am I giving away today? How about the first half of a young adult novel I wrote ten years ago, called The Durant Chronicles: Crisis at Tlada? It's filled with excitement, adventure, interstellar political intrigue, and, of course, alien fruits the size of your head. Now, you may ask, why give away only the first half, and not the second half? Because I never wrote the second half, that's why. No, I don't remember why; I actually like this story, so I didn't stop writing it because I was bored. Maybe I'll get around to it again if sufficiently motivated, and that's a big hint to you YA editors out there. In the meantime, however, I think the rest of you might enjoy what's here.

Here's the link. It'll take you to an .rtf file, which should be readable on just about anything electronic that reads text. Feel free to reformat it to your tastes. Also feel free to share (non-commercially) with family and friends, although I would appreciate if you write about it that you link back to this entry rather than host it on your personal site (that way I know how many people downloaded it).

This novel fragment is yours free to read; you don't need to pay me a damn thing for it. However, if you find yourself enjoying it so much that you feel the need to show your appreciation in the form of cash, allow me to suggest that rather than sending the cash to me, you instead send it to Reading is Fundamental, which is an organization that supports literacy in children and adults, and that's something I can really get behind. Indeed, I would ask all participants in International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day to list a charity and ask their readers to support it, in lieu of paying for all the delicious free reading they're getting today.

But wait, there's even more technopeasant goodness! As it happens, yesterday at Penguicon, the utterly fabulous science fiction/open source computing convention, I was on a panel with Charles Stross and Tobias Buckell about using free electronic works as a way to market one's self. The recording of that discussion is up now on the Time Traveler blog for your enjoyment, and yes, we talk about International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day. Because how could we not. And speaking of Charlie Stross, he's got something up today, too -- go here to find out what it is. I assure you, it's even cooler than what I'm giving away.

I'll post more links about International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day if I get a chance, but remember I'm traveling today. So -- if you are participating and you want to get the word out, drop a note in the comment threads! I'm all about the Technopeasant pimping today. (Note: if your comment gets trapped in the moderation queue, don't panic -- I'll release it as soon as I get a chance.)

Update, 5:39am: Jo Walton, who founded the day, lists more participants here.

Update, 6:40am: The IPSTP LiveJournal community also has a nice listing of free reads.

And of course I'll remind all and sundry that I have a standing entry of all the other creative stuff I've given away over the years.

Posted by john at April 23, 2007 12:00 AM

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Chris Roberson | April 23, 2007 12:23 AM

I'm in. I've posted the complete text of "The Famous Ape", a short story all about love, loss, Cold Wars, and monkeys. Or something like that...

Simon Haynes | April 23, 2007 01:56 AM

I've posted chapter one of a YA space opera I started writing in 2001. I aim to finish the other 95% one day ...

Frank Dreier | April 23, 2007 02:33 AM

Robert Reed is offering up his short story "Wellsprings of Genius", previously only available in a French translation ("Aux sources du génie"). It's about ownership and control of creative works in the future, and a just slightly ironic choice for this event.

mythago | April 23, 2007 04:11 AM

After a few technologically erroneous false starts (O irony!) I posted my Subterranean also-ran here.

Mary Robinette Kowal | April 23, 2007 05:50 AM

I have a short fiction offering for you in two forms at my website. You may read “Beauty Will Come” or you may watch and listen to it. By combining the old puppetry form of toy theater with my nifty new digital webcam, I’ve made a Pixel-Stained Technopeasant short film of "Beauty Will Come"

Ken McConnell | April 23, 2007 06:54 AM

I'm in, as nothing I've written has ever been published, it's all on my site for everyone to read at any time.

Some sci-fi, a vampire short story and the first draft of my mystery novel, at least up to chapter 16.


Jenny Rae Rappaport | April 23, 2007 07:18 AM

My unfinished short story can be found at my blog--click on my name to go there.

David Moles | April 23, 2007 07:30 AM

I've put up my first story sale from back in 2001, "On the Night," which has never quite made it to print. Related blog post, with links to previous, SFWA-qualifying technopeasantry, here.

Steve Buchheit | April 23, 2007 07:39 AM

I'm in with a short story called The Dead Are Busy.

Cassie | April 23, 2007 07:41 AM

Just when I think I may have a glimmer of understanding book publishing, you three threw me a thought bomb that now I have to figure out what to do with CC and all those other media! Thanks a lot, guys.

Sarcasm aside, it was a good panel - I had some trouble hearing bits of it and heard none of the audience questions - but I enjoyed it greatly and will probably listen to it again.

Thanks to TimeTravelShow for putting it up.

Matt Jarpe | April 23, 2007 08:38 AM

I just put another of my Asimov's stories up on my short stories page. That's three Asimov's stories ("Vasquez Orbital Salvage and Satellite Repair," "Captains of Industry" and "Language Barrier") and one original ("This Thing of Ours.")

That ought to hold them.

Stephen Granade | April 23, 2007 09:59 AM

My contribution is not a novel, story, or poem; it's Write a Text Adventure Using Inform 7, as sold to the UK computer magazine PC Plus.

Chris Gerrib | April 23, 2007 10:16 AM

I'm in with my near-future SF novel "The Mars Run." Click my name to read it. Warning - adult content and language.

David Wellington | April 23, 2007 10:49 AM


I'm in. It's my birthday, too!

My new book, Plague Zone, is here:


It's a story about a city full of zombies and a guy who wants to find just one of them--for very personal reasons. This is a book length work, serialized every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Julie | April 23, 2007 10:52 AM

My own offering, the first bit of a novel in progress.

Scott Marlowe | April 23, 2007 11:07 AM

I put the complete text of my fantasy novel, The Hall of the Wood, out on my web site as a free download.

RIF... great idea!

Rick Novy | April 23, 2007 11:44 AM

I posted mine last might. Short fiction called "What a Difference a Day Makes."


Marie Brennan | April 23, 2007 12:04 PM

Me too me too!

I've posted an older story, my Asimov Award (now Dell Magazines Award) winner "Calling into Silence." I decided to muck around with the benefits of pixels while doing so, too; I'd be interested to hear whether the games I played with font colors add to or detract from the story's effect. (Had I more time, I might have also tried to change fonts for those bits, but it turns out just dealing with color is a pain in the neck. No wonder people don't do it on a regular basis.)

Mary Robinette Kowal | April 23, 2007 12:24 PM

Acutally, it turns out that, according to UNESCO, today is World Book and Copyright Day.

Bjørn | April 23, 2007 12:24 PM

Oh, thanks! As if I didn't have enough reading to do already :-)

I ran Crisi at Tlada through LaTeX to get a nicely typeset pdf for printing out. Much nicer to read that way. I can email it to you if you want?

John Scalzi | April 23, 2007 12:31 PM

Sure, if you'd like.

bonnie-ann black | April 23, 2007 02:46 PM

the first chapter of my 2/3 finished novel "Blood and Resistance" (working title) is up on my website www.dubhsidhestudios.com. please stop by and comments are welcome.

Dr. Phil | April 23, 2007 03:14 PM

I've got two contributions, since you've asked nicely. This link to my blog has the text of a brand new first draft story "The Head of the Line", as well a link to today's Ficlets posting.

The story is based on an incident in a novel I was typing back in the dark ages before I owned a computer -- Royal manual portable with a chemical keyboard, in case you were wondering -- more than twenty years ago. Not sure where the manuscript is, or even whether it's worth resurrecting, but this story's fun.

All hail the Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Wretches of the World!

Dr. Phil

Jordan Lapp | April 23, 2007 03:49 PM

I posted the complete text of my story Leaving the Grand Design. It's a trunk story I've never shopped, but hey, now at least it gets to see the light of day (before it goes right back in the trunk!)

Michele Lee | April 23, 2007 05:15 PM

The first chapter of my dark urban fantasy novel in progress Corpse Blood is up here. Think post apocalyptic CSI with vampires and shape shifters.

Chang, for rizzle. | April 23, 2007 05:49 PM

Ooh, can't wait to read that.

You know, T. Buckell needs to do something with his hair if he's going to be on a panel with you and Sir Stross of Charles. I'm not sure what, though. Mohawk? Muttonchops with bald pate? Bald pate and jazz beard?

I. M. Bitter | April 23, 2007 08:44 PM

In the interest of helping to unite technopeasants around the world, I have posted a short story on my site, the link is below.


M. Bitter

I-M-Bitter.com, a short story, Not at Home.

Derryl Murphy | April 23, 2007 09:30 PM

I've posted "Last Call," chosen because it's going to be made into a short film:



Soni Pitts | April 23, 2007 09:33 PM

I posted a link to the download page of my ebook, "50 Ways To Reach Your Goals." It's a self-helpy thing I wrote during my life-coaching years as a web freebie. It's actually been pretty popular, and it's full of fun (and funny) helpful tips and tricks for making good on all those goals on your to-do list. :-D

Plus, it's CC licensed (there's a link to a .doc file on the download page for easier remixing), so you can play with it and share it at will.

Steve Buchheit | April 23, 2007 10:23 PM

Also, on my blog, ten story ideas just for you to steal and use. They're all listed as "story bones." Don't forget to read, "Da Rules."

jw johnson | April 23, 2007 10:58 PM

Seeing as how I'm not qualified to be a webscab all my stuff is free. Here is the first parts of one I'm working on :http://jw-johnson.com/?page_id=20

Chang, for rizzle. | April 24, 2007 02:55 PM

Ha! None of you have the speaking voices I expected you would! Stross sounds like the guy at my dry cleaner's whose from Lincolnshire. And someone from the BBC. Scalzi sounds like... a Scalzi. T. Buckell sounds like... well, I had no expectation of how he'd sound.

But the talk is awesome! And I'm loving Accelerando!!!

Arthur Durkee | April 25, 2007 03:44 AM

Five photos and a poem, all keyed to the high desert, and count me in:


Lee | April 25, 2007 05:01 AM

I'm assuming you don't mean only conventionally published writers and therefore am offering my YA fantasy serial MORTAL GHOST.

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