As it says inside issue #1, this is a lark—a fun exercise that I’ve set down to challenge myself. The challenge: write a story or two based on every issue of Wired magazine that comes out in 2011. Some stories will be weird fiction, some will be speculative, all will stem from the ideas stirred up by the most recent issue of the magazine. It would be wrong for me to not also mention Weird Tales, the excellent fiction magazine, which is also an obvious influence on this project.
This first time out, I was especially wary because I was telling a story in a new way for me—the Stephen King way. “The Pharmaware Rep” started with a small idea (treating mental illness for artificial intelligence) that lead to what you read in the story. The thing is, I didn’t outline it, I didn’t decide in advance what it would be About. I just dug the fossil of the story out of the ground, revealing it as I went, like King talks about in On Writing. This was unusual for me and great fun. I hope it’s fun to read, too.
If you have particular questions about the project or the stories, you’ll find a button at right that lets you send such questions. I reserve the right to ignore questions, obviously.
I should say something about the design of this first issue: It’s not there yet. I erred on the side of simplicity this time out because someone told me that fiction should be laid out modestly, with fewer distractions on the page. I remain uncertain about that, but the time I had budgeted for this issue was running out, so I went with a simpler layout.
Anyway, as of this writing the February, 2011, issue of Wired has just arrived, so it’s time to start thinking of a new story already. Time to let this issue go.
That is, after all, another lesson to learn from this project. It’s not just about writing stories, but about finishing them, parting with them, and moving on to the next one. Otherwise I’ll fret and fidget and revise a story for far too long. So, there’s that.
Thanks to the beta readers and perusers for this issue. Thank you for reading. See you next month.