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A web serial is not a breakfast food

When you say “web serial” out loud, it sounds like Spiderman’s breakfast. It’s a shame the term is so dopey, because what it stands for is a quiet revolution in publishing that proves the adage “everything old is new again.”

It worked for Dickens. Readers awaiting the final installment of his serialized, “The Old Curiosity Shoppe,” rioted. I fully expect you to do the same with, “The Quantum Times,” sci-fi-lite meditation on the multiverse rife with shady academics, sociopathic tech gurus, cheap booze, cheaper sex and the death of newspapers. I goes something like:

A decade after the suicide of his intern, disgraced journalist (ahem) finds himself having to help a troubled boy who claims to be from a parallel universe. The newspaperman (now low-rent blogger) thinks the kid could either be the redemption story he’s been seeking or another dark chapter of hardboiled sci-fi hooliganism and urban fantasy. It could be a helluva story ... if the journo lives to write it. And, of course, someone doesn’t want him to make his deadline … Bwahah.

This novel is part of a larger transmedia project I’ve been creating, which is, in part, my attempt to map a surreal fictional universe over my hometown and even my own biography (which could actually use less surreality, but at least I’ll have my fingers on the dial). So, yeah, basically, I’m trying to be a one-man performance art piece like Shia Labeouf, but with less arrests and tears. Or – to get literary – consider this is my attempt to do for Petaluma what James Joyce did for Dublin. But with more drinking and less – just less. So much less.

After a couple of triumphs participating in National Novel Writing Month (wherein one writes a 50,000 word novel over the course of a single November), I decided to conduct my rewriting process with an “open studio” concept. Most writers work in relative isolation, often huddled in the dank corners of cafes with little more than their angst and reek to keep them company.


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