Fiction Vortex to Commence Sucking

If there is one thing the movie Spaceballs has taught us (and there probably isn’t), it is when you need to suck the atmosphere out of a planet sphere, a space-station-sized Megamaid with a vacuum cleaner is the way to go.

But when it comes to getting sucked into exciting new sci-fi and fantasy storyworlds, Viction Fortex is your best bet. (Like how I made that connection? Thought I couldn’t do it, didn’t you?)

(*Jump to Fiction Vortex and sign up for FREE EBOOK EPISODES.)

What’s Fiction Vortex?

Myself and six other writing buddies have been hard at work for the last nine months developing what has evolved into Fiction Vortex–a digital, serial fiction platform designed to harness on-going collaborative efforts from multiple authors in order to generate weekly episodes of fiction for readers.

The brainchild of a ragtag, vanguard of indie authors, Fiction Vortex emphasizes imagination and fun. Tired of industry standards, we’ve decided to no longer take crap, so you don’t have to read it. We are creating collaborative universes doled out via weekly episodes–each a jam-packed story boiled down to its juiciest goodness. Multiple authors and multiple serials means constant content pouring from lavish, continually-evolving story worlds.

These collaborative storyworlds are known as serial boxes. Multiple serials exist within each serial box, and the only rules for each serial is that they take place within the shared storyworld of the serial box and that they be predominately science fiction or fantasy in genre. The only rule for each serial box is that it publish a new episode (from one of its serials) at least once a week!

Now envision multiple serial boxes each publishing one or more episodes a week. That’s the power of the vortex to suck you in. Our initial boxes are the Hiberverse and Schism 8, but we’ll be launching more throughout 2016 based on reader feedback.

How can I buy FV episodes?

Fiction Vortex will open with the ability for readers to buy each individual episode ala cart for $1. (The first episode of each serial is free.) Soon, we plan on creating a subscription option that will allow readers to subscribe for an entire serial, and most serials will run around 10 episodes. That will give the reader the ability to read the first episode for free, decide they like it and subscribe to the rest for a discount of around 50% when compared to the $1 an episode price tag.

What do I do now?

The best thing to do now is jump over to www.FictionVortex.com, sign up for a free account, and start reading the free episodes available in our catalog. Make sure you click the option to receive email updates if you want to be kept in the loop with our upcoming specials, geeky swag offers, etc. (Word on the street is that we’ll be offering hand-crafted, etched, steel “Commander Jaeger Survival Swords during a promo.)

As always, I love to hear from you guys. Let me know what you think. Is serial fiction the wave of the future, or something that should die with Dickens? Are genre subscription platforms piquing your interest? Will you give Fiction Vortex a try?

Publishing Disruption has Only Just Begun

For those of you who haven’t heard, ebook sales leveled off during 2014. (Hear the collective sigh of relief over New York.) Some industry insiders see this as the end of an electronic fad. (http://www.idealog.com/blog/the-publishing-business-as-we-have-known-it-is-not-going-away-anytime-soon/) Others see it as the eye of the storm. (http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/how-to-survive-the-death-of-the-book/)

As a full time author and entrepreneur, I think storytelling will inevitably rediscover its natural, digital form. This form will look nothing like the two-year long process the publishing industry clings to today. Honestly, I don’t believe written storytelling in five years will closely resemble the ebook of today either. (And I’m currently making my living off of such packets of information.)

For my part, I tend to agree with Gareth Cuddy (http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2015/publishings-digital-disruption-hasnt-even-started/) when he says the true disruption hasn’t yet begun.

Fiction Vortex (http://www.fictionvortex.com) is my prediction on how that disruption will take place.

The brainchild of a ragtag, vanguard of indie authors (me included), Fiction Vortex emphasizes imagination and fun. Tired of industry standards, we’ve decided to no longer take crap, so readers don’t have to read it.

We’re creating serial fiction in collaborative story worlds called “serial boxes” (like sandboxes but for serial fiction. Eh? Eh?) These serial boxes each contain multiple serials that enable authors to push out weekly episodes through the Fiction Vortex platform. With every serial box creating at least one episode a week, readers will have no shortage of content taking place within story worlds they already know and love.

Will it work? The next 12 months will tell. If we can prove the model, the only ceiling is the number of digital readers willing to find their content somewhere other than Amazon.

Antiheroes and the Reefer Ranger

I’ve had several people ask me about the Reefer Ranger. More specifically, why is he a racist, self-righteous SOB? On that note, I’d like to ask all of you kind readers a similar question, but just a bit more generalized.

Can an antihero be a self-righteous, racist SOB?

Of course, the answer is yes. It is easy to fall in love with more reasonable and cuddly antiheros. You know the types. The Dukes of Hazzard and Malcolm Reynolds. But let’s face it. Those guys are barely antiheroes at all. In the world we live in today, they’re borderline, straight up heroic. An antihero, by definition, is supposed to be:

a main character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, and morality.

So let’s take a closer look at the Reefer Ranger as a black hat, antihero. He has courage a plenty. And boy howdy does he have idealism. But his ideals and his morality would be recognized by the vast majority of us (including me) as prejudice, to say the least. He is hypocritical, self-righteous and downright cruel at times. I can hear the violent protests from my home state of Texas as I type. “But he’s a Texas Ranger, for criminy sakes!” [Read more…]