An eBook challenge from PBW

PBW has issued a challenge:

I’m also challenging all you writers out there to do the same: write and publish a new short story, novellette, novella, or novel of your own in e-book form* and post it for download on your weblog, web site, or any host site on October 31, 2006. I’m using Adobe .pdf format because that’s what I’ve always used. You’re free to use alternate formats, but I’d go with something that allows everyone to read it. Your e-book can also be any length and any genre; the only requirement is that you provide free access to it (it doesn’t have to be a permanent addition to your weblog; if you have file storage issues I suggest leaving it up for a week or two.)

She’s offering prizes, too, so check it out.

Here’s my response: “Heaven on Earth,” a story I wrote almost two years ago and still love. It’s semi-autobiographical, inasmuch as my grandfather almost certainly had multi-infarct dementia. As for the science fictiony stuff, well, who knows. Papa was such a storyteller, I found it fitting to make him the star of his very own bubbe-meintze*.

We’ll use this post as the comment thread for those of you who decide to read my story.


*Fairy tale, tall tale. Literally (I think) “Grandma’s story.” In our family, bubbe-meintze meant, “What horseshit are you asking me to believe now?

Edited to add:

I received this in my email today:

I’m afraid we have an awkward situation here. Perhaps I should say I have an awkward situation. In fact, WORLDS APART #1 has been published and includes your story “Heaven on Earth.” I was aware that not all authors had received their complimentary copies, but after searching my email files, it appears that I never even sent you an author agreement.

All I can do is include the agreement (found below) and hope you will be pleased that your story has in fact been published. I have already printed a substantial number of copies and have planned to print more to take with me to LACON IV (World SF Convention) in Anaheim later this month. I have reserved a table in the dealers’ room.

You are certainly free to self-publish, but I would hope you might hold off a while.

I am going to hold off, at least until I hear back from him on my suggested compromise plan. In the meantime, I’ll put up a different story, maybe one of my silly/erotic ones. Stay tuned.



  1. Pat J says:

    I believe I’ll be taking up the challenge, too. This’ll be an opportunity to work on a longish short story whose first draft is complete, but unsatisfactory.

  2. kate r says:

    Damn. That publisher does business the way I would. (That’s why I’m not in business.)

    Congratulations on getting published.

  3. Walnut says:

    Not my first print pub — that would be another story published by the same editor. But thanks!