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Short Fiction Renaissance Enabled by Digital

Gary Gibson makes a good observation about the forms of fiction enabled by e-readers. From The Digitalist:

There’s a potentially very positive aspect to ebooks in
relation to short fiction I hadn’t previously considered.
Publishers rarely produce collections of short fiction in
meaningful numbers any more because they long ago ceased
to be cost-effective; much of my early reading was done
through the medium of collections by well-known sf [science-fiction] authors
that would be deemed financially unworthy in the modern age.

Yet without the requirement for printing, binding and
shipping, it would be nice to think that short fiction
collections could achieve some kind of rebirth in the age of
the ebook. Although there are certainly authors such as
Beckett and quite a few others with collections out, these
tend to come from smaller, specialist presses and thereby
both cost more, have smaller print-runs and are harder to
find. Ebook publication, I think, places such collections in
a better position to be found by the right audience. It
certainly means an extra potential revenue source for any
author who’s had, say, a dozen or so stories professionally
published and would like to be able to bundle them in an
e-format.

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  • bowerbird

    short stories, poetry, niche writing of all types
    can benefit from shedding the physical snakeskin,
    and leaping freely into the pool of digital copies,
    especially since it can jump-start a gift economy.

    why look for something as mundane as a paycheck
    when we can revolutionize money out of society?
    people think this is the age of hardware, but the
    best exciting possibility of our future is wetware.

    -bowerbird