Weekend Getaway: Pratt & Valente

This week I give new work from two genius writers who live on opposite coasts of the United States. Catherynne M. Valente on the East Coast, and Tim Pratt on the West Coast. Despite living in such disparate locales, they have quite a few things in common.

Valente’s most recent novel Palimpsest, was published by Bantam Spectra. Pratt’s most recent work is the Marla Mason books (such as Spell Games), also published by Bantam Spectra. They are also currently using these most recent books/series to write new work that is being published online for their fans.

Valente is writing The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, which was intended to only be something that was referenced in Palimpsest, but never written. However, due to fan interest and some unforeseen circumstances, Valente has decided to write the book after all. You can read all the details here.

Pratt is writing a new Marla Mason story (a novella actually) that is a prequel to the book series. Pratt is publishing this online partly because of some unforeseen circumstances, but also because this is a story he wants to tell. You can read about Pratt’s reasons for writing the novella here.

Astute minds will note that both authors are actively asking for donations on their sites for people who enjoy the stories. But, both authors are being very clear that the stories are free for whomever come to the site. No one will be required to pay to gain access to any part of the story. And while both authors are people I care about, I am not sending you solely in the hopes of wringing  hard-earned money out of your family’s savings. I want you to find some fiction that you enjoy reading.

Both Pratt and Valente are talented writers. And I find it exciting that they are offering new work for free for their fans. I’m curious to talk to them and see how the experience went for them. Reader-funded work is not new; Shadow Unit (featuring Emma Bull, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, and Amanda Downrum) is reader-funded online fiction, and I remember Lawrence Watt-Evans doing something similar (and he still is).

So with the Shadow Unit and Lawrence Watt-Evans added in, that’s quite a bonanza of reading material.

[image from Flickr user euzesio; CC licensed for commercial use]

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