Read the first 10 chapters of my serialized Comic-con satire novel

In the early 2010s, I wrote a play called True Believers that was kind of a send-up and a love letter to comic-con culture. The play had a full production in Boston in 2012 (closing on the weekend of San Diego Comic-Con, when they first announced the Guardians of the Galaxy, which totally ruined the meta-level "I Am Groot" gag in the script), as well as staged readings at fringe festivals across the country, from New York to Chicago to Valdez, Alaska.

I later tried to turn that script into a novel. It was an interesting writing experience — trying to adapt your own work across mediums, from one that's explicitly external to one that's largely internal is a weird challenge, to say the least — and ultimately, nothing really came of the manuscript.

But now that we're all quarantine, and now that comic books themselves have also been quarantined for the foreseeable future, I've decided to serialize it on Medium, broken down into digestible chunks. The first 10 chapters are out now, and they each take (by Medium's calculations) about 4-9 minutes to read. I'll be adding new chapters every day through the end of the month. If you're looking for some nerdy laughs and nostalgia, it could be a delightful way to pass the time right now.

Here's a fuller synopsis of the story, in case you're not convinced:

It's the weekend of the big annual comic book convention, and Chad Mailer is a young professional comic book writer who hit his career peak five years ago with a series that he never actually finished, and he now wishes to re-ignite his career.

Read the rest

Svalbard: a "puzzle story" created by Lavie Tidhar and Jake Olefsky

Jake Olefsky writes, "I am a puzzle author interested in story telling. I recently worked with award winning author Lavie Tidhar to create an interactive sci-fi puzzle story called 'Svalbard' that we just published on a new website that will hopefully have more puzzle stories in the future. The idea is that you read a chapter and then solve a puzzle to unlock the next chapter. The story branches in a non-linear fashion, so you can take different paths to the conclusion. In Svalbard you travel along with Mai as she explores a utopian post-apocalyptic world and discovers ancient time vaults, forgotten robot enclaves and slumbering super computers. There are over 30 puzzle to solve and secrets to discover in this 20 chapter short-story." Read the rest