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Saturday 1 April 2006

New P.O.D. Press to Publish Collections of Words

Wheatland Press and Prime Books have agreed to co-sponsor a new print-on-demand (POD) imprint, Whime Press, that will focus on bringing into print all of the spare words written by the most prolific of today's hot young writers of science fiction and fantasy.

"This is an excellent opportunity," said Jay Lake, editor-at-large of Whime, "for writers like me, writers capable of writing between 45,000 and 75,000 words each day. I've got a lot of extra words lying around, far more than I can really market, and so now, thanks to the wonders of print-on-demand, I can get them published without having to worry about whether anybody wants to read them."

Deborah Layne of Wheatland Press said, "While many of the most prolific writers in the field are, of course, tremendously concerned with making money and selling lots of books, it's a mistake to think that is all they are concerned with. They're writers, and writers write."

What sorts of things can readers expect from Whime? Sean Wallace of Prime Books said, "One of the first acquisitions was a 90,000-line poem Catherynne Valente wrote one afternoon while writing a novel with her other hand. It's an extraordinary piece of work, challenging and experimental, like a collaboration between Neil Gaiman, Gertrude Stein, and a photocopier."

Lake said there had been interest from Joyce Carol Oates in releasing some of her many unpublished novels with Whime. "Oates would give us the literary respectability we need," he said, "because there are a lot of misconceptions out there, and we really want to show that quantity and quality are not related."

Tim Pratt, who lost the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer to Lake in 2004, said, "I'm excited at this opportunity, because I know that by pushing myself to meet the high output standards of Whime, I'll become a better writer -- and maybe even a better person. In fact, Whime's already agreed to publish my self-help book How to Quit Drugs, Have Better Sex, and Find Whatever God is Best For You in 30,000 Words a Day."

What will readers and reviewers make of this new deluge of reading material? Rich Horton of Locus said, "I don't find it daunting at all. I already read somewhere around 3,143-and-a-half pages every fifty-six minutes, and I've recently found myself without enough material. Also, I've calculated that if you add up all of the words published by Analog, Asimov's, F&SF, Amazing Stories, Galaxy, If, and Fantastic between 1952 and 1976, multiply it by the number of editors in the field at the time, subtract the number of fanzines, then divide that number by four, you still have a large number."

Asked if Whime would be releasing collections of LiveJournal and blog posts by any of its writers, Sean Wallace said, "Unfortunately, that's beyond even our capabilities. There are simply not enough trees in the world to produce that much paper."

© 2006 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.