You may have noticed that this review blog covers more than just traditionally published novels. As a matter of fact, there’s a whole other world of fiction out there beyond print: the world of webfiction.
Are you an avid reader? This post is directed at those of you unfamiliar with the wonders of e-fiction, in an attempt to answer any questions you may have and give you some starting points on where to look. I’ve broken it down into several sections; feel free to skip ahead to the part that interests you most.
A quick guide:
As with most (relatively) new formats, the definition of ‘webfiction’ (and the terminology used) differs slightly from person to person. Right now I think the two following points characterize the majority of webfiction:
- Free to read, possibly run on an alternative paying scheme e.g. patronage.
- Accessible online.
As to whether webfiction includes stories available solely as an ebook is a matter of some debate–for the purposes of this blog, I am including all free fiction that you can find online, whether read using a browser or downloaded as a PDF.
Please note that in some circles, the term webliterature (or more commonly, weblit) is used instead of ‘webfiction’. The two are largely interchangeable although ‘weblit’ may be more inclusive, encompassing non-fiction and poetry as well.
I shouldn’t need to convince you, but here’s a brief list of reasons:
- It’s (mostly) free. (Although of course supporting the authors is encouraged!)
- It’s easily accessible.
- It’s convenient — portable, delivered straight to your inbox via RSS, etc.
- There’s something for everyone. From short stories to never-ending serials, from science fiction to soap operas.
- It’s interactive: ask the author questions, chat to other readers….
- It’s independent! Support the underdog!
And don’t moan about how low entry barriers = bad quality writing. In webfiction — as in anything else — the best stories float to the top.
There are a lot of webfiction-related websites. I’m compiling an exhaustive list of resources here, but below are some highlights to get you started:
- Web Fiction Guide is one of the largest directories out there, listing a wide range of online stories along with user reviews.
- Another good choice for listings/reviews is the directory Muse’s Success.
- Short story lovers should check out the #fridayflash community on Twitter — check back every week for new and exciting bite-sized fiction!
Of course, most people start by reading the more well-known stories before delving into the obscure webfiction. Notable long-standing webfiction authors include Alexandra Erin, MCM, MeiLin Miranda, co-authors Irk & Char, and others I have forgotten to mention.
As for specific story recommendations from yours truly, why not click on one of the cute button links on the sidebar? Or feel to contact me for more tailored recommendations.
Check out Ergofiction‘s links page.
Did I not answer your question? Feel free to leave one in the comments below.