CyberShortStories: What Would O. Henry Do?

Writing and Publishing short stories on new digital platforms

Time was when going to the movies meant viewing two full-feature films (albeit almost always well under 2 hours each), the week's newsreel (that was before TV news eliminated the need for these), cartoons, and a short film (often, though not always, a documentary). Today, the short film is an endangered species with few if any commercial outlets.

Similarly, there used to be many popular magazines that published high quality short stories (e.g., Colliers, Saturday Evening Post); now there are just a handfull that do so. But, the genre of the short story is just too important, too rich to allow it to die as the short film is doing.

Perhaps, as each new digital platform emerges, authors will find ways to write short stories that leverage the features of these platforms, while bypassing or overcoming their limitations. Please join us in this endeavor. Submit your own short story written specifically for publication on an e-reader or blog or Facebook or Twitter---like The Man Who Disappeared (below), the first ever TweetStory, written and first published on Cyberfiction's Twitter site beginning on July 23, 2009, a full four months before Rick Moody's story appeared on Twitter, Published by Electric Literature.

By CyberBoz

Read and comment on this TweetStory on Cyberfiction's Twitter Site, beginning January 6,  2010.

Midlands Canal Mystery  
By Therese Mageau 

A Fortunate Traveler* CyberShortStory in which Monique and Gregory save the day while guiding a rented narrowboat through the Midlands canals.

CyberFiction Features
  • Stunning photos of the Midlands canals and their surroundings
  • Video clips of Midlands canal locks in operation
  • Links to Google maps and other resources for traveling the Midlands canals by narrowboat
  • The Fortunate Traveler Mysteries Store containing dozens of useful travel items and books
*The Fortunate Traveler Mystery series provides a new kind of literary escape: the mystery travelogue--- a hybrid genre that combines the intrigue underlying most popular murder mysteries with the rich sense of place contained in the best of non-fiction travel writing. Each short story and novel in the series takes readers to a new destination, where they experience the sights and sounds of the place as they unravel a classically constructed “whodunnit.” And, for today's new readers, these travel mysteries provide links to useful and up-to-date contextual travel tips, photo/video images of the areas visited (the proverbial scenes of the crime), fascinating background information, and even shared travel experiences from others who've traveled these very settings.

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