I got into writing for the immortality. How could I not? Do you know how extraordinary it is that we're still reading that play about Denmark some guy wrote five hundred years ago? The Divine Comedy is almost seven hundred years old and we're still reading that. And then there's all those stories written by those Greeks..... This sort of immortality is the true Holy Grail of writing, the ultimate prize: Aeschylus wrote a play and over two millenia later, we're still talking about it (well, some of us are.....)

But immortality doesn't happen on it's own. In order to live forever, you have to be read. I am baffled by J.D. Salinger, who sat in seclusion and never showed his later work to anyone. Perhaps I'll change my mind if I ever write my Catcher in the Rye, but for now, I always write in the hopes that whatever I'm working on will one day be good enough to be seen by the world.

While I'm grateful to the magazines that have published me over the years, it frustrates me that the stories have since disappeared. Oh, sure, some of them are still floating around online, but who knows how long that will last? And the rest are in back issues of literary magazines that have either been forgotten or, more likely, recycled.

I'm still hoping to one day put out a book of short fiction (or maybe five), but books of short stories aren't exactly on a lot of publishers' to-do lists: I was told once that a book of short fiction is what publishers publish as a favor to the writer, just like producers will let an actor do their dream project in exchange for starring in Transformers XIV.

And so I'm introducing the Joel Fishbane Emporium of Fictional Delights, otherwise known as www.joelfishbane.net/store. My previously published works can be downloaded for your reading pleasure. All work will be available as a PDF. I'm also going to produce as many audio versions as I can, both for the benefit of the visually challenged and because I really really like audio fiction.

To be clear: I'm only going to be selling work that I've already published elsewhere. There are reasons for this.

  • It means the piece has been through some sort of editing process by people other than myself.
  • Since almost all journals accept only unpublished material, I can't republish these stories any other way

I will continue to try to sell my unpublished work to other markets. Aeschylus, of course, wrote everything down on paper, as did Dante and Shakespeare. But I'm writing in the digital age where words are ephemeral and vanish with every news cycle. Consider this my effort to make things a little more permanent; it's my first minor stab at reaching the Holy Grail....

P.S. If you're reading this five hundred years from now, leave a comment below - I'd love to know how it all turned out.