Happy Public Domain Day! This is my sixth year of celebrating Public Domain Day by releasing one of my works to the public domain, and this year I’ve reached out to get some other people involved. So not only are works from 1927 entering the public domain (you can read more about that here), and not only is something by me entering public domain, but also works from Trevor Neil White and I. Riva are now free for anyone to read, share, copy, and modify!
The short story “Feeding Day” by Trevor Neil White is a series of intersecting vignettes set in a world where the two-party system also happens to have a digestive system.
“Barrow Sentinel” by I. Riva is a short story in the style of an oral folk tale—a warning to would-be adventurers and “heroes.”
EDIT: Two more artists have joined in! “Way Down in the Country Mud” by Rybin is a short science fantasy story about a young man trying to survive and find some meaning in a rapidly collapsing society.
And Miranda White is ceding “The Weeping Statue”, a short, weird Game Boy fable about identity, friendship, and birbs. Playable in browser, Game Boy emulator, or on a Game Boy flash cartridge. Also in the public domain, available as a separate download: original .mod chiptunes, sprite sheets, and pixel art backgrounds from the game, plus a few bonus pieces that didn’t make it in.
Lastly, my novelette “Masters of the Wine Printers Guild” is an economic fantasy about a conspiracy of apprentices who decide to defy the masters and print their own wine. To simplify things, I made a specific page for it which has downloads in a bunch of file formats, including a pre-formatted, easily printable zine! I have jokingly described this as a story about printing a zine with a bunch of your friends (except the zine is magic wine), so it only seemed fitting. You can check it all out here.
Going forward, I would love to keep having other artists join me in celebrating Public Domain Day in this way. It is abundantly clear that lawmakers are not going to make the radical changes to copyright law that we need, so I believe it falls to creators to give back to the commons proactively. Shout out to everyone who joined me this year, and if anyone would like to join me next year, or is doing something similar, please let me know! You can also find my previous posts about the public domain, and my works therein, here.
Now, for some unrelated end-of-year things.
My Year in Review
I’ve been posting this on social media, so I might as well put it here too. These are the highlights from this year.
Of course, there’s last year’s public domain post, reviewing the Public Domain Review.
Now if you only read one thing by me from last year, read “The Mechanical Turk Has a Panic Attack,” published in Uncharted Magazine. It’s short, it’s about future food service workers, and I think it achieves a lot of the things that I want to do with short fiction.
And for any Evan Dahm fans out there, I wrote my first(!) ever piece of fanatic fiction for the Vattu fanzine Alluvium. My story is “Five Citizens on Tower Day.”
The Year to Come
After selling three stories in 2021 (“Inside Joke” and “Mechanical Turk” being two of them), I have sold nothing! in 2022. So it goes. That’s more a bummer for me than for you, since I’m the one not getting paid, but there will be more fiction from me this year.
First, I would like to release four zines throughout the year! Two brand new short stories, which will be “Fires Burn Forever in this World” and “Is Magic School Still Worth It?”. One “re-issue” of a previously published work, which I haven’t decided on yet—”Red, Her Hand” maybe? “The War on Hormones”? I don’t know, but I’d like to take something from my back catalog and give it a second life in the exciting, spritely new medium of PRINT. And then finally, one thing for Public Domain Day 2024—maybe not even my own work, but just some old public domain work that can fit the format well. We’ll see.
All of those zines will be FREE, just like “Cartographer” and “Masters of the Wine Printers Guild,” as I continue to find my bearings and try things out. In 2024 I will probably start selling them somehow, but that’s the year to come after the year to come.
Also next year, I will hopefully finish the translation of a book, a translation I’m collaborating on with I. Riva! No telling if it’ll be published next year, but hopefully we can get some excerpts out at the least.
Majorly, I will publish an ebook of 25; A collection of short stories! It has been five years since I’ve put out a collection of short fiction, and I’ve written a lot of it in that time. This will collect some stories that have ben published, and some unpublished. It will be curated and not exhaustive because exhaustive is exhausting, for me and you. More info on this to come.
Lastly, here’s some videos I took while biking south along the MLK Drive Trail in Philadelphia, during the last days of fall. This has been on the home page for a minute, so if you’ve already seen it there, now’s a good time to rewatch it.
That’s all for this post! Next post will be about what I’ve been reading lately. Or maybe some comics. Happy Public Domain Day everyone! Cheers! 🍷