Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's a Great Time to be a ... Reader!

Photo courtesy of Paul/
How often do we read the line “It’s a great time to be an author,” with all the various publishing options, affordable tools and study choices available to us?
An obvious flow-on to the above statement is that readers are winners too. And we are. I can’t believe the deluge of reading opportunities I get everyday. It’s very easy to be distracted by incredible choices available to us at the touch of a few buttons. Hands up who regularly ponders the thought of how great it would be if reading were a paid occupation?
Variety of story lengths
The ebook revolution has enabled reading to be delivered in a variety of story lengths. Certainly the shorter form stories existed prior to the ebook but weren’t easily accessible or as prevalent. Now a reader can discover a new author or series from a favourite author by reading a novella or short story for a minimal cost.
Many of this group has participated in a compilation of stories and once again it’s a fun way to discover new authors and/or read multiple authors who are exploring a similar, eg, an Aussie Christmas.
An Episodic Series
This is one of my favourite forms of stories. It harks back to the days stories were published in newspapers, one chapter at a time each week. Most of us know this is how Dickens stories, for example, were first read.
It also borrows from the TV series: the weekly episode that may have a continuous storyline or a new one each episode. My wife is a great TV series watcher but only enjoys those that feature a new story each episode. However, I have friends who much prefer the continuous storyline style.
I’ve just finished Episode 20 of theHarbingers series. 4 authors take one character and take it in turns to publish an episode in the POV of their particular character. A unique story set in a new location with the gang of four trying to get to the bottom of a riddle that has dire global implications involving a mysterious dastardly enemy who has evaded them for 19 episodes.
Simply delicious!
Featuring the writing talents of Bill Myers, Angie Hunt, Frank Peretti1 and Alton Gansky the series has brought me great enjoyment over the past two years. Each month I eagerly waited for the next episode to land. It became so popular Bethany House elected to publish them in four-book cycles.
Any spec fiction reader should try the series.
What’s a new story form that you’ve discovered in recent years that has added to your reading enjoyment?
Notes: 1. Peretti left part way through to be replaced by Jeff Gerke who introduced a fifth character.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard, is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. Angelguard was recognised with the 2014 Selah Award for Speculative Fiction.You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter


  1. I'd never heard of theHarbingers series. I love the idea, the authors, and that Jeff Gerke is now in it - great friend, mentor and author :) I still read the classics often and enjoy searching for new-to-me authors in college anthologies. Cool post. Thanks!

    1. Patricia, I so want to read so many classic again and for the first time but am a little scared off by the detailed narrative and depth of the writing. I've become so acquainted with the "action-first" mindset of the modern novel that I wonder if I could happily relax when reading a classic.

      But I must for many good reasons.

      BTW, what is a college anthology?

  2. An often overlooked view Ian. There is SO MUCH we can read - good, bad or indifferent. I've been looking into episodic storytelling as a writer - I think it gives a whole new direction to exploring a topic.