I have quite a collection of free online novels (both serialized and not) and short stories that I’ve accumulated over the years. I’ve derived so much enjoyment from each work, it’s about time I started to spread the love and let others have a chance to read the little-known treasures I seem to be able to find so easily online.
Part of the reason I want to share my hoard of literature is to (hopefully) encourage people to read more. Most of my students tell me they don’t like reading because it’s boring and tedious. That tells me they haven’t been exposed to enough different types of writing to find the genre they like. This post (and subsequent posts like it) is an attempt to rectify that.
Another part of the reason I am highlighting these online works is because they deserve to be read. I’m a picky reader and shoddy writing grates on my nerves after a while. Add a bad plot to the mix and I refuse to keep reading. The story links I will be posting have all passed my personal taste test so you can rest assured your literary sensibilities won’t be offended when you read them.
Unfortunately, the publishing industry isn’t kind to those writers without insider connections, and so a great many worthy tales remain unread and uncelebrated in the slush pile. I don’t know if the Xenophon Hendrix, the author of Magician's Merger, ever tried to get the novel published, but it’s an enchanting story that would make a wonderful addition to the Young Adult section in any bookstore.
A note of caution: The first several chapters of this novel are rough, to say the least. Even the author says in a LiveJournal entry “The first few chapters were utterly horrid. I'm surprised that anyone made it through them to read the rest of the serial.” The farther along you get in the story, the better the writing gets. I actually kind of like that about the novel. The same way you can see a webcomic artist’s art improve over the passage of time, this novel demonstrates quite tangibly the power of practice.
Photo credit: Sean McGrath