Wired is a science and technology magazine. Weird Tales is a fantasy and horror pulp fiction magazine. And Wired Tales is a new project from freelance writer Will Hindmarch. The challenge? To write a couple of short stories every month based on features in Wired magazine.
The first issue launched yesterday and I heard about it (as did many people I’m sure) from a tweet from Wil Wheaton. This issue features stories based on the January issue of Wired – the first, “The Pharmaware Rep,” inspired by Steven Levy’s essay on artificial intelligence as well as a story about the development of the DSM-V. The second story is about space aliens, which is always a nice addition. The stories themselves are solid, but what really sells me is the concept. Science fiction inspired in a very direct way by science. And though you wouldn’t really call these stories “remix” anymore than you would call them “fan fiction,” there is a definite nod to remix culture in the execution, especially with the nice use of Creative Commons-licensed photographs. The author is a designer as well, and everything is nicely laid out and more professional looking than you might expect for something self-published on the web.
I still have my dead tree subscription Wired and I admit I hadn’t even taken January’s out of the wrapper before I downloaded this first issue of Wired Tales – and reading the articles first and then going to stories was a neat way to experience it. I’m looking forward to what’s to come… The introduction to February’s Wired features the headline “Welcome to the Underworld” and promises an issue that’s not full of optimism for the future but instead getting “a little dirty.” My vote is for a story about the future of street drugs mashed up with the end of privacy.