So I think I've mentioned a few of times that the next thing I want to publish is a book of short stories. Due to [gestures at the world] all of this, and some other things, progress on this has been extremely slow over the course of 2021. Currently I am hung up on selecting content.
At present, the book will definitely contain:
This is, I would say, enough content to fill about half of a book. In total it comes to around 25,000 words. This would be a good book, I think, but too short. There's a floor on how much I can charge for a book, and I also want to give people their money's worth, which means I would like to put more content in.
Other than this, I have re-read all of my published fiction... and... I am very uncertain about what else, if anything, to include.
A lot of my older stuff from pre-2010, say, doesn't come up to my current-day standards — usually the concept is thin or a little juvenile, or the joke isn't all that funny. Whatever the issue, the prospect of trying to bring any one of these older works "up to code" invariably fills me with a weird revulsion. I just want to leave them as is, and I don't feel happy about exposing them to a new audience alongside relatively mature works like "Lena".
Among my more recent work... well, there aren't actually too many standalone short stories from after 2010, because I've spent most of my recent years working on longer-form serials which are already self-published. "cripes does anybody remember Google People" likely isn't going to make it in, because the story doesn't really work outside of the medium of Twitter. I'm also not going to be including any of my fan fiction, mainly due to legal quandaries. Other than that, there's only 30 More First Drafts, which I think might have a few bits and pieces which might be worth exploring further...
Anyway, rather than fret uselessly about this for months longer, I am reaching out to you readers. Which old short fiction of mine do you think should be included, if any? And which drafts of mine would you like to see refined into a finished piece? And is there anything else which I'm forgetting? Please explain your reasoning. The more articulate you can be the better. I reserve the right to ignore everything you say, naturally. In any case, I look forward to hearing from you.