Sad words this week from Chad Plunk, who founded and ran Short Fiction World (http://shortfictionworld.com). He’s shuttering his Windows and turning out the lights—and rejecting my submission before deciding to accept or reject it.
He wrote to me, “I’ve had a number of personal issues arise and we’re going to cease publication. The announcement will go out to everybody who has stories waiting this weekend, and officially be posted on the website. We don't have the time to commit that we expected and would rather do no job than a poor one.”
I suppose this also means the archival death of “Modern Love,” my story that he published in February this year. This leads to an interesting thought as people increasingly Google friends, associates, lovers and themselves. I check my name periodically and am surprised to see a history of my fiction, articles and press releases. Plus, there are links to my grandmother’s Chautauqua lectures, archived at the University of Iowa. And my great grandfather’s Civil War diaries online at MilitaryHistory.com. Writing lives on long after other things have changed.
Is Internet “biography” a new form of posterity, more enduring than a tombstone and less expensive than an endowed university chair? Perhaps. Conversely, if in the future there’s no electronic representation of a person on the Web, does he or she have less existence?