For Want of a Nail, now with bonus features.
As an experiment, I’m selling an electronic version of “For Want of a Nail” with the equivalent of DVD extras.
There are a couple of places where you can read the story for free, such as my website or the forthcoming Hugo voter’s packet.
The 99 cent version has a little more. It has the original draft of the story which is wildly different from the Hugo-nominated final version. How different you ask? I kept two characters and part of one scene. The plot and setting are totally different.
To demonstrate, here are the opening paragraphs.
With one hand, Rava adjusted the VR interface glasses where they bit into the bridge of her nose, while she kept her other hand buried in Cordelia’s innards. There was scant room to get the flexible shaft of a mono-lens and her hand through the access hatch in the AI’s chassis. From the next compartment, drums and laughter bled through the plastic walls of the ship, indicating her sister’s conception party was still in full swing.
With only a single camera attached, the interface glasses didn’t give Rava depth perception as she struggled to replug the transmitter cable. The chassis had not been designed to need repair. At all. It had been designed to last hundreds of years without an upgrade.
With one hand, Rue adjusted the VR interface glasses where they bit into the bridge of her nose, while she kept her other hand buried in Cordelia’s innards. There was barely room to get the flexible shaft of a mono-lens and her hand through the access hatch in the probe. With only a single camera attached to them, the interface glasses didn’t give Rue depth perception as she tried to plug the transmitter cable back in. The probe had not been designed to need repair. At all. But if Rue couldn’t get the transmitter plugged back in, then when it was time to mount Cordelia’s chassis into the probe, the A.I. wouldn’t be able to beam updates of herself back to the ship.
That would be the same as a death sentence for the A.I., considering how close they were sending her to the event horizon. Cordelia was supposed to ride the ion-wind out, but damn, the possibilities for error were way too high.
There are also author notes about how I got from the original version to the final version, plus a copy of my initial brainstorming notes.
If these sort of bonus features interest you, they are available in the version at Smashwords.