= We Made History Starting in 1996 =
Offsite Museum Pages. Below are some of the most important museum websites from the twenty year history of Clocktower Books to date. They are listed in semi-chronological order here, but will be described more precisely in the Museum pages to follow on this site.
Neon Blue Fiction 1996 [1996-1997; retired into Clocktower Fiction which became Clocktower Books circa 2000] Published the world's first true SF e-novel for download (This Shoal of Space, 1996-1997 in innovative weekly serial chapters. More info at CTB Museum pages.
The Haunted Village 1996 [1996-1997; retired into Clocktower Fiction which became Clocktower Books circa 2000] Published the world's first true Suspense e-novel for download (Neon Blue, 1996-1997 in innovative weekly serial chapters. More info at CTB Museum pages.
Deep Outside SFFH 1998Acclaimed web-only magazine that published established and new authors, including then and future noms & awardees of the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and other prestigious awards. See Enclyclopedia of Science Fiction (ESF) online among other resources. Many of these historic stories can still be read online for free, courtesy wise & generous authors.
Far Sector SFFH 1998When John T. Cullen became sole proprietor of Clocktower Books and its imprints in 2001, he continued the magazine but renamed it Far Sector SFFH and published the stories at Fictionwise.com (now defunct). He ended the magazine's near-decade run in January 2007. With demise of Fictionwise in 2012, stories no longer readable through this venue.
SharpWriter.Com 1998 Started 1998, SWC was John T. Cullen's personal pro writing resource which he turned into an acclaimed portal and review site that was live until retired and offline in 2006. Named one of the Web's top 101 websites for writers by Writer's Market in 1999. To be relaunched as a writing blog sometime soon.
Clocktower Books Domain created 6 June 2000. World's first true publisher of e-novels on line for download starting 1996 as C&C (Brian Callahan, John T. Cullen), became Clocktower Fiction in Fall 1997, then Clocktower Books in 2000 (still actively publishing; by invitation only). Lots of historical info at the CTB Museum pages at the Clocktower Books website.
John T. Cullen Domain created 2 July 2000. Now mainly active at Café Okay site as author and publisher. Continues Clocktower Books tradition with added features like San Diegoer (TBD).
= A Few Notes From Underground =
Too Early to Register. During the 1990s, the concept of digital books was new and frightening to those in the ignorant print industry, and all of their infrastructure. When attempting to register copyright for both the published e-book and the print-on-demand edition of The Generals of October (John T. Cullen, 120,000 words) around 1999 or 2000, Clocktower Books was told by the Library of Congress Copyright Office that "nobody knows yet if these are real books, so we cannot register your copyright. At best, you can register it as an unpublished manuscript."
SFWA Refusal. Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA), in keeping with their 1930s pulp publishing model, refused to acknowledge the existence of our online magazine (which followed all of their rules for a professional publication) until a corporate entity arrived with money in 2000, after which they suspended their scruples and started handing out Nebulas for digital fiction. They refused to honor checks and official applications sent (registered mail) by Clocktower Books to secure professional publication credits for our authorseven though we published some of their top officers (Linda Dunn, Dr. Andrew Burt), and we published authors like Pat York, Tim Pratt, Melanie Tem, Ted Kosmatka (his first published story), Kameron Hurley, Joseph D'Lacey, and others. Many of our authors went on to win all the top awards and/or nominations in the field, including Nebulas, Hugos, Sturgeons, British Fantasy Award, and top awards in Canada and Australia.
Print is Doomed. As recently as 2016, we see the print cartel in New York grappling with the ongoing collapse of their monopoly. Rather than embrace the enormous opportunities of the future, they are fighting tooth and nail to sabotage and kill off the digital market place in favor of their print producta losing battle by people of the past. We live in a transitional age. Remarkably, locked in as they are to their large offset press runs, brick and mortar distribution systems, and so forth, they continue to resist the futureand that is the hand writing on the wall for their disappearance soon to come. We recognized this as long ago as the 1990s, and we will be proven right. More on this in an upcoming articlethere is a lot more to be said, with many surprises. Ultimately, the only point in writing all this is to say that we were there so early that, twenty years ago, this medieval publishing modality was able to suppress us and the other early starters. But we are still here, and continue to blow our horn, as we deservedly ought to. Our place in history as digital pioneers may be ignored by those we are replacing, but people in the future will find us and understand the truth. (To be continued soon.)