March 3, 2016

Tech site CNET is making a foray into publishing fiction, naturally


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“The LastTaco Truck in Silicon Valley” by Michelle Richmond / Illustrations by Roman Muradov (via CNET)

“We should start publishing short fiction” is not a thought companies have all the time.

But this week, the global technology website CNET launched “Technically Literate,” a monthly series that “will feature short stories about technology and how it shapes our lives,” Alexandra Alter reports for The New York Times.

“What’s a short story at a time when a text of tweet makes up most of our daily reading?” Editors-in-chief Connie Guglielmo and Lindsey Turrentine asked in their introduction to the series. “We think it’s a quick ride for your imagination . . . and because we’re CNET, we wanted to offer up great short stories, with a tech twist.”

CNET has more than 33 million monthly visitors, but the hope is that “Technically Literate” will help them reach new audiences. “We hope it will help us expand our brand,” Guglielmo told Alter. “If you don’t experiment, you stay in place, and that’s kind of counter to the culture here.”

The debut story, “The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley,” is by Michelle Richmond, one of several Bay Area authors CNET has corralled for publication in the series. Others include Mayomi Munaweera, Cristina Garcia, and Anthony Marra. “We’ve asked writers, some well-known, some up-and-coming, to paint a word picture showing us how they use, relate to or even fear tech,” the editors say.



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.