"Thoughtcrime Experiments": CC/FLOSS Lessons From A DIY Sci-Fi Anthology



Last year, two FLOSS enthusiasts edited a Creative Commons-licensed anthology of original fantasy and science fiction stories and art. We did it to give back, to give readers more choices, and because documenting and sharing are in our blood. Here's how we published a great anthology, why, and how you can do it too.


My partner and I called for submissions, read and sorted about 250 stories, commissioned art, laid out the pages, and published the book online and as a $5 print-on-demand paperback.

Freedom to Tinker lauds Thoughtcrime Experiments:

It’s an experiment in do-it-yourself paying-the-artists high-editorial-standards open-source Creative-Commons print-on-demand publishing. Theorists like Yochai Benkler and others have explained that production costs attributable to communications and coordination have been reduced down into the noise by the Internet, and that this enables “peer production” that was not possible back in the 19th and 20th centuries. Now the Appendix to Thoughtcrime Experiments explains how to edit and produce your own anthology, complete with a sample publication contract.
… part of the new theory of open-source peer-production asks questions like, “What motivates people to produce technical or artistic works? What mechanisms do they use to organize this work? What is the quality of the work produced, and how does it contribute to society? What are the legal frameworks that will encourage such work?” This anthology and its appendix provide an interesting datapoint for the theorists.

I’ll take you through the principles and logistics of How to Do This and Why, including tips for your CC or FLOSS project. Topics include:

  • Outreach for gender and ethnic diversity
  • Outreach to tech novices
  • Rejecting people nicely
  • Budgeting time and money
  • Marketing
  • Developing and enforcing standards

Speaking experience