BOU 041 – Collaborative Stories Are Awesome With Ed Robertson

BOU 041 – Collaborative Stories Are Awesome With Ed Robertson

Ed Robertson’s Breakers series

This week we have a rare in-studio guest with Ed Robertson a Self Publishing Podcast favorite to talk collaboration.

We kicked off the show with another round of “What’s Up Dave’s Butt?”

Today’s topic: The kid who got in trouble for chewing his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.

We then talked about collaborating in our shared-world story, The Beam, which Sean and Johnny are launching later this month, and which Ed, and a few other writers are going to be joining us in.

The discussion centered around the world of The Beam, and some of the interesting philosophical issues surrounding it, and other sci-fi in general which we find interesting.

To view the video version of this episode, go to: Collaborative Stories Are Awesome, with Ed Robertson


  1. I have a stupid question about the Beam.

    Say someone in the world of the Beam wanted to be a writer, what’s to stop them from taking the dole, working on their writing for six years, then switching and publishing everything they wrote over those six years?

  2. Not a stupid question at all!

    I would think that unless the government is super oppressive, rather than mildly oppressive using tools of complacency (which it seems to be), then you could do something like that.

    However, once you make the switch, you sink or swim based on the merits of your work. There’s no guarantees that the book(s) you spent six years on would be bestsellers or anything.

    I think a related question is, will there even be books at this point? Or would people download books which technology turns into audio streams, or even some sort of visualization of content?

    This is what I love about The Beam — there’s so many ways you could go with this from tech to philosophical. I’ve already got like four different ideas for the series!

    • I’m with Dave, that’s a great question!

      And yes, he’s absolutely right. You can do whatever you want with your time, and as a member of The Directorate you would likely have plenty. But what if you release your books into the wild and they do nothing? Then you’re starving for six years. No safety net. And think how hard attention would be to get.

  3. “I think a related question is, will there even be books at this point?’

    Rumor has it, in the future, people will want to be entertained.

    And sure, there’s nothing guaranteed but has anything ever been guaranteed for any writer who hasn’t already made a gazillion dollars?

    If you guys had had the chance, maybe not for six years, but for two, to get paid and just write stuff, wouldn’t that have been awful tempting? You could write a hell of a lot more than you could with a regular job and if you’re putting off your success, it’s not by all that much.

    My guess is by that time we’d have neural implants so you can write words just by thinking them. Which would mean taking the bus to work would be horrific. You’d never know if the little old lady in the next seat is reading Fifty Shades or writing it.

    • I’m flat out not wired to be Directorate. The idea of someone paying my way makes me bristle. However, by the time the Directorate was common place, I could see it simply because yes, it would be tempting to have a safety net while writing. But I turned down some pretty big money for very little work last year because it would have distracted me from building the Inkwell, so I’m pretty sure that even in the future I’d rather see if I could make it with my own mind and nothing more. Unless in the future I had a family who thought I was crazy, which fortunately I don’t now! 🙂

  4. Really cool to hear more about The Beam. I think it has potential to be a really great series of books from several people.

    When the time comes you should totally do a “Beam BOU” episode with all of your chosen writers on at the same time discussing it. Maybe at the end of season 1 or something.

    Pretty cool concept and looking forward to it. I hope someone writes stuff in the other countries because that would be what interests me more. Like how bad is it there? What are those people doing? Are they planning on invading the NU whatever?

    • Yeah, don’t worry about that… if someone else doesn’t write that stuff, I totally want to.

      What’s so cool about this world is that it really is a WORLD. We can never scratch the surface of half of it!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *