The Ending of Finis

Back in July 2007, I made a book.[1] I had this weird idea, which is where the Paul Tevis quote of “My friend Ryan has strange ideas” comes from. The idea took the form of a unique charity project, centered around spoofing Choose Your Own Adventure stories.

Finis: A Book of Endings

Finis: A Book of Endings

A Book of Endings…

Finis is a collection of short stories inspired by the horrible endings found in the “choose your adventure” books many of us read as children. Each of the over 40 stories is a tragic end to some tale, completely contained in two pages. One fateful choice leads you there, whether in a world of fantasy, horror, science fiction, or the everyday.

…To Give People New Beginnings

Against this backdrop of tragedy stands a book of hope. All proceeds from the sale of Finis go to charities still working today to help those struck by Hurricane Katrina.

Pick up the book. Flip to a random page. Choose your own fate.

“I love how each of these stories feels like the tip of an iceberg — the final jagged edge that you impale the ship of your consciousness on. I feel like I can sense the larger whole, and that’s pretty cool.” – Fred Hicks

I had nothing but joy working with these people. Fred did fantastic layout. Jeremy Tidwell and others did amazing photography.[2] Paul Tevis, Jenn Brozek, and so many others contributed fantastic stories. I love you all like kin for making my first book so fucking amazing. And I want to share this with the world one last time.

Want to see more?

There are some samples available:

From now until the end of December 2010, the book is on sale.

The Print+PDF version is available for $10 from Indie Press Revolution.

If you hate PDFs, the Print-only version is also available for $10 from IPR.

If the idea of a PDF warms your heart and you want to make a tree happy to be alive, the PDF-only is available for $5 from IPR.

There are 14 books left at the time of this post. When they’re gone, they’re gone. But the PDF will still be available, for now…

After December 2010, the book will no longer be available in print or PDF.

I am proud of making this book, of the work people have put into this. But all things must come to an end. And that the trickle of sales I have to deal with and keep track of to keep sending to charities. There’s a saying I’ve told to some people lately that applies here. “This is an experience I’ve glad to have had. ‘Have had’ is not the same as ‘continuing to have.'” And so my time with being a charity publisher is over. For now, at least. Maybe for good. It’s a young publisher’s game. :)

For those who will (and already have) ask “Why not just release it for free afterward?” I have two answers:

  • I don’t have those rights with any stories but my own.
  • Some things should be over. Some things should be closed down and looked back fondly. I don’t want to maintain a cognitive space in my mind of this continuing to exist, to telling people “oh, you haven’t heard about it, it’s on my site,” etc. Matt Snyder knows what I mean. Michael Miller knows what I mean. Or, as Paul Tevis & I have said in the past:

Eras are meant to end so that new ones may begin. So let them end.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Finis. It has meant and continues to mean a lot to me.

– Ryan

[1] Holy crap. My book’s over three years old now. That…is weird. I hadn’t realized that until now.

[2] Including that cover. Which is, by the way, of me.