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I'm writing a detective story set halfway between San Francisco and the internet. And the more people who reserve a copy, the better each one will be!
570 backers pledged $13,942 to help bring this project to life.

Par avion

Posted by Robin Sloan (Creator)

So here's me, earlier today, somewhere over the eastern United States, just after finishing a new short story—thanks to you:

And right after I took that photo, I spun my MacBook to the left, snapped another shot, and used it as raw material for this, the story's "cover":

Semi-ridiculous, I know, but I feel like everything has to have a cover to count as a media object these days. And, I'll admit it, I was taken with the romance of photoshopping at 30,000 feet.

So here's the story—and a few meta notes:

  • I wrote the entire thing during the flight.

  • TextMate/MacBook. Thank you, Virgin America in-seat power outlets.

  • I spent every minute of the flight writing and editing, minus 20-30 minutes for the cover. As we were approaching New York I was silently wishing for a bonus loop around Boston; I had to rush to finish the end.

  • It was a 7 a.m. flight. Was this a good thing or a bad thing re: writing? Currently undecided. It felt like a bad thing when my eyes were drooping shut during take-off.

  • I came aboard with a few idea-scraps. The Smithsonian thing; the name Prandtl-Glauert; a few little descriptive details that I won't reproduce here because they're mini-spoilers. I didn't know how these scraps would fit together; they were like a pocket full of random Legos.

  • In retrospect, I wish I would have paid the $12.99 for in-flight wifi and live-tweeted my word count. Next time.

Anyway: that was really fun! Thanks for making it happen, and thanks for reading along. Let me know what you think of the story, either here or over at

Now, back to work.
Next update: New York dispatch.


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    1. Yancey Strickler

      Hi Robin -- I really enjoyed the story a lot. Thanks for sharing it.

    2. Missing avatar

      Cara Powers on

      You are a master with Photoshop. I must hone my skills. I'm expecting a book made of gold BTW.

    3. Anna Marie on

      Congratulations on finishing the story. Like the cover. You are doing an excellent job of making this project exciting to follow. I hope you're having twice as much fun. I am going to read "The Wrong Plane" now.

    4. Shamptonian on

      that cover is amazing!

    5. CommunistPrime on

      Haha, awesome. I'm reading it now. Looks good so far, pumps me up for the book. Keep it up!