We are being watched. That this statement probably no longer shocks is itself somewhat shocking. But ever since Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s massive, clandestine surveillance program in June 2013, we’ve been inundated with news—seemingly every week—about yet another aspect of our once-thought-private lives that is now subject to some kind of scrutiny. Since the Snowden revelations, we’ve learned that the post-9/11 U.S. government or one of its allies has been reading our emails, listening to our phone calls, and watching nearly everything we do on the Internet—Facebook posts, Google searches, instant messages, World of Warcraft gaming sessions. Nothing is hidden, everything is on display.
That’s from editor Bryan Hurt’s introduction to Watchlist: 32 Short Stories by Persons of Interest. The anthology has just been released on audiobook and I have 10 free downloads to give away, so I’m holding a special two-week contest. Ten lucky reader-listeners will soon be putting Watchlist in their ears. In case you missed the earlier 32-day countdown here at the blog, the “persons of interest” contributing short stories to the anthology include Etgar Keret, Robert Coover, Aimee Bender, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Cory Doctorow, David Abrams, Randa Jarrar, Katherine Karlin, Miracle Jones, Mark Irwin, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Dale Peck, Bonnie Nadzam, Lucy Corin, Chika Unigwe, Paul Di Filippo, Lincoln Michel, Dana Johnson, Mark Chiusano, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Chanelle Benz, Sean Bernard, Kelly Luce, Zhang Ran, Miles Klee, Carmen Maria Machado, Steven Hayward, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Alexis Landau and Bryan Hurt.
If you’d like a chance at winning one of the digital downloads of the Watchlist audiobook (which requires an Audible membership--though I think they offer free trial memberships), send an email to
Put WATCH AND LISTEN in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. The contest remains open to entries until midnight on August 1, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email.