In early May 2000, two people - one in Germany and one in Hong Kong - regularly hung out at a now defunct on-line community called The Glass Onion. We were chatting to each other about the problem of time differences that interfered with our ability to interact in real time with each other and other TGO friends around the world. We wondered what it might be like for the community’s regular members to actually live in the same “real” place.
Since The Glass Onion revolved around some great gay teen fiction by several authors, others soon joined in on the discussion. Then they started writing about it. They fantasized what “their town” would be like, what the place would stand for, what each of them would do in this town, and what each of them would want to change about their lives if given the chance. Remember, this was years before places like “Second Life” existed, so the idea was exciting and new! The fantasy took on a life of its own. Soon, there was a clear idea of where the town was, what kind of facilities it would offer to residents and visitors, and more than a clear idea of exactly who lived there. Baysville (nicknamed Boysville somewhat derisively in surrounding counties) was born.
All of the townsfolk in Baysville are entirely fictional. Some of them were originally based on the regulars at The Glass Onion, and many of the original chapter authors were regulars at TGO themselves. Characters were based largely upon the ragged assortment of cute teens, deranged young men, and Old Farts who posted at the message board, now gone for several years. Some real individuals helped to create their own character. It was fun indeed.
Now, in 2008, our town has been expanded beyond its original small group to include anybody who wants to join in. The people of Baysville are there by virtue of the same mix of choice, history, luck, or random events that applies in the rest of the world. Some have lived there for generations, and others have moved there more recently. They are there in order to live a life free from bigotry, hatred, and intolerance. There is a genuine sense of community here, and it combines elements of a town of 5,000 with global reach. There is conflict here. It arises from a clash of old and new, values and beliefs that are radically different, and some of the conflict arises from personality clashes and sheer bloody-mindedness. That might make Baysville too real for some, but we want it to be real enough to be compelling.
The intention is that Baysville will be a continuing story with many developing threads, authored in a “Round Robin” manner. There will be running themes throughout several episodes, as well as some one-off story lines. Which is which will ultimately depend on the interest of the various chapter authors. There will be comedy and satirical fun, and there will also be serious issues that indicate how we, as a community, would deal with them. Above all, though, it will hopefully be entertaining to read and fun for the authors to create. We hope for a large pool of writers who may each contribute as much or as little as they wish to the story. Naturally, different writers will write best about different things. That is the strength of writing as a syndicate.
The editor (David in Thailand) has updated the original chapters and re-worked rough patches that needed integration. Continuity is now smoother. Most of the original authors have given their permission for inclusion in the revival. Those few original authors we could no longer find due to the passing of time are noted and acknowledged in their chapters. If you are one of them, we’d love to hear from you and have you get back in touch, PLEASE!!
Other writers are at this time invited to submit new chapters to the on-going saga. Obviously, the more the merrier. The floor is open to first-time authors as well as those more experienced. Would-be chapter authors, please refer to the Cast of Characters and Submission Guidelines and have at it. If you would like to suggest a chapter’s events but not develop them yourself, feel free to send the ideas in anyhow. Maybe one of our group of authors will be interested in developing your ideas.
Now, children, are we all sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin...