If you are at all interested in how the business of publishing may change in response to some current disruptive technology shifts–and particularly if you’re interested in looking at the question from an author’s point of view–you should really pop over to Charlie Stross’ blog and read his post there outlining some thoughts on the question and asking for reader comments. This is one of those cases where the “don’t read the comments” rule does not apply: there are a couple of hundred comments there now with a pretty high signal-to-noise ratio, and lots of interesting (and some very scary) ideas are being kicked around.
OK, the latest round of crazy TSA rules had solidified my resolve to not fly into America again (at least not until there are substantial changes in the way border and airport security are run)–not that this is a big deal, since my basic hatred of airports has had me driving to Boston and such locales rather than flying for well over a decade now. But now I have to see my own country make even more STUPID security theatre rules than the Americans? Argh. No books or magazines on the plane? Seriously? The directive is specific to “US-bound” planes, and as I said, I wasn’t planning to get on any of those, but still this kind of stupidity actually makes my cranium ache.
Generally speaking I hate this time of year on the Internet–I am so tired of year-end wrapups, best of lists, etc. It’s even worst this year, since it’s also the end of a decade. Enough with the lists. Having said that, I did see one list that actually got my attention: Paul Witcover‘s list of his ten favourite F/SF novels… Read more →
Since the girls are gone for a couple of days, I am in Unemployed-Until-January Bachelor mode today. This means that I slept in, and that upon waking I was allowed to relish the rare opportunity to lie about in bed and read something without needing to rush off to something or other. Since it is a mini-bachelor holiday, the idea… Read more →
I love how the article’s author is so sanguine about this aspect of his analysis, dropping it deadpan in a single sentence at the end of the piece: “The bad news for authors is that their royalties will decrease since they are based off of retail sales price.” Surely the simplification of the production and distribution system should result in less profit for publisher/distributor/vendor–i.e. the parts of the system simplified–and not in less profit for the bit that remains just as hard as ever?
I’m doing a little better with Jeff Ford’s current recommended reading list than I did with the last one–this time I’ve actually read some of the books (four of them, to be precise). Given that the theme this time seems to be “detective fiction at the boundaries of, or crossing into, other modes” it’s perhaps no surprise–I enjoy a little genre stretching and deconstruction. Of course the net result is five more books to put on the wishlist.
What you’re seeing there is the first panel from a strip in Feiffer’s Explainers. Click to read the rest of the strip. Then marvel at how exactly on point is appears to be for the current world (OK, that reference to the Soviets needs to point to China or somewhere, but setting that aside), considering that it was published in… Read more →
Between this whole house-selling/house-buying thing, and the relatively insane week I’ve had at work, I have been neglecting the blog. Let’s catch up on a few things that have popped up in the meantime. I may have mentioned here before that I enjoyed Farmer’s Riverworld books (for getting me into Burton, among other things), and I certainly have mentioned my… Read more →
I don’t feel like I “missed out” in my childhood because modern console gaming, or the Internet, or whatever hadn’t been invented yet. However, I do think that if books like John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, or Joseph Delaney’s Wardstone Chronicles had been around when I was just coming into my teens, I would have absolutely devoured them. I’m retroactively jealous.
As part of the process of getting ready for our impending move, I’ve been engaged in a process of ripping all my audio CDs that hadn’t previously been ripped. This keeps leading to my having that “Oh, I haven’t though about you in a while” experience. I had that recently with Crass. Since I was single-digits old when the whole… Read more →
I spent a lot of time last night looking at translations of Latin and Middle High German poetry. Oh, and listening to what I can only refer to as operatic renditions of the pieces. How did this happen? Well, actually, like many times when I start following a trail of weird connections, it all comes back to James Burke–usually just… Read more →
OK, you’ve probably noticed that postings have been sparse around here for the last little while. There are a number of reasons, and I’ve been holding off talking about them until the ink was dry on the paperwork, but now we’re ready to “officially” announce a bunch of this stuff. First, I am pleased and delighted to announce that Dr.… Read more →
Yesterday was a marvelous mail day at the McLaren household. Through a confluence of mail karma–or possibly because our mailman seems to be skipping a day whenever he gets bored with the route–I had several books arrive from several different publishers. This will consequently be one long post full of book porn. If you’re not interested in small presses and… Read more →
Holiday Monday has kept me too busy to properly blog, so you get a bit of a tab-closing list instead. I’m not sure that it covers anything new, but the piece from More Intelligent Life (the quarterly from the Economist) about authors and drinking was a fun read anyway. I’ve seen some stories about tough people in the news, but… Read more →
I noticed on Walter Jon Williams’ blog that there seems to be a meme going around about quickly listing 15 books that you think will always be with you. Williams suggests actually modifying the meme by taking some time to think, which is an idea that appeals to me. In some senses it’s ludicrous–I just had a professional mover estimate… Read more →