A Call For Author Support « Whatever. Yes, this is exactly what I’m talking about. I’ll very likely not give any more of my business to Amazon, but rather, I’ll give that same business to other retailers and purveyors of fine fiction (and non-fiction). Amazon screwed over a lot of my favorite authors with this tantrum, so — as an amateur writer myself — I’m more than happy to give some of that screwing right back.
All The Many Ways Amazon So Very Failed the Weekend « Whatever. If you missed the Amazon/Macmillan pissing contest this weekend, check out this article over at John Scalzi’s website. It’ll give you a pretty good look into the petulant hissy-fit that Amazon threw over the weekend.
“Check it out”:http://www.apexdigest.com/Online/review071203.shtml – my first set of book reviews for someone other than myself. Awhile back, Jason Sizemore, the editor-in-chief of “Apex Digest”:http://www.apexdigest.com put out a call for a part-time book reviewer. I responded, gave him some past samples of a couple of books reviews I’ve done here, and then he shipped a book to me. It scored a bonus because it was actually one of those two-books-in-one deals. The results of that can now be seen at the link above. Hopefully, this will work out well on a monthly basis. I enjoyed reading the books and writing the reviews, so I’m looking forward to doing more of them in the near future.
Ok, apparently, I’ve been terribly neglectful of my blog these past few days. I’ve actually got two entries in draft form that I just haven’t quite finished yet. So, in an effort to catch myself up on some of my happenings the last few days, here’s a short bullet-list:
* Remember when I posted a “visual writing prompt”:http://shamuswrites.com/2007/09/14/writing-prompt-1/? Well, at the time I didn’t have any takers and so I just never quite found the motivation to post up another. The MasterKidderMinster “wrote a bit of flash fiction”:http://masterkidderminster.net/?p=46 that he told me about a few days ago. It’s a pretty good read and a lot of fun to see the direction he took the image. He’s requested that I continue the writing prompts, so plan to see a new one show up on Friday.
* My “Dune book giveaway”:http://shamuswrites.com/2007/10/24/book-giveaway-dune/ has been met with a somewhat lukewarm response – six entries. I’d love to see at least a few more folks enter the contest to win this wonderful science fiction novel by one of SF’s greatest. The contest is open until Wednesday, so there’s still plenty of time.
* Awhile back, I read Jayne d’Arcy’s lament on her blog about needing a new custom theme but having trouble finding someone who could produce one at a reasonable cost. Well, I volunteered to build one for her for free, since I love building WordPress themes so much, so that’s part of what kept me away from here so much last week. If you want to see the final product, head over to “Jayne’s blog”:http://jaynedarcy.us and check it out.
* I’ve also started a couple of new projects, which are the other parts of what has kept me from blogging much lately. The first is called “Mendicant Bias”:http://halo3.shamuswrites.com and is a repository of Halo 3 screenshots I’ve captured. None of these shots have been modified in any way, other than to resize them down a bit. There are a lot of creative ways of taking interesting shots in Halo 3, and it’s been fun trying to find them. The other project I’m working on is a Halo-based comic built exclusively from screenshots. This project is called “Reclaimer”:http://comic.shamuswrites.com and is something I’m planning on producing on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future. We’ll see how things go on that front.
* “Flashes of Speculation”:http://fs.shamuswrites.com has relaunched and there has been a pretty good response, both in stories submitted and in readers who have commented. I’m always looking for new writers, stories, and readers, so if you fall into any of those categories, head over there and find out how you can get involved.
There are a few other things going on right now, as well, but I’ll announce those as they present themselves. I’m looking forward to getting back to doing some actual writing, both blog-wise and fiction-wise. I’ve got a great dark sci-fi piece I want to start on this week and a couple of other small pieces.
Lots of good stuff happening. I can’t wait to share more of it.
I’m giving away books, or at least in this case, a _single_ book. I’ve an extra, lightly used copy of Stephen King’s debut _Dark Tower_ novel The Gunslinger that I’d like to give away to one of my readers. For a chance to receive a copy of this book, simply comment on this entry. Next Monday I will randomly select one commenter as the winner. Please only comment once, however, as multiple entries will disqualify you from winning. Simple enough, right? Now leave a comment if you want a free book, and feel free to tell your friends.
I haven’t read Arthur C. Clarke’s _Rama_ series yet (even though it’s on my list), but “this student-created video”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY2Yt1ATm4c makes me want to run out and grab the books I’m missing and give them a read-through. (Source: “SF Signal”:http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/005624.html)
I could list for you 10 reasons why ebooks suck, but Rob does it so much better. Personally, I’d much rather hold a book printed on paper in my hands than try to read it off a screen. For one thing, all that scrolling makes my head hurt after awhile, whereas turning a page certainly doesn’t. Plus, I just like the feel of the book, the cover, the pages in my hands. I’ve only ever read one eBook in my life, and that was a few years back after I’d gotten my new Palm Pilot. Ultimately, though, I just decided it wasn’t worth it, however convenient it might be to keep several books all in one electronic location. I’d much rather just have the book with me. I’ve always doubted that the ebook would ever overtake the printed form, and Rob gives ten good reasons that firmly support that belief.
Brandon Sanderson has read the final Harry Potter installment. He had, in part, this to say about it:
bq. Initial thoughts: I liked it, as I’ve liked all of the other HP books. However, it lacked the charm of the books that occurred inside of Hogwarts. (Source: “Brandon Sanderson”:http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog.php?date=1187247600)
That, for me, was probably the main thing about the last book that I disliked about it. I missed the uniqueness of Hogwarts and the interactions with the students and the teachers. It made sense that something near the end would have to take place away from the school, since Harry had to explore his roots in order to understand better how to defeat Voldemort. It just would have been nice to spend a little more time at the school. I didn’t really expect much of the story to take place there, though, since the conclusion to Book 6 made it pretty clear that Harry didn’t intend to go back for his last year.
I’d still love to see some sequels to the series to fill in the years between Voldemort’s demise and the epilogue. Whether Rowling decides to break her word and actually write such books, however, remains to be seen.
The “Harry Potter discussion”:http://forum.shamuswrites.com/forum/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows continues apace – albeit at a bit of a slow pace. Go check it out and add your two cents!
Well, I’m a little bummed because I was eagerly anticipating being able to get my hands on the final installment of Harry Potter today and ravenously devouring it whole before nightfall. Unfortunately, due to a little problem with delivery (i.e. the UPS guy not leaving the package on the porch the way they usually do when there’s no answer at the door), I now have to wait until Monday to read it. This isn’t really _that_ big of a deal – unlike some people, I know how to delay gratification – but I was kind of looking forward to sinking my teeth into the book a little sooner than that. So, in the meantime, no spoilers, please, from those of who who’ve already read it