The owner of the currently licensed "worlds" is Alloy, a very notorious book packager. (Remember this?) All the comments about Amazon's bad contractual terms in this whole deal? How writers pretty much have no control over how their work is marketed and sold? How their ideas become property of the license holder? How other writers can use their ideas in their own works? That's fairly standard for book packagers. Especially this one. I promise you that Alloy is doing that shit now, already, without any help from Amazon. All this deal does is allow Alloy to now do it at a lower cost and lower immediate risk to them on a much larger scale than before.
(For a more thorough explanation about book packagers and their deal, read Gwenda Bond's post.)
I've seen it described as crowdsourcing media tie-in novels more so than monetizing fanfic and I think that's more accurate. As I said on Twitter, I personally think the person who wrote the Amazon press release intentionally used "fanfic" instead of "licensed media tie-ins" because it would attract more attention and publicity. Whatever else you may think about Amazon, you can't say people weren't talking about Kindle Worlds today. Which means the press release was very effective and that the person who wrote it did their job well.
As Gwenda Bond said in her post, book packaging is very pervasive in the YA genre. Very pervasive. Lemme name a few other Alloy properties and see if they ring any bells:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
666 Park Avenue
13 Little Envelopes & Girl at Sea (YES, the books by Maureen Johnson)
Midnighters (YES, the books by Scott Westerfeld)
Sweet Valley High
Roswell High (yup, the basis for the TV show)
And these are just Alloy properties. (See the full list of properties here.) There are others.
Personally, I'm more interested in seeing how this will affect other media tie-ins (like Star Wars and Star Trek) and individual creative control over IP. Anyone who's been paying attention to Alloy's doings knows that they're especially interested in altering the latter.
Then I vanished.
My level of idiocy is staggering. I couldn't have failed more comprehensively if I'd tried. I have no idea what the hell I thought I was doing. There's been absolutely nothing going on in my life that I can point to as either excuse or explanation – all I've got is "I'm a fool who can't keep promises, even to herself."
I'm going to try again, for the umpteenth time, to come back and stay back. You all are lovely people, you've been very kind to me, and I value your company enormously. You've changed my life for the better in so many ways & and I remain in your debt.
God bless the 24 hour cafe with its electrical outlets and sweet, sweet caffeine.
HI, INTERNET. HOW'S IT GOING.
I decided to re-read Jane Smiley's The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton (1998), as being something I had vaguely been meaning to reread and v different from Ten Days in the Hills (one thing one can say of Smiley is that she doesn't keep writing the same book over and over again...). I had forgotten just how long a part of the book her being married and living in Kansas Territory among abolitionists at a time of increasing attacks against them was. I had remembered as much more of her disguised as a boy. Anyway, this is still on the go as I was about threequarters through and didn't want to bring it travelling.
Still working my way through the stories in Conservation of Shadows.
Have just started Jo Anderton's Suited the sequel to Debris, about which I was a bit ambivalent, but interested enough to give this a go.
What I've just read
My weekend Christie was Murder in Mesopotamia, of which I thought the conclusion was really a bit farfetched for reasons I have to describe as SPOILER.
Waiting for my flight and on the plane, and in the passport control queue from hell, I got through the two latest short stories by Barbara Hambly downloaded from her website, Sylvia Engdahl's Defender of the Flame, two odd comic dystopian novels by Madelaine Duke, Claret, Sandwiches and Sin (1964) and This Business of Bomfog (1967), and Tansey Rayner Roberts, Splashdance Silver (1998 reissued 2013).
The Hambly stories were well up to standard. The Engdahl was interesting, but really, the characters are all terribly flat. The two novels by Duke: CS&S was an interesting idea somewhat unsatisfactorily developed, and I'm still trying to work out what the point of TBOB was. I think even comic dystopias should have more plot in their worldbuilding. The Rayner Roberts was probably not the best choice - apparently it was her first published novel and I have possibly read slightly too many humourous subversions of standard fantasy narratives.
Also, several essays for a competition, about which I may expatiate further and perhaps under lock...
And what next
As per usual, no idea.
Anasazi America, by David E. Stuart. Yes, still. It's good, but slow, and I have been interrupting myself. The book promises to combine archeology and history, but I'm still in the early chapters, which are necessarily archeological (pre-dating any written records from that part of North America). The book is talking about climate, changes in tools, food sources, settlement patterns, and economics (in a large sense), and the author promises to draw connections between the collapse of the Anasazi civilization and our own time and circumstances.
King of Morning, Queen of Day by Ian Macdonald. Too early in the book to have much to say about it, except that I can entirely understand some of the reasons the characters are annoyed with each other, without anyone actually doing wrong.
What have I read recently?
Aunt Lulu, by Daniel Pinkwater. A cheerful, silly picture book that I reread after spotting it while unpacking. A librarian, sled dogs, and some fine illustrations.
An Excellent Mystery, by Ellis Peters. Reread of a Brother Cadfael that I asked the library for because I didn't recognize the title. Good, but I think I've had enough of these for a while, even if the King County Library System has the middle of the series (the first several, and the last few, are relatively easy to find).
The Highest Frontier, by Joan Slonczewski. I wanted to read something of hers before Wiscon, where she is one of the guests of honor (the other, Jo Walton, is a friend of mine and a writer whose work I like and have read just about all of). This is a coming-of-age adventure about a bright girl from a very political family set about a century in the future, in a world badly affected by climate change, with eerily familiar politics even though the anti-reality forces . Jenny Ramos Kennedy is descended from two presidents, and her family takes for granted that she will go into politics too, but in the meantime she's playing varsity zero-gee sports and being awakened to take EMT/first responder emergency calls.
The story is set mostly in a space habitat, with chunks in virtual reality ("toyspace") and in Somers, N.Y. A kudzu-covered Somers, with a very different fauna and ecosystem than is found there now. It's as plausible a choice as any, but there's something odd about that level of "I've been there" not-really-familiarity for a bit of suburb. The book is fast-paced, the world-building is mostly convincing, and I didn't think the ending quite lived up to the first nine tenths of the book.
What am I going to read next?
Likely something random I download for the kindle (I have a long flight ahead of me) followed by something from the Wiscon dealer's room. Or maybe back to the library stack. [I may drop this section, given that its predictive value has been lower than that of just rolling a die.)
⌈ Secret Post #2332 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 037 secrets from Secret Submission Post #333.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ], [ 1 - posted twice ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
I suppose I could have a frozen meal the way I do for lunch most days, but I'm so sick of those that I think I'd rather skip dinner. Not that I can skip dinner. I have meds to take that must be taken with food.
( Cut for length )
Hopefully Kindle Worlds will go the way of Fanlib and die a quiet, ignomnious death. At the moment that seems the most likely future for it, given the level of uproar and the fact that 99% of readers/writers are already planning to simply pretend it doesn't exist. Fingers are all firmly crossed.
I have poached egg eyes and the remains of a downpour outside, so I kind of wonder if weeding will actually happen today. Certainly mowing the lawn won't, although possibly the boy got gas for the mower anyway. It's sunny right now though it was downpouring about twenty minutes ago, so who the fuck knows what will be going on by the time I get home. The plan might be to see how dry the grass is tomorrow morning and then cut.
And. And things and stuff. We've launched into the Grimm blogging and I kind of have to say, I am really going to like having the longer deadlines for a few months at a stretch. I mean, yes, that's still about 10k words or more (usually a bit more) that we have to put out every week, but it's not that we have to put it out within 72 hours. Or 24 hours if it aired on Fridays. It's shuffle around able. And that's really nice.
I need to check in. Argh. And I need to get my brain together. And none of these things are happening right now.
Right. Check-in first, and then writing. Something needs to happen here. I might as well start getting things done because if I sit here trying to focus and dithering about not getting anything done... nothing's going to get done. It's all very recursive that way.
There was one event in particular which was completely surprising, yet meticulously set up over ten books. There was another, also surprising yet completely set up, which caused me to email Buymeaclue a message whose non-spoilery text consisted of "OH MY GOD!!!!! Also, just opened the part where it shifts POVs and OH MY GOD I KNOW WHERE HE IS."
Now I want to read the whole thing over from the beginning. Due to the unusual structure, it will probably feel like an entirely new experience.
You can buy the whole shebang on e-book at a discount ($30 for the equivalent of four books), or in paper. However, the paper editions are in four volumes, and only two are out. You will probably end up with a mutant half-paper, half-e-book set if you attempt the latter.
I mentioned before that the series reminded me of P. C. Hodgell. By the end, it also reminded me of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime (first series.) In both, nearly all the seemingly unrelated side stories and apparently unimportant minor characters turn out to be integral to the story as a whole. Also the unusual mix of a dark world with a magic system involving some major body horror, with funny moments and a lot of very likable and even idealistic characters who don’t (necessarily) get crushed under the author’s boot.
( Read more... )
These books just kept getting better and better, from an intrigueing but somewhat rough start. I’m sure they will reward re-reading.
Anyway, meme. I currently have 148 works archived at the AO3. Pick a number from 1 (the most recent) to 148 (the first thing I posted there), and I’ll tell you three things I currently like about it.
Some people, when faced with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use binary." Now they have 10 problems.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use threads," and then two they hav erpoblesms.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use multithreading". Nothhw tpe yawrve o oblems.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use mutexes." Now they have
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think: "I know, I'll use caching." Now they have one problems.
Some people see a problem and think "I know, I'll use Java!" Now they have a ProblemFactory.
Some programmers, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use floating point arithmetic." Now they have 1.999999999997 problems.
Some people, wanting an escape from their full-time job, think "I know, I'll contribute to open source." Now they have two full-time jobs.
Some people when confronted with a desire to use pithy quotes in their presentations think "I know, I'll use something from Star Wars". Now two problems they have.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use UTF8." Now they à??????µ?ç°§ùÔ_¦Ñ?.
Some people, when faced with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use PHP!" Now they have ("1 apple" + "1 orange") problems.
Some people, when faced with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use Perl!" Now they have more than one way to have more than one problem.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use Shareware." Now they have two trials.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use delegations." Now their problem is a problem of their problem.
Some people when confronted with a problem think "I know, I'll quote jwz". Now everyone has a problem.
Collected from http://nedbatchelder.com/blog/201204/tw
Evolution strives. For thousands of years, humans, homo sapien sapiens have been the King of Beasts on Earth. However, shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the public became aware of a new kind of species: homo sapien dominus - the Mutants.
Mutants are born the same as any other human, usually with no discernable differences. However, come the age of puberty, their genetic mutation becomes pronounced. This grants them one or several abilities, some more extreme than others. It may alter their form. Unfortunately, these powers rarely present themselves in a form that can be controlled without careful honing.
Governments everywhere quarreled over the issue of mutant rights. Were they still considered humans? Should there be a demand that they be registered? One thing was certain: mutants held within them the potential to be very dangerous. Whether or not they would excise their powers responsibly, there was still the possibility of them challenging the system upon which humanity had so carefully (and sometimes shakily) regulated.
While politics rage, mutants themselves seek a way to survive within society.
( Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. )