After a week where I was seriously considering checking out of the writing business and just admitting that the entire effort was futile, some good news this morning:

"Twittering the Stars," my science fiction story told entirely in Twitter format, a story that can be read backwards and forwards, is now available from Upper Rubber Boot Books as an ebook from the following locations:

Barnes and Noble.


Amazon (Also other worldwide Amazon storefronts.)

Canadian readers can also purchase the book through Chapters Indigo.

I'm very pleased about this. "Twittering the Stars" was one of my hands down best received, best reviewed stories. However, it was only available in an anthology, which limited the number of people who picked it up. I'm delighted that it's now available as a separate short.

I'm also delighted to be part of, in however small a way, Upper Rubber Boot Press, which apart from doing this series, also publishes speculative poetry collections, something I always want to see more of.

My email brought me one other snippet of good news, about which more later, making me feel like a touch more of a writer today. Maybe I will get this story finished after all.
For those who have been watching the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against five of the big six publishers (and now we can all guess why Harcourt, Brace wasn't also thrown into that mix), Penguin and Macmillan have now released their official legal responses. You can read a summary here, which also contains links to the full pdf files from Penguin and Macmillan.

One major, non-legal question that arises out of this: wait, you get a free enhanced ebook of Winnie-the-Pooh with the purchase of every iPad? How did I miss this? I also enjoyed Penguin's thundering "books are not widgets," which, yes. Also, apparently when a major publishing house hires a new CEO, the other CEOs have a big and expensive party for him. I am only saddened that neither Penguin nor the Department of Justice has given us the dinner menu. And sadly, it seems that sometimes Macmillan got left out the parties and nobody explains why. Nobody. What sort of investigation is this where we don't get the gossip? Was this because of a shellfish allergy?

Snark aside, this will be interesting to watch.
As most of you know, the U.S. Department of Justice instituted a lawsuit against five of the Big Six publishers and Apple, accusing them of price-fixing/colluding when they chose to set up an agency price model to sell ebooks. Three of the publishers agreed to settle.

Here is a very detailed response to the settlement from one literary agent, which also contains some very interesting statistics about ebook pricing. Long, but worth a look.
New York Times (yes, yes, I know) on the recent decision by Harper Collins to limit the number of times an ebook can be checked out from any given library. Slightly interesting tidbit: that despite the need to replace hardcovers/softcovers after they've worn out, libraries face losing a potential revenue source: selling off their used hardcovers/softcovers.

Other interesting tidbit not in the article: for an upcoming post, the Orange County Library provided a 1970s copy of a children's book. So, er. Yeah.

While we're chatting about this, my main issue with Overdrive, as a consumer, is the excessively poor labelling/"shelving" of ebooks (this is also true for the Sony ebookstore.) Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, to name an example not at random, is not science fiction. And this sort of thing happens all the time.

I find Overdrive useful when I know exactly what I'm looking for -- author or title. Browsing, not so much; I've found a few books here and there, but browsing has not been the most positive experience. Which leads me in turn to the conclusion that my future reading will be even more influenced by the recommendations of friends and websites - not entirely a bad thing, but perhaps limiting my wild explorations just a little bit.

Which in turn, not entirely a bad thing: one problem I had in college when writing research papers on, say, Trotsky, was to get distracted on the way to those shelves, or even on those shelves, with a number of items that had nothing to do with Trotsky whatsoever. In marine biology grad courses, my research papers, targeted by search words, had considerably less of this kind of thing. On the other hand, those first explorations turned me into the rolling bundle of useless facts I am today.
In which the author manages to embarrass herself yet again:

The follow-up to the Patricia McKillip story: So, yesterday morning, I'm searching for coffee. Desperately searching for coffee. I find coffee. It is marvelous. Holding it in my little hands I wheel out towards the lobby when a kindly gentlemen stops me, saying he liked my poem.

"Oh, great!" I said, pleased. "I was really worried about it, since I haven't done a poetry reading in years and I knew Patricia McKillip was in the audience and that made me so nervous I thought I was going to throw up."

"Why, thank you," said another voice….

...Patricia McKillip was of course sitting right across from him, her back to me; I hadn't recognized her at all.

I flushed and managed to make matters still worse by babbling about her books, all the while thinking, great, way to completely fail this meeting with a childhood idol before slipping out and telling my sad, sad tale to a sympathetic Theodora Goss (who kindly did not note that she had also been in the audience but her presence didn't make me ill...)


Aside from needing to sleep even more than expected and telling major fantasy authors that they nauseate me, and some decided wheelchair issues with the Hyatt hotel (thank you to everyone who has been helping with this, although I'm still upset that help is even necessary), it's been….well. I can't find adjectives because, still need more coffee, but I'm delighted to note that Hadley Rille Books managed to sell off all copies of Desolate Places (featuring my little story "End of Time,") especially after we explained that the book featured the award-winning [profile] camillealexa. I'm finding it difficult to put names to faces and remember people, and seeming to move between babble mode and professional mode, and also not feeling overwhelmed – as someone (I think [personal profile] girliejones?) noted, it seems as if every major person in fantasy is walking by you or sitting at thebar. Salutary reminder that I am a baby tadpole in a large pond.

However, I am also a baby tadpole that is delighted to note that I got both Sharon Shinn and Catherynne Valente ([personal profile] catvalente to sign my ebooks – so a geeky baby tadpole. It was awesome, especially since [personal profile] catvalente kindly did this outside of the great signing time. And I'm a baby tadpole who was actually signing books – feeling, I must admit, like a bit of an imposter while doing so.

Ok. Coffee calls. And I must answer.

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