Here's some interesting advice from
service of PublishAmerica') which may come as a surprise to our readers: 'Are
all fiction books difficult to market? [...] science-fiction and fantasy writers
have it easier. It's unfair, but such is life. As a rule of thumb, the quality
bar for sci-fi and fantasy is a lot lower than for all other fiction. Therefore,
beware of published authors who are self-crowned writing experts. When they tell
you what to do and not to do in getting your book published, always first ask
them what genre they write. If it's sci-fi or fantasy, run. They have no clue
about what it is to write real-life stories, and how to find them a home. Unless
you are a sci-fi or fantasy author yourself.'
Can this nonsense possibly be linked to the fact that members of the sf
community have vigorously criticized operations like PublishAmerica? Though not
technically a vanity press it pays a tasty $1 advance this outfit does not
appear to copyedit its highly-priced POD books, has a gruesome standard
contract, and allegedly confines its marketing efforts to authors' friends and
family members (providing an extensive list is mandatory). Here's
a link. Here's
It Pays To Decrease Your Word Power. Millions of
Ansible readers demand that Thog do something terrible and terminal
about the description of the DVD set of four
Alien films as a 'quadrilogy'. Unfortunately, Thog has gone into hiding
rather than count that far.
R.I.P. Margaret Armen (1921-2001), US TV writer who scripted
episodes of both the original Star Trek and the animated series, died
from a heart attack on 10 November. Jonathan Brandis (1976-2003),
US actor who appeared in Seaquest: DSV (1993-95) and The Neverending
Story 2: The Next Chapter (1991), committed suicide by hanging on 12
November; he was 27.
Shaun Jeffrey, interviewed in
SF Crowsnest, indicates
that his appeal is to slow readers: 'So far, the reaction to Evilution
has been pretty good. Most people have said they read it from cover to cover in
a few days because they couldn't put it down.'
Thog's Masterclass. Deep Thoughts Dept. '[P]ain, in Owen
Atchison's philosophy, was weakness, but death was strength.' (Jeffrey Deaver,
Praying for Sleep, 1994) Eyeballs in the Sky. 'His eyes
were hungrily fixed to the can of Maxwell House.' (Ibid) Oops
Dept. An alert reader taunts Thog for running the same Colin Wilson
quotation in Runcible 103 and
105; I blame my recent 'flu, personally. So
here's an extra helping of Wilson on ancient geophysics: 'I was now aware of the
detailed history of Mu, from its beginnings as a continent sucked from under the
sea by a moon that hovered over it, (revolving at the same speed as the earth's
rotation, so that it appeared stationary) ... ' (Colin Wilson, The
Philosopher's Stone, 1969)
David Langford is an author and a gentleman.
His newsletter, Ansible,
is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. His most recent books are Different Kinds of Darkness, a new short-story collection of horror, SF, and fantasy, Up Through an Empty House of Stars: Reviews and Essays 1980-2002, 100 pieces of Langfordian genre commentary, and He Do the Time Police in Different Voices, a short-story collection that brings together, all of Dave's SF parodies and pastiches. (This is a scary thought. Are you ready to laugh that hard?)
Dave lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards. He continues to add books and Hugos.