Archive for the 'Industry News & Updates' Category

Rocket Boy, Geek Girls, and A New Publishing Venture

November 2nd, 2009

Almost a year ago a bunch of writers got together and, to borrow a line from some 1940s musicals, said, “Hey, we have a barn! Let’s put on a show.”  Translation: twenty or so of us decided that, with our various talents, our backlists, and our increasing concern about the shape of publishing and our place in it, we were going to try something new.  Thus, Book View Cafe was born: a website where readers can find short and long fiction by name authors, for free or for a nominal fee.  In the nearly one year since then, the Cafe has added some authors and gained almost 1500 subscribers.  The site generates 700,000 hits a month (!), we’ve promoted new releases by various of our authors with blog posts and Twitter-fic contests.  And now, BVC announces the creation of Book View Press and its first e-publication: an anthology of new and reprint SF: Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls.

BOOK VIEW CAFÉ LAUNCHES ROCKET BOY AND THE GEEK GIRLS

Book View Café, the Internet’s only professional author cooperative announces the creation of Book View Press. Book View Press will expand the Café authors’ mission of bringing the best online fiction to the readers by bringing new work ready-to-read on the most popular ebook devices, including the Amazon Kindle, the Sony eReader and a variety of cell phones.

This group of award-winning and best-selling authors is launching their new press with a its first science fiction anthology: ROCKET BOY AND THE GEEK GIRLS. A collection of rare reprints, hard-to-find favorites and bold new tales by some of SFs finest authors including Vonda N. McIntyre, Katherine Kerr, Judith Tarr, P.R. Frost, Patricia G. Nagle, Amy Sterling Casil, and Maya Kaatherine Bohnhoff.

Rocket Boy and the Geek Girls is available at http://bit.ly/rgr4K for the Kindle version and http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php/BVC-eBookstore/ for other formats including pdf, mobi, prc, lit, lrf, epub.

To celebrate the launch of Rocket Boy, BVC is holding a TwitterFic contest. For details visit the BVC website: http://www.bookviewcafe.com

For info contact: info@bookviewcafe.com

I have a story, “Abelard’s Kiss,” in the anthology, but that’s not the only reason to check it out.  Deep Genre’s Katherine Kerr is in the anthology too.  And in the spring we’ll be bringing out a companion e-anthology full of great new and reprint fantasy stories.  It’s good reading, available in most electronic formats.

Hey: BVC may not be the future of publishing, but it’s one version, and it’s here now.  We, as writers, decided to take control of a small patch of our destiny and a small patch of the internet.  Come check it out!

Introducing Book View Café

November 19th, 2008

I’m formulating my thoughts on this whole politics/class/fantasy thing–an issue which fascinates me as a writer and a human.  But (as with many fascinating topics) every time I write something I realize I need to think a little more.  So pardon me while I think, and I’ll be back to the topic in a day or so.

Meanwhile, I want to let you know about a new venture started by a group of women writing in SF, fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance: the Book View Café.  Writers such as Ursula LeGuin, Vonda McIntyre, Irene Radford, Katherine Elisska Kimbriel, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Sarah Zettel, and, well, <i>me</i>, are putting up screenplays, stories, poetry and even whole novels.  Right now it’s all read for free, while we’re in the shakeout period.  Thereafter some of it will be free, some will be free if read online, some available for download for a nominal fee. 

The idea is to make a place where we can get our work before readers in a new way–stories that are out of print, experimental, or otherwise unavailable.  There’s also a blog with posts by the site’s various authors–updated daily, and as diverse as we are.

Looking for something good to read?  Want to check out a writer you haven’t tried before?  Check out the Book View Cafe.

Comicon International 2008 — Dr. Horrible, The Dark Knight, and me

July 30th, 2008

Back from Comicon. Also back from Westercon. Thoughts….

First off…wow. Comicon was amazing. In over twenty years of attending, Comicon’s managed to outdo itself again, mostly by dint of those who came, both industry types and fans. I don’t know how many, but numbers of over 200,000 were rumored and probably underestimated.

Second thought, what’s up with the art shows at all the cons? At Comicon, I saw more winged kittens in the art show than superheroes, or for that matter, any comic book characters. Yes, I understand the cottage industry of marketing to dragon and cat fetishists, but seeing the same dracokitty art recycled from Westercon to Comicon was surreal given the difference of the rest of the convention.

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“King’s Shield”

June 18th, 2008

Woo.  Here I am, running around like an ijit, doing laundry and other domestic chores, filling out forms, and writing biz letters, all at once.  Honestly, feeling rather put upon and pouty, because I’d rather be doing about a dozen other things, all equally important too.

Then the stupid door buzzer goes off.  Another delivery.

BUT!  It’s the arrival of Sherwood Smith’s new novel, the sequel to Inda and The FoxKing’s Shield!   So, something really good happened already today, because it wasn’t even 2:30 p.m. yet.

The official publication date is July 1, 2008.

 

 

 

Grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs Dies

May 16th, 2008

Danton Burroughs, the grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs, just died, in Tarzana

[  Burroughs, who had been battling Parkinson's disease, died of heart failure a day after a fire at his home destroyed a room filled with family memorabilia.   ]

Here’s the Burroughs website.

From what I’d heard elsewhere, he’d been working on selling the Mars books as a series for a television network like GRRM did ASOIAF to HBO, or a movie franchise, like Indiana Jones.

I’d quite like to see a good HBO series of the Mars books, done in the style of the period in which they were written.  If done well, needless to say.

Love C.

Free Download of “Spirit Gate”

May 9th, 2008

Tor Books is in the final development process of a new mega-site that is, in their own words

(a) science fiction and fantasy site not quite like any you’ve seen before, mixing news, commentary, original stories and art, your own comments and conversations, and more.

They’ve also been offering free downloads of titles from their backlist to anyone who registers.

This week’s title is, indeed, my novel Spirit Gate.

Seriously, if you haven’t read the book, you can go hence, register, and get the download.

It’s kind of like living in the 21st century.

From Penguin: A SCIENCE FICTION OMNIBUS ed. by Brian Aldiss

February 3rd, 2008

Penguin paperbacks have long provided readers with authoratative editions of classic literature from all nations and genres, edited by experts in the field.  Peguin regularly updates its classics, with new translations, new citations, new editors and different covers.  Thus Penguin’s Science Fiction Omnibus, published in Britain in November 2007, updates the Aldis edited SF Omnibus of 1973.

You can compare the 1973 edition’s Table of Contents 

here with the Table of Contents for this new 2007 edition here.  A thoughtful consideration of SF sparked by this new edition of Aldis’s Omnibus appears in the current Times Literary Supplement. 

You may not agree with every point Dinah Birch, the writer, makes, but its interesting to read.

[ Loneliness shadows science fiction, and is made more acute by its customary settings amid the emptiness of space, with solitary voyagers or beleaguered bands of adventurers encountering the hostilities of planets that deny the consolations of familiarity. The opening images of Walter M. Miller’s brilliant “I Made You” (1954) are typical:

"It sat on the crag by night. Gaunt, frigid, wounded, it sat under the black sky and listened to the land with its feet, while only its dishlike ear moved in slow patterns that searched the surface of the land and the sky The land was silent, airless. Nothing moved, except the feeble thing that scratched in the cave."

The “feeble thing” turns out to be a man, about to be destroyed by the suffering robot that he has created. The story is recognizably a reflection of Frankenstein. It serves, like Frankenstein, to caution against the dangers of scientific progress pursued with no thought of moral consequences. This bleakly admonitory tone repels many readers. It is the business of science fiction to alarm, in the sense of providing the excitement of thrilling dangers, and of scaring readers with the prospect of a future in which human values are threatened. Ruthless invasions, apocalyptic plagues, wars and famines, dying stars, mechanized intelligences and predatory civilizations, have been its favourite devices. Fredric Brown’s “Answer” (1964), a piercingly brief story, points to the hazards of the internet, years before it was invented. Scientists link every computer on earth in order to ask a single question – “Is there a God?”. The answer is immediate: “Yes, NOW there is a God”. The warnings of science fiction are endlessly inventive, often witty, and sometimes salutary, but they do not make for comforting reading. ]

When I was a tad, far back in the days when there was little if any SF and even less F on television and in the movies and in the bookstores, these anthologies and omnibuses were among my most prized discoveries for reading, and re-reading, and re-reading even more times than that.  I didn’t realize it, but these kinds of collections were teaching me what was good about SF, and how it worked, through an infinite variety of treatments and approaches, only limited by the number of stories and writers that could be included.

Love, C.

Spinner Racks

December 7th, 2007

Tom Doherty’s blog on the vanishing mass market paperback should be required reading for anyone who is serious about writing genre fiction (or fiction generally, or anything generally, actually). Disclaimer: Tom is the Publisher and President of Tor Books, and I was his assistant for nearly five years. Tom knows mass market publishing better than just about anyone, and more to the point, he is passionate about publishing and books. Not book-shaped salable widgets, not product, but books.

For years Tom has talked about the diminishment of the mass market in places like supermarkets and drug stores. We used to swap stories about the allure of the spinner racks. When I was a teenager and we’d moved out of New York City and into rural Massachusetts, the drug store was my life line to genre fiction. The local libraries didn’t have much by way of SF or fantasy–lots of historical fiction, Regencies, romances of every stripe, but SF and fantasy were still a sort of untouchable literary caste. But in the drugstore there were spinner racks, and every month I’d go (I got so I knew when the stock would be refreshed, and show up that afternoon) and pick up as many new paperbacks as my allowance would permit (in the days when books were fifty cents to a dollar and a quarter you could actually do that). I encountered Suzette Haden Elgin, Damon Knight, Philip K. Dick, Donald Barr, Robert Silverberg, Terry Carr’s wonderful Years’ Best anthologies, as well as Asimov and Heinlein and Herbert and other Usual Suspects. I found writers I would not necessarily notice today because of the sheer volume of SF and fantasy books that are out there. When there are four genre books a month on the racks it’s easier to buy all four; I didn’t worry about whether a book was my kind of SF because I was so happy to have any SF at all. I was forced by circumstance to read whatever there was, and I was the richer for it.

I love bookstores. I loved bookstores when I was a teenager but even then I bought differently at Barnes and Noble or B. Dalton than I did at the drugstore. I’d encounter a new writer at the drugstore, and after that seek that writer’s work at the bookstore. The books from the spinner racks were the doorway drug that led to the harder stuff. Nowadays when I buy a book it’s most likely on a recommendation from a friend, or it’s by a writer I already know, or something I’ve seen reviewed. What I don’t get too often is surprises, that great feeling of opening a book with no idea of what I’d get. Of course some of it was lousy, but a lot of it was at least entertaining, and some of it was really good.

How do you find new books? Do you get any surprises? I think Tom’s right, that the demise of the spinner rack has a lot of impact on my career, on the sorts of people who might once have picked up a book of mine from the spinner rack but now don’t get a chance to do so. There are other ways to get in touch with potential readers (this blog, after all, is one of them). But that surprise is rarer and rarer, and I, for one, don’t know how to replace it.

Why don’t we love science fiction?

December 2nd, 2007

It’s a little early for us here in NYC to be in the Deep Freeze, but here it is. Plus maybe a half inch of snow, which fell sometime this a.m. before we got up; now the weather’s undecided as to whether it shall snow more or — something.

Nice that the larder is so nicely and well stocked.

Cabin fever shall certainly ensue any moment now. I’m kind of like dogs this way. The need to Go Out builds and builds until it becomes unbearable.

Morever, this is the weekend the U.S. and Brit book review sections are doing “Christmas gift roundups.” Feh. I want Real Reviews of Real New Books! Not roundups about books I’ve already read about. Feh2. Especially on a shut-in day. Feh3.

Ah, the London Times comes through with an article about Science Fiction that is occasioned by the publication of a new edition of Brian Aldiss’s A Science Fiction Omnibus, “a fat collection of classic stories. In the 1960s.” Surely we’ve all read that one? I did, anyway.

There is much of interest in this long article. Here’s a sample:

“The truth is,” Aldiss has written, “that we are at last living in an SF scenario.” A collapsing environment, a hyperconnected world, suicide bombers, perpetual surveillance, the discovery of other solar systems, novel pathogens, tourists in space, children drugged with behaviour controllers – it’s all coming true at last. Aldiss thinks this makes SF redundant. I disagree. In such a climate, it is the conventionally literary that is threatened, and SF comes into its own as the most hardcore realism.

There’s a great deal in this article that I personally do not agree with, but it is worth reading, maybe just because of that!

Love, C.

Whedon On WGA Strike (2)

November 26th, 2007

Joss Whedon answers the New York Times, who try to characterize striking writers as latte-sipping dandies.

http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/11/25/joss-whedon-on-the-wga-strike/

[ The easiest tactic is for people to paint writers as namby pamby arty scarfy posers, because it’s what most people think even when we’re not striking. Writing is largely not considered work. Art in general is not considered work. Work is a thing you physically labor at, or at the very least, hate. Art is fun. (And Hollywood writers are overpaid, scarf-wearing dainties.) It’s an easy argument to make. And a hard one to dispute. ]

There is much more, and it is all wise.

Love, C.

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