Archive for category Charles Stross

E = …?

Since I have officially finished reading my first ebook, I have added a designation to my “Currently Reading”… Yeap… intuitive you probably already guessed it… an “E”, well “(E)” to be specific. I’ve read a couple of short stories, or pieces of magazines, but finally snuck in a book so I could finish something for a class.

And the jury is still mixed. Sort of.

I’m reading on an iPad (cross platform: I’ve got both Nook & Kindle apps loaded, as well as iBooks), and the experiences have generally been positive… much better than my attempts to run the Nook app on a Droid 2 (synching issues). Really, the only issue I’ve had to grumble about is the lack of cross-platform availability for some titles I’m interested in. Examples: Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series – there are a couple of titles not available for the Nook, but are available through Kindle. Neil Peart’s books that are available electronically on Kindle, aren’t anywhere else.

I like the appearance and functionality of iBooks, but Nook’s got so many more titles and options available, and in theory has cross platform support (has worked between an iPad & iPod Touch… not so much with the Droid app, and some issues with the PC client). And Nook’s easier to add titles to (over 3000 – yes, that’s thousand – samples so far). Kindle hassn’t impressed me, other than as an alternate venue to find titles – like Peart’s books, or Cherie Priest’s Clementine.

Yes, I said samples a moment ago. Many of them are books that I already own copies of and am just using as place markers for the “library” (Grafton, Gaiman, some Stross and Doctorow, among others). Many of them are back-cannon collections for writer’s I like, have an interest in reading (the rest of Stross, Doctorow, Scalzi, King). Many of them, though, fall into the “oooh, shiny” category, which is where I think Nook has the market advantage. I like to wander the shelves and look at books. I’m weird that way, always have been, but with the marvel of cell phone cameras, I can now take a picture of a book that looks interesting, look it up online, *click* a sample is added to the library for me to check out later. Much better for the discouragement of random impulse buying with triple digit receipts (I mentioned here before where two trips to B&N in a week netted me about 20 books, just because I was bored and wandered the shelves).

I guess the real reason I say the jury is still sort of out stems from moments like that… I still have a boatload of books – physical paper, bound, printed things – on my shelves begging to be read, many of which are more likely out of print, or haven’t been transitioned over to ebooks yet (inherited collections). Which means not a frequent digesting of ebooks… yet. Once I finish this Master’s Degree thing, I may have some increased opportunities to play with.

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[I had started this right after returing from Readercon 21… but am finally fleshing it out a month later… jle/8-11-10]

The trip was fun… the flight up was uninspiring, other than to find out just how convenient it is to fly out of TINY LOCAL AIRPORT as opposed to driving two hours (usually the night before the scheduled flight) to MAJOR TRAFFIC AIRPORT, even if it does involve a layover and flight change instead of a direct flight. The plan was supposed to be having MC and I meeting up with Chris in Boston. When tickets were gotten a year ago, all was fine. A month before, and Chris was scheduled to arrive about an hour before us. Flight delays on his end led to a correction of schedules, so he arrived only a few minutes before us.

Readercon was my first conference, and I think it was a good place to cut my teeth. There was a fair amount of nerves in place, so I didn’t do nearly as much networking as I was hoping to going into it, but I did a little bit (including going to a “magazine” party that was looking for people interested in doing SF reviews), so it worked out well. [I’ve got a couple of magazines that I’ve downloaded, with the intention of writing some sample reviews to submit.] Other highlights include Charles Stross… yes, I have pictures, and yes I plan on uploading… but will probably add to a later recap post. Signing, Kaffeeklatch, and a reading (along with a variety of panels)… but there were other writers that I went into only with vague name recognition, that I can now say: “I’ve seen them!” or “I’ve heard them speak!” – like Barry Longyear, and Paul di Fillipo).

And Mary Robinette Kowal… I hadn’t been familiar with her before the conference, but afterwards looked her up online. Turns out I had a piece she had written downloaded to the iPad, as well. Her first book was soon to be released, and on the merit of how she was on panels, I added her to my radar of writers to try and follow… (see future post about Reconstruction)

Most of the specific conference events are a blur, but the short version was that it was a good time.

Then we flew home. Chris flew home without a problem, but we ended up with about two hours of delays for our layover – mechanical delays, then weather delays – before we were able to get home – just in time for our own rush hour traffic.

While the trip itself was good, and one I wouldn’t mind repeating in the future, I had the distinct feeling of anti-climax. For as long as I had been wanting to go to Boston, it fell short of the pedestal that I had it on… Maybe it’s because we were outside of Boston proper for the event, or maybe I’ve moved on from that mental place that set up the pedestal. Maybe it’s because all I really saw of Boston itself was from inside a car…

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On the Business of Writing…

I’ve been following a series of posts at Charles Stross’ blog lately, where he discusses the business side of the writing life. I found it useful, and the series has given me some insight into areas that I have yet to tread. So, saying that, I am posting links here more for my future reference as well as to share the information.

Post 1 – “Common Misconceptions about Publishing” – General thoughts on the publishing industry (mostly on the structure of the beast)

Post 2 – “How Books are Made” (the physical process of making a book)

Post 3 – “What Authors Sell to Publishers” (or, “how a contract generally works”)

Post 4 – “Territories, Translations and Foreign Rights” (or, “sub-clauses for a overseas contracts”)

Post 5– “Why Books are the Length They Are” – how physical printing issues may impact the appearance or text of a finished manuscript (or, “Nice book, but it’s really long… can we split it in two?”)

Post 6 – (On the subject of cover art)

Post 7 – “Post Mortem” (where he discusses elements of the evolution of the Merchant Princes series, as Book 6 hits store shelves…)

[Edit on 5-7-10 to add:]
Here is a composite post (much like this one)…
And an 8th post, referencing the point of Lifestyle or Job (or, theodds of living off of writing)

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