Tag Archives: Sarah A. Hoyt

Why I’m a Human Waver

For those of you who might have missed Sarah’s wonderful series of articles on bringing back that sense of wonder we used to find in science fiction and fantasy, I recommend you read Bring Back That Wonder Feeling, What is Human Wave Science Fiction and You Got To Move It Move It. Also check out Patrick Richardson’s The New Human Wave in Science Fiction.

Like Sarah and all those who have commented on her posts, I miss those days of derring-do in science fiction and I’ve been thinking about why I first started reading science fiction and why, after going away from it for awhile, I returned to it.

I grew up in a house where books were valued friends. I was one of the lucky ones where my parents were voracious readers and they began reading to me very early. When I was old enough, we read together. They encouraged me to read fiction and non-fiction, no book in the house was off-limits. In a time before video games, books were my escape.

When I was an early teen, maybe even a tween, I was spending a week or two at my grandmother’s house in small town Oklahoma. It wasn’t the first time. Every summer I spent at least a week there and another week in Tulsa with my other grandmother. But that summer was different. I’d read all the books in Grandma’s house–all two dozen or so of them. My grandmother just wasn’t a reader. The books that were there were either some left by my dad when he moved out years and years before or by my Uncle John.

Uncle John’s books introduced me to Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. They were good books but short and it didn’t take long for me to read them. So, one day, I did what most any kid who is bored will do–I started prowling the dark corners of the house to see if I could find anything of interest.

Imagine my surprise when I came across a HUGE closet filled almost floor to ceiling with not only books and magazines but also records. I was in heaven. The only problem was that there was nothing to play the records on.

I spent hours going through the books and magazines. There was such a wide assortment of them to choose from. But one thing–well, several actually–that caught my eye. There were a number of If: Worlds of Science Fiction magazines. The covers and story titles intrigued me. I gathered them up and went outside to sit under one of the huge trees to read.

One of the very first stories I read was Jungle in the Sky by Milton Lesser. I’d never heard of either the story or the author before, but there was something about the cover that called to me. I didn’t know then that the magazine had been published in 1952. That part of the cover had been torn away. All I knew was it was something new I hadn’t read at least twice.

The story, like so many science fiction stories, could just as easily have been set in Africa. It was basically a safari set in space, but with a twist. There were aliens, sort of like parasites, that were hunting humans just as humans were hunting other aliens for their expositions on Earth. When our heroes are captured and “infested”, they have to not only find a way to defeat an enemy that is now part of them, but also find a way off the planet and back home to warn the rest of humanity about this threat.

I came across the story again a few months ago. It’s probably been thirty years since I last read it. My initial response on reading it this time was to shake my head when Lesser described the ship’s captain–our heroine–wearing hot pants and a cape while the rest of the crew is in overalls, etc. But then I realized I was looking at the story through today’s so-called sensibilities. This wasn’t a military ship. So the captain could wear whatever she wanted, as long as the ship’s owners didn’t mind. Also, this fit what was being written in the pulps back then. So, I put away the judgmental part of me and just read the story again, wondering if I’d like it as much as I did back then.

I can’t say I did, not completely. But it still made me smile at the right place and cringe when I was supposed to. I still found myself imagining that I was one of those crew members having to fight to survive. Yes, there were structural issues with the story and the science really doesn’t work. But you know what? That really doesn’t matter. It is a good story and I felt good at the end, even though some of the good guys died and some of the bad guys didn’t get the comeuppance I wanted them to.

It didn’t take me long to finish Jungle. So I started looking for more like it. Guess what I found. The first two installments of Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I was hooked. Oh boy was I hooked. And I was ticked because the last installment wasn’t there. Worse, stuck as I was in Ardmore without a car–my grandmother didn’t drive–and without a bookstore in walking distance–I had to wait until I got home and could con,er convince, my parents to take me to a store to buy the book.

Those two started my love affair with science fiction. SF allowed my imagination to fly. It took me to worlds where I knew I’d never be able to go but I could hope my children or grandchildren could. Even those books that didn’t have a happily ever after had that sense of hope to them. If only the survivor could hold out. If only the rescue team got there in time. There was a respect for humanity and for the human spirit I could identify with.

It’s that respect I have found lacking in so many of the “modern” science fiction novels and short stories. Well, that and the very unsubtle attempt by the author to beat me over the head with their political or social beliefs. It has seemed like the need to “teach” has become more important than the desire to “entertain”. Sorry, but when I read for pleasure, it isn’t so someone can pound a message into my head.

That has seemed especially true when it comes to most dystopian sf. (Well, to be honest, the utopian sf as well. But I have always tended to avoid those stories because, frankly, they bore me.) Governments are bad. Corporations are bad. Your neighbor is bad. Even your companions will sell you out at the drop of a hat and you can’t hold onto your beliefs if your life depended on it. Not only are these stories depressing but they usually wind up flying across the room before I finish the first quarter of the book. Why? Because the characters are unbelievable. Not everyone is a caricature. Just because you are a white, blond male doesn’t make you a villain. You aren’t automatically a victim because your skin is a certain color or you are a certain sex. Give me a break.

Give me Heinlein any day of the week. Do I like every one of his books? No. But most of them never fail to send my imagination soaring. Sarah’s Darkship Thieves does the same thing. Athena comes from a horrible world, but it is still a world where there is hope held by some of its inhabitants for a better world. It’s also a fun romp. Terry Pratchett is the same in fantasy as is Dave.  l have yet to find anything by Dave I haven’t liked. The reason why is simple. Dave and Sarah, like PTerry, RAH and so many others, are storytellers. They focus on story and character, putting the “message” in subtly instead of beating us over the head with it.

So, sign me up for the Human Waver movement. I’m thrilled with the opening of the publishing market to small presses and self-published authors for a number of reasons, including the fact that we will be getting more books that fit the Human Wave model. Even better, this “movement” can be applied to every genre. So who else is with me?

Cross-posted from Mad Genius Club

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New Titles & Upcoming Schedule

Just a quick announcement to let you know we have some new titles available for purchase from our webstore as well as from Amazon.  They will also be available shortly from Barnes & Noble and other e-book outlets.

Cat’s Paw

by Robert A. Hoyt

($4.99)

The Mountain at The End Of The World upon which a bird sharpens its beak is down to where one more beak-wipe will eliminate it, and thus bring about the end of the universe. The only ones who can save us are… a bunch of stray cats.

This isn’t your children’s bedtime story.  It has been described as “Watership Down meets the Terminato”r as well as “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — on acid”.  Check it out!

 

Be Careful What You Ask For

by Amanda S. Green

($0.99)

All she’d ever wanted was to get out of the dead end town she’d lived in all her life.  Well, that and find a job that wasn’t as much of a dead end as the town.  Perhaps even find someone to share her life with.  Then Alexander Reed  walked back into her life just as suddenly as he’d walked out years before.  There’d been a time when she’d have done almost anything to be with him.  Now he offered her the chance to do exactly what she’d been wishing all her life.  But at what cost?

 

For Conspicuous Valor

by Darwin A. Garrison

($0.99)

In Conspicuous Valor. Darwin A. Garrison gives us a wonderful science fiction short story with a believable main character who would rather be doing anything but playing with her younger sister. Until, that is, her daydreaming results in danger for her baby brother and a well-deserved dressing down by her uncle. In an attempt to prove herself, she sneaks out the next morning, only to find herself hip-deep in trouble she’d never expected and having to find a way out to save not only herself but her family as well. Whether she has the strength and determination to do it is a question she has to answer — and she’s not sure she can.

 

In the Absence of Light

by Sarah A. Hoyt

($0.99)

In this short story, Sarah A. Hoyt takes us to a time when space travel has many of the same sort of tales that sea travel did several centuries ago. So these monsters really exist or are they just the figments of overly active imaginations? The crew and passengers of the the Amadryad will all too soon learn the answer to what happened to those who’d traveled on the the Tenebras, the first colony ship to Tau Centauri as well as learning if the drifters are real or nothing more than tales meant to frighten people so they don’t look too closely at what is really happening.

 

Night Shifted

by Kate Paulk

($0.99)

The unexpected is commonplace when you work the night shift at the local convenience store. But even that doesn’t prepare you for the Buffy-wanna be who walks through the door and all the trouble she brings with her.

 

The Blood Like Wine

by Sarah A. Hoyt

($0.99)

In the French revolution rivers of blood flowed. From the blood evil arose. Ancient evil engulfed Sylvie. Now in a twentieth century of fast cars and faster living, she must try to expiate evil and recapture her lost love.

 

Here is a list of our upcoming novels.  We will also be publishing at least two short stories a month.  So check our website often for new titles.

November 2011

 ConVent
Kate Paulk

ConVent is proof that Kate Paulk’s brain works in wonderfully mysterious ways.  If there is a plot further from her novel Impaler, I can’t think of it.  When I asked Kate last night to give me a quick synopsis of ConVent, she emailed this:  A sarcastic vampire, his werewolf best buddy, an undercover angel and his succubus squeeze. The “Save the world” department really messed it up this time. Just so you know, that pretty much sums up the book which is one of the most fun reads I’ve had in a very long time.

 

Quick Sand
C. S. Laurel

When a dying man rings his doorbell, secrets from Professor William Yates’ past rise up, which threaten his relationship with Brian Quick, his reputation and his life.  Caught in the quicksand of his past, he has to solve the murder to get free.

 

Quick Change Artist
C. S. Laurel

In this story, Professor William Yates’ gets more than he bargains for when he wakes up with a snake tattoo, a pierced tongue and an even bigger surprise. It turns out a serial rapist who answers his description EXCEPT for having those, has kidnapped him and made him match. Bill and Brian interview “ink artists” and various one night stands to find him.

 

December 2011

A Flaw in Her Magic
Sarah A. Hoyt

In A Flaw of Her Magic, Sarah A. Hoyt gives us her take on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. This time, Austen’s England is populated with weredragons, werewolves and magic.

 

Nocturnal Serenade
Amanda S. Green

In this sequel to Nocturnal Origins, Lt. Mackenzie Santos of the Dallas Police Department learns there are worst things than finding out you come from a long line of shapeshifters. At least that’s what she keeps telling herself. It’s not that she resents suddenly discovering she can turn into a jaguar. Nor is it really the fact that no one warned her what might happen to her one day. Although, come to think of it, her mother does have a lot of explaining to do when – and if – Mac ever talks to her again. No, the real problem is how to keep the existence of shapeshifters hidden from the normals, especially when just one piece of forensic evidence in the hands of the wrong technician could lead to their discovery.

Add in blackmail, a long overdue talk with her grandmother about their heritage and an attack on her mother and Mac’s life is about to get a lot more complicated. What she wouldn’t give for a run-of-the-mill murder to investigate. THAT would be a nice change of pace.

 

January 2012

Scytheman
Chris McMahon

Book 2 of the Jakirian Cycle, Chris’s wonderful fantasy, begun in The Calvanni.

 

Demise of Faith
Ellie Ferguson

Murder and dirty cops make for a very bad week for Liza Ashe as she tries to learn the truth about her father’s death.

 

February 2012

A Deadly Paws
Elise Hyatt

This is the first of the Orphan Kitten Mysteries by Hyatt.

A litter of kittens in a bag getting dropped on the lawn of any family can be expected to create some stir.  But when the litter is dropped on the devil strip of the Goldport, Colorado,home of a creatively eccentric family, what ensues is a murder investigation, a fun romp, and a new all absorbing passion for kitten rescue.

 

Skeletons in the Closet
Ellie Ferguson

Every family has its skeletons they’d prefer stayed hidden in that proverbial closet. That’s especially true when it comes to Lexie Smithson’s family. The only problem is, her family’s skeletons are all too real and they refuse to stay in the closet. It not only plays hell with her home life, but what’s a girl to do for a love life when those old bones start rattling and demanding attention?

 

March 2012

Sword of Arelion
J. T. Schall

Book 1 of a new fantasy series.

 

Hell Bound
Sarah A. Hoyt

Since Claudia Neri’s fiancé died under mysterious circumstances, she’s not been herself.  So when she starts seeing his ghost and getting signs he’s still around, she thinks she’s going insane.  The truth turns out to be far more distressing and will include and archangel, several ancient gods and blood sacrifice.

 

April 2012

Rye Crisp
Sarah A. Hoyt and Amanda S. Green

Alicia Rye learned long ago that life was never as simple or “normal” as those shows you see on TV. Divorced – and boy had her ego taken a beating over that. Not because she was divorced. No, because she’d been a fool to marry Howard for so many reasons – working to provide for herself and her cat, she finds her life once more intersecting that of her ex-husband as she investigates why his boss suddenly lit up like a Roman candle. As if that’s not enough, she has to deal with other, inherited troubles of the sort “normal” folks didn’t worry with – like the Vane, a ghost who has decided she’s his new best friend and who refuses to move on to the afterlife and a fire elemental that really wants to burn her bridges while she’s on them.

 

Musketeer’s Confessor
Sarah D’Almeida

Book 6 of the Musketeer’s Mystery series.

 

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New Titles Now Available

 

I love it when things work quicker than I planned.  We have three new short stories available today on Amazon and soon to be available from Barnes & Noble as well as our own webstore.  I’ll be honest, we figured it would take the other outlets until tomorrow to take the stories live, so they weren’t going up at Naked Reader until tomorrow…well, that’s changing and as soon as the tech guy has his coffee, he’ll be putting them up later this morning.  Any way, enough rambling.  Here are the new short stories and a list of other titles to expect in the next week.

Be Careful What You Wish For

by Amanda S. Green

($0.99)

All she’d ever wanted was to get out of the dead end town she’d lived in all her life. Well, that and find a job that wasn’t as much of a dead end as the town. Perhaps even find someone to share her life with. Then Alexander Reed walked back into her life just as suddenly as he’d walked out years before. There’d been a time when she’d have done almost anything to be with him. Now he offered her the chance to do exactly what she’d been wishing all her life. But at what cost?

The Blood Like Wine

by Sarah A. Hoyt

($0.99)

In the French revolution rivers of blood flowed. From the blood evil arose. Ancient evil engulfed Sylvie. Now in a twentieth century of fast cars and faster living, she must try to expiate evil and recapture her lost love.

Night Shifted

by Kate Paulk

($0.99)

The unexpected is commonplace when you work the night shift at the local convenience store. But even that doesn’t prepare you for the Buffy-wanna be who walks through the door and all the trouble she brings with her.

Coming later this next week are several more wonderful titles:

Cat’s Paw

by Robert A. Hoyt

Described as “Watership Down meets the Terminator” and the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — on acid”, this is by no means a children’s book.  Written by Robert when he was just 13 (and even then more mature than I’ll ever be), Cat’s Paw is one of those books you’ll laugh at even as you’re scratching your head and going back to see if you really did read what you think you just did.  You can find a snippet from it here.

For Conspicuous Valor

by Darwin Garrison

For Conspicuous Valor is a wonderful science fiction short story by Darwin.  He gives us a believable main character who would rather be doing anything but playing with her younger sister.  Until, that is, her daydreaming results in danger for her baby brother and a well-deserved dressing down by her uncle.  In an attempt to prove herself, she sneaks out the next morning, only to find herself hip-deep in trouble she’d never expected and having to find a way out to save not only herself but her family as well.  Whether she has the strength and determination to do it is a question she has to answer — and she’s not sure she can.

Absence of Light

by Sarah A. Hoyt

In this short story, Sarah takes us to a time when space travel has many of the same sort of tales that sea travel did several centuries ago.  So these monsters really exist or are they just the figments of overly active imaginations?  The crew and passengers of the the Amadryad will all too soon learn the answer to what happened to those who’d traveled on the the Tenebras, the first colony ship to Tau Centauri as well as learning if the drifters are real or nothing more than tales meant to frighten people so they don’t look too closely at what is really happening.

Check back next week for more news about our upcoming titles, including ConVent by Kate Paulk, a series of short stories by Dave Freer and much, much more.

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Hear ye! Hear ye!

As promised, I’m back with a couple of announcements and other news.

I want to start by assuring those of you who have been waiting impatiently for Impaler to come out in print, that your wait will soon be over.  Barring unforeseen problems, it will be available for purchase the beginning of next month.  We’ll post updates as the time gets closer.

This next bit of news is more personal to me.  I found out the end of last week that the bosses have given the green light, provisionally, for the sequel to Nocturnal Origins.  What that means is they want to bring it out and the numbers are looking good.  However, for me to write the book and have it done in time for it to come out when they want, I’m going to have to take time off from NRP.  So, it would really be nice for my numbers to increase — while the image of the starving artist or writer is one we’re all familiar with, I like my Blue Bell ice cream and starving really isn’t something I want to do 😉  That means, I need your help.  Tell your family and friends about Origins, if you liked it.  As I’ve said before, you guys are our greatest promotional tool and we do appreciate all you do to spread the word.

Here is the tentative schedule for the rest of the year.  I say tentative because there may be some shuffling of titles.  There will also be some short stories and at least one more novel added to the list.  However, just to give you an idea of what is coming, here you go:

May

  • Here There Be Faeries (fantasy short story) by Stephen Simmons
  • Without a Trace (fantasy middle grade novella) by Dave Freer
  • Revocare (fantasy short story) by Leslie Fish
  • Lawyers of Mars (science fiction novella) by Pam Uphoff
  • The Flight of the Phoenix (fantasy novella) by Chris McMahon

June 6th

  • Blood Price (urban fantasy short story collection) by Sarah A. Hoyt

June 20th

  • A Deeper Silence (sf/f short story collection) by Charles Edgar Quinn
  • The Calvanni (fantasy novel) by Chris McMahon

July 4th

  • Blackie (Pony Express short story) by James Snover
  • Vengeance Mine (mystery novel) by Jenny Schall
  • Short story collection — author to be announced shortly

August 8th

  • Firefight (novel) by Thomas Easton
  • Quicksand (mystery novel) by C. S. Laurel

August 22nd

  • Cat’s Paw (fantasy novel) by Robert A. Hoyt

September 5th

  • The South Shall Rise Again (romantic suspense novel with a touch of supernatural) by Ellie Ferguson

September 19th

  • A Flaw in Her Magic (urban fantasy adaptation of Mansfield Park) by Sarah A. Hoyt
  • Short story, title to be determined, by Taylor M. Lunsford

Otober 3rd

  • Five from the Past (short story collection) by Sarah A. Hoyt
  • Halloween themed short stories

October 31st

  • Halloween short story collection
  • Nocturnal Serenade (urban fantasy novel) by Amanda S. Green

November 21st

  • Holiday Collection by Robert A. Hoyt

December 5th

  • Scytheman (fantasy novel) by Chris McMahon

December 19th

  • ConVent (urban fantasy) by Kate Paulk

As noted above, we will be adding short stories to this schedule as well as at least one or two more novels.  Check back over the next few weeks for blurbs and more information about these titles.

–Amanda

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3 Cups of Tea, Kindle Lending Library and More

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes did a piece on the best selling book Three Cups of Tea.  Among the concerns raised were allegations that parts of the book were, at best, exaggerations of the author’s adventures in Afghanistan and, at worst, out right fabrications.  While 60 Minutes did not do a hatchet job on the book or the author, it raised enough eyebrows for the fall-out to begin.  The latest is news that Montana’s attorney general is going to be looking into the charity associated with the author, Greg Mortenson.

Also appearing this week is Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit, an 80-something page “expose” detailing how “Greg Mortenson, humanitarian hero, lost his way”.  I am not endorsing this work as I have yet to read it, however, Krakauer was one of those interviewed by 60 Minutes who raised concerns about how monies from Mortenson’s charity are being used.

For more on this, check out my post from yesterday.

In other news, for all those Kindle owners who have moaned and groaned because you can’t borrow e-books from your library (most libraries use OverDrive which is mainly limited to EPUB format for e-books), there is good news.  Amazon has announced that it will be launching library lending with more than 11,000 libraries in the U. S. later this year.  You can read the press release here.   The really good news here is that this capability will be available for all versions of the Kindle.

Agent Rachelle Gardner has a great post today on “6 Thinks Writers Can Learn From Hemingway“.  For every writer out there, I recommend you take a look at Ms. Gardner’s list.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen posts from writers — usually new ones, but not always — say they don’t read other books in the genre they are writing in because, gasp, they don’t want to be contaminated by someone else’s style.  They are convinced what they have to say is unique and will be ruined if they see what else is happening in the genre.  Word of advice — read.  Read lots.  Read in your genre and in other genres as well.  Read non-fiction.  Research.  Read.

Finally, check out Sarah A. Hoyt’s post over a Mad Genius Club today.  This is another must-read for all authors.

–Amanda

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The Mystery of First Love by Sarah A. Hoyt

Most people remember when they got their first crush – that feeling that there was something special about the opposite (of for some people same) gender and that this person embodied it.

I’ve talked to people who remember their first crush coming in all sorts of ways. It doesn’t always have to be on someone who is flesh and blood. Sometimes it is, of course. I think the best literary description of this is Tom Sawyer seeing Becky Thatcher. It’s about the right tone and the right reaction. I have friends who fell “in love” with someone on the screen. The other day, apropos nothing I remembered the girl in my notoriously difficult eighth grade physics class, who went up to get a test she was afraid of seeing clutching a collector’s card of a character of Space 1999 (Alan Wassname.) Her name has long since disappeared in the mists of my memory, as has her face, but I remember her hand clutching the card behind her back as a talisman, because “he” had protective powers. And I remember we all teased her about her crush.

It is perhaps fitting that I would take this one step further. I first fell in love with a person composed entirely of words – a creature who had no form or shape except what the author could evoke in the reader’s imagination.

Yes, it was Athos, from the Three Musketeers. For years I’ve assumed I was eleven, perhaps because it’s the ideal age for this. Looking back, though, I don’t think so. I was somewhere between eight and ten. (We played at the Three Musketeers in elementary school. By eleven I was at the two year “preparatory school” where I never got anyone to play my games and instead used to walk around the playground daydreaming.)

I remember hiding in grandma’s potato-storage area. (Her house was up the road, so I spent my afternoons there.) I don’t know why, but I suspect I was hiding from my long division homework. If I’d been found out, I’d have been made to do it, as opposed to inventing a very important reason it hadn’t been done, which had served me fine so far, and was much more fun. I had the Three Musketeers with me. I started reading it not expecting much, because lately I’d been going through the “real literature classics” section of the family library and had learned not to expect much. Still, it was printed and it presumably was a story. I got past the whole thing with the horrible-looking horse fairly unmoved, but of course, I wanted to see if D’Artagnan caught the man who stole his letter.

And then… And then the musketeers come in, and are being chewed out, and … And Athos appears. Wounded, in pain, but coming here to save his friends from disgrace.

I think I read that passage five times in a row. I might have worn the ink off the page. The next few weeks were devoted to fervid day dreams where Athos got catapulted into my immediate vicinity through some sort of space time/reality disturbance (thereby probably making me fit only for science fiction.) The dreams never got very far, since my knowledge of love was reduced to what I could see of the people who courted my cousin Natalia – i.e. when you were in love you got to sit on the uncomfortable front room sofas, under the eagle eye of a chaperone, and make stilted small talk. But I knew I liked men – not boys, note. Most boys my age annoyed me – and I knew what did it for me was nobility and intelligence. (And perhaps a tinge of sadness, though I eventually grew out of that. Still, a tragic past is so romantic, provided you don’t have to live with the guy.)

Most first crushes fade, I guess, but this one remained. At first I re-read the book obsessively, eventually adding Twenty Years after, and later the wretched Viscount the Bragelonne (I still think Dumas Jr. wrote it. Either that, or his father had gone soppy in his old age.) I finally weaned myself to one re-read a year. But Athos remained my fictional crush.

Finally, in my thirties, I realized I was now a writer and I had the power to invoke him at will and spend however much time I wanted with him. About that time, my editor at Prime Crime asked if I wanted to do an historical mystery.

The result was the musketeers mysteries, written as Sarah D’Almeida. The first one, Death Of A Musketeer, has now reverted to me. I’ve made a deal for its publication with Naked Reader Press. I’m not sure of the exact publication date yet, but I think it’s February.

Give it a try, if you haven’t yet, or even if you have but would like an e-copy. It’s non-DRMed, so it will last you through changes of devices. And if this sells well enough for me to think it’s worth my trouble, I’ll be happy to write book six, and seven, and…

The continuation of the series is in your hands. Not to mention the enabling of my crush.

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More News From the Front

One of the things I do each morning as I try to get enough caffeine in me to function is read certain blogs and scan the headlines.  This morning’s trip through the interwebs proved interesting.

Nora Roberts has become the third author to sell a million e-books for the kindle.  She joins James Patterson and Stieg Larsson in that exclusive club.  Bufo Calvin poses an interesting question in his I Love My Kindle Blog post.  Noting that Roberts and Patterson reached this milestone with 74 titles each on the kindle, he wondered if Larsson — with only three titles — benefited by being a new author?

Another story that caught my attention — and hit a topic very close to my heart — is this one about the cut in funding for California public libraries.  Several years ago, the city I live in closed our library due to budget issues.  What happened is the citizenry quickly realized just how important the library is to our community.  A grass roots effort arose to find the additional funds needed to reopen the library.  Once that was done, well, let’s just say most of those who voted to close the library were not on the city council when re-elections rolled around.

I understand the issue with needing to find money to run the state.  But libraries around the country are being hit, and hit hard, financially.  We hear about businesses that fail and banks that are being bailed out by the government after they’ve made investments and loans they never should have.  Yet — and this is as close to politics as I’ll get — we tend to turn a blind eye when our libraries have to cut their hours or close altogether.  When this happens, not only does a community lose a place to borrow books, they lose an integral part of their community.  Libraries are so much more than just book depositories.  Many offer tutoring to students.  There are adult education opportunities.  Children’s programs that promote reading and study habits.  I guess the point of all this is to ask each of you to become educated about what your library does for your community and do all you can to make sure it is not the first thing to be cut when your hometown starts looking at where the budget can be trimmed.

Then there’s this bit of news about Borders.  The Wall Street Journal reports that there is a split among publishers over whether to support Borders’ decision to delay paying for books it has received.  It isn’t hard to imagine that Borders will have no alternative but to file for bankruptcy protection if they can’t get the publishers on board with their plan simply because I don’t see Borders’ lenders agreeing to restructure their debt without an agreement in place with the publishers.  The flip side of that is, if they do get an agreement with the publishers, can you imagine how B&N and the other retailers will react?  This is simply one more confirmation of the downward spiral much of publishing finds itself in these days.

But to show that all is not doom and gloom in the industry, go check out Sarah A. Hoyt’s blog on the situation.  She brings a new spin to the discussion, one I happen to agree with.  Even though traditional publishing is in trouble, electronic publishing brings with it new opportunities AND jobs for all sorts of folks.

Any way, check back later for Darwin Garrison’s latest installment of  Animanga Viewpoint.

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