1) There are a lot of folks who like to kick school teachers (esp the unionized ones) and you might think that I, being a homeschooling parent, am one of them. I’m not. Check out this post by a friend on why she quit working at a public school in an L.A. ghetto. Yeah, she’s a talented writer, but I know she wanted to stick it out. Unfortunately, we live in a top-down society that likes to micromanage our workers.
2) As reported on Genreville, there’s an opening at Harper Voyager for books in their upcoming ebook-focused Impulse imprint. Submissions will be open for two weeks only, starting October 1st. More details at that link, for the curious.
3) No, authors do not routinely create sock puppets to praise their own books and disparage others’ so don’t let these assholes fool you. There’s something sad and grasping in all the recent revelations about fake reviews, purchased reviews, and bullying of readers who post one-star reviews. Kate Elliott was on Twitter talking about visibility, and how desperate writers can feel about their work. “If only people would give it a chance!” Right?
But that assumes that success is an incredibly frail thing, something so delicate that a couple negative reviews can destroy it. I don’t believe that. Enthusiasm is a powerful thing, and if you can make people excited about your work, that enthusiasm will be enough.
4) You know what makes me laugh (quietly, on the inside) when I see big corporations complaining about copyright violations? The knowledge that it’s their fault. They’ve spent decades building this consumer culture where people are constantly pushed to get more more more, are judged for what they have, are assured that they can get it cheaper and faster, and have generally been driven into a state where acquiring shit they don’t need feels awesome.
Then technology changes things so they can get what they want without paying, so they do. They don’t care how much money, time, energy, or expertise went into something. They see it. They want it. They take it. And honestly, that’s the kind of culture we’ve built.
5) What I can’t stand, though, is the way companies have responded. Take a look at this io9 article about Ustream cutting off the online feed of the Hugo Awards midway through because they showed (with permission) clips from TV shows. An automated system shut down the video immediately and there was no way to restore it until after the awards had ended.
Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find another spec fic writer who cares less about the Hugo Awards than I do. My indifference is colossal. However, the program that shut down the feed shut off service without any attempt to discern that the users were at fault. Just, boom, you’re out. Notice also that in his apology, Ustream’s CEO made sure to mention their paid service, suggesting that things would have been fine (of fixed quickly) if the users had paid up first.
There has got to be a better way to work things out.
6) I’m writing this last night and I won’t be around when it posts. The plan is to duck out of my home early and get to work on KING KHAN. I’m so close to finishing this first draft I can taste it (but I won’t finish tomorrow. Probably.)