Morning Cuppa – 05/30/13 – RIP Jack Vance! Book industry growing! Expanded Amazon categories!


  •  Sad to report that this past weekend SFWA Grand Master Jack Vance passed away at 96. He was the author of over 50 novels and 100 short stories including most notably his Dying Earth series. He was a Nebula and  multiple Hugo award winner among many other honors and awards. 
  • Are bookstores dying? This year they’ve seen a 27% growth in foot traffic in the first quarter compared with last year. And new indie bookstores are springing up all the time. Are ebook sales plateauing? They’ve seen a 43% growth year-over-year, not really the sign of a leveling off. Kristine Katheryn Rusch argues that the industry is far from dying, plateauing or even slowing down. Rather, it’s growing. The landscape is definitely shifting but as we move out of recession, signs are positive.
  • Have you noticed lately that Amazon has gotten a lot more detailed about how they help you find books? For example under scifi, you can now find sub-categories of alien invasiondystopiantime travel, and many more. You can even select by your favorite type of characters! I have a lot of mixed feelings about Amazon, mostly because they’re a monopoly, but this sort of thing is exciting to see.
    Best part: as an author, you have the ability to classify where your book falls in this system.

Morning Cuppa – 05/28/13 – 90% of everything is crap! Amazon Fanfic! Indies in stores!

I feel a little more like an adult this weekend. The missus and I bought a new to us car under my name. While I’m excited about it, it does mean staring down the barrel of some very real 5 year debt. Ah well, it does add some much desired freedom!

  • Tobias Buckell has a really great article about why 90% of the advice you hear right now about writing and selling ebooks is pretty much bullshit. Be careful, it may shatter some illusions, but there are valuable lessons here.
  • So last week to everyone’s surprise and to some people’s horror, Amazon opened up their KDP program to fanfic. Sounds like 65% of the profits for fanfic will be split between the copyright holder and Amazon, and the rights to the work are handed over by the fanfic writer. It should then come as no surprise that writers, writer’s associations and even writers of fanfic are kind of upset by the deal.
  • Hey indie writer! It may be possible for you (yes you!) to get your books into bookstores! There are some quotes from Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith in there, two powerhouses who know what they’re doing… read it and decide for yourself, I’m kind of skeptical right now.

Morning Cuppa – 03/16/13 – Short Fiction Saturday

This daylight savings thing is still leaving me a disheveled mess, I haven’t been able to get my act together all week! Anyways, here’s a few free shorts for your Saturday (just about to be afternoon…).

  • Sing by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Dirk wants to learn how to sing like the natives, but they have no word for singing nor a concept of it. Until Dirk tries to show a young child her people’s beautiful music. Intrigued, she offers to help—only to discover that teaching Dirk to sing could cost her everything.
  • The Hanging Game by Helen Marshall
    • Sometimes a game, even a sacred game, can have far-reaching consequences. In bear country young Skye learns just how far she is willing to go to play the game properly in order carry on the traditions that came before her and will most likely continue long after she is gone.
  • The Fairy Library by Tim Pratt
    • Emily Yuan, anesthetized by the day’s events, drifted into her apartment, volitionless as a cloud. Her housemate Cece sat on the couch and, without looking up from the glowing tablet in her hands, said, “How was work, Em?”


Morning Cuppa – 02/18/13 – Han Solo! Writer’s Estates! Apex readers’ poll!


  • It is rumored that Han Solo will be returning to play Han Solo, so why are we sad? Before he was Indy, he was Han. In my mind Harrison Ford will always be that rakish rogue, galaxy hopping with a hirsute giant. But the news that the real man is coming Harrison Ford in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)back to reprise the old role is a little bitter-sweet. Why? Some have pointed out that he’s just a bit nuts now. Frankly, while that clip is funny, I could care less about that. It’s the realm of artists to explore the boundaries of human experience, including consciousness. I think it was the phoned-in performance for the last Indiana Jones movie that has me worried that he’ll do a similar thing with the new Star Wars.
  • Apex announced the winners for their short fiction readers’ poll, Alethea Kontis and Katherine Duckett.
  • What if you’re a mid-list, or virtually unknown author? Should you bother with managing your estate? What if, like has happened to so many other authors and artists, your work sees a renaissance long after your death? Wouldn’t it be to your family’s benefit to at least put something in writing, even if chances seem extremely remote of such a thing happening? Kristine Kathryn Rusch discusses this very possibility, using Philip K. Dick’s work as an example.
  • Finally, the New York Times takes a rare step into the fantastic and asks some writers and television producers to come up with a story idea based on the recent meteorite that surprised the world.

Morning Cuppa – 02/16/13 – Short Fiction Saturday

Round two of the Short Fiction Saturday is a go, I hope these stories find you snuggled up warm in your bed looking for a good read.

  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch shared The Flower Man:
    • Talia and Max seldom work together at a crime scene, but on this one they must, not just because of the lives lost or the way they died, but because of the memories the crime brings up. Now, Talia must employ her best forensics skills to solve the murder—and salvage her own memories in the process.
  • Nightmare Magazine has The Goosle by Margo Lanagan:
    • “There,” said Grinnan as we cleared the trees. “Now, you keep your counsel, Hanny-boy.” Why, that is the mudwife’s house, I thought. Dread thudded in me. Since two days ago among the older trees when I knew we were in my father’s forest, I’d feared this.
  • Angel Season by J.T. Petty:
    • Jeremy’s girlfriend is pregnant, and he returns home to the mountains to tell his drunken, ne’er-do-well father. The only thing Jeremy’s dad was ever good at was hunting angels, a dangerous pursuit but a profitable one, often netting thousands of dollars to the hunter for the sale of a single “rack,” (the wings.) Since the angel hunt was outlawed more than a decade ago, Jeremy’s dad has slid steadily downhill. With the news of Jeremy’s impending fatherhood, he and his dad engage in one final hunt.
  • A very ‘adult’ fairy tale by Robert E. Stutts, Hungry:
    • Even in high summer, paths through these woods are difficult to find, let alone follow, overrun as they are with brambles and briars and bracken. But in summer there is the sun above you to warm your head, and the green of trees to cheer your heart.

If you’re an author and would like me to purchase a copy of your book, leave a comment on this blog post.