Morning Cuppa – 06/03/13 – WTF: Turkey! SFWA! GoT!

It was a weekend of wtf’s of varying shapes and sizes. The most troubling of course was the news out of Turkey, which I round up a bit for you below. Then there was the kerfuffle within the ranks of the SFWA and finally, last night’s episode of GoT (no spoilers, promise).

  • What started as a peaceful protest to prevent the razing of a public park has turned into a fight for the soul of a country. Neil Gaiman’s tumblr has some harrowing photos of what’s happening in Turkey right now. Note: there have been no confirmed deaths at this point, in spite of what those photos say.
    Washington Post roundup of events here, from Friday.
    There are a number of social media angles you can follow, a Facebook page, the #occupygezi hashtag on twitter and this page on tumblr.
  • The latest issue of the SFWA member’s magazine, Bulletin has raised some hackles with a couple of arguably sexist pieces that ran. The first thing that brought it to my attention was E. Catherine Tobler’s blog post where she announced that she was leaving the organization. Not being a subscriber, I found this excellent, well thought out sum-up on Kate Milford’s blog with quotes from the article in question:

    Our Warrior Woman protesters and enemies of the adjective (who unlike Ms. Dworkin will not identify themselves) fall into the category of what Right Wing radio talkers call “liberal fascists,” and I cannot disagree with that description.

    Liberal fascists, huh? Fuck’s sake you guys know how to clear a room. This, of course, is the response to reader complaints about an article by long time SFWA members Barry Malzberg and Mike Resnick by the same.
    Jim C. Hines rounded up responses from sites near and far if you want to get more into the nitty gritty.
    And finally, the SFWA responded quickly with a task force headed up by VP Rachel Swirsky as well as issuing a formal apology from President John Scalzi.

  • Finally, fans of the Game of Thrones television show finally made it to the Red Wedding scene. For those who haven’t read the books, you poor, poor people.
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Morning Cuppa – 05/31/13 – Pagans! Trannies! Unicorns! BDSM!

It’s all about sin today folks! Or, at least someone’s idea of what that means. The only sin from my perspective is that I didn’t buy that fabulous unicorns on velvet painting.

  • Somewhat near where I live there’s been a minor uproar in a small community because a pagan group wants to hold a Summer Solstice celebration in a public park private resort (fuck’s sake, even worse now). Blah blah, there’s a lot to say about equal access and that if anyone tried to deny the other side anything it would be a call to arms (in Florida, literally). Anyways, the whole reason I felt like sharing it this morning was for this priceless quote that had me nearly spraying coffee out of my nose.
    “We are opening ourselves up to things we should not, like belly dancing and magic spells.”
  • Also, this: Genderswapping superhero cartoon accused of being left-wing propaganda conspiracy. Apparently creepos have their pantaloons in a twist because the main character is a boy who puts on a magic ring and becomes… a girl superhero. Terrifying. Truly.
  • And now for the kicker that will assure I get hate mail from today’s post: People who are into BDSM are more well adjusted and mentally fit than you are. Boom. Happy weekend. Now go play with some damn unicorns.

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 – 05/29/13 – Wesley Chu! Geena Davis as Gimli! Tiny bookstore!

 

worlds-smallest-bookstore

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.