Archive for the ‘Web’ Category

There is still room in my SF1 workshop at Gotham.  Class starts Wednesday, January 12, so come on by and check it out.  Here is a syllabus.


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I’m deep in revision of Eater, my current WIP.  I have a complete draft, but it needs some serious work.  I don’t wan to just mark it up online, printing out some 300 pages of manuscript and lugging it around is unwieldly, and making copies is expensive.  Enter Lulu.  This is primarily a self-publishing platfrom, which I am not particularly interested in, but I set “distribution” to “private” and it took me about 5 minutes to format a perfect bound trade paperback sized instance of my shitty draft.   And copies are cheap!  A single  copy costs less than a Xerox of the manuscript.  Easy to carry around, and I can mark it up to my heart’s content.

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Issue #10 of Rudy Rucker‘s semi-annual webzine, Flurb, as 17 — count ’em, 17! — new stories from a seriously impressive author lineup:  Armstrong, Ashby, Byrne, Callaway, Goonan, Hendrix, Hogan, Kek, Laidlaw, Metzger, Newitz, Rucker, Saknussemm, Scholz, Shirley, Sterling, Watson

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A major publisher of romance, horror, and sci-fi novels has decided to let the trees live and go e-book (and print-on-demand) only. Declining paper book sales and increasing e-book sales helped make that decision.

via Mass romance novel publisher going all in on e-books.

Key phrase above is, of course “and print-on-demand,” which is disruptive in that it disintermediates inventory and craters unit costs, thereby allowing more small presses to enter the game and providing new markets for writers who aren’t named King.  Even though it’s a digital technology, I would classify it in the print rather than ebook category.  Still, this is a huge leap, a harbinger of tings to come, and a mostly good thing.

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I get to read a lot of technical writing, ranging from barely commented code all the way up to high level executive summaries and everything in between. At the high level,  explaining technical concepts to non-technical people is an art form.  Done well, it’s a thing of beauty;  done poorly, it’s nearly as funny as bad porn.

I’m not going to cite the source on this because otherwise the book doesn’t suck too badly, but …

If IP is the network “plate,” TCP is the network “spoon.” After food is plopped onto your plate, you need something to send it into your mouth without spilling it into your lap.  Sure, you could use a fork, but try eating soup with a fork.  You can probably eat peas form your knife without dropping any, but a spoon is the most reliable implement for most Western foods.

Try eating soup with a fork!  Jesus H. Christ … now what’s the command-line syntax for rebooting that switch again?

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Kind of retro, a style of reading I’d almost forgotten:  getting through a piece, start to finish, without following divergent trails of breadcrumbs to other sources and back again.  Placing the links instead at the end, like their ancestral footnotes.  Seems languid, almost Southern.  I’m gonna finish this article and my mint julep and I’m not going anywhere until I’m done with both of ’em.

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The founders of Electric Literature, a multi-platform (POD and electronic) literary journal, talk about distribution, production, and (of course, always) content. Among other things, e-publishing refactors time spent in production and distribution processes, allowing greater outreach to readers. The compression of unit costs facilitated by e-publishing allows publishers to take greater risks; these guys are focusing on the literary short story, a form that has had very few venues in recent years.

Another nail in the coffin of the tired old “e-publishing will kill books” meme, most recently propagated by Klinkenborg in the NY Times.

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