Friday, December 25


Happy Year-End Holiday of your choosing.

My primary Christmas present from the Fabulous Robyn is the Oxford English Dictionary -- this is the Shorter version, two volumes containing only 600,000 and change words (a vocabulary *cough* marginally larger *cough* than my own), which is also updated quarterly on-line, adding an average of 2000 words per update. So I could look up the derivation of, for example, flummadiddle.

And its variant spellings, including flummerdiddle and fummadiddle. And don't get me started on fustilarian fustilugs, not to mention funambulists.

Among the various gifts bestowed upon the Fabulous Robyn in return, her favorite (and mine!) is a black leather-look complete Batgirl costume, with cape, gauntlets, over-the-knee boot tops, and utility belt. To paraphrase Eartha Kitt: Me-friggin'-YOW.


WarlordGrego said...

I require pictures of both presents <.<

Anyways, Merry Christmas. Your literary works have always been a great source of joy in my life. I wish you the best in this season, and I hope next year brings you everything you need.

Also, I'm serious about wanting pics :D


Guy said...

Happy Holidays! Here's to good alcohol, full stomachs and friends and family. :D

...and internet leghumping!

Robert said...

Merry Christmas Matt!

I have a question for you though.

Along the holiday madness I've been seeing the Kindle/Nook eBook readers getting a lot of attention. Hell, I've been thinking of getting one or getting one for a family member.

One thing I did notice though is that the eBooks are (as I suppose I should have expected) licenses and not actual property. As such, you don't really own the books and at least with the Kindle has allowed the parent company to remove books from users' Kindles after they had purchased them.

That last bit was deliciously ironic as the books removed were 1984 and Animal Farm.

Exposition aside, it made me curious as to how yourself and other writers feel about the practice of selling licenses to literature without the protections (for both the readers and the pieces of writing themselves) that a print copy affords?

And also, are you guys properly compensated for such sales?

MWS said...

Royalties on e-books seem to be running around three times higher than print (if we're talking mass-market rates).

And the Amazon-Orwell thing was a great deal less ironic than it sounded -- the reason for the deletions was that they had inadvertently offered for sale some books for which they had not purchased the rights (it seems they thought Orwell's books are public domain, or something equally foolish). Also: they gave the affected customers the choice of free copies of the properly-licensed versions, or $30 in store credit.

Another benefit of e-books, from the point of view of a working writer, is that you can't buy them in used-book stores. Every time someone buys an e-book of my stuff, I get paid.

Guy said...

No, the ironic thing is Orwell, who was a huge technophobe, got books sold on an e-reader.

Adam said...

I got a Kindle for Christmas and I have to say I love it. The person who bought it for me also bought the e-books for Blade of Tyshalle and Hans Fallada's Every Man Dies Alone.

Every Man Dies Alone is based on a true story about a 40s Berlin couple who commit acts of civil disobedience against the Nazis by writing anti-fascist post cards. It's only just been translated into English, though the German version was written in 1947. Primo Levi called it "the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis." Definitely worth your time.

I'll assume you all know about the other book, Blade of Tyshalle.

The Other Scott said...

Blade of Tyshalle... Sounds familiar.
Wasn't that the one with the ex-professor ranting against texts in electronic format because it was so easy for the powers-that-be to alter them, and nearly impossible to tell it had been done afterward? :D

Kidding, kind of. Personally, I love the feel of a book in my hands, and the smell of ink on a book fresh from the printers. None of the e-readers I've messed around with at stores have been able to duplicate that. I also like being able to loan books to my friends, and have gotten a few of them hooked on Stover through Shatterpoint. It's a lot harder to loan someone your $200+ ebook with your entire library on it.

Robert said...

Ah I didn't see it reported in a lot of places that they were offered copies of the official versions.

Thanks for pointing that out.

I ask about compensation because when writers like yourself present stories I enjoy reading, I want to make sure you guys get paid so you can write more. :D

Guy said...

I'd buy author direct with Paypal.

Chris said...

Author-direct with PayPal might well be an option soon.

Happy holidays, Matt. I'll drop you a line in the next twenty-four hours as we need to get That Project off the ground! Why don't we go live for new year?

Chris said...

(... actually just realised that I sound like I'm saying a bit more than I should, although not deliberately, in the previous post. God knows if paying author-direct will be possible for Matt's old works soon, or any, but y'know... who knows how other work could be delivered!)

Anonymous said...

Speaking frankly, you are absolutely right.