Category Archives: Current News


Cool. Very cool, and very unexpected.

Just got word from Vox Day that The Stars Came Back has been nominated for a Prometheus Award for this year. It’s the award given by the Libertarian Futurist Society.

Past winners include Sarah Hoyt, Harry Turtledove, L. Neil Smith, Vernor Vinge, Terry Pratchett, Ken MacLeod, Poul Anderson, James P. Hogan, J. Neil Schulman, and many more big names. Even if I come in last place, just being nominated to potentially stand amid such a group of names is quite an honor.

r/K selection

A recent article I wrote referred to a Blaze blurb with an excerpt from The Future of the Gun, by Frank Miniter. It explored the effects on world outlook and life choices that gun control laws have on the people subjected to them. Short version: because the gun is a symbol of power, taking away legal guns from law-abiding citizens undercuts the appeal of the “law abiding and productive life” to young men, making them turn to gang and thug life for “power” and respect,” via gun ownership.

Continue reading r/K selection

Happy 4th!

It’s been too long. Happy Birthday, America!

Remember, today isn’t about parades, flags, grilling, or fireworks. Today is about the day a nation declared itself free, a nation founded and dedicated to individual rights as a real and actual thing, not simply lofty-sounding words constantly subject to the “needs” of the State.

Remember: Government is force. It can’t care, or be generous. It can only “give” to one what it has first taken away. It’s run by people, humans as flawed as the people they govern – perhaps even more, because they are the people who seek not to serve, but to rule. Celebrate what freedoms we have, and keep trying to keep them. We may be weakened by the political class, but we aren’t pining for the fjords quite yet.

Up to about 34,000 words on the next book, best day recently was 3000 words in a day.

Inside Politics and Publishing

It seems authoritarian creep (and creeps) manage to infest just about every large group that offers awards and titles. I used to be very active in the medieval recreation group the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms). I loved fighting in armor, the camaraderie, events, and the rest. But it started to get much too political and inbred (for lack of a better word) about the same time I met the young lady that became my wife, so I quit the SCA cold turkey. The SWFA (Science Fiction Writers Association) has become similarly infested with self-promoting, left-wing, intolerant hacks. There are a lot of details I’m sure I don’t know, but I’ve sort of been following it at Vox Popoli, and more recently at Sarah Hoyt‘s blog. A few days ago there was this hysterically funny posting, written mostly in animated GIFs. Among the comments were two cents worth being put in by Jerry Pournelle, Kim du Toit, Charlie Martin (not surprising, I guess), Michael Kingswood, David Brin, Mercedes Lackey, and many others. It was one of those things that was “just…. wow” to watch unfolding. An incredible rant, and magnificent comments, among them this gem by gryphonking: Continue reading Inside Politics and Publishing

Changes in the publishing industry

A New Yorker article. Talks about Amazon and changes that have taken place in the publishing industry in the last 20 years. Some food for thought. Creating good content is difficult, and electronic distribution costs these days are negligible. Authors should pocket a large percentage of the actual retail price of their stories IMHO. OTOH, without a good distribution system, an author can’t get to market, so I see why they’d want a percentage of the action.  But a total race to the bottom is ultimately not the best thing, either.

I’m not sure what the best answer is. Maybe a new book-only company that gives a fair deal to independent authors (like the 70/30 split Amazon gives for their KDP Select folks) but with no other caveats, and does a reasonable business in books for the publishing house authors (like carrying their books, but letting the publishers ship so there is no overhead) and no “promotional fees” just algorithm recommendations, in exchange for the authors getting 20% of whatever the publisher actually sells the (paper) book for, and 60% of electronic book sale price. Eventually I’ll learn more about Kobo and Smashwords and the rest, once I’m done with the 70% + exclusive KDP deal with Amazon. In the meantime, I’m doing OK with it.

Interesting numbers

Ry forwarded this link to me, a report on author earnings. Some interesting numbers. It’s only Amazon data, and it isn’t sliced and diced in all the absolutely perfect ways for my tastes, and it’s got some serious caveats, but it’s data, a lot more than any publisher or book-seller makes public easily anywhere else.

The take-away is that ebooks can make some significant money, and the industry is changing, but it’s not an easy path because there is a lot of competition and it isn’t an unlimited supply of buyers. But I think it means that getting a big name publisher is not nearly as necessary for success as it used to be, at least not in those particular genres that this report looks at.

No Kindle?

A couple of people have asked me how to read it if they don’t have a Kindle. No problem. You can download a “kindle reading app” from Amazon. Pick your platform, download the app, then buy the book. If you have some other preferred reader, once you download the file, you can find it on your computer, then convert it with Calibre. Again, if you like it, spread the word, write a review, let me know.

Fling that sucker, it’s ALIVE!

Writing a book is an adventure.  To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant.  The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”  — Winston Churchill, speaking to the National Book Exhibition in London.

Flung, available at Amazon.

Now… the waiting.