So late last month, my novel A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder (or, as we lazy folks refer to it, Crows) picked up a review over on Amazon.com. That makes two (count ’em!) Amazon reviews for this book since it was published in 2002. At this rate I’ll be hitting the magic number of, oh, say, 50 reviews, somewhere just shy of halfway through the millennium. Of course by then everyone will be reading their books under the sea on their waterproof devices, and Crows will be classified as science fiction because it takes place on dry land, but hey. Genres shift.
It’s been quite a while since I reached into my giant pile of rejection (and some acceptance) letters, so this week I spun up random.org to have it tell me which folder I should reach into. It selected folder I-J, from which I pulled an old contract from Hard Shell Word Factory (now an imprint of Mundania Press, home of some oddly specific genre categorizations), for the eBook rights to Night Watchman. “Hard Shell Word Factory” doesn’t belong in the I-J folder, of course, but, you know, sometimes things get misfiled. But anyway, I picked it, so here it is. Rather than reproducing all umpteen pages of the eBook contract, I thought I would just pull a few selected sections from it, which may serve as an interesting illumination of how the eBook world has changed since the year 2000 (or, as we called it back in those panic-stricken days, “Y2K”).
Wife (reading news): “Do you think Oprah will run for President?”
Wife: “Why not?”
Me: “I don’t think she wants the job.”
Wife (considering): “I think she and Daenerys Targaryen should run together.”
Me: “I thought it was going to be a Daenerys/Tyrion ticket.”
As 2017 came to a close, so too did our getting caught up on all of the available seasons of “Game of Thrones”. It only took us about five months to get through them, because that’s how we binge around here: At a deliberate pace. Sort of like how long it takes the Night King to move south from Hardhome while everyone else flits around the continent on Air Westeros, or however they do it.
Since my wife got hooked by the show, she’s been staying awake for pretty much the entire episode each time — at least until season 7, when the episode lengths started to approach the running times of short movies, which is pushing it on how long she can stay awake even when watching something she likes. But she never stopped with the pithy observations about what’s transpiring on-screen, and I never stopped scurrying off to write them down for later use******, helpfully arranging them by season, so that those who may not be caught up will know when to stop. Because …
So this week (or rather, last week, by the time this appears), I am (or rather, was) reading Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente. As one may guess, this is a retelling of the “Snow White” story as a Western, in which Snow White is a half-Crow gunslinger, the Evil Queen (known only as Mrs. H) is the second wife of a robber baron, the Huntsman is a Pinkerton agent, the Seven Dwarves are outlaws, and Charming is a horse. And yes, it’s still written as a fable.