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”).
This week I’m reading The Hour Behind Midnight, by Clinton J. Boomer, in which Royden Poole, a dwarf (or possibly a midget), gets involved in a conspiracy taking place in the Sideways*, AKA the 25th hour, a place that exists in the second between 11:59:59pm and 12:00:00am, and which can be accessed from locations that are abandoned by or don’t receive much attention from humans, such as your corner video store or my web site.
These days, I do nearly all my reading on an e-reader, currently an InkBook Obsidian, but I do on occasion return to the dead tree books of yore. Typically this will be because someone gave or loaned me said dead tree edition. Such was the case with Dune, which, being a door-stopper of a book, I eventually bought in e-form so I wouldn’t have to fight with it when reading at lunch; and such is the case with the Nero Wolfe books, which my father sent to me in a box a while back. I’ve read them all before, but now I’m reading them again, because who doesn’t like to spend some time visiting old friends? The one I’m currently into is Plot it Yourself, in which Wolfe goes up against a con artist with a fondness for pretending that popular novels are plagiarisms of his or her own work, and also for knives.