Teaser Tuesday: “A Scanner Darkly”

So this week I was reading A Scanner Darkly, a shortish dystopian novel by some guy named Philip K. Dick. Maybe you’ve heard of him. If not, you’ve almost certainly heard of the movie Blade Runner, which was based on his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?*

PKD: Not an acronym for a medical condition.
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That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2020 Edition

So as they do every year, the algorithm elves over at Goodreads have prepared an annual review of the books their users read and rated in 2020. Being a year when there was, shall we say, not a lot in the way of places to go or things to do, plus one in which I managed not to end up in the ICU for a while, one might think I would have read quite a bit more than in 2019, but in fact, I only read about 200 more pages. Maybe I was spending too much time watching the news …

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Limited Edition “Father’s Books” Cover! Get It While It’s Limited! Get It While It’s A Cover!

So remember a while back when I said I was waiting for the artwork for my new novel Father’s Books as well as for my reissue of Night Watchman, which became orphaned after Mundania Press abruptly shut down operations last year? And how I said I wasn’t going to release the books until I had the artwork, so as not to have to bother doing it twice? And how, a little while after that, I said, well, okay, maybe I’ll release the eBook versions with the placeholder covers, but that I wasn’t going to release the paperback versions yet? Wellllll, if I may quote Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”:

Spike: “I had a plan.”
Angel: “You, a plan?”
Spike: “A good plan, smart plan, carefully laid out. But, I got bored.”
[Spike pushes Angel against a wall]
Spike: “All that watching, waiting. My legs started to cramp.”

Angel, “In the Dark”
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Proofs of Life. Or Something.

So a few weeks ago, I mentioned that, due to the totally botched rollout of their “upgraded” web site, Lulu.com had managed to hose the three books I’ve had on sale through them since, oh, 2008 or so, that I had contacted their support department, and that if I didn’t hear from them, I was likely to retire the books from Lulu.com and move them to KDP and IngramSpark. Well, the astute reader will probably not be shocked to learn that I never heard from Lulu.com, that I retired the books, and that I moved them to KDP. (IngramSpark will be next.) This week, I got the first set of proofs from KDP of the new and improved—as in, likely to actually be available soon—versions of Dragon Stones, Long Before Dawn, and A Flock of Crow is Called a Murder.

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In Case You Were Looking For Something To Blow A Couple Of Stimulus Checks On

NightWatchman.png

I don’t know if this is a signed copy of Night Watchman, my old splatterpunk “not everyboy wants to read The Books of Blood novel that recently became orphaned when the publisher abruptly closed up shop last year with no notice. But for that price, it had better be. And really. $2,000 and no free shipping?! #ripoff

My advice? Wait for me to republish it. Then you’ll be able to pick it up for, oh, not more than $500 or so.

That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2019 Edition

Goodreads has prepared their annual review of books read and rated by their users in 2019, and my reading list apparently went downhill in 2019, with an average book rating of 2.7. (Last year’s average book rating was 3.5.) I attribute this decline to a couple of factors:

  • I only read a couple of Nero Wolfe books this year.
  • I decided to eschew the “pick a random book” reading model I’ve been using for the past few years, and go with “read books in the order I acquired them” instead. This put me back at books I picked up starting in 2015, many of which were, I think, free books from the early days of my participation in the BookBub mailing list, and a lot of these were subpar YA offerings. (Interestingly, back in 2015 or 2016, I tried to get one of my books — Dragon Stones, of course — into a BookBub promotion, and they rejected it because it only had 20 or so reviews/ratings so they couldn’t be sure it was up to their standards. Hmm.)

Aside from the quality of my reading material, there were a few other, uh, issues that cropped up towards the end of 2019 which affected how much reading I got done. I’ll be getting into that soon. But for now, let’s just look at the books:

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Teaser Tuesday 1/8/19: “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While”

So recently I came across a long short story (or very short novella) called “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While“, by Catherynne M. Valente. This is officially numbered as “Fairyland 0.5” and could be considered a prequel to her “Fairyland” series, inasmuch as it takes place prior to the events of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, and concerns itself with how the missing monarch of that book, Queen Mallow, became Queen Mallow in the first place.

the_girl_who_ruled
Only a one-horsepower engine, but it’s a big horse

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