Over the past several years, after Dennis the Vizsla Dog became a little old man dog, he got in the habit of being noisy in the evenings, loudly complaining via barks and whines that he wanted everyone to stop watching television and go to bed at, oh, 8pm* or so. To an extent, this could be managed with things like the Treat & Train or simply by the occasional tossing of treats (which Hipster Chaplin thought was wonderful, because he was faster than Dennis at that point, with a better nose). Another way this was managed: Putting on subtitles for everything we watched. Because if you can’t listen, you can always read.
Recently I upgraded my eReader to one with a larger screen and, like other eReaders I’ve owned, this one came with a selection of public domain works. In this case, one of the works was The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, by some guy nobody has ever heard of.
So this week I was reading Range of Ghosts, an epic fantasy by Elizabeth Bear, which — unlike most epic fantasies I’ve read — is set in what appears to be an analogue of the Mongolian steppes rather than an analogue of Western Europe, which is enough all on its own to make it interesting. Fortunately I also enjoyed the story.
So those who are familiar with the sorts of other things I’ve done “not a review” entries on, not to mention the sorts of things I write, and who also are familiar with the show Preacher* on AMC, will likely not be surprised to learn that I’ve never missed a single episode of that unhinged horror/comedy/fantasy/bizarro-land production.
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”).
I don’t often do awards on this blog, because
Dennis gets them all reasons, but recently my friend Sharkbytes of My Quality Day gave Dennis me a Liebster award. Also known as Joan D. Young, She is the author of the Dead Mule Swamp series of small-town mysteries, and her late vizsla, Maggie, was Dennis’s longtime blog friend. Naturally Dennis snagged the award and proceeded to put on a Sunday Awards and Meme Show in his inimitable style, and while I can’t compete with his showmanship, I thought I would go ahead and post the award and answer the questions.
So last week, I posted an ancient
report card progress report and mentioned that when I played the clarinet, our dog, Miss Marple (AKA “Missy”), would plant herself in front of me and howl. I further mentioned that it was too bad there was no video because it probably would have made us―or at least Missy―Internet stars. Well, there’s still no video, but since my dad knows where all his pictures are, there is, at least, photographic evidence: