For all I, a reasonable individual can ascertain, reading the stars and sawing a pretty lady in half as anything I deal with the pricing of eBooks as anything else on this planet.
After reading a Tweet about Seth Godin’s The Dip I decided that knowing when to quit would be a really great skill to have so I set out to look for a copy of this sage advice. With the beautiful screen on my new Motorola Droid providing a great screen for reading and the release of the popular eReader software I set out to procure an eBook of The Dip so I could read it wherever I was.
The first link I found was to Amazon where you can purchase a hardcopy of The Dip for $9.36, but for the want of portability I set out to find a digital copy. What I Found where prices ranging from $10.36 to $12.95 with both the high and low belonging to a Barnes and Noble store.
To this day I cannot understand why I should be charged more for a digital copy of a book; especially if it comes with some form of DRM. While I can’t carry my hardcopy with me all the time, I can share it with anyone I want.
I won’t begrudge an author just rewards for his or her hard work, or even the publisher what they have coming for formatting and publishing a book, but given the fact that they say it costs the same to create an eBook as it does a hardcopy; why the hell do I have to pay a premium for a digital copy?
I welcome your thoughts and explanations.
I shared a promo for Rob Kutner’s Apocalypse How earlier this week and wished for the ability to see inside it in order to understand what it was about. Imagine my surprise when Rob took time out of writing for the daily show and promoting his new book to email me and point me to the excerpts section of the Apocalypse How website.
After looking through several pages of the book, I can’t wait to head down to my local bookstore to pick this one up, I just hope they have it in stock or I’ll have to pick it up on Amazon.
I found this hilarious promo for Apocolypse How by Rob Kutner which is a new Apocalyptic how to book.
I only wish you could look inside the book on Amazon so I could get a better idea of what’s inside….
I had the opportunity to read an early copy of Tobias Buckell’s latest novel, Sly Mongoose, which is a kick ass adventure novel with loads of action. Sly Mongoose mixes together several cool ideas including zombies, autonomous robot creatures and a man with internal technology fusing with rusting misshapen technology to become whole again all while still conveying a well thought out plot.
Sly Mongoose also provided me with something to chew on as Tobias explores governments and the pitfalls that come with different kinds of ruling societies ranging from the old school council of elders style taking place in Yatapek to the, everyone must vote, government of the Aeolian Consensus. My favorite protagonist Pepper takes a young emissary to task over the shortcomings of this severely democratic process in a scene which caused me to explore my own conceptions about government and the differing forms democracy takes.
“What do you call sex without consent, Pepper?” She leaned forward like a large cat.
“Rape,” Pepper said evenly.
An invisible trap sprung. She smiled, reciting a script that came easily to her. Pepper imagined it being taught in schools to Aeolians all around Chilo. “Indeed. Rape. It is the consent that is the key. What is the act of governing without consent?”
“Getting shit done.” Pepper didn’t like getting lectured at by little girls, even if they embodied the will of millions.
She ignored his irritated reply. “Think of government as a marriage Pepper. You’ve entered into a bond, but it does not mean that the right to do certain things are guaranteed. A wife who doesn’t consent can still be raped, as an elected government can still run over its people. Better to do make sure that permission is asked for each act, every time. Better yet to make the government vanish: run by monthly volunteers and automated frameworks. For a month you’ve been chosen to be a judge, study hard. Next year you’ll be a filing clerk for a month. We all serve. We all vote. We’re the government.”
“That crap’s nice until you have a threat breathing down your your neck,” Pepper growled. “Even the Athenians you adore so much turned quickly towards strong leaders when it came time to face invaders. Our time on Chilo is countable in days. You will need leaders, not town meetings.”
She recoiled from the intensity he hissed the last word out with. He noticed that she had bags under her eyes. It was late into the night, and she was just a tired, stressed out teenager. “Well,” she whispered. “It did turn out rather well for the Athenians, throwing away freedom for a good defense, didn’t it? After centuries under the boot of the Satraps, I would have thought dying free would beat living safe.”
Amazingly Tobias is able to provoke these questions all while providing a race to the end adventure. This is his third book and it is clear that he has further honed his writing chops. If you can’t find anything deeper than the action in Sly Mongoose, I suggest you avoid the deep end of the swimming pool. Sly Mongoose was able to pull me in much quicker than the first two books and I felt even more connected to Pepper and Timas than I did to John DeBrun in Crystal Rain.
This novel is sure to be enjoyable even to readers who missed out on the planetary adventure that was Crystal Rain and the space opera of Ragamuffin. I think the first two books and his short stories only whetted my appetite for Sly Mongoose. I was thrilled to see Pepper get the attention and time his character deserved. I truly hope that we see more of Pepper in the future. If you aren’t familiar with Pepper, my best description would be Chuck Norris circa Delta Force a little bit of shaft, one part terminator, a dash of Steven Hawking and dreds…don’t forget the dreds.
Also be sure to check out his next novel, which is part of the Halo series called, Halo: The Cole Protocol. If you need to get acquainted with Pepper check out Fish Merchant which makes for an excellent introduction to his character, and follow it up with Manumission which provides a sense of who Pepper is.
I’ve been reading quite a bit of post apocalyptic fiction lately, becoming completely enthralled by Jeff Carlson’s Plague Year and the followup novel Plague War in which any piece of land below 10,000 feet has become uninhabitable due to a nasty bit of nanotech. The nanotech pulls apart humans in order to create replications of itself and has divided not only the U.S. but countries worldwide. The two books have proven to be an enjoyable ride and kept me up late last night while I finished Plague War. You can check out the book trailer as well as the first few chapters of Plague War and Plague year at Jverse.com.
The book got me thinking that in all of the post apocalyptic fiction I have been reading lately nobody has used been using solar power to survive. Even in the altered future gasoline is still one of the most important resources for individuals and governments.
I find this somewhat surprising given the provenance of solar powered accessories in the marketplace. There are solar powered ties, purses, backpacks, tables and even mini solar powered “receivers” which can be found in many stores. I hope that some new fiction in the future has at least one survivor which gets by through the use of a solar powered item that would be within the grasp of an everyday person.
I know if I sense an upcoming plague or disaster of epic proportions I’ll be busting in to my local Bestbuy, scavenging every battery in site as well as the collection of solar backpacks. Hitting up the sporting goods store next door to get decked out in the finest outdoor apparel and switching my cavalier for a Hummer on the way to stock up on non perishable food, then heading for the hills. See you there!
When I haven’t been writing over at WalletPop about anything from pornography being a lagging indicator of the economy to the minimum wage increase I have been reading Watchmen. Watchmen is the graphic novel which the movie of the same name is coming out in 2009. I am about 2/3 of the way through and it is really starting to get interesting. I am enjoying both the art and the weaving of tales into the storyline. You can pick a copy up at your local bookstore or grab Watchmen from Amazon.com.
I am also looking forward to picking up Plague Year by Jeff Carlson a cool near future thriller involving nanotech which replicates by way of living organisms. You can check out the first chapter on Jeff Carlson’s site. The sequel to Plague Year just came out and is called Plague War. Jeff Carlson has made an entertaining book trailer which get me in the mood to check out the series.
I’m stoked to share this, though obviously not as stoked as my friend Toby, who was just announced by way of the Bungie.net blog to be writing the next halo novel. The novel is due out this fall and is called Halo; The Cole Protocol. Details on the novel are sparse right now, but you can check out a little bit of information from Bungie.net.
Halo: The Cole Protocol will be the sixth novel set in the Halo Universe. Tobias S. Buckell, author of Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin will pen the novel, which reveals the location of the Spartan Gray Team and “takes readers into an unexplored conflict of the Human-Covenant War where unlikely alliances are formed and shattered…”
If you are new to Tobias Buckell you should check out this post on his website, tobiasbuckell.com, where he introduces his past work, background and shares some of his fiction for free.
Hmm something tells me the next time we hop on Halo we better be ready for a little more trashtalk. I can hear all the gmaers full of piss an vinegar ready to claim they beat the author of the next Halo novel.
I heard about “Now The Hell Will Start” by Brandan Koerner a few weeks ago and decided I had to read it. The only problem is that my current “to read” list is way to long especially with books I have recently purchased so I am waiting for a copy of his book to come available in a local library. The story sounds fascinating, excerpt below.
A true story of murder, love, and headhunters, Now the Hell Will Start tells the remarkable tale of Herman Perry, a budding playboy from the streets of Washington, D.C., who wound up going native in the Indo-Burmese jungle—not because he yearned for adventure, but rather to escape the greatest manhunt conducted by the United States Army during World War II.
An African American G.I. assigned to a segregated labor battalion, Perry was shipped to South Asia in 1943, enduring unspeakable hardships while sailing around the globe. He was one of thousands of black soldiers dispatched to build the Ledo Road, a highway meant to appease China’s conniving dictator, Chiang Kai-shek. Stretching from the thickly forested mountains of northeast India across the tiger-infested vales of Burma, the road was a lethal nightmare, beset by monsoons, malaria, and insects that chewed men’s flesh to pulp.
Perry could not endure the jungle’s brutality, nor the racist treatment meted out by his white officers. He found solace in opium and marijuana, which further warped his fraying psyche. Finally, on March 5, 1944, he broke down—an emotional collapse that ended with him shooting an unarmed white lieutenant.
So began Perry’s flight through the Indo-Burmese wilderness, one of the planet’s most hostile realms. While the military police combed the brothels of Calcutta, Perry trekked through the jungle, eventually stumbling upon a village festooned with polished human skulls. It was here, amid a tribe of elaborately tattooed headhunters, that Herman Perry would find bliss—and would marry the chief ’s fourteen-year-old daughter.