[7RQ] Green Light, Red Light / Kindle shenanigans / BBC World Service
“FOR ME IT WAS WEDNESDAY”
Remember I said (just last newsletter!) that I don’t like to ‘pre-announce’ projects until everything’s signed and finalised, ducks in a row, etc? Perfect example. On the one hand, Big New Videogame #1 is going ahead — I can’t tell you what it is, but trust me, you’ve heard of it. Hurrah. On the other hand, Big New Videogame #2… is not going ahead. The irony is that #2 is the one I thought was a lock, but then budget problems reared their head and suddenly it’s no longer happening. And I literally got both pieces of news on the same day.
There’s a whole bunch of stuff like this — New Videogame #3, Screenplay #1 & #2, New Novel Series #1, TV Projects #1 through… I think #4, by this point?! — that continue to bubble under, and which I of course hope get the green light because they’re all potentially great. But that part isn’t up to me, so any of them could simply fall through at any time. Hence, I tend not to talk about them.
(And then we have the matter of NDAs; for example there are two separate videogames, both of which I’ve been working on sporadically for almost two years, that I simply can’t talk about until they’re released.)
THAT SWEET SOUL MUSIC
Here’s something I can definitely tell you about: SOUL MUSIC, my semi-dystopian avant-garde audio-gothic makerpunk story published earlier this year in INTERZONE #274, is now available to buy on Kindle.
And yes, it's labelled #1 because I fully intend to write more stories set in the same world. Whether they'll go straight to Kindle or out to anthologies first, I haven't yet decided.
(Also available in other countries; substitute your local TLD for the .com in that URL)
Staying in the world of Kindle, though several Einstein-Rosen bridges away from my own meagre offerings; how a group of romance authors gaming the Kindle Unlimited system led one to attempt to trademark the word “cocky”, and why the market experiences sudden trend bursts that rise and fade just as quickly.
It’s a fascinating, somewhat alarming look at how the KU program distorts publishing and the reading experience. In a traditional publishing model, the success of one author doesn’t diminish the chances of a second; in fact the opposite is largely true, as a rising tide lifts all boats. But not here. KU is a truly zero-sum game, with a limited pot of money shared between all eligible authors. That people have learned to game this automated, zero-sum system isn’t surprising; but the lengths to which some have gone is pretty astounding.
AT YOUR SERVICE
Quick trip to London this week for an appearance on the BBC World Service Arts Hour. This time I’ll be talking about my own work, while also discussing other current topics and works of interest. I have no idea when it’ll be broadcast, but it’ll be on the BBC iPlayer after it goes out, so I’ll link to the episode when it’s live.
THOUGHT BUBBLE 2018
To nobody’s surprise, I’m also appearing at Thought Bubble (Leeds, UK) in a couple of weeks, September 22-23. I’ll be in the “Originals” marquee, table #12, next to old friends Emma Vieceli and Paul Duffield. More info and a map closer to the time.
(This may be the last time I table at a comics convention for a while. If you want to grab something from me, make sure to stop by.)
RECENTLY READ: “THE FICTIONAL MAN” BY AL EWING
Another RECENTLY READ micro-review, this time of Al Ewing’s 2013 novel THE FICTIONAL MAN. Most of you probably know Ewing as a great comics writer, but he’s also written several equally great novels — mostly for Abaddon Books, an imprint of 2000AD publishers Rebellion. THE FICTIONAL MAN is an odd duck, being a quasi-SF story that’s also a painfully cutting satire of midlist writers. But while that sounds terribly self-indulgent, it’s anything but. Highly recommended. https://www.theincomparable.com/recentlyread/17/
ART-BUBBLE LATE NIGHT
Recorded a while ago, finally released; old pal and crazy Icelander Arni Beck Gunnarson, who now lives and works in Denmark, is one of the organisers for the Art-Bubble Comics Festival which I attended in 2017. Earlier this year we got on Skype to have a good old chin wag about comics, the universe, and everything.
TO SHOW THE PEOPLE THAT PARADISE IS NOT FAR: