Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unknown unknowns

'We are not frightened by much that is not strictly conceivable' George Eliot, Middlemarch

I take this to mean that we cannot fear what we cannot imagine. In Setif Five, I want to present unbelievable things. Unimaginable things. Images that make no sense. It should be disconcerting. Our explorers will understand nothing of what they see and experience.

To be told in small animations, images and occasional text.

Still don't know how it will be presented


There are a couple of people out there who got my free ebooks refunded on Amazon. That's something, but I don't know what.

Otherwise around 6000 copies of 22 titles were NOT refunded there this month ...

bad bunny comic

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Setif V Scene One

hi def ...


                                                                           low def ...

it's a very rough first draft (very rough indeed !)

Also plan to scroll in the text (and in a different color) rather than its current placement.

Still it's amazing how much you have to learn in order to do the smallest thing. Unlike writing, where you just put words down in order :}

setif scene one part two

use node editor to composite the 3d view with a background image. scene one has the same but without the text. concatenate those in the video sequence editor. next to have the capsule descending. then a final text-over, and that is scene one

rendered in VGA 640x480 - made a huge difference in rendering performance. also using procedural texture on the sphere rather than a complex image texture

Sunday, November 27, 2011

'trying' is how you learn how much you don't know

attempting to turn in even one simple scene of a blender movie has shown me how little I know and how much I have to learn.
I'm planning on working with the Setif V story, since I'm never going to actually write it. Scene one is very simple and even at that I'm failing and flailing. I do have a deep space image texture on a background plane, and a rotating asteroid with a texture image on it. I am rendering this now as an .avi and just this alone takes a long time and a lot of memory. (>120MB for 80 frames so far, out of 240)
I want to add a landing capsule descending and disappearing into the still-rotating asteroid, and some text, stationary or scrolling, that reads 'the first manned mission to a verified SETI transmission site' followed by some audio (four beeps and a muffled transmission') followed by more text that says 'outcome not so good'
that's ALL. that's all I want to do. Getting the capsule, though (transparent gif over mesh shape?). And then sequencing that as a second animation render.
The text part is also undetermined
Postscript. The initial ten second render attempt was a total failure. Next time I will export each slight rotation as png files and sequence those. More labor intensive but likelier to succeed

did 8 png's at 640x480 (low) resolution. lined them up in the video sequence editor and rendered the animation out (just a globe rotating on the z-axis at 45 degrees 8 times). then i loaded in the resulting avi twice, put them back to back. there you go. purple planet choppily rotating.

next thing was to add text but the node editor seems kind of flaky with render layers. might have to define them in a certain order ... anyhoo. put the text on there, rotate some more, export those stills, and now we have half the first scene.

Mode shift

Done with the self-publishing scene (not that I was really involved - just a few comments and discussions here and there) and the social media scene too (ditto). No more promo or marketing (not that I had done much of that either, had a facebook page and made some occasional promo-release-announcement tweets)

Time now for new formats. Single scene panels. Small animations. Drawings with text. All of hte above in combinations. Storytelling in different ways. No audience. Just me

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Blender progress

far from perfect, I know, but a measure of progress. It's actually 3d solid (mostly) and ready for armature and texturing. From a Lara Croft model.

and Sammy the Nickelhead  Creature, from metaballs-to-mesh

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ego and Artist continued

appending to a previous post

I've found three distinct areas where this problem is dealt with - before, during and after. Before undertaking any work, the artist's ego is all in (what should I do, what can I do, what do I want to do, with heavy bold emphasis on the word 'I'). During the work itself is when it's easiest for the artist to put the ego aside, and get lost in the doing. After the work, though, the beast rears its ugly head once again! Now the artist has to DO something with the work, get it out there into the world (the work demands it). The challenge here is how to do that, how to promote the work without so much self-promotion? Especially in these times, where the artist is often more the product than the work itself. The world of corporate culture wants to sell the creator more than his or her creations (which is why singers have to be so damned pretty nowadays! it's not enough just to sing). In my case, with my free ebooks, I've tried to approach the problem using the analogy of paper boats on a stream - I want to try and toss some rocks in behind them to push them along, help them get on their way out into the world. People should be able to find the works as the result of this movement, but hopefully not see the thrower on the shoreline.


Everyone who reads a story becomes its author. Everyone who sees a picture becomes its taker. Everyone who views a painting becomes its maker. There is only one creator to begin with, but once in the world, everything has many.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mapped, Reduced. (A Short Story)

Mapped Reduced
A Story by Tom Lichtenberg

“Too much information,” groaned the old man as he stared out of the window. “Always was the problem. Same thing then as it is today.”
“What do you know about information, pops?” grinned the young boy, not taking his eyes off the large computer screen in front of him. “You couldn't tell a megabyte from a big sandwich!”
“Kids”, the old man sputtered.
“That's right, go ahead and spit it out,” the boy laughed. “You had your day, old man.”
“In my day,” the geezer began but the boy interrupted.
“I know, I know. You did a day's work and you did it with your own two hands, bla bla bla.”
“We did it the right way,” the other insisted. “Up close and personal. Not like this,” he waved at the bank of computers that lined the walls of the room. The two had the entire floor to themselves, it seemed, the entire forty-fourth floor of a sixty-six story building in the heart of the city, yet they kept to one small office in the farthest corner from the elevator bank. The boy said it was for the quiet, so he could work without disturbance, but the old man was certain the boy had picked it out of spite, to make the old man struggle, to try and wear him down and wear him out, but he wasn't going to give in so easily. His reputation was not built on nothing, after all.
“You did it the hard way,” the boy replied. “I mean, look at this. It's so easy, even a kid could do it,” and he burst out laughing again. He was only twelve but had an edge to him already.
“All I gotta do is hit this key and zap! They don't call 'em data mines for nothing. All of a sudden, they go boom!”
“What are you doing now?”, the old man half rose out of his seat but the boy told him to sit, and he sat back down. It was a struggle to get up, and often he couldn't commit to it.
“Just this guy.” the boy gestured at the screen. “Thinks he can make sweet love to the boss's wife. Too bad the boss is one of us. Wrong move, buster.”
The boy aimed his index finger at the enter button, but the old man intervened.
“Wait,” he pleaded. “Just tell me this. The wife. Is she in love with this guy too?”
“Oh yeah, all the way. You should see some of this stuff,” the boy chuckled.
“Leave 'em alone,” the old man asked.
“No way,” said the kid. “She's not just a wife. She's a tax shelter, dude. We need that play.”
And with that he zapped the unfortunate lover. The old man sighed.
“What did you do to him?”
“Nothing much. Sent him his final paycheck. And a referral letter too. With any luck he'll land on his feet. After deportation, of course. That's the way the nookie crumbles.”
“Jesus!” the old man muttered. “In my day.”
“I know, I know. In your day you'd just break his legs. Lock him up for a year. Look, pops, those days are gone. History, you know? We do it clean now. Clean as a whistle.”
“In my day,” the old man continued, returning to gaze out the window. “we knew what was going on. We had people. They knew people. Nothing took us by surprise.”
“Oh right,” snapped the boy. “Like in '46, and '59, and '71. How about that? Your people fall asleep on the job or what?”
“You never can tell about people,” the old man began, but the boy stopped him once again.
“Yes, you can. We can. We do know. We've got it all right here. Your old ways didn't work. Your people, you know what their problem was? They were human, that was it. My way, the information comes to us. It just comes flowing in. They tell us. They come right out and tell us everything, all their secrets, everything we want to know. They like to call it social media. I call it population control, and I do mean control. It's just a simple matter of sifting and sorting, mapping and reducing. Map and reduce, old man, do you hear me? Map and reduce! That's the way!”
“I have no idea what you're talking about,” the old man confessed. “So you're telling me you know everything that's going on? Everything? All the time?”
“We got it all,” the boy agreed. “Every last drop.”
“So what do you do when things get out of hand? They do that, you know. Get out of hand. Like you said, they're all human, after all.”
“One step ahead, old man. Always one step ahead.”
“Do you remember what they used to call me?” the old man asked
“Sure. The Dragon, because of the way you did it, when things got out of hand, like you say. You brought down the hammer. Fire and brimstone, all of that. You know what they call me?”
“The Piper.”
“That's right. They call me The Piper. You know why? Because they follow. I don't need fear, like you did. They follow me because they want to.”
“I can see that,” the old man murmured into the glass. He pressed his face up closer against the window. Far down below the people, like distant ants, were coming together. They appeared to be carrying things. What were those things they were carrying? It was hard for the old man to tell. There were a lot of them, though, and more were coming from up the street, from every street surrounding.
“Look at this guy,” the boy was mumbling at the computer screen. “Thinks he can start something, just like that. Who is this guy, anyway. I never heard of him.”
“Rats,” the old man said.
“Rats what?” said his grandson, only mildly distracted.
“What followed the Pied Piper,” his grandfather told him. “I was rats. That's what it looks like to me.”
“What are you talking about now?”
“Nothing you're not one step ahead of,” the old man snorted.
The boy got up from his chair and stomped over to the window and looking down, saw the gathering mob.
“What's this?” he wondered aloud.
“Things?” the old man suggested. “Getting out of hand?” It almost made him smile, but that was something he'd forgotten how to do a very long time before.
“Impossible,” said the boy. “I would have known. It would have come up from the program.”
“Too much information,” said the old dictator to the newest one. The boy was thinking of a clever retort when the first wave broke through the elevator doors.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

warrior ghost in cezanne trees

gnod - global network of dreams

gnod is an interesting referral engine for music, movies and books. worth checking out. For Roberto Arlt is referred the expected Borges and Cortazar and even Dashiell Hammett, but unexpectedly Orwell and Kafka as well.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Self Publishing and You

Watch "Self Publishing and You" on YouTube

A video by yours truly (sometimes plays sideways, thank you youtube!)

The question

The question isn't always 'what does the story have to offer YOU?' Sometimes question is 'what do YOU have to offer to the story?'

Entropic Block

Friday, November 18, 2011

Impossible Musical Instruments


(working title - SETIF FIVE - Search for Extra-Terrestial Intelligence Failure # 5)

Based on a conversation with a friend about the movie 'Restrepo'. A pseudo-serious sci-fi story.

It's happened a few times. The SETI program has picked up signals conclusively analyzed to be rationally sourced. Each time a mission has been dispatched to the far-flung origin of the signals. Each time the mission has failed to encounter the intelligence responsible. They have been too late (by a very long time) or otherwise unable to make contact. By the time of our story, however, these experiences have resulted in great technological gains and new methodologies.

A crew of three is dispatched through a randomly occurring congruent vertex. Return will be possible at indeterminate intervals, which will be carefully monitored by the vessel in which they travel - an impenetrable, hard-shell sphere of embedded infrastructure known as Girlie (GRL-Y). The crew consists of the Captain (Marjorie Deacon), the Pilot (James Earl Carter III), and the Droid (Blige), which resembles a rather large tin can. Deacon and Carter are both limbless - Deacon by mutant birth, Carter by volunteer. This asset gives them the capacity to fit snugly in the micro-hovercraft and serves to accommodate the precise weight limitations of Girlie.

They arrive at their multi-lightyear distant location, a smallish planet of mostly rocky, mountainous terrain. They settle into a nice little crater and begin to go about their business of exploration. However, any time any one of them emerges from the sphere, they are immediately attacked - by either what appear to be lightning bolts or sonic strikes. Blige takes most of the risks and accumulates most of the damage. The others are continually patching him up.

They move the sphere to another location, but experience the same 'attacks' no matter where they go. They do pick up signs of organized energy, which they take for life forms, but from which they cannot a coherent picture. The energy appears to change over time, to fluctuate. Their imaginations flail as they attempt to decipher this mystery in what looks to be another failed attempt at contact.

Meanwhile, Girlie is on the lookout for potential escape moments and has her own self-preservation priorities. The next congruent vertex exit could come at any time, adding to the urgency of the mission. Girlie is intent on fleeing after she sustains a certain level of damage.

Not a terrible idea for a story - don't know if I can build up the momentum to write it, though. Where is the attraction for me, personally? Where is the odd angle I can appreciate? I don't actually write a story unless it has a certain pull, and off the bat I'm not seeing it.


This is part of a "declaration" by the Occupy DC people:

"Corporatized culture warps our perception of reality. It cheapens and mocks the beauty of human thought and experience, while promoting excessive materialism as the path to happiness. The corporate news media furthers the interests of the very wealthy, distorts and disregards the truth, and confines our imagination of what is possible for ourselves and society."

While I agree with every word, how does this statement really help accomplish anything? Whining about our crappy culture is not the same as changing it. Didn't Karl Marx point this out 150 years ago?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Seeming is Believing - Three Story Reviews

One of the values of story-telling (and art in general) is how it can make you see the world differently. Not just help you, but make you, and not just seeing from another person's point of view, but fundamentally seeing differently. Most stories don't even make the attempt, and those that do often fail - either through the fault of the writer or the reader. I've had the experience many times (from reviews of my own stories) where the reader has completely missed the point, or shown me where my story lacked what it was wanting.

These three writers' stories did not fail in making me see the world differently.

The "small stories" of Willie Wit always turn on your foiled expectations - they are never what they seem - and in the end you have to look back on everything you've just read and re-view it from the final perspective.

'Where the Sun Sets' by Avella Write has a similar effect. On one level it's a story of old-world versus new, of tradition versus modernity, of tribal versus civilized, rural versus urban. But on another level it's about how radically divergently different persons can see the same reality, even the same object.

In "Welcome to Mom's Diner" we are made to re-see a person we thought we knew well all along. The waitress who seems to have a special gift of hospitality has yet another gift you didn't dream of.

All three of these get my highest recommendation if you're looking for stories that do what I believe stories do best - open your mind.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Idea for somebody's doctoral thesis - the history of the commodification of story-telling, the development of the fetishization of the book (divorced from its contents), the reification of the storyteller, in short the complete alienation of the whole concept of people telling each other stories. Also, how fiction-as-art is different from music in its social presentation, and when fiction-as-art became different (if there was a 'when').

I have this idea that until fairly recently (less than ten generations in the West, at least), for the majority of people, there was no great difference. People told stories to each other, and people sang songs and played music to and with each other. The individuals with talents in these areas contributed those talents, just as the people with different skills (baking pies, for example) contributed those. This is hardly a romanticized view of things. We barely realize these days how extremely different our cultures have become from the lives of the vast majority of people through the vast majority of human history. Alienated, in other words.

We are such fish out of water.

When you check in with writers today in their social media outlets, you find they have nothing to say about writing, only about how many words they cranked out and how much money they're planning to charge people to read those words. There are very few actual ideas. I'm checking out again.

The bottom line for me is that writing is story-telling, nothing more and nothing less. Its value is not its monetary measure, but in the construction of the commonly shared madness we call reality. Every story builds on that experience, and this is why it is important that there be different stories, different points of view, different ideas. Economics tends towards monopoly, which is a constriction, a restriction of centers not only of power but of viewpoints as well, fewer choices made more widely available. You end up with a small set of storylines that are repeated over and over again (romantic comedy, slasher killer, police procedural, spy versus spy, buddy cops). What made money is what sells which therefore breeds more of the same with the goal of making more money. In the end it doesn't matter if the banal-predictable comes from the conglomerates or from independent operators hoping to cash in with the same color chips. This is not independence. It's follow-the-leader.

Ugly and sterile dominant stories make for an ugly and sterile dominant culture. TV, meet America.

You have to have different stories and to have them told out of order, without permission, without consent, outside the fabric of commodity. Otherwise you are only putting down more bricks. To be Marginal, rather than Terminal (to put in terms of the world of Rampant Pheromonix). To be a small voice in the back of the mind of the Great Entertainment. Any old imperfection will do, any tear in the cloak of conformity. In the end, a story-teller has to come down to remaining just that, a teller of stories - not a money-making machine, not a personality, not a construct, not an advertisement, not just a stock on the shelf (as in Bob Marley's Pimpers' Paradise).

One thing I like about ebooks is they bring content back to the forefront. Here are the words. Here is this story (not this lovely artifice called book to display on your shelf with corporate logo et al). And you can give them away. They're just files to be downloaded, like software, like images. It's just text.

The story, the words, here you go.

Fissure - Set Design

I hope to put a model in this post if I can get it right in Blender. This idea I had for a set design for a production of Fissure Monroe. Essentially, cut the stage in thirds, each third partitioned by a wall, each third fronted by panel doors or screens which silently retract/fold-up/nicely. Inside each partition is a rotating set of characters - you never know which one will be in which partition as the spotlight switches from scene to scene and only one partition at a time is visible. The suspect, the store dick, the pundit, and the witness rotate in and out as they are interrogated by a front-of-the-stage-roaming Inspector Mole, except for when the stage clears of all the others and it's a parading Dawn Debris doing her intermittent monologue. Lighting is key to the whole thing.

very raw notion

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Impossible Musical Instruments

blenderized bezier curve-to-mesh

Friday, November 11, 2011


Since a friend introduced me to the great open-source 3D and animation software 'Blender' a few days go, I've been pretty much obsessed with learning the basics. There are absolutely tons and tons of free tutorials (video and wikiand both) and the software itself is both incredibly powerful and incredibly complex. It's right up my alley in many ways - I've done some (rudimentary) computer animation before and have long wanted to do more, the software written in Python (which I've been happy to return to in my professional life this year), and best of all, it's open-source (practically my religion. I give away my fiction in the exact same spirit - all of these people are GIVING to the world without asking for anything in return. I LOVE that and am glad to do it with what I have to offer). Another cool thing is that as I've been learning I've been teaching what I've learned to my son, who is also enjoying it, as he does working with GIMP. I got into computer engineering through the arts (music, in my case) and I think it's a very good way to get into it. Computer science is fairly dry in and of itself, but when you add art and creativity and passion, you can really get going on the motivation and inspiration, and I'd like to give him a sense of that. I think there's been some of it already. He loves to build stuff, and online his favorite games involve creating characters and building worlds (e.g. Minecraft, Spore, and certain Lego games and sites). My Blender efforts so far are meager, but it's only been a few days. Most of the great documentation is for version 2.4, and are hard to follow now that 2.6 is the release build. Many of the UI elements simply don't line up, so you have to dig around and make your own inner translation table. I've been learning about meshes and armature and materials and textures, cameras and lighting, layers and proportional editing. And barely scratching the surface. I only wish I had more time to spend on the stuff. As it is, I sneak it into the handful of minutes I normally use for writing.


Very interesting article about 'Thinking, Fast ad Slow':

Monday, November 07, 2011

Pigeon Weather Designs

trying out blogger's new dynamic views with this cover art page. think i like the snapshot view the best for this

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Last Word on "Indie"

The title of the post ("What's so 'Indie' About Indie Writers?") was in the form of a question, and I think that question has been amply answered. As some have pointed out, I was interpreting the word 'indie' in an aesthetic sense, meaning 'cutting edge' or 'unconventional', whereas the more common interpretation is in the economic sense of 'independent', as it's used for coffee shops that aren't Starbucks, or bookstores that aren't chains.

I think that's perfectly fine and now I'll just shut up.

of course, the snot-nosed brat in me wants to say that now that we know that Indie means Small Business I ought to go tell my Indie barber about it, and the Indie market down the street, so they can update their advertising. It's true the market for self-published books has changed thanks to technology, but self-published books are still the same -indie publishing is DIY vanity publishing and that's not a bad thing, it just is what it is. Plenty of bestsellers got their start that way in history. Most are shit. I'll stick with "self-published" just to remain reality-based and not delusional about it ...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Indie Wrap

Feeling a little guilty about calling out 'indie writers' on the pretentiousness of calling yourself 'indie' instead of just accepting the factual term 'self-publisher' and putting that stigma to rest. 'indie' is such a too-cool-for-school kind of word but hey, if it makes people feel better about themselves and what they're doing, then who am I to be a party-pooper (except that I am pretty much a party-pooper in real life. sorry)

The best thing that came out of that post was this comment. This was interesting and I'm glad to have prompted it

wcmartell says:
I can’t speak for Indie Music, but Indie Films are just films made outside the system, often self financed and sometimes with small to non-existent crews. These movies are *made*, then sold to a distrib or self distribbed. So they are made on spec (as opposed to a studio film). The roots of Indie Films are B westerns and B horror movies… and “Race Films”. If you’ve ever been a member of IFP (now FIND in L.A.) and watched all of the indie films looking for a distrib, they are mostly poorly made crap – and there’s even cliche indie genres like the Dying Grandmother Film (where a 20-something artist living in his parent’s basement or old bedroom, his parents want him to get a job, only his grandmother believes in his art… and then she dies! Now nobody believes he is an artistic genius… then, his work is discovered and he snubs his nose at his parents) – must have seen 100 of those in a single year! According to LA Times, 98% of Indie Films find no form of distribution at all. There are 27,000 Indie Films made every year. Ifr you’re in LA, head over to AFM to check out the indie films that *did* get distribution – mostly crap genre stuff.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Cover Art - Rampant Pheromonix (again)

still trying to get it right. kinda like this one

Thursday, November 03, 2011

What's so "Indie" about Indie Writers?

Henry Baum's recent post on selfpublishing review (about foul language in self-published books) raised this issue, which has been on my mind for a while. What IS so "indie" about "indie writers". Is it merely a fashionable term, a wishful thinking? The term comes from the "indie" film and music trends of the late 20th century, but I think those artistic fields are fundamentally different in important ways from book publishing.  Both music and film require much more equipment, technical expertise and money, and usually involve more people as well, whereas writers only need to type into a computer, save their files, and upload them to online providers such as Amazon or Smashwords.

Another important distinction is motivation. Self-publishing seems to me to be a different game entirely. From what I've seen, most "indie" writers are not rebelling against any industry standards. Independent films are generally movies that the major studios would NOT make, and independent music was originally not the kind of music that the major corporations believed would sell, hence they had no interest (co-optation came later). But indie writers are mostly writing the same kind of books that are already being published. They're writing in the same popular genres, with the same themes, structures, plots and conventions. They're following the same rules and outputting the same products. There's just so many of them! The big publishers are used to controlling the market, keeping the gates (as it were) but the walls are falling down around them. People can now put out the same stuff that the publishers can, and since it's pretty much the same, why should the consumer care where it comes from? If it's cheaper, even better. So what's so "indie" about them?

I'm sure there are some who are breaking new ground, playing around, experimenting, getting ahead of the curve, but writing is a tricky thing to be independent with. Story-telling is deeply engrained in all of us since childhood. The conventional norms exist for a reason. When someone recently critiqued one of my books for "not including the appropriate arcs", this was just a reminder to me that readers do have definite expectations. They desire a certain kind of story, one with the right amounts of "character development" and "narrative" with "underlying themes" and "dramatic tension" and of course a "resolution" with comforting denouement. Writers defy these conventions at their own risk, but how else can you be "independent"? What does that mean in writing?

In music, 'independent' is always about defying conventions. Kurt Cobain did not sound like everything else on the radio at that time. Independent films are not required to have the most beautiful people in them. Independent books, though ...

The contemporary self-publishing field does make it possible for truly independent attempts at literature to make their way into the world more readily than before (even those missing the appropriate arcs), but how many of them are there, and how many people really want to read them? My guess is that the answer to both of those questions is "a pretty small fraction," and that's okay. It's better than nothing.

I would just suggest that the term "indie writer" is misleading, and mostly mis-applied. It sounds cool, but rings a bit hollow when you look at what is really out there.

Bad Language and Self-Publishing

Henry Baum has a good post on this subject, how he's gotten a lot of blowback on having bad language in his books, when there's no similar reaction to such language in indie movies (or indie music). My comment on the subject:

I got the same reactions about “Freak City” and when I went to check there were only seven fucks and three shits. BFD! But I do like Marc Horne’s idea – he put out a “Clean Version” of his “Automatic Assassin” (which I actually preferred, a matter of taste).
Couple of points, though. If you get your stuff out there to a wide audience, you’re going to hear the whole range of reactions, so you’ve got to take it as a positive. In America, there’s a lot of puritanism (most of it coming from the kind of hypocrites who get caught with underage hookers sooner or later) and a whole lot of self-righteousness. Language is one of those nerves. Grammar is another.
As for indie publishing versus film/music, it seems to me it’s a whole different game entirely. From what I see, most so-called indie writers are not rebelling against the industry standards – they just want in. They’re writing the same kind of formulaic, mainstream, conventional stuff (mysteries, sci-fi, paranormal, romance, erotica) that the big publishers are putting out – there seems to be very little “indie” in indie writing. That’s my main problem with the whole scene. It’s mostly about wanting to cash in, be the next Amanda Hocking, and so on.
When they talk about publishers being the “gatekeepers” they mean just that. They want to control the market, be the only players, let only their guys in. The mass of self-publishers are storming those gates and why not? Good for them. Go for it, I say, but I don’t believe for a minute there’s anything “indie” in the same sense as you had in music or film.
Maybe it’s just that people don’t want “different” when it comes to their reading. Maybe they just want more of the same, and if it’s just the same, why should they care where it comes from, whether it’s from Bantam Books or Joe Schmoe?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Freak City - Cover Three

time for a new cover, just in time for winter. this bungalow also makes an appearance in Zombie Nights and Secret Sidewalk, a sort of subtle link between three trilogies

Some Call It Drama

I always thought of 'Fissure Monroe'  (now FREE on Amazon) as a sort of theatrical production, but never really promoted it as such. It consists of 4 concurrent cross-examinations by Inspector Mole and 1 simultaneous monologue by the private detective Dawn Debris. I originally wrote the book in an accounting ledger book in columns of different colored-ink. It's hard if not impossible to produce that way in actual book form, so in the ebook version I selected one order of events (out of many possible) and set it down that way.

'Fissure Monroe' is a sci-fi satire of a rather typical "me" style. As they say in movie previews ... 'in a world ...", well, in a world where beauty is no longer skin-deep, but now judged by skeletal arrangements perceived through special x-ray glasses, a black market in fashionable bones arises, controlled, of course, by organized crime with links to high-ranking officials (natch). When a rich lady's leg-bone is stolen, an intrepid if utterly incompetent private eye is called on to investigate. The useless Inspector Mole is also on the case. Between them, a story unravels and arrives at some sort of conclusion.

Of course it can't be both NonFiction->Theater and Fiction->Drama, as it is according to Amazon. In fact, it's neither!