Hi all. As everyone who reads this bit of dreck knows, I’m not very disciplined when it comes to posting. Heck, sometimes weeks can go by without a new post from the Cyborgelf (and I know you loyal readers out there are champing at the bit to get a new piece of Sci-Fi wisdom from me). So, for the foreseeable future, one of my good friends & sponsors will be doing some guest posting here at the home of Science Fiction & Fantasy. TFAW, or Things From Another World is a great Sci-Fi/Comic Book shop that really has a great take on pop culture, Science Fiction, Fantasy, etc… In addition to having some really great merchandise, they tend to really know us, their customers and they ahve a knack for giving us what we want. So keep an eye out for future guest posts from them, and visit Things From Another World for a massive selection of Star Wars, Hellboy, Manga, Superheroes and other pop culture favorites.
I read almost everything in ebook format. I’ve never been one of those people who loves books for their physical presence. To me, the story inside the book is what’s important. Ebooks let me take multiple books wherever I go and I just find the format more practical. That being said, there is a lot of controversy surrounding ebooks. For the same reasons that the RIAA is suing little old ladies for downloading music, many authors and publishers frown on the (illegal) downloading of ebooks. On a basic level, downloading media that you haven’t paid for is illegal, but here’s my take on things.
I recently posted about discovering David Gemmell’s Drenai series. I downloaded “Legend” from a P2P site. I wasn’t sure whether I would like it, I’d never read any of his work before, and I couldn’t justify the money. However, after reading Legend, I liked it so much that I actually bought the next four books in the series. So, who’s the loser here? I think it might be time for publishers to take a second look at how they distribute their work.
Baen Books, one of the great science fiction publishing houses, has already taken the next step. Through the Baen Free Library, you can freely download many of their offerings. Generally, they offer older works for free, knowing full well that if you like those, then you might buy more. This is one of the reasons why I trust Baen. I know that they’re counting on the strength of their authors, some of whom include David Drake, Eric Flint & David Weber, to sell their products. And that’s an approach that makes sense to me.
Rock on, Baen.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of sci-fi movies. There is very little originality in Hollywood, and they normally just take an existing story, rework it to add some more special effects, and generally tear the hell out of the plot, character development, etc… For a perfect example, see I, Robot with Will Smith. I robot is one of the great all time Asimov books, as it explores man’s relationship with the machines that he has created, but Holywood destroyed it. Anyway, I am actually excited to hear about a new movie in the works.That’s right, Disney/Pixar is slated to release a trilogy of movies based on the John Carter of Mars stories. (Download the first few over at my Free Ebooks page, or buy it for your Kindle here: A Princess of Mars) I haven’t heard anything about who might be playing John Carter, but I have heard that Andrew Stanton is set to direct. He’s the guy who gave us Finding Nemo. In any case, I love the nature of John Carter versus the storytelling skills of Burroughs. John Carter is a true swashbuckling hero who never fails to win through adversity to rescue his beloved Dejah Thoris. It’s pure escapism, and I don’t think Hollywood can screw that up too much. Plus I’ll be interested to see what they do with the Green Martians.
I got an email newsletter from Tor books today. They had a pretty neat program a while back where if you signed up for their newsletter, then they would send you a free e-book (generally a new release) every week. they stopped doing that, but it seems that if you sign up on their website Tor.com then you can get the free ebooks. It doesn’t seem as cool as what Baen has done with their free library, but it sure is great for anyone who’s into ebooks. Give me a free sample and I’m much more likely to actually spend my hard earned money with you.
I love the Amazon Kindle. Of course, I don’t actually have one. However, I have recently published a couple of Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter stories on the Amazon Kindle store. Sometime in the next few days, you will be able to purchase “A Princess of Mars” and “Gods of Mars” for your Kindle. Of course, you can get them for free from my download page. Hopefully, publishing these books to the Kindle will allow more readers to enjoy some of ERB’s greatest work. As soon as they are “live” I will post a link to them.
More to come…