Tag Archives: Charlie Stross

Interesting Writings for a missed phone conference afternoon

A veteran of fiction publishing explains why if one more new author asks her about writing for trends, she’s going to have to stick them in a cave somewhere and seal the entrance. Okay, not really.  She says things in a much nicer way, but you know that it probably crossed her mind and the mind of every published writer.


Chris Dolley presents a compelling example of why believability in fiction has got nothing on real life.


It’s been awhile since I put up a Charlie Stross essay, and here’s a good one about the realities of space colonization compared to the Wild West frontier myth about it.


I’m always a bit hesitant to send people to Hal Duncan’s blog for his brilliant essays because though he is erudite and intelligent, they are usually also made of long and dense and academically mined prose and people get all nervous. (Plus, he insists on having that parchment background to the text column as well as the backdrop, which is harder to read.) But this entry is a short and succinct take on a recent column from author Jason Sanford, who was dealing with a teenage interviewer. Sanford was extremely nice to the teen, but Duncan doesn’t have to be as he’s not actually dealing with the student and so gets down to brass tacks. At some point, I’m going to attempt a thing on what genres are in the market and why there isn’t a literary genre, which involves marketing channels and packaging confusion, but in the meantime, Duncan’s irritated grumbling is a simple statement of the new criticism (the one that deals with reality.)



Leave a comment

Filed under book publishing, Humor, SFFH, Technology

Stross and E-books (No, not a legal firm)

I fear I’m beginning to sound like one of Charlie Stross’ publicists (of course, there are worse things,) but the guy is so cursed smart and his tour of publishing series has wandered back to e-books, with many interesting points:


This quote particularly:

(On the other hand, if the 50% compound growth per annum is sustained, they’re going to be a major piece of the picture in five to ten years’ time.)

The italics are mine, because this is the time estimate I’ve been giving for the last several months for the development of the e-book market. This seems very long to Web denizens when things like Facebook seemed to appear out of nowhere, but it’s based on the realities of the publishing industry having to interact with the electronics industry and the difficult rights and payment issues between authors and the publishers who license their property that have to be worked out, among other things. Realistically, to build the infrastructure needed to sustain a workable and growing e-book market for the regular consumer population, five to ten years is about right.

Leave a comment

Filed under book publishing, SFFH

Charlie Explains Some More Things

I linked earlier to Charles Stross’ excellent blog series touring fiction publishing, but his latest entry deserves another mention. Stross tackles the personal life and income of a writer in this one, and his figures for Britain? Cut that in half for the U.S., plus, as he says, lose the health insurance.  Like many successful writers, Stross has run into a lot of people who have the Hollywood view of what he does and how he lives. (This same Hollywood view permeates the discussions of e-book issues.) You run into this a lot from aspiring writers who want to know “how much does the average fiction writer make?” so they can start planning.  Realistically,  the average fiction writer makes nothing. If you’re lucky, you might make really good poker night money. If you’re very lucky, you make a small income from it. If you’re extremely lucky, you’ll make a living out of it. But the odds are decidedly against you. That’s okay, because the money lure is not why most people are obsessed with writing fiction. Stross lays it out with his customary style, which is pretty impressive, considering that only recently he was trapped in Tokyo due to the volcanic ash cloud (still an excellent name for a rock band,) and just got home. Go check it out:


Leave a comment

Filed under book publishing, SFFH

Charlie Stross explains it all

Science fiction author Charlie Stross, who gave perhaps the most cogent information about the Macmillan-Amazon e-book battle, decided the easiest thing to do was to take people on a tour of fiction book publishing with a multi-part series on his blog. This is excellent, basic information about the subject. For all the installments, click on the link to the blog:


Leave a comment

Filed under book publishing, SFFH