Thursday, 15 June 2017

“Why are you giving away your mystical adventure and sci-fi ebooks?”

I started writing way back, long before terms like “self publishing” and “indie authors” were coined; a time when people still turned up their noses at what they perceived to be “vanity publishing”. Along came the e-book and the Amazon Kindle, and I decided to make the most of this opportunity, and take charge of the publishing and marketing process, using the newly-emergent social media of Facebook, Twitter, blogging platforms, and – to a lesser extent – Google+.

This worked fine for some time, but as more and more joined the indie gravy train; as indie became more and more mainstream; and as marketing gradually became a matter of who could shout the loudest in this new, hustling, bustling marketplace, I became more and more disenchanted with the direction that things were heading, at least for me.

I've always shied away from competition, in favour of healthy cooperation, and much prefer the road less travelled, or dancing to the beat of a different drum, to mainstream activity, fashion and craze. In one of the books, a wise, old character advises: “The mind observes and cogitates, the heart engages, and I would encourage you to engage with the process,” and I've tried to take her sage advice. When your heart is engaged in something fun and hopefully worthwhile, there is no distinction between work and play, and I'd very much like to keep it that way.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Walkaway, a Novel by Cory Doctorow

I found Walkaway – "an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death" – a really good read.

Well worth ★★★★★.

I'm not sure that I can go with the *detail* of the story, perhaps because I'm not sure if the technology will be available "whenever" to, say, fabricate better fabricators -- though I'm sure scavenging would be a viable option -- or whether we'd have to reinvent the loo roll, the toothbrush, and dry stone walling. There is a helluva lot of necessary infrastructure behind even moderately-complex electronics these days, and if that was compromised, we may find the whole house of cards come tumbling down.