Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The first is yet another reminder to writers to burn their work if they don't really want it released after they die.
"The Original of Laura" by Vladimir Nabokov
When Vladimir Nabokov died in 1977, he left instructions for his heirs to burn the 138 handwritten index cards that made up the rough draft of his final and unfinished novel, The Original of Laura. But Nabokov’s wife, Vera, could not bear to destroy her husband’s last work, and when she died, the fate of the manuscript fell to her son. Dmitri Nabokov, now seventy-five—the Russian novelist’s only surviving heir, and translator of many of his books—has wrestled for three decades with the decision of whether to honor his father’s wish or preserve for posterity the last piece of writing of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. His decision finally to allow publication of the fragmented narrative—dark yet playful, preoccupied with mortality—affords us one last experience of Nabokov’s magnificent creativity, the quintessence of his unparalleled body of work.
The second book, despite seeming to steal the premise of the Simpsons movie, looks like a fun page-turner:
"Under the Dome" by Stephen King
On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.
Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
It's been through a lot of revision over the years, but nothing major for quite sometime. At one point I tried to publish it, but it was rejected for being too ambitious, too weird, too shocking, too experimental...the list goes on and on.
Perhaps it was too shocking to ever see the light of day, but the beauty of Kindle is you can be your own publisher. I put the text online here (you can read the entire synopsis there too) for $1.00 if you want to read it and have either a Kindle or iPhone.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I’ve spent the summer finishing up a YA book that my agent will, with any luck, be able to sell after I finish up the third and final draft. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it later, but for the sake of taking a break from the wonderful world of revision, I thought I’d take the time to write a blog about something very curious that I’ve seen happening in the Kindle store.
By now everyone is probably familiar with the big Kindle hiccup that happened at the start of the summer with George Orwell’s 1984. It wasn’t all that odd since the book was still in copyright. In the past couple weeks, Amazon started doing something that is a bit odd: pulling public domain books from the self.
Yesterday, Amazon announced that it will begin removing all duplicate Public Domain titles, which at least solves the question of the disappearing eBooks.
People who have Kindles are probably aware that publishers by the thousands have uploaded works that are in public domain and sold them for profit. Most of these titles are likely just books that people took off Project Gutenberg and reformatted for Kindle.
They claim the reason for the new policy is to make things less confusing for the consumer because there are too many copies of one work by different publishers. I don’t think it’s confusing at all, which is why I think there’s something else behind it.
My guess is there’s going to be some bigger announcement by Amazon regarding public domain by the end of the year. Which begs the question: what happens if I want to re-download a book that was removed because of this new policy? And further isn't this make a little bit too much of a monopoly for the company? Publishers big and small have successfully republished public domain works with new covers and different authors providing introductions for the past hundred years. A larger percentage of the publishing industry is made up of this kind of practice. For Amazon to say that they will only let one publisher sell something like Huck Finn seems a little odd, and frankly illegal to me.
Monday, September 7, 2009
The other night, Diana and I saw the parade at the new location; it's the same annoying music, but it's hard not to enjoy the spectacle of lights. If you're bored this holiday, watch it and relive the magic for yourself.