Monday, July 30, 2007

Jim Baen's Universe 08 - Eric Flint

This issue has 12 stories, which is the lowest so far, but Flint says in an earlier editorial they are aiming for around 120K words, and the Modesitt story here was a particularly lengthy novella it appears, so that perhaps explains it.

The second lowest rated issue for fiction so far, with 3.29, but again consistently in keeping with the other offerings so far in style, although they do delve into horror of a sort with the Kipling story.

The non-fiction here includes an article on cancer and possible advances by Resnick, and he also talks about slush reading, saying if you write something, the start better be good, or sayonnara. Have to agree, there.

Gregory Benford talks about the evolution of cosmology.

Eric Flint talks about fair use of work in the continuation of his 'Salvos Against Big Brother' column, and how DRM and extend copyright advocates would like to take it away, he says this:

"Hopefully, at this point, it will dawn on you that the situation with remaindered books—and used books, and library copies, and free copies borrowed from a friend or relative—is exactly the same with so-called "electronic piracy." In a nutshell, the more popular an author is, the more likely it is they will:

a) Get "pirated;"
b) Get remaindered;
c) Get their titles into libraries;
d) Get their titles in used book stores;
e) Get their titles in new book stores;
e) Sell copies of their books all over the place
f) Make a good living."


"Duh. This is not rocket science. For Pete's sake, why is it that something any supposedly lowbrow car salesman can understand perfectly well is beyond the grasp of authors, editors and publishers, almost all of whom have college degrees and many of them advanced degrees? You can't sell books unless you're willing to let the public have a lot of free or cheap copies. Any more than a car dealership can sell cars without letting their potential customers have test drives at the dealership's expense.

C-a-n-n-o-t. The market is simply far too opaque to expect many people to buy a book "the way they should.""

The end of his article leaves us with a teaser for the next essay, as he brings up the point that giving away electronic copies works only if the major market is a print market, and when the shift to electronic publishing is a majority market then very bad things will happen.

This is what he says:

"In essence, with regard to both issues, the argument is that while DRM may be penny-foolish, it is pound-wise. It may hurt you in the short run, but in the long run it's simply a necessity for the future.

Well, it isn't, as I'll spend quite a bit of time demonstrating."

As always, interesting stuff, and what I read first in the mag.

An Ocean is a Snowflake Four Billion Miles Away ,John Barnes
At the Watering Hole,Edward M. Lerner
Concentration of Dogs,Carl Frederick
Free Space,Carrie Vaughn
Murphy's War,James P. Hogan
The Lord-Protector's Daughter,L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Creation: The Launch!,Laura Resnick
Dark Corners,Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Mark of the Beast,Rudyard Kipling
Fish Story Episode 8,Dave Freer and Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis
Mrs. Schrödinger's Cat,Gary Cuba
Squish,S. E. Ward

Energetic documentary avalanche accident.

3 out of 5

SETI FTL arrival zap.

3 out of 5

Fatal canine gestalt.

4 out of 5

Robots, guns and money.

3.5 out of 5

Spyware conflict shortage.

3.5 out of 5

Talent accounting.

2.5 out of 5

PR issues.

3 out of 5

French faery power lacking in nazi blasting.

3 out of 5

Leper lycanthropy.

3.5 out of 5

Coelacanths and craziness in R’lyeh where dead Cthulhu lies dreaming.

3.5 out of 5

Honey, about the moggie...

3.5 out of 5

Smart bug hunt problems.

3.5 out of 5

4 out of 5

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