Monday, January 31, 2011

SF Signal Podcast: The Future and Impact of eBook Publishing

Episode 26 of the SF Signal Podcast marks their inaugural "virtual convention panel." Yours Truly, Mike Resnick, Sue Lange, John Picacio and hosts Patrick Hester and Jon DeNardo discuss the future and impact of eBook Publishing. I think it went rather well, if I do say so myself. The episode is available at the link above, and on iTunes.

Swords & Dark Magic: Elitist's Best of 2010

Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and SorceryElitist Book Reviews have just published their Best of 2010 list, and I'm thrilled that Swords & Dark Magic, the sword & sorcery anthology I edited along with Jonathan Strahan for Eos books, is on the their list. Also included are no less than ten books by Pyr authors (which I naturally also edited), making the total of Lou-related works in the list eleven out of seventeen books! I'm 65% of their year!

The full list:

GEOSYNCHRON by David Louis Edelman
James Barclay's novels -- ELFSORROW and SHADOWHEART
SWORDS & DARK MAGIC edited by Jonathan Strahan and Lou Anders
MR. MONSTER by Dan Wells
TWELVE by Jasper Kent
SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY by Mary Robinette Kowal
BLACKOUT and ALL CLEAR by Connie Willis
NIGHTS OF VILLJAMUR by Mark Charan Newton

Friday, January 21, 2011

Unwelcome Irony

So this morning my Google Alerts returns exactly two searches on my name. One is a Goodreads discussion group in which some folks bag on me for objecting to piracy and the other is a torrent to a download of my anthology, Swords & Dark Magic.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Does eBook Piracy Help Sales?

Media Bistro has an article, DOES EBOOK PIRACY HELP SALES. I like the comment, "It is illogical to interpret piracy as boosting sales. Piracy, one can assume, will come in direct relationship to popularity of a book. If more people want to buy it there will be a parallel number wanting to steal it."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Bull Spec Issue Number Four

I am interviewed, along with Orson Scott Card and Clay & Susan Griffith, in the current issue of Bull Spec magazine. This is a brand new speculative fiction magazine, beautifully presented, that you can buy in print or PDF (and, I'm told, ePub format soon). Check it out, and "like" Bull Spec's Facebook page as well.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great looking cover

Art by Paul Young. Design by Jackie Cooke.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 14, 2011

Don't Steal Books

Rene Sears has a very good and thoughtful post about illegal downloads on her blog, as well as a followup post about all the legal ways to read for free.

The first post deals with her exchange with someone on Twitter that claimed that by pirating a copy of a book in a region where the book is not being sold they were somehow "sending a message" to a publisher on the author's behalf. Rene makes several interesting points. She writes:

1) Book piracy is theft. My exchange with the other tweeter ended with him/her conceding that illegal downloading was wrong, but that "it's understandable since publishers are behind the times." Well, no. Wanting something doesn't give you the right to it. My four-year-old son is beginning to get the hang of this idea; surely an adult can. when you steal these books, you are not sending a message to the publisher. The publisher does not owe you books. The people in publishing are there because they love books, but it's still a business. A publisher tanking means they can't bring you more books. Furthermore, you are stealing money from the author and affecting that author's sales. Espcially for debut authors, this can seriously hurt their careers. You are not striking a blow to the man, you are hurting people who have worked very hard to get published and mostly don't make all that much money.

2) The global market isn't. There may be a global audience, but distribution and rights are still regional. And if sales in a region are siphoned away by piracy, publishers will assume there's no market in that region, because there are no sales. You can blithely wave your hands and say ebooks should be available everywhere, but the facts are more complicated and involve lawyers and contracts.

3)If you really want to convince a publisher that there's a market for a particular book or ebook in your region, the way to do that is not by stealing from them. That tells them exactly nothing. The way to communicate with a publisher is to communicate with a publisher. Not with the authors- as much as they wish they could, this isn't something they have control over: the publisher. Most publisher's websites will have some kind of contact page; write the publisher and tell them you want to see this book in your region in your preferred format. That will have far more impact than illegally downloading a book. Publishers want to connect with readers, both because they are readers and because they want to sell you books. They are not rubbing their hands together going "mwah ha ha" thinking of ways to screw any given region out of a book. They want to get the book out to as many readers as they can.

4)The other way to convince a publisher that there's a market is to buy books in your region. You may have to wait longer- there are books that came out in the UK last year that I'd quite like to read, but I'm waiting until they show up in US bookstores so that US publishers will know that there's a market for British books here. If you really can't wait, buy the book off Book Depository- they ship internationally free of charge. Just know that you're not helping your region get that book (or books like it.) (And I note Book Depository offers some free ebooks, too.)

5)If cost is an issue, there's always the library. Libraries are awesome. If they don't have the book you want, they can order it for you, and the author will see both money and sales figures from that sale.

6)If, at this point, you are still going to say that you prefer to read ebooks, and the ebook isn't available for your region, I'm not sure what to say. I prefer to eat caviar off the hood of a brand new Bentley, but that's not going to happen. Wanting something doesn't make you entitled to it. If you still go out and download something illegally, at least don't try and justify it by saying you're making a statement to a publisher. You aren't. You're just stealing books.
Her second post is about the wealth of legal free online reading already available. She writes:
After reading the twitter tag #ebookdownloads yesterday, some interesting things got repeated a lot by those who admitted to torrenting ebooks for whatever reason. A lot of people said things along the lines of "I'll illegally download a book, and if I like it, I'll go buy it," or, "I can't afford a book right now, but I'll pay for it later," or, "I live somewhere where books (or English language books) are scarce/ hard to come by." The thing that gets me about these statements is this: there is an assload of free fiction available on the internets. 

Rene then lists sources of plenty of free online content, including (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange, authors and publishers' websites, web-based fiction sites like the excellent Shadow Unit, and all the free books on Kindle and Nook etc. (with a site called Books on the Knob that keeps you up to date on what's free.) None of these outlets are stealing - all these sites are giving you free fiction. Given this wealth of options, Rene concludes:
These are the ones I thought of immediately. I'm sure there are other legal ways to get free fiction. There's no reason to illegally download books unless you are possessed of a vast sense of entitlement and a lack of giving a shit about who you're hurting when you steal from them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

David Bowie

The Best of 2010 Steampunk Facebook Awards

Not a picture of Lou.
The steampunk page on Facebook has just announced "The Best of 2010 Steampunk Facebook Awards." They write, "The largest steampunk fan page on Facebook now has a set of yearly awards to acknowledge the best of the best, those people in the arts and other creative fields whose work has shone through above the rest or who hold the most worldwide popularity among the steampunk community for their work this year. As this is the first year of these awards, we will be taking into account the work that individuals have done over the course of the past decade when determining who to select."

I suppose I'll be needing a pair of brass goggles now as I've been named "Best Editor." But before I start affixing gears to all my gadgets, what this announcement really means is that someone appreciates all the wonderful steampunk books that Pyr has released in the last few months, books like The Ghosts of Manhattan, The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, The Greyfriar, The Horns of Ruin, and The Buntline Special. For my part, I certainly appreciate their authors.

TC McCarthy's Germline

Huge congratulations to my friend, fraternity brother and former CIA agent(!), TC McCarthy, on his forthcoming debut. His novel, Germline, will be published in mass market paperback in August. TC expresses his excitement here on his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

From the Orbit Spring/Summer 2011 catalog:
The Subterrene War Trilogy, Book One

T.C. McCarthy
Aug-2011 | 978-0-316-12818-6 | Mass Market Paperback

Germline (n.) the genetic material contained in a cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation.

Also: secret military program to develop genetically engineered super-soldiers (slang).

War is Oscar Wendell’s ticket to greatness. A reporter for The Stars and Stripes, he has the only one way pass to the front lines of a brutal war over natural resources buried underneath the icy, mineral rich mountains of Kazakhstan.

But war is nothing like he expected. Heavily armored soldiers battle genetically engineered troops hundreds of meters below the surface. The genetics-the germline soldiers-are the key to winning this war, but some inventions can’t be un-done. Some technologies can’t be put back in the box.

Kaz will change everything, not least Oscar himself. Hooked on a dangerous cocktail of adrenaline and drugs, Oscar doesn’t find the war, the war finds him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Swords & Dark Magic - Something for Everyone

Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and SorceryThe wonderfully named "An Eccentricity of Books and Tea to Go with Them" has posted a review of Swords & Dark Magic. They chose the Michael Moorcock, Caitlin Kiernan, and Scott Lynch stories as the standouts, but conclude, "I think that anyone interested in fantasy will find something to their liking."

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Phoenix Jones - Real Life Super Hero

Totally digging this:

Although apparently a senior Seattle-based superhero named Mr. Ravenblade has called him out. Just like in the comic books, two superheroes always have to fight.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Trip Back in Time...and Sideways in Crime!

Sideways In Crime
Really nice to see a review for my 2008 anthology Sideways in Crime pop up. Pandora's Longbox singles out stories by Paul Di Filippo, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and others, and concludes: "Anders has included 15 short stories in Sideways in Crime and all of them show skill and verve. The result is the second collection I've recently read with Anders associated with it and the second that I have pretty much thoroughly enjoyed. So I'll be looking for Anders's name on new anthologies and, if you like a good collection of short stories, I recommend you do so as well."

Sideways in Crime was an anthology of  "alternate mystery" stories - meaning classic "Who Dunnit" mysteries set in alternate histories. I'm very proud of it and very glad to see it's still being read.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Works I Edited in 2010: The Complete List

Well, it's that time again. The Hugo Awards are now open for nominations, so here is a handy-dandy list of all the books that I edited in 2010, which details not only all of Pyr's output and the two short story collections as well. Many of these books and stories are deserving of consideration, and I'll detail the artists who did these covers as well. So...

Pyr's 2010 Publications:

Gardens of the SunKay Kenyon's Prince of Storms (in hc and paperback). Cover art by Stephan Mariniere.
Kay Kenyon's City Without End (reprint). Cover art by Stephan Martiniere.
Paul McAuley's Gardens of the Sun. Cover art by Sparth.
David Louis Edelman's Geosynchron. Cover art by Stephan Martiniere.
Joel Shepherd's Petrodor. Cover art by David Palumbo.
Adrian Tchaikovsky's Empire in Black and Gold. Cover art by Jon Sullivan.
Adrian Tchaikovsky's Dragonfly Falling. Cover art by Jon Sullivan.
Adrian Tchaikovsky's Blood of the Mantis. Cover art by Jon Sullivan.
Ghosts of ManhattanGeorge Mann's Ghosts of Manhattan. Cover art by Benjamin Carre.
Ian McDonald's Ares Express (reprint). Cover art by Stephan Martiniere.
Mark Chadbourn's The Devil in Green. Cover art by John Picacio.
Mark Chadbourn's The Queen of Sinister. Cover art by John Picacio.
Mark Chadbourn's The Hounds of Avalon. Cover art by John Picacio.
Matthew Sturges' The Office of Shadow. Cover art by Chris McGrath.
Jon Sprunk's Shadow's Son. Cover art by Michael Komarck.
Ian McDonald's The Dervish House. Cover art by Stephan Martiniere.
Tom Lloyd's The Ragged Man. Cover art by Todd Lockwood.
Jasper Kent's Twelve. Cover art by Paul Young.
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne in)Sam Sykes' Tome of the Undergates. Cover art by Paul Young.
Mark Hodders' The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack. Cover art by Jon Sullivan.
Adrian Tchaikovsky's Salute the Dark. Cover art by Jon Sullivan.
Joel Shepherd's Tracato. Cover art by David Palumbo.
Pierre Pevel's The Cardinal's Blades. Cover art by Jon Sullivan.
The Wolf AgeJames Enge's The Wolf Age. Cover art by Dominic Harman.
Clay and Susan Griffith's The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire Book 1). Cover art by Chris McGrath.
James Barclay's Elfsorrow. Cover art by Raymond Swanland.
James Barclay's Shadowheart. Cover art by Raymond Swanland.
James Barclay's Demonstorm. Cover art by Raymond Swanland.
Tim Akers' The Horns of Ruin. Cover art by Benjamin Carre.
Mike Resnick's The Buntline Special. Cover art by J. Seamus Gallagher.

The Dervish House30 novels in 31 bindings. Quite a year. Pyr itself turned 5 and hit our 100th title. I've posted a round up of various Best of 2010 posts over at the Pyr blog. Ian McDonald's The Dervish House and Clay and Susan Griffith's The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire Book 1) seem to be making the most Best of lists, but Pyr novels are appearing all over!

The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire, Book 1)Turning to short fiction, I edited 33 individual stories, detailed below. The Hugo Awards defines a short story as anything less than 7,500 words, a novelette as being between 7,500 words and 17,500 words, and a novella as being from 17,500 words to 40,000.

Pyr released one novelette in 2010, James Enge's "Travellers' Rest," which was made available as a free ebook in both ePub and Kindle formats. Cover art by Chuck Lukacs. 8,471 words.

Beyond Pyr, I edited two short fiction anthologies (making this a year in which I am personally eligible in both the long form and short form categories, in case you are wondering). Each contained very many deserving short stories, novelettes, and novellas. They were:

MaskedMasked (Gallery Books). Cover art by Trevor Hairsine:
  • "Cleansed and Set in Gold" by Matthew Sturges (9,825 words)
  • "Where their Worm Dieth Not" by James Maxey (6,868 words)
  • "Secret Identity" by Paul Cornell (4,795 words)
  • "The Non-Event" by Mike Carey (6,093 words)
  • "Avatar" by Mike Baron (4,483 words)
  • "Message from the Bubblegum Factory" by Daryl Gregory (9,514 words)
  • "Thug" by Gail Simone (5,746 words)
  • "Vacuum Lad" by Stephen Baxter (6,733 words)
  • "A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows" by Chris Roberson (11,404 words)
  • "Head Cases" by Peter David & Kathleen David (5,474)
  • "Downfall" by Joseph Mallozzi (18,181)
  • "By My Works You Shall Know Me" by Mark Chadbourn (6,636 words)
  • "Call Her Savage" by Marjorie M. Liu (8,955 words)
  • "Tonight we fly" by Ian McDonald (4,998 words)
  • "A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too)" by Bill Willingham (15,932 words)

Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery
Swords and Dark MagicSwords & Dark Magic (co-edited with Jonathan Strahan, Eos). Cover art by Benjamin Carre. (Deluxe edition, Subterranean Press. Cover art by Dominic Harman).

  • "Goats of Glory" - Steven Erikson (10,301 words)
    "Tides Elba: A Tale of the Black Company" - Glen Cook (9,973 words)
    "Bloodsport" - Gene Wolfe (5,562 words)
    "The Singing Spear" - James Enge (3,455 words)
    "A Wizard of Wiscezan" - C.J. Cherryh (10,543 words)
    "A Rich Full Week" - K. J. Parker (9,912 words)
    "A Suitable Present for a Sorcerous Puppet" - Garth Nix (5,068 words)
    "Red Pearls: An Elric Story" - Michael Moorcock (17,206)
    "The Deification of Dal Bamore" - Tim Lebbon (7,425 words)
    "Dark Times at the Midnight Market" - Robert Silverberg (8,177 words)
    "The Undefiled" - Greg Keyes (4,254 words)
    "Hew the Tint Master" - Michael Shea   (11,489 words)
    "In the Stacks" - Scott Lynch (14,643 words)
    "Two Lions, A Witch, and the War-Robe" - Tanith Lee (10,715 words)
    "The Sea Troll's Daughter" - Caitlin R Kiernan  (9,957 words)
    "Thieves of Daring" - Bill Willingham  (2,219 words)
    "The Fool Jobs" - Joe Abercrombie (8,372 words)
And that's it for 2010. Apart from tooting my own horn, I do sincerely hope you will check out all the many deserving writers and artists in the list above.