Friday, August 1, 2008

Curious electric

No, not the Jon and Vangelis album ... though I could say good things about it. I've had it on plastic, that weird black vinyl stuff, for a looooong time. (Believe it or not, we still have a [gasp!] record player.) But no, not that. This somewhat paradoxical bit of feedback that's come out of the sales figures for July:

The vast majority of SF readers prefer paperbacks. Historical fiction readers love their screenreaders and eBooks.

As Bilbo said, "Isn't that odd?" You'd have put money on it being the other way around. Being something of an SF fancier myself, I love my gadgets, but when I'm reading historical fiction, I not only like a book, I like a bloody great big hardcover.

Speaking of ebooks: apologies to one and all. The screenreader version of WHITE ROSE OF NIGHT is much later than I had anticipated ... and it's all my fault. It's sitting there, waiting for me to go through and approve the layout, and I've been so buried in work, I haven't had the chance. So --

If you're waiting for WHITE ROSE formatted especially for your Palm or Pocket PC, give me a few more days, and I'll have it done.

And now for a reader's question that caught me by surprise. What happened (she asked) to the slim volume of Keegan's poems, 'MK: 20 Poems.' And the answer to this excellent question is ... I'm clueless. Sometime, somewhere in the changeover to the new website, it slipped through the cracks and went missing. Vamoosed into some other dimension. It's not linked into anything at this point in time, and although I'd had the idea of making it a free part of the Members' Zone ... I forgot. Utterly.

Next problem: I can't even find a copy of it. I know it's on one of the backup archives somewhere, however, and I hope to be able to find it later today, or perhaps tomorrow. At which point I'll link it into the blog here -- free download and so forth, with my apologies.

The same reader asked, do I write a lot of poetry? I used to, a long time ago. These days I write poetry only to enrich a book. There's a sonnet in THE SWORDSMAN, for instance, and buried right in the middle of NOCTURNE is a poem which always gets overlooked (even by me), because it *is* buried in the middle of the book.(Not much call for poetry in NARC and HELLGATE, but you can usually find an excuse to write verse in fantasy fiction.)

The reader who asked about this is not a "vampyre person," but is a great devotee of romantic poetry, so rather than say something crass like, "Buy the goddamned book," I'm going to be decent, and include the poem right here.

(For those of you who can't bear poetry, skip the next part.)

I have walked alone
Through the silent places of the world
And tasted of night’s shadows,
Which coil like troubled smoke upon the mind.
I have heard the sigh
Of calm, deep waters; they call to me
To rest in stillness, everlasting and resigned.
The hollowness within
Is filled with echoings of cherished dreams
That, one by one, have died;
And, hearing those still waters
In the labyrinths of endless nights, I’ve cried.

And this alone, of all things, have I learned and kept:
Love is worth each tear of blood I ever wept.


Harking back for a moment to the 'Mars of Bust' post of last week or so ... headlining the science news today is the little story that they've struck real, genuine water ice about 2" under the surface on Mars. You gotta like that.

Like I said -- Mars or bust! However, I will add this: if we get there at all, it won't be the work of some of the scientists at the University of Arizona, in Tucson ... someone at the university either neglected to call in a cold-weather specialist, or actually refused to call one in (and I prefer to believe the former), leaving the Arizona-dwelling scienctists at the U ... hot weather people, all of them ... puzzling about how a chunk of warm(er) metal (ie., a spade), when shoved into a deposit of ice-gravel ... comes out of said ice gravel with stuff stuck to it. Geeze Louise, guys, any 9-year-old who ever shoveled out a driveway in upstate NY can figure this one out without even rubbing two brain cells together.

Every had your tongue stuck to a frozen window? (And no, I haven't ... I'm not quite that dense; but I know kids who did.)

I would recommend sending Arctic Canadian, Alaskan, Scottish, Scandinavian, Siberian and Russian science crews to open up the Martian colonies. At least they won't get their spades gummed up.

Or get their tongues frozen to the windows.

No comments:

Post a Comment