Saturday, August 16, 2008

Contests, Prizes & Getting Them There.

I kinda suck!

I'm sure you remember that a little more than a month ago, Shawn won the contest for being my 10,000th visitor and Michelle won the side bet by guessing what time that visit would take place.
They were both supposed to get movie tickets from me. I had chosen this prize because it would be soooo easy to just buy them tickets on line which would be waiting for them at their local theater. Shawn immediately chimed in with, "I live in an under-developed, Third-World, portion of the country, so no online tickets for me. The Pony Express comes here, though...why don't you send me books?"

"Fine", I said, "I'll do that". (Shawn may claim he never said precisely those words, but he did. I swear it on a bucket of tentacles.)

Michelle, contrary to all evidence, thought she lived in a technologically advanced section of this great nation. Erm...Not so much. After two abortive attempts at calling me while standing in front of the box office and then sliding her phone through the little slot so I could buy tickets with a credit card, we gave up and decided Michelle was getting a book too..."a mystery without too much boinking so that Grandma can read it too".

Once again, I figured, fine...I can do that.

Well, it turns out maybe I can't.

Remember this exchange from Seinfeld?

Jerry: I don't understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?

Agent: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.

Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the

Agent: I know why we have reservations.

Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to
take the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation and
that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody
can just take them.

Yes. It turns out that awarding prizes is easy, but the really important part is sending the prizes.

I can proudly announce that said prizes are boxed and addressed and as soon as I hit "Publish Post", I'm walking right up to the Post Office and sending them.

Michelle's "Low-Boink Ratio Mystery" is Amaganssett, by Mark Mills. It's a murder mystery set on Long Island shortly after the end of WWII. I enjoyed it immensely and I hope Michelle likes it too. (And Grandma, of course.)

Shawn is getting Night Watch and Men At Arms, part of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Why these two? Because the both concentrate on The Watch, some of my favorite characters in the Discworld and because Night Watch is the first of the series that I read. There are differences of opinion about whether or not there is any proper order in which to read these books. Some folks claim you should read them in publication order. Some claim there's another order you should read them in. As far as I'm concerned, these books should be read in any old order you can find them...just go to your bookstore, clear their shelf of whatever 5 or 6 titles are there and go read them. Repeat step one until you've read all 97 jillion of 'em. Read some of them a second time. Oh, and then drop all pretense, head to the YA shelves and read those too.

Enjoy your loot guys. Sorry about the delay. I kinda suck.


Jeff Hentosz said...

This dude prepared what looks like a very handy guide to recommended Discworld story reading order. I say "looks like" because I've only ever read one Terry Pratchett book: Good Omens. I know they're insanely popular, but despite starting The Colour of Magic, Guards! Guards!, The Truth, Going Postal, The Amazing Maurice..., and The Wee Free Men, I've never finished them. I know -- what's wrong with me? ::shrug::

Oh, wait. I did like his picture book Where's My Cow? very much. Okay, so two!

Nathan said...

Jeff, you're a trouble maker.

Shawn, if you're there...don't you dare look at that chart. It'll just make you think you need to go buy 40 books before you can read the two I sent you. This is completely unnecessary. Order is the hobgoblin of little least in the case of the Discworld.

Honestly, I've read them all and I never paid any attention to order whatsoever.

Jeff Hentosz said...

Harumph. I thought I was being helpful.

::buries face in hands and runs weeping to a storm-tossed seaside cliff::

Nathan said...

OK Jeff, I'll give you the benefit of a doubt. And as the storm-tossed, seaside cliff, aren't you in Ohio? Neat trick.

Shawn Powers said...

I've posted before my OCD need to read books in the proper order. (I'm too lazy to dig up a link on my site though) I've even emailed Charles Stross asking what order to read his books in -- he gave me a "whatever you like really" type answer. I have Accelerando unread on my bookshelf. ;)

That said, I've heard so many different things about the Pratchett book order that I'm going to delve into unfamiliar waters and just read the dumb things as they come. I can barely remember "The Color of Magic" anyway, apart from I think the color ended up being greenish blue. Oddly, I have no other memories of the book.

So thanks Nathan! I will enjoy my LOOT! YAY! LOOT FOR ME!

Shawn Powers said...

DANG IT. I looked.

And I just ordered "Guards! Guards!" from Amazon.

I suck. :D

Janiece said...

I mailed Michelle's prize yesterday. And I made it first.

Yes, I am being a smug little git.


Unknown said...


I've got the whole 'must read books in sequential order OCD' too.

So don't be alarmed, you're one of us.

one of us...
one of us...


Random Michelle K said...

YAY! Loot for ME!

(happy dance)

Shawn, I personally like reading the sub series within Discworld in order, but aside from that, it's a free for all.



Nathan said...

Just to be clear, I usually care deeply about reading in order. As far as I'm concerned, you can toss discworld into a box and just read them as you reach in for them.

Janiece, I knew you'd do that. It was a motivator.

Nathan said...

Oh, and if I jumped on Jeff, it's because I remembered Shawn's phobia about reading out of order and just sorta expected he remembered that too.

I absolve him of all evil intent.

Shawn Powers said...

I'm not upset in the least. I had a $50 Amazon gift certificate from Linux Journal for my birthday, and I got to pick a few things off my wishlist as well.

I will soon own the "We Are The World" commemorative DVD. Yes, it's been on my wishlist for quite some time. :)

Shawn Powers said...

BWAAAAHAHAHAHA -- bring it on. :D

Steve Buchheit said...

Well, we do have storm-tossed cliffs here in Ohio, we are, after all, along the North Shore.

And someone seems stuck in the 80s.

John the Scientist said...

Speaking of sucking, re. your comment on the Whatever, I think that you met subtropical gal not through blogging, and she blogs.


Nathan said...

Well that's mildly embarrassing, isn't it? Thanks John for pointing out the additional ways in which I suck. My deficiencies are legion.

Anonymous said...

Shawn, Accelerando is so completely unrelated to anything else Stross has written that you can read it with impunity. Plus, it will totally blow your mind.

With strongly chronological/sequential books like the Miles books or the Robert Jordan books (not that I finished THOSE!) I definitely have to read them in order. But with loosely connected standalone books in a single universe order doesn't matter so much, and I'd classify Pratchett's books as the latter.

I sometimes try to decide which one of his I want to read by analyzing the jacket blurb. Definitely the wrong tactic. It's Pratchett, I'm going to love it, I just need to grab the next one and buy it. Do you know how hard it is to find his books used?

One of my huge pet peeves is buying a book that I was SURE was a standalone novel in the store, getting it home, and figuring out it's book 2 or 3 in a series. I'm sure they make the series bit less obtrusive for marketing purposes, but it PISSES ME OFF. Especially since I usually can't find books 1 and 2 because they were small print runs.

Thanks for letting me share. I feel better now. No cliffsides required. :)

Shawn Powers said...


Yeah, that annoys the crap out of me too. I ranted about it over at the "E" a while ago: