Fellow UCFer Kate Baker has won herself a Hugo Award for her work at Clarkesworld! I get zero credit for making this happen even in my wildest imagination and/or most delusional fantasies. I do, however, deem this most excellent and choose to feel a little ray of shininess radiating down from Connecticut. Way to go Kate! Double-Triple-Special w00ters!*
Item the second:
Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians and The Magician King, was awarded the Hugo for Best New Professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2009 or 2010. I also get zero credit for making this happen, but in my wildest imagination and my most delusional fantasies, I will choose to believe that my praise of his books may have influenced the judges. Hey! It's possible! It's my blog and I'll humor myself whether you or anybody else chooses to join me!
Item the second and a 1/2th:
I went to the release party for The Magician King which happened at a little independent bookstore in Greenpoint (Brooklyn). I managed to misread what time the thing was starting and I guess I was 1/2-hour late, so I basically missed everything but the opportunity to stand in a (really) long line to get my book autographed and to say "hi" to the author. I declined. Hey Lev...If you agree with my assessment in "Item the second" (above), and want to come over to my neighborhood to sign my book, I'll buy you a beer or two around the corner! It's only a couple of subway stops away (I think) and you can't beat an offer of free beer, can you? (Don't answer that. Let my delusions enjoy themselves for a while.)
Item the third:
At the same time as I was discovering Lev Grossman, I was also discovering Randolph LaLonde and his Spinward Fringe Series. And it took a comment from from timb111 to make me grok the series-ness of the series. And now I've gotten back to it and continued where I left off. These are all self-published books, available as ebooks for $2.99 each. I'm reading #4 right now.
The series is a continuing Space Opera. It's not heavy reading, but they're imaginative and entertaining reads. They have one of the drawbacks of self-published works (they could use a bit more editor attention, evident in typos, etc.), but that's mostly a quibble in this context.
I have one other quibble. Part of the copyright page reads,
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
I honestly understand he's trying to be as tactful as possible here. I also realize that self-publishing ebooks at such a drastically reduced price is still a relatively new business model and people are understandably feeling their way around the landscape. Having said all that, I'm so accustomed to the model where I buy a book and then it's mine to do with as I wish, that this comes off a bit heavy handed. Granted, it's not like I'm planning to go down to Ye Olde Used Ebook Store" to try to get back 50¢ of my investment, nor am I the type of person who'd even think about putting anyone's books online for anyone to get without paying the author, but if I feel like handing my nook to a friend and saying, "Read this. You'll enjoy it.", I'm probably going to do it. Just sayin'.
I'd be interested in other opinions on this. Kindly, chime in.
*"w00t" has just been included in the Oxford English Dictionary, but they're spelling it with "o's" instead of zeros. This strikes me as rwong, and I believe there should be a massive shitstorm visited upon their door for the error!