Cats Sleep on SFF:
Biology and Manners

Robin Anne Reid’s cat is taking in the lessons of a new book:

I think I’ve probably talked about this project on File 770, and some filers might be interested (though pre-emptive apologies for cost of it, alas)! Hild sleeping on the just released Biology and Manners collection of essays on Lois McMaster Bujold’s science fiction and fantasy!  


Photos of your felines resting on genre works are welcome. Send to mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com

11 thoughts on “Cats Sleep on SFF:
Biology and Manners

  1. Wow. Your “pre-emptive apologies for cost of it” was a needed warning. I’m used to such works being costly but a hundred and twenty dollars is really, really pushing the envelope. Why so expensive even for an academic work that will largely be purchased by university libraries with an strong interest in the subject?

  2. Yup, the pricing of academic works is often ridiculous and not really justified either, since the authors don’t get paid. I guess I won’t be reading this one, unless I can persuade a university library I have access to to purchase it.

  3. Mike Glyer says Shouldn’t you ask the publisher? I don’t think she set the price.

    Sometimes it has to die with rights to material reprinted in the work. So whatever the reason, I’m assuming that might she know why that price.

  4. Such a promising topic, and a price beyond reach. 🙁

    But at least you have a lovely cat, who is moreover interested in your work!

  5. In a few years,cill see if I can find a used copy (of the book, not the cat).

  6. They say there’s an e-book, and check The Usual Suspects (not in those words), but the only one I can find is via Google Play which is…not quite the same. (They want about $70 for it.)

  7. Used cats can usually be had at animal shelters for a nominal fee, and they need your fee more than does the publisher of an academic work for which the author was possibly not paid. On the other hand, cats frequently do not have the intellectual interest of Bujold stories. Possibly one could compromise by rescuing a cat and buying a Bujold novel you have not read, then persuading the cat with tender affection to get off the book so that you can read it.

  8. @Cat Eldridge: I do not know the ins and outs of academic publishing pricing other than to note all the problems with it that many of us are pointing out: faculty are paid to do scholarship by universities funded by tax payers’ money but are not paid for the essays published in books such as this one or journals, and then the university/research libraries have to pay again to get access to the publications. Single-author books are different (there are royalties but those are not that high), and academics often don’t retain copyright (so permissions paid for reprints down the road go to the publishers). Add in the profits made by the full-text database, and it’s even more obscene. I plan to publish my future scholarship either at publishers that charge a reasonable price (Macfarland being one of them), or in places where more reasonable paperbacks and e-books are part of the deal (Palgrave is reforming its policies slightly), or, even better, in open-access (online, peer-reviewed, free to all) journals (like the Journal of Tolkien Research). But I can afford to do that because I’m retired now, and am not under annual review for meeting the requirements for publishing in a high-status enough journal.

    In terms of reprinted materials (which most academic anthologies tend to avoid because publishers think they won’t sell as well as all new work), all the essays in this collection were written for the collection. The editors and publisher did have to get permission for the quotes from Bujold’s work: I don’t know if there was a charge for that (in my experience, publishers want us to keep direct quotes low enough to come under clear fair use).

    @Lis Carey: I know, alas, although as some are pointing out later in the thread, if you cannot get through a library in your area, there will be some less expensive used copies available through online sellers (and not just the Big Evil One!). The cats are all a big fan of the two resident humans writing books since it involves lots of sitting still and computers generating heat!

    @JJ: Thank you–Hild is magnificent, and is not afraid to flaunt it!

    @P J Evans: I could not find an e-book listed anywhere — I checked because academic e-books are more expensive than novels, generally, but still cheaper than the outrageous prices for the hard-back copies. And yes, the publisher does say that there is one, or will be.

    @Jon DeCles: Hild was a rescue cat–in that she was dumped as a kitten on our isolated county road, just like the two other cats we currently live with, and the thirteen other dumped/abandoned/rescued cats that lived with us over the years.

    You are, however, correct that the writers of the essays are not paid — but “publish of perish” is still the rule for the increasingly small number of tenured faculty still teaching, and publication is part of the process of finding a job in academia as well. There is a push toward more open-access and challenges to the monopolies by the full-text subscription databases. I’m more familiar with those in the humanities trying to create alternatives, but I know that in the US the federal science grants all carry a requirement to make the scholarship available (the same applies to humanities, but, again, a lot fewer grants are there for humanities scholarship).

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