(1) USED BOOK LOVE. Eric Flint weighs in: “How Should An Author Look On Used Book Sales”.
I ran across this blog by the author Kristen Lamb:
…while reading this article by Rachel Kramer Bussel in Salon magazine:
It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or who has read any of the essays I’ve written in the past on copyright laws and online piracy that I generally agree with Bussel’s stance and disagree with Lamb’s. But there are some issues involved that Bussel doesn’t address which I think are actually more important than the ones she does. Another way to put it is that I don’t think she goes far enough. The essence of her argument is that the situation is more complicated than Lamb presents it as being, and is not an either/or situation. While it is true that a book sold in a used book store may represent an immediate loss to an author, it can be made up for in the long run by exposing more people to that author….
To make a living as a full time writer, or even to derive a significant income from writing, an author has to constantly recreate their readership base. The process is dynamic, not static. And the main way an author does so is by having that huge penumbra of free books—“free,” at least, from the author’s standpoint—surrounding the much smaller number of books which get sold in a way that brings direct income.
That’s why Lamb’s view of the matter is so skewed. She’s right that it’s an either/or situation, but she doesn’t understand that the relationship between “either” and “or” is a necessary and beneficial one.
(2) MARKETING TO “FANGIRLS”. Her Universe Press drew the attention of the New York Times in “Narrowing a Gap in the Sci-Fi Universe: One Fangirl Giving a Voice to Others”.
Ashley Eckstein, a self-described sci-fi fangirl, believes women like her are often overlooked. So several years ago she started a company to sell apparel featuring brands like Doctor Who, Star Trek and Star Wars to other fangirls. Now, believing those same women need a voice, she is expanding into publishing….
“Liking Star Wars is not a trend; it’s part of who you are,” she said, adding that she was disturbed to see women harassed for liking sci-fi and fantasy. “It was troubling to me; it was painful for fangirls.”
Mrs. Eckstein started her company, Her Universe, in 2009 after searching for a Star Wars T-shirt at a comic book convention. Unable to find anything suited for women, she instead saw an opportunity to target an overlooked consumer. Her company has since expanded from convention and Internet sales to include retail partners like Hot Topic and, starting in March, Kohl’s, which will sell a line of Her Universe active wear.
Now, Mrs. Eckstein sees another opportunity, this time as a publisher of sci-fi novels written by women. She said she got the idea after receiving unsolicited manuscripts at conventions. “Fans would hand me a book and say, ‘I wrote a story and could not get it published,’ ” she said. “I would come home with stacks of books.”
(3) NOR-CON GETS A REMATCH. Norwich’s local science fiction convention is back after a year’s hiatus.
The annual science fiction spectacular was missing from the calendar last year, but details have been announced for a revamped event in October at a larger venue and with the promise of even more for sci-fi fans to look forward to…
Mark Dean, director of Nor-Con Events Limited, said: “We’ve had a year’s break to restructure and rebrand. Due to demand we’ve moved to a larger venue at the Norfolk Showground, which will allow us to have more people, more exhibits and exhibits that will be able to move around like the Daleks and R2-D2s because we’ve got the space.”
As well as celebrities signing autographs and taking part in question and answer sessions, there will be exhibitions, demonstrations, trader stands as well as the Norwich Star Wars Club UK, comic artists and cosplay – “costume play” – groups.
This con made the “crime news” in 2013 —
When police arrived at the Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention on May 12 they found around a dozen fans belonging to two rival groups involved in a bitter exchange outside. The convention’s hosts, members of the Norwich Star Wars Club of the University of East Anglia, had refused entry to some fans from the rival Norwich Sci Fi Club.
The BBC reported this story under the misleading headline “Star Wars and Doctor Who fans clash at Norwich convention”
(4) CRITICS’ CHOICE. The 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards were presented at a ceremony broadcast by A&E on January 18.
Mad Max: Fury Road dominated the Film division. It was the winner in nine categories including Best Action Movie, Best Actor (Tom Hardy), Best Actress (Charlize Theron) Best Director (George Miller), and Best Visual Effects.
Inside Out won Best Animated Feature.
Ex Machina was named Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie.
In the Television division, Mr. Robot was named Best Drama Series, and its cast members won Best Actor in a Drama Series (Rami Malek) and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Christian Slater).
Outlander was selected as the Best Binge-Worthy Show.
Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik received the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Also, Rachel Bloom of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend won Best Actress in a Comedy Series. (File 770 keeps track of her successes because of the Hugo-nominated Ray Bradbury music video she did back in the day.) Popsugar reports:
After the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, you should know who Rachel Bloom is. The star of The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend took home the Critics’ Choice Award for her role on the musical comedy on Sunday. She was clearly shocked to be taking home yet another award,…
(5) ADAMS OBIT. Television’s Grizzly Adams, actor Dan Haggerty, died January 15 at the age of 73. His New York Times obituary lists horror movies he made late in his career — Terror Night (1987), Elves (1989) — playing an alcoholic mall Santa — and Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (2013).
(6) SCOTTY WOULD APPROVE. A Guardian story tells us, “Star Trek stars endorse SNP’s bid to establish Europe’s first spaceport”.
The Star Trek stars William Shatner and George Takei have backed the Scottish National party’s ambition to establish Europe’s first spaceport in the UK.
The SNP MP Philippa Whitford led a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday on the future of the UK space industry, which she concluded by giving the Vulcan salute. The MP made the case for a spaceport to be established in her constituency of Central Ayrshire….
Welcoming the SNP debate, the actor William Shatner, Star Trek’s Captain James T Kirk, issued a statement that was read out to MPs: “Space is one of the last known frontiers mostly untouched by mankind and his politics. In opening a debate on this subject, my hope is you take the tenets of Star Trek’s prime directive to universally and peacefully share in the exploration of it. I wish you all a wonderful debate. My best, Bill.”
George Takei, Star Trek’s Lieutenant Sulu, tweeted his support: “I wish the SNP and the House of Commons well on their debate about their space program tomorrow. #WhereNoBritHasGoneBefore
(7) TODAY IN HISTORY
- January 18, 2008 — After much secrecy, Cloverfield makes its theatrical debut. An Easter egg in the movie has the sea monster from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, which was based on Ray Bradbury’s short story The Foghorn appearing in the driver side mirror of one of the cars.
(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY
- Born January 18, 1882 — A.A. Milne.
(9) TRUE BLUE. The Cirque du Soleil is doing a new show in the Avatar universe.
It’s been six years in the making, and now Cirque du Soleil’s “Toruk” is setting up camp in North American stadiums, bringing audiences the magical world of the moon Pandora and its inhabitants from James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar.” …
The story of “Toruk” is set 3,000 years before “Avatar,” long before humans set foot on Pandora. It tells of a quest to find the mysterious creature Toruk, the only one who can save the sacred Tree of Souls from destruction
(10) THE SIMPSONS. Despite the Huffington Post’s clickbait headline, neither David Bowie nor Alan Rickman appeared in this 2013 episode of The Simpsons, however, what Benedict Cumberbatch does in the clip makes it worth 60 seconds of your time —
In the parody film Bart watches, a Hugh Grant-version of the Prime Minister, who is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, proclaims his love for a lower class lady named Eliza Commonbottom.
The two kiss, and a Pandora’s box of silly British pop cultural references is opened, which includes one of Rickman’s most famed portrayals, Snape (whom Cumberbatch also voiced), and a Bowie-penned song ‘All the Young Dudes’.
Oh, and there’s a ‘Doctor Who’ reference in the form of a TARDIS for good measure too – obviously.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Hampus Eckerman, Andrew Porter, and David Doering for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day, myself…]