Pixel Scroll 2/8/16 One Scroll I Sing, A Simple Separate Pixel

(1) WHEN GRAVITY DOESN’T FAIL. NDTV headline: “Announcement Thursday On Albert Einstein’s Gravitational Waves”:

“My earlier rumor about LIGO has been confirmed by independent sources. Stay tuned! Gravitational waves may have been discovered!! Exciting,” said a message on Twitter from Arizona State University cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, who does not work with LIGO.

His words sparked a firestorm of speculation.

An announcement will be made Thursday at 10:30 am (1530 GMT) at the National Press Club in the US capital Washington.

The event brings “together scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration to update the scientific community on efforts to detect them,” a National Science Foundation statement read.

They will provide “a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves — or ripples in the fabric of spacetime — using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO),” it said.

LIGO is a dual set of identical detectors built by scientists at MIT and Caltech to pick up “incredibly tiny vibrations from passing gravitational waves,” said the statement.

(2) CHINESE STAR WARS. “Red ‘Star Wars’: How China used pirate comic to promote science in 1980s”  at Japan Times.

Song Feideng

Song Feideng

A long time ago in a country far, far away, Chinese authorities managed to obtain a copy of America’s ultimate cultural weapon: a blockbuster movie with enough special effects to wow an entire planet.

Summoned to a small theater in the southern city of Guangzhou in 1980, artist Song Feideng was shown “Star Wars” and instructed to transform it into a traditional Chinese comic book, known as a “lianhuanhua,” to promote scientific achievement in China.

Song was one of the first people in China to see George Lucas’ magnum opus at a time when it was still banned — a marked contrast to the status of the series’ most recent installment in a market that Hollywood increasingly sees as crucial to success.

“The objective was to take the world’s advanced science and popularize it in China,” Song, who worked for a state-owned publisher at the time, said in an interview.

He replaced the movie’s X-wing spacecraft with Soviet rockets and jet fighters. In one illustration, Luke Skywalker wears a cosmonaut’s bulky spacesuit and rebel leaders are dressed in Western business suits. Darth Vader appears alongside a triceratops.

(3) AND YOU CAN READ IT IN ENGLISH. The whole comic has been translated by Nick Stember — Star Wars comic part 1-6.


(4) GENIUS CLUSTER. “Alice Cooper on His Dinner With David Bowie and Ray Bradbury” at Rolling Stone.

After Cooper’s initial meeting with Bowie in the late Sixties, they later forged a friendship. Once, they even had dinner together with Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury. “It was really interesting, because these guys were in outer space somewhere,” he says. “They were talking about quantum physics, and I’m going, ‘So … what kind of car are you driving?'” Cooper laughs.

Does Cooper know how funny that question really was? Despite living in LA, Bradbury famously didn’t drive.

(5) NUMBERS THAT MATTER. What File 770 reader can resist a series titled “Five Books About”? Marc Turner’s contribution is “Five Books Where Dragons Are Put In Their Place” at Tor.com.

Dragons may be a trope of the epic fantasy genre, but they are a trope I suspect I will never tire of. My new book, Dragon Hunters, might just have one or two of the creatures lurking within its pages.

Whenever you encounter a dragon, it’s usually the apex predator of its world. But invincible? Certainly not. There’s a quote I recall from Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (paraphrasing G.K. Chesterton) that goes: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

His first choice is Smaug.

(6) WHERE SAWYER BEGAN. Robert J. Sawyer’s first SF publication was in The Village Voice in 1981.

I’d had an earlier fantasy publication (“The Contest,” in the 1980 edition of White Wall Review, the literary annual of my alma mater, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, edited by Ed Greenwood, who created the “Forgotten Realms” for Dungeons & Dragons), and I’d sold a science-fiction story to be produced as a a planetarium starshow), but that was my first science-fiction publication — and it came out exactly 35 years ago today.

That story appeared in the 14-20 January 1981 issued of The Village Voice: The Weekly Newspaper of New York, as a winner in a ten-week contest they were running called “Sci-Fi Scenes,” featured in the “Scenes” column by Howard Smith & Lin Harris.

The rules required a story of exactly 250 words — no more, no less (title words didn’t count, a fact I took full advantage of).


  • Born February 8, 1828 – Jules Verne.

(8) EVEN BAT DURSTON LOST? Charlie Jane Anders tells the story of “That Time When a Fake Science Fiction Author Won a Major Novel-Writing Prize” at io9.

Back in 1953, Galaxy Science Fiction and Simon & Schuster launched a huge contest to find a great new science fiction novel. The prize was $6,500 (a lot of money in those days). The winner? A brand new writer named Edson McCann. Except for one thing: Edson McCann did not exist.

It was a pretty disgraceful scam, everything considered.

(9) PUPPIES MARCH ON. Vox Day announced the next addition to his slate – “Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Editor (Long-form”).

  • Anne Sowards, Penguin
  • Bryan Thomas Schmidt, independent
  • Mike Braff, Del Rey
  • Toni Weisskopf, Baen Books
  • Vox Day, Castalia House

(10) LURKER REQUEST. People are welcome to ask questions like this in a comment on the Scroll. I received this one as an e-mail query:

I was wondering if you recognized this summary, or would be willing to post it (a long shot, I know), to see if someone recognizes it and can give title or author.

Our main character is a women who is involved in a profession that shows a lot of skin; I don’t recall if it’s actress, dancer, sex worker, or what. One day she wakes up in a thick, gray, sack-dress with no recollection of how it could have gotten on her. She can’t take it off and, when she tries to bathe, it sheds material but doesn’t wash away. It turns out that a Moral Majority opponent of hers has figured out how to program nanobots to turn out this cloth, and has set it in a cloud around her. He and his congregation wear it as well, I think? I know that the climax of the story involves that as a plot-point, along with some clever reverse-engineering on what wavelengths the nano-cloth passes or reflects…

Sound familiar to anyone?

(11) HIS FIELD OF EXPERIENCE. Never let it be said that Neil deGrasse Tyson missed a chance to talk science.

(12) SPORTS JOKE. For those who are interested enough in US sports to get the joke, a parody of a series of NFL promos aired during yesterday’s Super Bowl broadcast.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, and Alan Baumler for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jim Henley.]

201 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/8/16 One Scroll I Sing, A Simple Separate Pixel

  1. Jack Lint on February 9, 2016 at 10:30 am said:

    @Camestros Didn’t The Rezillos have hits with “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their PIN Sent Out Tonight” and “Rabid Puppy Attack,” too?


    I’m PINing for the fjords. No wait, that would be 2017.

  2. My thanks for the Ur text and the links to versions thereof; the fact that it’s Cohen explains why my brain wouldn’t recognise this. It’s linked to a very bad experience in Uni, when I learnt that atheism can be as destructive as religion; a friend got leukaemia, at a time when it was fatal, and his parents insisted that he must not be told because dead is dead, now and forever, and therefore he should die without knowing that he was dying.

    I spent a lot of time with him, because his lungs were bleeding and I was the only person he knew whose lungs also bleed, and it’s pretty scary, so he wanted me there; his parents thought that because I was in the Drama Department I could, and should, lie to him really well, so I lied until I couldn’t bear lying any more, and stopped visiting him, a day or so before he died, even though he kept asking for me. I doubt that I will ever forgive myself for that, just as I doubt I will ever forgive his parents; they took away his humanity, his right to say to people the things you want to say if you know you are dying.

    His favourite song was Cohen’s ‘Like a Bird on the Wire’, so we sang that for him at his definitely non-religious funeral. His parents insisted that I must recite some poetry, since that’s what actors do when they are not lying, and I chose John Donne’s Death Be Not Proud, to bring some solace to his non-atheist friends, and some comfort to those who simply needed some beauty to set against the ugliness of losing their friend.

    That’s a rather lengthy explanation of why I have never listened to Cohen since then; we used to say that he wrote music to slash your wrists to, but that is benign by comparison with those memories. And since then I have known that people without one or more gods could be just as cruel as people with one or more gods, intentionally or otherwise, and both lots may tend to think they are morally superior to each other.


    Irrespective of the original, your rewrite is brilliant. Thank you.

  3. Paul (@princejvstin) on February 9, 2016 at 10:52 am said:

    @Camestros. Actually, I understand, there is just *one* fjord in Finland 🙂

    [sigh] Finland, I am so rarely disappointed in you but you’ve let me down.

  4. A couple of misc notes:

    Re: Harriet McDougal – I think the best way is to honor her is to nominate the WoT Companion for best related work. Probably the last novel she worked on as an editor was likely Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings. His most recent books for Tor have been edited by Moshe Feder per checking the scanned books at Google Books (which usually includes the copyright page).

    As for Pournelle, he has edited other antholigies although nothing recently (pre-2000), so he does qualify. But saying he’s the only one worthy for editing one single anthology in the last twenty years is an odd approach.

  5. @princejvstin: Depending on your definitions, there might be plenty of fjords in Finland.

    Etymologically, “fjärd” and “fjord” are the same word (“fjord” in western Scandinavian dialects; “fjärd” in eastern Scandinavian dialects), and simply means a narrow body of water that one travels over (compare modern-day English “ford”, which also goes back to some old Germanic word).

    There are plenty of fjärds in Finland, both inland and towards the Baltic sea.

    The trouble is that English geologists have set out to define the word much more strictly, without checking how it’s used historically, and then forcing their own narrow definition on other languages.

    @Camestros Felapton: Don’t be disappointed in Finland. Be disappointed in the geologists.

  6. @Karl. I knew not of this. Consider myself re-educated. (just don’t send me to Room 101 for disparaging Finnish geology)

  7. @Cheryl S.

    Jeff Buckley had the voice of an angel, but this will forever be my favorite version of Hallelujah: k. d. lang

    They asked if Cohen would sing it at the Olympics and his answer was ‘why? You already have k.d Lang.’

    The full poem is very much worth reading. It’s very long but there is some glorious imagery and use of language throughout.

  8. Vasha on February 9, 2016 at 10:33 am said:

    In regards to eligibility, I want to repost a question from yesterday’s thread that didn’t get answered (the Standlee Signal, for once, was not functioning).

    I do have a Day Jobbe, and the RSS comments feed doesn’t seem to catch every comment. Also, if there are enough comments, I may not have time to read them all.

    The old comment has quotes from the WSFS Constitution, but in brief, the issue is that although many people would like to nominate certain works that are a bit over 40K words in the Novella category, it turns out that the Awards Subcommittee has to approve any such shifting of a work to a different category. If people nominate a 42K-word story as a novella and the subcommittee does not approve the change of category, the work will likely have its nomination entirely discarded (see yesterday’s post for why). So I would really like to know if there’s some way to get the subcommittee to rule on the category of a particular work before the deadline!

    I’m afraid that trying to get Administrators to rule on any specific work in advance is likely to be ignored. The Administrators also have Day Jobbes, and it seems likely that people would start submitting lots of “eligibility queries” in order to make it look like there was some sort of official sanction for their work. Administrators don’t want to make any rulings that make it look like they’re endorsing (or criticizing) any given work.

    There are already people who think that there is a formal submission process for getting works considered for the Hugo Award, and a list of “approved publishers,” despite there being an tab on the front page top bar menu of the Hugo Awards Web site that links to our clear statement that there is no way to “submit” your work for a Hugo Award. If Administrators started answering these sort of eligibility questions, they’d probably be swamped with queries as the word got around that “you have to submit your work to these people to confirm that it’s eligible.”

    Think of it like trying to ask a potential US Supreme Court justice how s/he would rule on a hypothetical case: they won’t do it. Thus Admins won’t rule on anything until they are forced to do so.

    This is obviously unsatisfying in any particular case, but try to understand the reasons why they’re unlikely to respond to eligibility queries.

  9. Last, last year ago
    I can still remember how the puppies went and me cry
    And I knew if I was not a jerk
    That I should nominate some work
    Of science fiction or a space romance

    But february made me shiver
    With each email they’d deliver
    Bad news in my inbox
    And more slating from the Vox,

    Pin, pin mid-america con
    Took my plebiscite to the website
    But I couldn’t log on
    The good old files were just filking a song
    Singing the deadline really hasn’t yet gone, the deadline really hasn’t yet gone

    (With apologies to both Don Mclean and also to the valiant volunteers working on the membership numbers – I know they are doing their very best and any teasing, filks or puns are made with love, honest 🙂 )

  10. Wife and I read The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. Like many mentioned in other comments here we both now want a clockwork octopus. She said that was mostly what she got out of it, but I enjoyed it a lot.

  11. Karl-Johan Norén on February 9, 2016 at 11:49 am said:
    @princejvstin: Depending on your definitions, there might be plenty of fjords in Finland….

    There are plenty of fjärds in Finland, both inland and towards the Baltic sea.

    Hoorah – my faith is restored. Although with the geological-English criteria you get a much better truvua/pub-quiz question “How many fjords are in Finland?”

  12. By a coincidence, I had picked up the k.d. lang CD off of a stack downstairs and brought it up here with the intention of listening to Hallelujah, some three or four days ago. So now I have, and it’s on my iPod (as is a Cohen rendition), and maybe I’ll listen to it enough eventually to recognize a filk.

    But just in case, kids, always be polite and identify. Some of us just aren’t hep to the jive.

  13. @Kevin: Thank you very much, and I’m sorry for being a pest!

    Yes I can see why questions cannot be answered. That does make novella nominations troublesome for me, and for some other people I’m sure.

    Personally I am still going to put Wylding Hall in that category and hope that enough other people do so to convince the committee. If the nomination instead gets disregarded so be it; it wouldn’t, anyhow, get anywhere near the ballot if I submitted it in the Novel category.

  14. @Vasha

    FWIW, I’m going to nominate those sort of “just over novella” as actual novella as well if necessary, and let the chips fall where they may.

  15. Mark on February 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm said:

    FWIW, I’m going to nominate those sort of “just over novella” as actual novella as well if necessary, and let the chips fall where they may.

    I think this is the best way to approach it, both with edge case lengths and things like Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. If you’ve read it and think it’s worthy, put it in the category (and in the year) you think best fits the work and “let the chips fall where they may”.

  16. Now that we’ve solved the problem of the Novella category (no, really, this discussion has neatly solved both my Novel and Novella problems, where one was too big and one was too small and now they’re both just right. Thank you!) can someone point me to some discussion of what is and isn’t a fanzine and a semiprozine? All I have to go on is what was nominated in those categories in the past and that seems a lame way to approach it. I am happy to evaluate the possibilities on my own (and I’ve done that for the ones nominated in the past few years) but I think I need to cast a wider net. This is an area where I don’t know a hawk from a handsaw and I fear I will end up leaving the categories blank. Or perhaps my cluelessness means I *should* leave the categories blank…

  17. RedWombat

    Bravo, Matthew & Camestros, and now that song will be stuck in my head all day…

    The only known way to deal with that is through a counter-infection. So…

    We’re no strangers to space
    You know the Force and so do I
    Your family tree is what I’m talking of
    You wouldn’t hear this from any other guy

    I just wanna tell you I’m your father
    Gotta make you understand

    Never gonna give you up
    Gonna have to cut you down
    Don’t make me shoot you down or destroy you
    Maybe I’ll make you cry
    You’re gonna want to say goodbye
    But first I’ll fight and dehand you

  18. Regarding “Special Special Editions” recent Hugo appointee “The LEGO Movie” has one. Only at Target.

    I have had an earworm of “Hallelujah” for some hours now; it keeps flipping between the Cohen version and the Buckley version. Mostly the latter, as he might have better appreciated Vader’s dino (Also, he had a much more melodic voice) .Presumably IanP’s Kindle sang the original version to itself whilst in lockup.

    LMB covers: The last 2 books nominated have had different covers in between hardback and Hugo packet, to which I say “Thank you, Lois”.

    Ebooks: I have a Nook. Also I buy from Google Books, since I regularly accrue credit there. Amazon-only leaves out a lot of people, some for philosophical reasons (and they WILL let you know), some for practical. Wombat knows.

    I will now once again get out my lighter and sway back and forth for Camestros. For indeed I have no PIN still.

  19. Rail: Bujold’s book covers are famously bad. Some of the European ones even outdo Baen covers. The French one with the blue troll was … particularly memorable.

    Oh, my. Those French covers are really something. It’s as if the French publisher went through their staff artist’s catalogue and just picked out a bunch of pre-existing covers which actually have nothing to do with the plots of the books.

  20. @ Stevie

    I have seen people advocate for the pretty lie over the harsh truth. It hadn’t occurred to me before how hard it would be to be drafted to *tell* the pretty lie, and tell it convincingly, while the truth is breaking your heart.

    I’m so sorry.

    You are right; death is forever, but your friend could have used his last days to say his goodbyes. His parents doubtless believed they were shielding him from fear and despair, but I think if he was old enough to go to university, he was old enough to know how limited his time was so that he could decide for himself how best to spend it. But I hope I don’t have to make such a decision myself, that would be a terrible thing to have to do.

    If you associate that music with that time no wonder you have stayed away from it.

  21. @Mark – thanks for link but also thank you for all the useful comments you made through those posts. You really should do your own round up sometime because you do seem to have a good overview of the field (or at least a much better one than mine!)

  22. Thank you, Mark. I have been perusing that list and comparing it to the Hugo spreadsheet and the Wikia and giving myself a headache due to Lightspeed/Apex issues. On! Off! On! Off! But I shall trust the Semiprozine list as well as the January 12 post here I forgot about… I am trying to be diligent and not make other people do my work for me, I swear! This is my first time nominating and I want to do a good job, although I know I am not being graded on my work.

  23. Red Wombat :

    @RDF – *puts hands over ears, runs screaming into the night*

    My work here is done.

  24. @Camestros

    I’m sort of a blog leech* – I just invade other people’s posts.

    (*technically an improvement on the dread bog leech)


    I think it’s “Off” for both of them now.

  25. JJ on February 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm said:

    Rail: Bujold’s book covers are famously bad. Some of the European ones even outdo Baen covers. The French one with the blue troll was … particularly memorable.

    Oh, my. Those French covers are really something. It’s as if the French publisher went through their staff artist’s catalogue and just picked out a bunch of pre-existing covers which actually have nothing to do with the plots of the books.

    I recall John Scalzi planning on calling a book Planet of the Technophobic Pacifists, this being the only way he could think of to stop his German publishers from putting a giant laser-firing hover-tank on the cover.

  26. Soon Lee, Cat

    Thank you. I suspect that the pretty lie is based on a wilful misunderstanding of the harsh realities of what dying from, say, leukaemia is like; Love Story was not a documentary.

    And since it’s difficult not to feel fear and despair when you are bleeding to death, the pretty lie tends not to be convincing. Even worse, the person being lied to dies knowing that his family and friends have lied to him.

    All of which explains why I never listen to Cohen, and why I must lay hands on my pin to focus on the good stuff people have done!

  27. @Heather Rose Jones: “One of the areas I’ll definitely be looking for advice on is, “Everyone wants me to distribute through their favorite platform; what are the essential e-book platforms and what’s the most efficient way to cover them?””

    Be aware that publishing your book on sites other than Amazon means that you’re opting out of Kindle Unlimited; Amazon demands exclusivity. That also means they’ll lock you out of certain marketing tools. I’m not saying “don’t do it” – I’m just saying to go in with open eyes.

    At the moment I’m sort of vaguely starting on the process of querying potential cover artists, and contemplating whether I want to hire out the entire process of design/formatting, and deciding just how thoroughly I want to revise the older material that will be included in the collection.

    Structurally speaking, the dirty secret to a good ebook is that less is more. Most novels just don’t need a lot of picky formatting. The trouble is, word processing software is sloppy about that, which can mean unexpected problems for ebooks. (Example: Editing an italicized word can cause the HTML output to have multiple consecutive italic sections. Some software sees those as potential hyphenation/wrap points. That can get ugly.) A proper degunking is not a task for the faint of heart, and if you’re not comfortable with code-level details, I recommend outsourcing it. Something that’s daunting for a novice might be a snap for a gearhead who does it professionally.

    Full disclosure: I have a side gig as an ebook formatter, and I’ve taken a book from initial contact to finished EPUB inside of 24 hours. (That was mostly a repair job that didn’t need much design work, so I was mostly able to put my head down and Do The Work.) I specialize in cleanup and repair, but I also offer proofreading services – which naturally takes longer.

    My current personal project is a book in a series I enjoy. I have no reason to doubt the text/story quality, but the ebook structure is seriously flawed… so I’m fixing that in my copy. When I’m done, the navigation will work properly, the book will validate, and I’ll have a better time reading it.

    Oh, another dirty secret? When it comes to polishing an ebook, size matters not… or, at least, it means much less than you might think. Sometimes you can get a bargain by building an omnibus in Word and getting your hired formatter to prep that, then split out the individual books. That goes very quickly; after all, the cleanup work’s already done. There’s nothing like getting a four-book trilogy (1, 2, 3, omnibus) set up for only a little more than the cost of one work.

  28. OK, that (Leonard Cohen) filk does it: I am nominating Camestros Felapton for best fan writer.

  29. Can we nominate Kyra as fan writer? Would her brackets count?

    I mean, Camestros is great too, of course, but I wouldn’t want to overlook Kyra.

  30. After dipping my toe in Camestros’s incredibly compleat and altogether nifty semiprozine discussions, I am on the Camestros Train. And that was before I counted the filkage. Filkroll?

  31. One data point: I won’t buy e-book from the big South American river. I object to the Kindle’s use of an effectively proprietary format, and I object to DRM. (Yes, I know I can use Calibre to jailbreak a. mobi file, but it’s a hassle.) Most of my e-books I get from Google, because I can easily charge them to my phone bill, send I get a few (like DKM’s books) from independent websites. With a very few exceptions (e.g. a text I needed for a project of my daughter’s) I buy only DRM-free editions I can download as EPUBs and store free of the Play Books ecosystem.

    If you sell exclusively through Amazon you will miss readers like me. If you are selling books I want – like Bujold’s “Penric’s Demon” you will also irritate me, but not enough to get me to dive into the Kindle ecology.

    Similarly, I buy dead tree books, by preference, from local bookstores. (I also get a fair number of books I wouldn’t pay full price for second-hand.

  32. I’d really like to get on Camestros train but I’m having major problems finding a ticket office prepared to sell me one. Ticket that is, not train.

    I’m prepared to lead a scouting party to King Cross, with our first destination platform nine and three quarters for the Hogwarts Express, so we can fan out from there, but it would be a lot easier if he just tells us the answer in the first place.

  33. @Cat & TBigelow and others – thank you for saying nice things but…just in case you aren’t just being humorous 🙂 please don’t nominate me for anything. It isn’t something I’d want for lots of reasons and it would inadvertently make me feel bad.

  34. @ Rev Bob

    Since I have moral objections to Kindle Unlimited, it is not an option I’d be considering whatever the alternatives.

    For the free stuff I’m self-publishing currently, I’m using the e-book export functions of Scrivener, which seem to work adequately. It’s just that there’s a long laundry list of details to track, and I have to judge whether I’d rather throw time or money at them.

  35. You can sell books on Amazon without DRM you just have to mark the right box the first time you upload it. It’s still in a proprietary format which is different from DRM. Both Tor and Baen as well as many indies sell ebooks on Amazon without DRM.

    If you go with Rev. Bob or some other professional formatted who has good pricing my advice is to give them straight and clean text files without ANY formatting and a formatted version so they can see what you basically want it to look like and talk about any fancy formatting you want:
    1. Special fonts

    2. DropCaps at beginning of chapters

    3. Special symbols between scenes

    4. Other important internal look options keeping in mind every ereader shows things differently and many allow the individual readers to change stuff

    5. Cover formatting & integration

    6. TOC – useable

    6. What formats you need and help uploading – eventually having it in ebook, print, and audiobook helps sales (if nothing else it makes your ebook look well priced/cheap compared to others) – read Kristine Kathryn Rusch on why & pricing print books properly to get into bookstores

  36. @Camestros Felapton: I just added your refusal of nomination to the Hugo Wikia. I like your writing too though!

  37. I have already nominated both Alexandra Erin and Kyra. Graydon for Campbell, too, whether he’s really eligible or not.

  38. @Tasha: “If you go with Rev. Bob or some other professional formatted who has good pricing my advice is to give them straight and clean text files without ANY formatting and a formatted version so they can see what you basically want it to look like and talk about any fancy formatting you want:”

    I actually have a lot of practice cleaning up ebooks, even those that started out as Kindle MOBIs. If the existing book is at least close, I find it a lot easier to fix what’s broken than to start from scratch. My most recent project had an annoying habit of marking the paragraph as 75% size and then inserting a 133% span inside it – yielding a “no net change” result. It also had a lot of internal line wraps – which doesn’t matter for display, but it’s something that needs fixed for cleanup, because regular expressions don’t like skipping lines.

    All of which is to say, different people have different preferences. I’m used to having no control over what I get and just coping with it. 🙂

  39. I’ve been told Alexandra Erin counts; was the first thing I typed in that part of the ballot.

  40. Having recently wrestled a book through Kindle Direct Publishing for the first time, I concur, you can opt for DRM-free. I am grateful that my day job requires me to know a little about typesetting and layout, and so far the tips I have stored in memory for next time are: (1) paragraph spacing to .1 before and after; (2) for that Kindley look, use the Georgia font; and (3) forget dingbats, use bullets instead.

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