Pixel Scroll 6/2/17 A Scroll May Not Injure or Insult a Filer Or, Through Inaction, Allow A Filer To Yawn

(1) DIAGNOSIS. David E. Pascoe’s post for Mad Genius Club, ‘“You Don’t Look So Good”, wonders if declining BEA attendance is symptomatic of the failing condition of traditional publishing. Wonders, or (perhaps) hopes, one or the other.

Look, nearly two decades ago, BEA had right at 30k attendees, all told, including industry professionals. By 2015, that had slipped to just a bit over 17k. I don’t care who you are, you can’t claim that your industry is healthy when the pre-eminent business gathering — the one where publishers make announcements about upcoming books, and where vendors make purchasing decisions for the year ahead, and where your special events include people of international profile (this year would be an Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’m crushed that my schedule wouldn’t allow) — has slipped in attendance by that much over not-quite a decade.

If these numbers are legitimate — and I’m taking them right off the pdf of the official BEA fliers they circulate — then tradpub is looking more than a little green around the gills. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the attendance at the major convention is a fair barometer for the general health of an industry. Sit down, tradpub. You aren’t looking so good.

(2) CLASSIC COVERS. Mark Terry’s Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC reproduces original book covers and offers them for sale. Click the link to search the “SciFi/Fantasy/Supernatural” category.

Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC had its beginnings in 1995 when I started making a few facsimiles solely for my own use. I had already been collecting books for some time, and found it discouraging that I would never be able to acquire many of the books I wanted in jacket. While building my own library, I had met many fellow collectors and was amazed at the remarkable jacket art I saw on their books. Because I had access to their collections, the idea of making my own jackets was conceived. Putting my computer and printing skills to use, I slowly began building a small assortment of jackets. Eventually, the results of my labor became popular enough to begin offering these facsimiles to others.

… As of September 2016, I have scanned over 50,000 different titles. If variants and duplicates are included, there are well over 70,000 jackets.

….Offering facsimiles dust jackets is how I support the Dust Jacket Archives project and is a way that everyone can have access to these great jackets. People order jackets for a variety of reasons. They’ve been used as props in plays or movies and for bibliographic resources. Occasionally, family members of the authors or artists have purchased them as well as publishers who wish to produce or reissue a book. I have had magazines order them to use in the stories they are running. However, these jackets are most commonly purchased by collectors who wish to protect their books with a quality facsimile, allowing them to enjoy the artwork they might otherwise have never see.

As far as I can tell, he never addresses the copyright issue, if there is one.

(3) TRULY ALIEN. Jeff VanderMeer tells interviewer Bence Pintèr why ‘“A giant flying elephant shrew would’ve been ridiculous” at Mandiner.Sci-fi.

One review highlighted the fact that your aliens are not familiar ones: they are as different from humans as possible. In your opinion which tells more about people? An alien which resembles them, or a monster which is totally different?

I think that was the New York Times Book Review. Yes, I was quite flattered and vindicated by that review because this is exactly my approach. To not make aliens or animals reflections of human beings, or not only that. If we’re supposed to be imaginative in our approach as fiction writers then we need to also imagine things that have nothing to do with human beings.

(4) FROM THE TREASURE VAULTS OF TIME. Profiles in History’s Hollywood Auction 89 (June 26-28) will put under the hammer some truly impressive pieces of entertainment history from Casablanca, The Twilight Zone, and Star Wars.

The Writers Guild of America rates Casablanca as the number one greatest screenplay of all time. We offer the most complete and historically significant working script and studio production material for Casablanca in existence. Offered alongside are the iconic original front entrance doors and hardware to Rick’s Café Américain, along with Moroccan decorative wooden screen, floor lamp and chairs that decorated the fabled set.

Of monumental importance, we offer the collection of original hand-typed and annotated stories and scripts from 17 episodes of The Twilight Zone — from the collection of legendary and highly influential genre writer Richard Matheson, including such memorable episodes as Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Nick of Time, and The Invaders.

And in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, we’re offering some of the most important pieces ever offered, including an unprecedented complete film used ‘“R2-D2” unit — one of the most beloved characters in pop culture. To complement R2, we offer Mark Hamill’s hero ‘“Luke Skywalker” lightsaber from Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back from the collection of producer Gary Kurtz. Included are original conceptual artworks by Tom Jung used to create the posters for the original Star Wars trilogy.

(6) LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES. Thoraiya Dyer tells why she writes sff:

I find the heady power of writing speculative fiction incredibly addictive.

A non-fiction writer is allowed to say, ‘Wellington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.’

A fiction writer is allowed to say, ‘Wellington felt the futility of man’s worldly struggles as he surveyed the battlefield at Waterloo.’

But a speculative fiction writer is allowed to say, ‘Wellington ordered his magician to bring the dead soldiers back to life,’ (Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell).

Or, ‘Time travel to Victorian England is OK, but you can’t go to the Battle of Waterloo because it’s a crisis point,’ (Connie Willis, To Say Nothing Of The Dog).

You can even say, with perfect aplomb, ‘Dragons were used with deadly force in the Napoleonic wars,’ (Naomi Novik, His Majesty’s Dragon).

How much more fun is that?

(7) STRETCH OUT, ME HEARTIES. The 2017 Fantastic Fiction at KGB Fundraiser hit its initial target. Now the hosts ask —

Can You Help Us Reach Our Stretch Goals? Thanks to the amazing support from the community, we’ve reached $4500, our minimal funding goal. However, we set this intentionally low, because Kickstarter does not pay the fundraising party unless the minimum goal is met. Our true goal is $9,000, which will let us run for six more years. Can you help us reach it?

For those who aren’t familiar with the event —

Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly reading series hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel. It is held on the third Wednesday of every month at the famous KGB Bar in Manhattan. The reading series features luminaries and up-and-comers in speculative fiction. Admission is always free. The series brings together the greater New York community of writers, editors publishers, agents and fans into one location each month. We also publish a monthly podcast audio of the readings so people who cannot attend the physical event can still enjoy the readings. Additionally, we sell the authors’ books at the events (currently through Word Bookstore). Fantastic Fiction is a great place to hear and meet talented new and veteran authors, as well as make valuable connections and meet new friends.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 2, 2010 — Actor Patrick Stewart was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

(9) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian recommends today’s Lio for its sci-fi movie reference.

(10) WORKING FOR PEANUTS. Atlas Obscura explains NASA’s Silver Snoopy awards:

Yes, NASA really does give out a prestigious award called the Silver Snoopy. But it isn’t given to astronauts.

Instead, astronauts give them to members of their various research and support staffs, in recognition of their contributions to the safety of the space program. Why Snoopy? Because in the 1960s, there was no one hotter.

In that decade, the popularity of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts characters were at an all-time high. The first animated special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, hit the airwaves at the end of 1965. Earlier that same year, the characters were featured on the cover of Time. In the Peanuts gang, and specifically in breakout star Snoopy, NASA saw a way to bring a beloved, smiling face to the space program at a time when it desperately needed one.

(11) GRRM & KSR. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination has a new installment of its podcast, Into the Impossble, ‘“Episode 8: Fantastica, with George R.R. Martin and Kim Stanley Robinson”.

Science fiction and fantasy have gone from the sidelines to the mainstream. We bring you a live conversation between two of the field’s living legends, George R.R. Martin (‘“A Song of Ice and Fire,” adapted for television as Game of Thrones, the Wild Card series) and Kim Stanley Robinson (New York 2140, the Mars trilogy), discussing their careers, the history of fantastic literature, and how it shapes our imagination. They came to the Clarke Center in support of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop (clarion.ucsd.edu), the premiere training and proving ground for emerging writers, which the Clarke Center organizes each summer with the Clarion Foundation.

(12) ROWELL’S RUNAWAYS. Rainbow Rowell is one of my daughter’s favorite writers — I’ll have to see if she’s interested in this new Marvel comic, scheduled to be in shops this September.

They were just a normal group of teenagers, linked only by their wealthy parents’ annual business meeting…until a chance discovery revealed the shocking truth: their parents were secretly Super Villains! This discovery led these kids to run away and put them at odds with the people who raised them! Their parents are gone and the team is scattered across the Marvel Universe. This September, get ready to run again with Marvel’s favorite teen Super Heroes, Nico, Chase, Karolina, and Molly for an all-new comic book series, RUNAWAYS by award-winning author, Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Carry On) and Kris Anka (All-New X-Men, Star-Lord).

‘“The Runaways are down on their luck at the beginning of this story,€ said series writer Rainbow Rowell. ‘“I mean, a fair number of them are missing or dead… And the ones who are still standing feel lost. After their parents died in the original series, all they had was each other. What do they have now? Who are they on their own? This story brings the gang back together, but — in true RUNAWAYS fashion — probably not the way you’d expect.”

This new series kicks off when one original member does something drastic. ‘“Chase makes a huge mistake — and then immediately drags Nico into his mess,” continued Rowell. ‘“This whole arc explores what it actually means to be a Runaway. Are they a team? Are they a family? Do they have any reason to get back together?”

(13) THE TRALFAMADORIAN CREATOR. The Spring 2017 issue of UCI contains Gregory Benford’s close encounter — “Escorting Vonnegut”.

For decades, starting in the 1970s, I was UCI’s default escort for visitors and speakers a bit out of the ordinary. This usually meant science fiction writers with a large audience, though not always. I was an sf writer too, but with real-world credentials as a professor of physics, which some thought qualified me to mediate between the real and the imaginary.

The most striking writer I hosted, in the early 1990s, was Kurt Vonnegut.

The university leaders asked me to walk him around campus, have dinner with him and host his public talk in our largest center, where he drew well over 1,000 people. With his curly hair askew, deep red pouches under his eyes and rumpled clothes, he looked like a part-time philosophy professor, typically chain-smoking, coughs and wheezes dotting his speech.

To my surprise, he knew who I was. ‘“Sure, I’ve read – “ and he rattled off six of my titles, starting with Timescape and through my Galactic Center series, then incomplete. He was affable, interested in the campus, and wanted to talk about sf. ‘“I live in Manhattan and go to the literary parties, but I don’t read their books. I read just enough reviews to know what to say, then look enigmatic.” …

(14) HOW ALARMING. There’s now an official Welcome To Twin Peaks sign

The City of Snoqualmie has installed a permanent Welcome to Twin Peaks town sign at approximately 41471 SE Reinig Rd in Snoqualmie, WA, which is the backroad where David Lynch planted a similar fictional sign back in February 1989 to shoot Dale Cooper’s entrance into the town. Little did the original sign painter know his work would become an iconic piece of television history, and the inspiration for a permanent tribute 28 years later.

Unless they were in town around the same time as the Twin Peaks Festival, when Richard and Barbara Koefod usually and temporarily put up their own recreation of the sign, Twin Peaks fans visiting Snoqualmie had to imagine it, bring a print-out or their own portable version.

(15) HOLD THE APPERTAINMENT! Umm, I’m not seeing it. Or else that explains the notorious level of copyediting you see here at File 770 every day —

He’s arguing that the dollar sign counts as a word. But now we’re into the question of ‘“what do you say in your own head” when you see the symbol? I apprehend the dollar sign but I don’t mentally enunciate ‘“dollars” when I see it.

[Thanks to Bill, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Gregory Benford, Matthew Kressel, Bence Pintér, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern (slightly amended by OGH).]

80 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/2/17 A Scroll May Not Injure or Insult a Filer Or, Through Inaction, Allow A Filer To Yawn

  1. 15) You might take the $ sign to indicate US Dollars (instead of putting USD before the number)?

    I think I’m with Scalzi, though, its as egregious as ATM Machine…

  2. Al the Great and Powerful on June 2, 2017 at 6:36 pm said:
    I worked with drawings that originally were called “intersection drawings”, shortened to “ID”. Somewhere along the line “ID” changed to mean the physical location, and the drawings became “ID drawings”.

  3. When I see £1 or $1 or any other currency symbol I read it as “one pound/dollar/whatever” so I’m with Scalzi on this one

  4. @Al the Great and Powerful:

    The one that most threatens my blood pressure is “hot water heater.”

  5. Yeah, “$1 million” reads as “one million dollars.”

    “$1 million dollars” is just redundant.

  6. William R. on June 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm said:

    @Al the Great and Powerful:

    The one that most threatens my blood pressure is “hot water heater.”

    That’s fine in my book. If your water heater can only heat cold water, you’d only ever get lukewarm water out of it.

  7. I really find it fascinating how a certain subsection of indie publishers are desperately trying to prove that traditional publishing is dead or dying. Like, they can’t be happy about “We’re doing our thing, and it’s great!” They have to knock down the other thing.

    (With this argument, a strange pride in being ignorant of what is happening in current publishing, essentially saying, “Everything be published traditionally is crap nowadays, and I would know, since I haven’t bought anything published after 1994!”)

    Now, I don’t claim expertise, but isn’t at least part of the reason attendance is down from two decades ago is because one no longer needs to physically attend a thing to get the announcements and make purchasing decisions? That stuff can be handled without people having to travel to New York. (Also of note: he sites the change in attendance over two decades, and then calls that time period “not quite a decade”.)

  8. I also agree with Scalzi on @15 — but it’s a losing battle; this misuse is standard in the local paper and seems to be common elsewhere. It’s not as common as the misuse of “lay” for “lie”, but it’s getting there.

    @13: great story.

  9. 1) The 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair had 278000 visitors, a slight increase from 2015. The big self-publishing platforms all had a booth there, as did trade publishers big and small.

    The 2017 Leipzig Book Fair, which also has an attached Manga con, had 208000 visitors. The Manga con alone gets about 100000 visitors. If you include attendance at the the city-wide readings (which also extend to neighbouring cities), you get 285000 people.

    That’s two SDCC sized events focussed on books and publishing. So yes, trade publishing is doing well, even if certain mad geniuses would prefer it to be otherwise.

    Though I am a bit surprised that Book Expo America is so small compared to Frankfurt and Leipzig, since it always struck me as the biggest US book fair.

  10. I’m also with Scalzi on the “dollars dollars” thing. Just as when Dairy Queen came out with the “$5 buck lunch,” I thought, “What a five dollar buck lunch?”

  11. (1) “BEA = Book Expo America.” Oh, so *that’s* what he was talking about! With the latest British Airways fiasco stll in the news (somebody switched their computers off?), I kept reading it as one of its predessors: Britsh European Airways!

  12. > I think I’m with Scalzi, though, its as egregious as ATM Machine…
    …where you enter your PIN number.

  13. (12) Want. That is all.

    (13) Yes, great story.

    (15) I’m with Scalzi and apparently nearly everyone else. “$1 million dollars” is redundant.

    Need more sleep.

  14. Yep, ATM machine, PIN number and ISBN (International Standard Book Number) number.

  15. I stumbled across that facsimile dustjacket website a few years ago, when I was Googling to see if anyone else had ever read THE BARGE OF HAUNTED LIVES by J. Aubrey Tyson, a 1923 novel/collection-of-linked-stories that had several supernatural elements. More notable to my mind, though, was that one of the main characters bore a lot of similarities to Doc Savage, if Doc had been raised for evil. Enough similarities that I wondered if Lester Dent might have read Tyson’s book and used it as another strong influence in creating Doc Savage.

    I mentioned the book to Philip Jose Farmer at a convention, a few years before PJF’s death, and later sent him my copy. Never heard back, so I don’t know if Farmer ever read it before passing away.

    Still, an interesting book. Some sections (each of the group of characters who meet at the book’s beginning tell their backstories, with some surprising overlaps) are more enjoyable to read; some sections kinda drag.

    Originally published in 1923, so I think that means it goes out of copyright next year. Maybe an e-book edition?

  16. Copyright in the US is life of the author + 75 years, or iirc 90 years in total if it’s a company owned copyright, so only if the author died in 1923. Though if it’s obscure enough to not have had its original copyright renewed back when that was still mandatory, it may already be in the public domain.

    Instead of “ha ha ad copy writers be stupid”, there may actually be legal or usability reasons for this redundancy?

    I feel that the first link is the perfect example about building a whole narrative out of one data point.

  17. @Charon D.: “One million dollars = $1 million = $1m = $1,000,000.”

    In the “RPG app” I started playing a couple of weeks ago, the third part of that is not like the rest. Because the game deals with scales that far exceed the traditional thousand/million/billion numbers, the studio came up with something different: every comma-and-three-digits gets a letter, and once a number passes the million mark (thousand in some contexts), it gets represented as XXX.Ya – where Y is only displayed if not zero and a is whichever letter is appropriate. Thus, 999,999 + 1 = 1b, and adding another 100,000 makes it 1.1b.

    For perspective, I’m at the stage now where I’m trying to break the Level 2600 barrier before “reviving” to start again at the beginning, and my most powerful character is a six-star-plus-one-diamond guy. After restarting, any levels I’ve bought him with gold go away, and I can ultimately buy him up from level 1 to level 1233 with gold – and they get progressively more expensive, of course. The last couple of levels are in the 1.2r range, financed by an offscreen quest I can run that nets me about 500q every three minutes. I still have a ways to go, though; the last quest I can see is priced somewhere in the ac range, because apparently 26 letters aren’t enough and they had to go from z to aa.

    That still doesn’t stop me from instinctively associating 1k, 1m, and 1b with very different values from what the game uses. 🙂

    -=-=-

    Comic Book Meredith Moment: Marvel has a lot of its digital collection prices – maybe all of them – slashed on Amazon right now. They’ve been half-price for a while (making an average trade about $6.50 instead of the Marvel/comiXology $12.99 list price), but now they’ve knocked an extra 60% off of everything I’ve checked. I picked up the Miles Morales/Gwen Stacy crossover trade (6 issues, $14.99 digital list) for $3, and the first four volumes of the current Old Man Logan series are $1.80 to $2.60 each. Mighty tempting…

    I expect that this is a weekend deal, so if you’ve got any graphic novels on your list – like, say, a Hugo finalist which has an annoying watermark in the packet PDF – now’s the time to pick ’em up. As an added incentive, remember that Amazon bought comiXology and thus you can buy these books on Amazon to take advantage of the sale, but then read them in the comiXology app they were designed for. You won’t get credit for the purchase in the Marvel Insiders program (which also ties to comiXology), but them’s the breaks.

    I don’t know if this supercedes the existing “buy one Marvel digital trade, get one from a selected list free” promotion – which is how I got the big AvX trade free by buying Gwenpool V1 a couple of weeks back – but it’s worth checking. Grab a cheap one, then wait maybe an hour and check your email to see if you got a redemption offer/notice. I seem to recall that promotion being through mid-June.

  18. The Barge of Haunted Lives is probably public domain now (both in the US and in other countries), though I’d need to know a bit more about its publishing history to be sure about the US status.

    In the US, pre-1978 publications don’t use the “life plus n years” copyright terms. Instead, their copyright is 95 years (rounded up to the end of the year) for works that met all the requirements (including, for US publications, notice, registration, and renewal). Copyrights for works that didn’t meet their requirements ended after 28 years (or instantly if they were published with authorization but without copyright notice, and aren’t exempt from the notice requirement). Also, all copyrights prior to 1923 have expired, since they’d expired prior to the last copyright extension passed by the US.

    I don’t find a renewal for this book, or for any stories by the author, in the required years (1950 or 1951). And since the author and the book appear to be of US origin, renewal would have been required. The one thing I don’t know without seeing the book is whether any of the stories are mentioned as first appearing in 1923 issues of magazines that renewed *their* copyrights. The FictionMags index doesn’t know of any stories that he published in magazines that year, though. If there *is* a US copyright on any of his stories from 1923, it would expire at the end of 2018.

    The author died in 1930, over 80 years ago, which puts his work in the public domain in most other countries. (Canada uses life+50 years, Europe uses life+70).

    If you’re interested in the author, a couple of his earlier books, The Scarlet Tanager and The Stirrup Cup, are freely readable online.

  19. What I say in my head when reading ‘$1 million dollars’ is ‘String one million dollars’ because my first acquaintance with the ‘$’ character came from programming 1980s microcomputers in BASIC.

  20. @Rev Bob — talk about inflation! It made me think of how the British used to count their billions differently (UK1b = 1 million millions; US1b = 1 thousand millions) until at some point in the recent past everybody agreed a billion is a thousand millions.

  21. @Charon D. — I think I encountered the term “milliard” somewhere as meaning a thousand millions; maybe in a later-era Heinlein?

  22. Speaking of copyright, can anyone confirm for me that this full-text upload of “Scanners Live in Vain” on archive.org (as well as a bunch of other 1940s SF) is not supposed to be there? I mean, there’s no way that is actually in the public domain as they claim, right? For some reason I had the idea that the Internet Archive people were fairly careful about this stuff.

    (ETA: I would be thrilled if it turned out that some of those stories are in fact public domain now, but didn’t see how that was possible based on the rules John Mark Ockerbloom mentioned)

  23. @Joe H.: “Milliard” was British for billion until 40 or 50 years ago. It’s also (still) French for billion.

  24. “Milliard,” or some variation, is still in use for 10^9 in most continental European languages. OTOH, I’m not aware of any place where 10^15 is called a “billiard.”

  25. According to the Stanford copyright renewal database , Paul Linebarger only renewed the copyright of three items, none of which were under the Cordwainer Smith pseudonym, so anything he wrote as Cordwainer Smith before 1964 is probably out of copyright in the US.

    (2) If he gave the dust jackets away, it would probably be fair use. Even at $22 per dust jacket (which is probably much more expensive than many of the books), he can probably get away with it because even if the publishers copyrighted the dust jacket, it’s not worth it to sue him for books that the publisher no longer has the right to print.

  26. Lisa Goldstein on June 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm said:
    My favorite redundancy is The La Brea Tar Pits, which means “the the tar tar pits.”

    I’ve always favored “Our Lady of Notre Dame”, for those with a religious bent.

    I attended a high school named ‘Notre Dame’, so when some of the nuns used the above, those of us who were smart asses giggled a lot, then got sent to the chapel for penance.

    I attended parochial schools from 1st grade through hight school at a time when they were all nuns all the time, and I spent a LOT of time doing penance.

    Then there was the time I got into a theological argument with the priest over the virgin birth my sophomore year. He told me I definitely needed to attend a Jesuit uni. So I did. LOL.

    ETA: the argument was my sophomore year, not the virgin birth. THAT was the one we all know about a couple thousand years ago.

  27. There are places called Table Mesa.

    (Cam and JJ: I sent you email to the addresses I had; did it arrive?)

  28. At worst, I would say the “$nnn dollars” thing is colloquial. Those who try to interpret it under strict rules of logic are ignoring the fact that language is not logical! In any case, if it really bothers you that much, just pretend it’s a shout-out to Wu-Tang Clan (“dolla dolla bill, y’all!”). Heck, pronounce it that way if you like! I do. 😀

    The book cover case is extremely ambiguous. It’s definitely not fair use, since it’s neither criticism nor parody, nor a tiny excerpt of the art. On the other hand, for works before 1982 or so, you had to assert copyright explicitly, and I don’t know if the cover artists (or publishers) generally did so for the cover art. And, of course, the pre-1960-ish works may have had the copyright lapse if it wasn’t renewed. My guess would be that most of the guy’s collection is probably fine, but that some bits of it may be time bombs just waiting to bite him, if some artist decides to get picky.

  29. Bruce A: (2) If he gave the dust jackets away, it would probably be fair use. Even at $22 per dust jacket (which is probably much more expensive than many of the books), he can probably get away with it because even if the publishers copyrighted the dust jacket, it’s not worth it to sue him for books that the publisher no longer has the right to print.

    The fellow reproducing the dust jackets never had the rights to them. Those rights belonged to the publishers who acquired the art and designed the jackets.

    A typical copyright notice says something like “No part of the book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.” A dustjacket is “part of the book.”

    Any rights to artwork, if no longer held by the publisher, would be held by the artist.

    I expect that the life of copyright as the law applied at the time the book was published or the artwork published would govern when the item enters public domain. Interestingly, we know that the copyright on texts gets renewed/protected, whereas the jacket designs change if a work is reissued. Copyright law has been evolving over the decades, and probably a lot of these older jackets would have passed into public domain if they were subject to renewal before now, since no one would have bothered.

  30. @Bruce A: How about the revised edition of “Scanners Live in Vain” that’s in the Rediscovery of Man collection? It incorporates some early manuscript material that was written between 1945 and 1950, but wasn’t published until 1993.

  31. David E. Pascoe’s post for Mad Genius Club, ‘“You Don’t Look So Good”, wonders if declining BEA attendance is symptomatic of the failing condition of traditional publishing. Wonders, or (perhaps) hopes, one or the other.

    BEA is a show far less likely be attended by booksellers than one of the regional shows such as the New England Book Fair, founded in the thirties. One of the two founders of Longfellow Books here in Portland, alternated on which of them went to NEBF, but I don’t think they ever sent anyone to BEA.

    Keep in mind that there are publisher reps still coming to bookstores to show sellers what’s now. Some are reps for just one publisher, some rep multiple publishers.

    Physical galleys have not disappeared. GMR see several hundred a year; Longfellow sees well over a thousand. It’s worth noting that neither DC or Marvel provide much in the way of galleys to booksellers who are comic shops. Other publishers have, as near as I can tell, galleys for every title they do unless they’re embargoed as the Potter books were.

    And Longfellow depends a lot on titles that get asked about in advance of release. Word of mouth always makes for good sales.

  32. Eli: Speaking of copyright, can anyone confirm for me that this full-text upload of “Scanners Live in Vain” on archive.org (as well as a bunch of other 1940s SF) is not supposed to be there?

    The story was published in Fantasy Book in 1950.

    That font of legal wisdom, the Wikipedia, says —

    In the United States, all books and other works published before 1923 have expired copyrights and are in the public domain.[48] In addition, works published before 1964 that did not have their copyrights renewed 28 years after first publication year also are in the public domain.

    I searched the Copyright Office’s online public catalog and found a lot of Cordwainer Smith stories had their copyrights renewed by his wife (Marcia Linebarger) in the late eighties. But none of the entries named this particular story. You can search more thoroughly, maybe you’ll come across a renewal I didn’t find, but this one may actually be in public domain.

  33. Eli: @Bruce A: How about the revised edition of “Scanners Live in Vain” that’s in the Rediscovery of Man collection? It incorporates some early manuscript material that was written between 1945 and 1950, but wasn’t published until 1993.

    This reminds me of a story I ran about E.E. Smith’s Lensman Series appearing as public domain. Apparently the pulp magazine versions are — but Smith’s later, more polished revisions had the copyrights preserved.

  34. lurkertype on June 3, 2017 at 12:18 pm said:

    There are places called Table Mesa.

    (Cam and JJ: I sent you email to the addresses I had; did it arrive?)

    Thank you 🙂

  35. @Mike: Well, I did read that Wikipedia article as well as other summaries of copyright law— I may be lazy but I’m not that lazy! I had just assumed that anything that had been so widely anthologized during the second half of the 20th century (ISFDB has a couple dozen listings, including translations) would have been renewed… somehow.

    As for the Copyright Office website: I think that’s a red herring in this case because it doesn’t search anything prior to 1978, as the government hadn’t converted the earlier records to computer form. What I didn’t know is that other helpful people had taken it upon themselves to do that conversion, which is the basis for the Stanford site that Bruce linked to.

  36. Eli: As for the Copyright Office website: I think that’s a red herring in this case because it doesn’t search anything prior to 1978, as the government hadn’t converted the earlier records to computer form. What I didn’t know is that other helpful people had taken it upon themselves to do that conversion, which is the basis for the Stanford site that Bruce linked to.

    Bruce also concluded that all of Cordwainer Smith’s works were in public domain, which is not the case because the Copyright Office shows many were renewed by Linebarger’s widow. But unlike many of hisother stories, “Scanners Live in Vain”, being only Linebarger’s second published sf story (and judging by ISFDB, his first as “Cordwainer Smith”) isn’t named in any of the Marcia Linebarger records returned by the Copyright Office.

  37. 1- Huh, it’s almost like in two decades there’s been a shift in where and how books are sold. It’s weird that anyone in an independent market would wish for the collapse of that market but I guess it’s more fun to imagine to imagine being a word warrior of a future publishing dystopia:

    In the brave new world of the future the big publishers have collapsed taking down bookstores large and small with them. With no place left to turn all authors become indie authors and create elaborate bookmobiles with which to carve out territory and fight off other authors in their bookmobiles. Can the authors survive fighting off the Patterson Ghost Writer army who slave away for Immortan Jim? Or escape the clutches of the library late fee Collectors? Will they make it in time to deliver their works to the hallowed halls of Amazon Top Reviewers? Man the word cannons, hoist the page sails and stay tuned.

  38. I don’t think ‘milliard’ was ever in widespread use. Although when I was young a British billion was still at least officially a million million, I had never heard of milliards until I was learning French.

    See also:
    I have seen it estimated
    Somewhere between death and birth
    There are now three thousand million
    People living on this earth.
    (Michael Flanders, 1967.)

  39. Matt Yon notes 1- Huh, it’s almost like in two decades there’s been a shift in where and how books are sold. It’s weird that anyone in an independent market would wish for the collapse of that market but I guess it’s more fun to imagine to imagine being a word warrior of a future publishing dystopia:

    Like the Puppies, they seem to believe the Big Three are a pox upon the bookverse, so their death will allow readers will turn to them and read the Truly Great Books they’ve written.

    Ain’t gonna happen as the BigThree continue to have the vast major of fiction titles that readers want to read. And that means bookshops will stock those books to the exclusion of those other titles.

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