And in Today’s Addition to the Amazon/Hachette Debate

We learn that

1) Hachette is VERY bad at math.

2) Amazon is being asked to take LESS than the 30% share they were being forced to take when Hachette was involved in an illegal price-fixing scam. Oh wait, they’ve been dropping lie/hints saying Amazon wanted 50%…when they didn’t.

3) Hachette is, of course, underpaying its authors on E-books. But we knew this already.

4) Hachette wants e-books priced higher than print, even though they already did the work for the print version. Oh wait, that means fewer e-books will sell, which means less total money for *everyone,* because fewer total sales by a larger percentage than the price drop.

5) Hachette must have some *very* bad accountants to be fighting this deal. And all the abused authors siding with them need to take some basic math classes. Because Amazon is flat out the one making sense. You like your editor, fine. Tell your editor to talk to the accountants.

Oh, and the money Hachette has spent on this little spitting match is money they could’ve spent doing silly things like making a profit. But being French, they probably think the Government will subsidize their failure.

Link provided for fact checking, where Business Insider agrees Amazon destroys Hachette: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-hachette-ebook-pricing-2014-7

Look, Don’t Touch, and Don’t Look?: Cosplay and Objectification at Cons

tariencole:

You know, there was a time when going to a CON was pretty much on my bucket list of things to do. I’m not *nearly* as motivated to attend them as I used to be. “Unwanted looking” in costume? Ok…no really. Outside of lewd attempts to take pictures, there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be fixable with, “Please allow me some space.”

But people don’t go for manners anymore. Nope, now it has to be sensitivity training and sapping the soul out of everything fun.

Originally posted on Cat Rotator's Quarterly:

[Caution, this post contains a blend of serious content and satire. If you don't want to read about the latest hurricane in a petri dish, skip today's post and I'll have lighter content later this week.]

So, once again, problems arose at a large Con because of costumes and the, shall we say, overly touchy (both the cosplayers and the observers.) Which lead to cries for written harassment policies, mandatory anti-harassment and awareness training for all Con personnel, and complaints about “objectification” of (mostly) women.

First things first: here’s the original AP article, and I’m certain more will appear around the blogosphere this week, given the size and importance of San Diego ComicsCon. Here’s the official ComicsCon policy. In short – harassment is not tolerated, if someone is harassed, they are to go to Con security and let them know, and the harasser can be tossed out and…

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So Hercules the Movie Is Out

And it has The Rock, who I think it just about a doggone perfect Herc.

But I will not be seeing this. Why? General principle, it’s a “demythologization.”

Yeah, all those cool things you see in the trailer, they only happen in the narrative during the first 4 minutes of the movie. “Son of Zeus?” Yeah, Herc made that up so his enemies would fear him. We’re going for the “true” story, you know.

Like the “true” story of King Arthur and Troy, this is once again a sad attempt to strip away anything fantastic and leave the audience with a “real” sense of who the character was. For a given value of real where historical elements that could not have existed together are thrown together by Did Not Do Their Research Screenwriters (Llamas in Troy? Oh yeah). With the result that we get a by-the-numbers Hollywood cliche story attempting to be the biopic of a character we can’t know anything about without the myths.

What a load of tripe. You want to go sword-and-sandal non-mystical? There’s LOTS of stories to tell that could do it right. But those wouldn’t have the ‘name’ value. Say “Hannibal” and people think of a cannibal, or a black dude on an elephant (hey, btw, he was Phoenician w/ a Spanish mother, and thus olive-toned, but yeah “History Channel” you know). Never mind the Punic Wars would be an amazing series to bring to the screen. We need to tell people that no one believed that silly mystical stuff back then. Religion only comes from the rubes, you know. Oh wait, you mean Plato had a section about Atlantis? Welllll… don’t look here, because shut up. Instead, we get Hercules trying to play a mercenary general with a heart of gold. Because…”history,” meaning, “We made up the story. But we have to start somewhere, right?”

Whose history? The history the revisionist hucksters want to sell. There’s never been any sense of wonder or adventure in the world. So you can just sit back, dull your minds on Rom-Coms, and forget about dreams, faith, or anything that makes you creative. What a sad, myopic, universe to live in.

UPDATE: Oh, and here’s another beautiful “historical gem” from the Hercules movie. So Hercules, the Founder of the Spartans, the Warrior Elite of the Ancient World, whose classic saying was “With Your Shield or On It.” IOW, come back victorious or come back dead. The people who took a King’s personal guard to Thermopylae and commit mass suicide trying to hold off Xerxes Army (300, anyone?). Yeah, THOSE people learned all this from Hercules. Now this would be a very HISTORIC element of his life, if anything.

So what does the movie do? Hercules gives a mealy-mouthed speech about how it’s more important to ‘survive’ than to win the battle. That’s sooooo historical. So truth-telling to power. Brett Ratner, you are a freaking clown.

A Book Review: Monster Hunter’s Nemesis

Do writer’s post reviews of other author’s books? Hmm. Well, we’re asked to on Goodreads right? So yes, with some trepidation, I’ll begin posting them for current works I finish here. Not sure I’ll do it for ‘legacy’ reading. Though that might be fun. But what better place to start than the esteemed International Lord of Hate, High Prince of the Evil League of Darkness: Larry Correia and his latest entry into the Dragon Hoard of Money producing Monster Hunter’s Series.

This is still Larry Correia, I still devoured the book. If you know the Monster Hunter series, you know what you’re getting: Full-on action, lots of guns, monsters, and macabre done for people who aren’t so stupid as to run upstairs and leave them trapped by the bad guy. His action scenes are alongside Jim Butcher’s for the best in fiction today. And this has lots of them. I gave it a 4 of 5 stars on Goodreads. If I were grading it on a traditional system, I’d call it a B+. Why?

Well, I do have a few niggles:

1) Franks isn’t my favorite character. An entire book with him as the primary character didn’t make for the best center. Even if he tends to be at the heart of the chaos in the series. That said, he doesn’t quite become so annoying that he becomes a negative. Rather he’s just…there until things start blowing up.

2) There are a few too many real-world dimes dropped on the political situation in this one for my liking. They don’t add anything to the story, and while it’s hard to ignore the current climate ‘entirely’ in a world fairly near to this one, I’m no more impressed with slagging off the President in text than I am Jamie Fox trying to turn Obama into an action hero. This is, again a minor niggle. But taken together, it’s enough to knock my enjoyment in total down to a (still lustrous) four stars.

That said, when the action ramps up, no one does it better than Larry Correia. And only Jim Butcher does it AS well. And seeing Franks get torn to pieces, put back together, and running on fumes is, despite my not-love for him, great fun. So yes, a very good read. Not a drop-dead fantastic one, like Warbound was for me, or Skin Game by Jim Butcher (which will probably be my next choice, just because JB). But still absurdly good.

Another Interesting List

So Paul Goat Allen over at Barnes and Noble’s book blog (we won’t ask about their future here), made a list of the 20 best Paranormal Fantasy series. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/the-20-best-paranormal-fantasy-novels-of-the-last-decade/

It’s not an altogether bad list. I’ve read most of the series, and there’s a couple I *want* to that I haven’t had the time yet.

First of all, I’ll quibble with the title. Paranormal Fantasy is Department of Redundancy Department. Fantasy is, by definition, outside (hence Para) the normal. Paranormal Romance works as a genre, because Romance (while having its own mash of fantasies) can be this OR otherworldly. Fantasy, even when it’s a world “like” ours, isn’t. Now I get what he means, he’s mashing “Paranormal Romance” and “Urban Fantasy” together because the two are often difficult to distinguish. Fair Enough. But they are not so fungible as to mash their titles together.

Second, I’ll quibble with the #1 spot. Dead Beat is *probably* the best Dresden Files, and he was trying to only take 1 per series. That’s fine. However, there’s no way DB is not the high point of Urban Fantasy. Period. Full Stop. It practically LIVES on the TV Tropes Crowning Moments of Awesome page. Right down to this iconic image: http://media.tumblr.com/e9433d5a9a17ef41b7617f34163f4e32/tumblr_inline_mlpna1ldsh1qz4rgp.jpg Yes. This is Dresden Files. Sorry, Kim Harrison’s Hollows is a very good series. But it has no moment even approximating this…oh as amazing as the picture is, it forgot the one man polka band keeping time.

Third, how in the world is Kate Daniels NOT on this list? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsrK6P9QvI

No really. Impressive character growth, fantastic relationships. Great plots, intense action. The series is amazing, and has everything Urban Fantasy fans should expect. And if you want a Distaff counterpart to Harry, it’s Kate. No question.

I could also make a case for MLN Hannover’s Black Sun’s Daughter and Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus. But to me, the glaring omission is Kate Daniels, as IMHO, it’s the second best Urban Fantasy you can buy today, behind Harry Dresden.

Still, not a *bad* list, perse.

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18 Influential Voices in Literature on the Internet

tariencole:

I’ve heard a LOT more of these than the Times list. And I’m on the internet for hours a day. So it can’t be because I’m ‘isolated.’ Now admittedly the web is a big place. But these are bigger names, IMHO. And hence more influential.

Originally posted on Cedar Writes:

top5influencesSomeone put together a list of the 35 Writers who Run the Internet that had a bunch of us scratching our heads in puzzlement. We’d collectively heard of two or three of them, and most of us are very well read online, keeping up with the changes in the industry. So I challenged several disparate groups of people to nominate influential voices in literature. Who do we listen to?

I was looking for people who are respected, known for their positive contributions to discussions of writing and publishing, who nurture the current and rising generation of writers. I wasn’t looking necessarily for writers, but those who contribute to the internet’s depth of knowledge about good stories, and good writers.

Here’s the list, roughly ranked in order of number of times a name was suggested. I wound up dropping a few, who only received a self-nomination, or one vote, and I’m…

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Position-by-position: Considering MLS’s All-Star Game snubs

tariencole:

In which I ask, “What does Dom Dwyer have to do to get recognition among the League’s best strikers?”

Originally posted on ProSoccerTalk:

All-Star snub lists are a tradition in every sport, even though they often ignore the realities of the task. Caleb Porter couldn’t pick every player whose had a good season, and since there’s an actual game to play, he has to have some reasonable positional distribution. Add in the Fan XI and  Don Garber’s picks (which technically, he can exclude from the squad) and there were since significant restraints on the second-year boss.

So before criticizing his choices, let’s lay some ground rules – guidelines that will keep this from descending into a bland list of every player that’s performed above some imaginary threshold:

1. You have to be better than somebody who was chosen, preferably at your exact position. Having a good year doesn’t justify an All-Star spot, nor does a case that doesn’t acknowledge the competition at the position.

2. You can’t be a “snub” just because you’re better than a player who was

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