World Wide Wednesday: Tia, Torrent, & Tacky

As is usual, seven days in the world of the Internet is plenty of time for people to write interesting articles and share fabulous news – and I’m here once again to bring you my ten favourites!

1) Go, Tia!fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Well, I simply can’t start with anything else but the wonderful news that FanLit guest reviewer Tia Nevitt is to be a published author! We’re all fabulously excited and offer our congratulations and best wishes to Tia.

2) Minors Who Review Adult Books

This, for me, is a very interesting issue: should minors read certain books, and are they qualified to comment on them? Babbling About Books brings us the full discussion, including some handy links to various other commentaries.

3) Is Science Fiction dying?

This is a thorny issue that often comes up on the Interwebs. The latest person to have a crack at it is Gav from Next Read. In three posts, he rants on the following: Where Is The New Blood In Science Fiction?; Why Don’t Science Fiction Fans Look To The Future? and SF Is In Danger Of Being Introspective and Inbred!

4) What Qualifies a Book Blogger?

You discerning lot read FanLit because we produce unbiased and fair reviews of all sorts of fantasy books – but, really, what qualifies a book blogger to produce reviews?

5) Bringing Magic Into The Present

Thanks to the purchase of Angry Robot Books by Osprey Publishing (as reported last time out), the release schedule of books has been pushed back and so Angry Robot are inviting some of their favourite bloggers to take the floor and write articles of interest – the first is by Adele of Un:bound, who talks to us about bringing magic into the present.

6) The Ever-Changing Personality of the Bad Guy

Voyager are also inviting bloggers to submit articles of interest for their blog, and one of the first pieces was regarding Bad Guys in Fantasy. Do you agree or disagree? Head over and provide some comments!

7) Beta Readers

We all know authors use beta readers to test early versions of a manuscript, and I am definitely not alone in thinking this would be a great service to provide to a favourite author, but Patrick Rothfuss explains why he can’t take up strangers as beta readers.

8) On Torrents

Piracy of books is becoming a greater problem – especially with the rise in popularity of e-Readers. Ros from Warpcore SF tells us exactly why we shouldn’t torrent books, including some useful links back to articles by authors on how torrenting is affecting their outputs.

9) Genre-Lized Anxiety

Ari Marmell intelligently discusses the issue of genre, and how generalised the idea of “fantasy” can be. Is genre impossible to define?fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

10) Good Show Sir!

This is a heads-up to those of you who may not yet be aware of the site Good Show Sir, which aims to bring you the tackiest in science fiction and fantasy book covers! The pictures are hilarious, to say the least, but do check out the comments for each of the submissions as well! We’re sure to be using some of these in our regular cover renaming contests.

All done, peeps! Thanks for reading once again – and in the comment section below, please link any relevant and interesting articles that we may have missed in the last seven days.


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AMANDA RUTTER, one of our guest reviewers, used to be an accountant in the UK but she escaped the world of numbers and is now living in a fantasy world she creates. She runs Angry Robot's YA imprint, Strange Chemistry. And we knew her when....

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13 comments

  1. As an avid ereader (and friends to dozens more), I can only urge authors who don’t want their books pirated to lean HARD on publishers to make them available in all formats and/or to push to get something done about DRM. Most (and I’m thinking possibly all) of the ebookers that I know wouldn’t think of going to the trouble of pirating ebooks if they were available on their platform for generally reasonable prices. (Reasonable prices usually mean less than the least expensive physical copy available at the time of purchase)
    There will always be people that will pirate-whether movies, music or books, but the “Average American” has no problem paying for their entertainment.

  2. I can’t thank you enough for the link to Good Show Sir. Bad covers are one of my fondest internet pleasures, and I’m always looking for new troves of them.

  3. Jazz, I’m not sure I agree with you about the average American — I think you’re too nice. I monitor the stats for this site and you wouldn’t believe how many hits we get each day from people whose search queries show that they were looking for free copies of newly released books.

    I’d bet that many authors (though they wouldn’t likely admit it) don’t even appreciate used book stores and swap sites. When we get our books there, the author gets nothing. Most authors don’t actually make much money selling their books. Those who need to support a family often have to have another job.

    I’m not sure what the answer is, but I agree with Jazz’s comment that having books available in all formats would certainly help.

  4. Unless an author is a big bestseller (and by big I mean BIG: Stephen King, JKR, etc.), I do feel kind of guilty when I get their books from the library/swap site/used bookstore. The way I assuage the guilt is by reviewing the book (so as to help publicize it so maybe someone else will buy it) and by, if I really liked it, buying their next one if I can.

    I used to buy only the tried-and-true and get new authors from the library, but I’ve switched to buying the new authors when I can (because they need the boost so the publisher will keep publishing them) and borrowing the big-name authors. The exception is if I absolutely ADORE an author and would buy the phone book if it had their name on the cover. :-))

  5. You’d think they’d jump on the ebook bandwagon, then as ebooks are only sharable (currently) by Kindle users on the same account. I don’t think you can even do that on the other ereaders. That means one reader=one sale and more money for all.

  6. Jazz, the sad truth is that there are people out there who actually believe that writers don’t deserve to be paid for their work. They’re not the only ones who pirate, but you can bet they’re the ones who set up sites with enormous amounts of pirated books on them, or sell disks loaded with them on eBay.

  7. Kelly, I wouldn’t feel guilty about the library. Library editions cost more than personal copies and your tax dollars pay for those. Libraries are likely to keep purchasing books by authors whose books are popular with their patrons. I use the library a lot, too. I love to just hang out there. (I’m such a geek.)

  8. Beth, I think it’s not so much that they don’t think authors deserve to be paid, but that they don’t realize how little they are paid AND they think that they (the reader) deserve to get stuff for free if they’re clever enough to find it.

    I’d like to point out, as we do occasionally, that the FanLit reviewers do not sell, swap, or otherwise profit from review copies we get (other than that we get to read the book for free). That’s been our policy all along. If we have copies we no longer need, or if we have extras that we’re sent, we use them as giveaways (which we pay postage for). Sometimes we give them to libraries or to charity, also.

  9. oh boy…

    First congrats Tia, that news is about 16 truckloads of awesome. Congrats!.

    Second: Blogger qualification – do you like to read? Can you form well thought out opinions? Can you express them in a written language? Congratulations you have met the minimum requirements for book blogging/reviewing. Though that may not be enough to have people follow you.

    Third: Book piracy…this is a topic I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.

    Let me clear a few misconceptions about copyright piracy:
    ***Every illegally downloaded item is a loss of revenue: Wrong. Kat could go out and download Fabio’s Diet Essentials 500 times, and they have not lost any potential revenue, because she would have never bought it in the first place. Dowload does not equal lost purchase…remember when reading through statistics on lost revenue. You better believe those figures are buttered up. They only wish they could have sold a million copies of whateverbook

    ***proponents of file sharing want everything to be free and no creative person should make any money ever: wrong. The sharing supporters are not against making money; they are mostly against an outdated distribution scheme. This is primarily true for the recording industry. The publishing industry has been rather open to experimentation on digital rights. Read about Tor’s ebook experiment with digital distribution. It was interesting, and had mixed results.
    http://bloggasm.com/did-tors-free-ebooks-affect-sales
    Neither result was the complete desolation of the author’s careers, their children were still fed, and nobody lost any money. Not saying this would work in every case, but it does bring the conversation back into the realm of reality. Nobody gains anything from blabbering rhetoric. That goes for both sides.

    ***people who download pirated goods just want free stuff and never buy anything: wrong

    ***people who download pirated goods buy 10 times as much as other people: wrong

    I see both these kinds of statements tossed about by both sides a lot. Both are wrong. The truth of the matter is much more complex….imagine that. Honestly there is not enough market research out there yet to truly determine the ramification of piracy via the internet. There are a lot of good studies, but until some major player do their own serious market research into the issue we’ll never know how it truly affects the market (like Tor did). We’ll be forever stuck with the kind of arguments the internet is so wonderful at producing.

    So bottom line is: Taking something that doesn’t belong to you at the creator’s loss is wrong. It’s called stealing. We need to find a way to monetize the efficient methods of distribution that Torrent sites provide. The fact that an ebook I buy on amazon only works on an amazon device is stupid, and not consumer friendly. If I buy it….it’s mine. I should be able to read it on my friggin calculator is I so desire. I also feel if I buy a $30 hardback it should come with the ebook version. Wow sorry for the long post…

  10. Anonymous /

    Thanks so much for the mention! And for putting me at the top of this list! I’m honored.

    Great roundup! I’ve already seen a bunch of these in the blogosphere — now it’s time to check out these others.

  11. Actually Kat, I’m talking about something people have actually said.

  12. Beth, why do they think writers shouldn’t be paid? Are these people who actually read?

  13. I have no idea why they think that. But they’re hardly the only people to have major scorn for writing as a career. The amount of people who think it’s not a real job or that it’s easy…HA! Easy my butt.

    Even people who read have that attitude at times. Which is a bit :stupid: if you ask me. I mean, where do they think books come from? Despite how one makes paper, books do not actually grow on trees.

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