Shimmerzine is giving away for free their special one-time issue devoted to pirate stories edited by John Joseph Adams.
The editors of Shimmerzine have this to say:
In 2007, Dred Pirate John Joseph Adams, of the MS Fantasy and Science Fiction, commandeered the MS Shimmer for one special issue: the Pirate issue, released November 2007.
In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a holiday dear to our hearts, we’re making the electronic edition freely available. One day only: Plunder away!
The issue features fiction from James L. Cambias, Marissa K. Lingen, Jeremiah Tolbert, Mikal Trimm, and and half a dozen others. And don’t miss our piratical interview with the creator of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Illustrated throughout by James Owen.
Note the "one day only" part. Better get it today.
So I'd never read anything by Orson Scott Card before. Of course I had heard of him and seen his books all over, but he was just one of those authors I never quite got around to reading. While that misstep has now been corrected, I had to put down The Memory of Earth.
I fully intended to read the book front to back, but something had been nagging me almost since the beginning. Given that I was a newcomer to Card's work, I was keeping an open mind and had no idea what to expect except that he's a prolific author so his stuff must be good, right? The thing is, the book isn't bad, it's just not good. It's a great idea--benevolent supercomputer controls peoples' minds, keeping them from destroying each other like they did literally 30 or so million years ago on Earth. Except that the computer starts to break down and needs help, so it starts to send certain individuals visions (that's how it communicates) saying more or less that it needs help. Sounds good, right?
Except the book really lacks two things: (1) execution and (2) complexity. What I basically mean by #1 is that not enough happens, and, when something does happen, I often thought, "oh, that's nice". Not nearly enough suspense and the characters really aren't engaging enough. #2 has to do with the author's style. It's too simplistic. He tells me that this character is angry, and this one is sad instead of showing it, or something happens where its painfully obvious what's going on, but Card has to come along and throw in an explanatory sentence just in case you didn't get it. It was annoying to say the least. One of these days I'll take a look at Ender's Game, if only because it's considered the author's seminal work. For now, though, Card fades to the background on my reading list.
This previous week I think I hit on some nice writing progress. Overall, 22 pages closer to finishing this first pass edit.
I achieved that from both sides, both increasing the current page that I'm editing from 316 to 332 but also decreasing the total page count from 391 to 385.
Here's the graph:
A little hard to see that the total pages came down, but the increase in the pages edited is easy enough to see.
Here's the percentage completion graph:
Unlike the previous week, where it very nearly flat-lined from the week before, this time there's a nice gain, putting me at a completion percentage of 86.23%.
So, what changed this past week? I was more focused. I made a conscious effort to remove distractions and make some good, solid progress. I hate to think that 22 pages in one week is "good" progress, but this is something I do in addition to work, family, house, dogs, and so on. Still, I need to do more, and continue to stay focused on finishing. I'm enjoying the story immensely; it's by far better than my previous novel, both in content and style. I hope it's a sign I'm maturing as a writer and that I'm closer to getting published.
More progress next week.
I've been trying to get away from posting a blog entry that just points to another person's blog with no new content or wisdom to add, but this one bears noting.
Robin Hobb, who doesn't post enough for my taste but whose novels are always (or almost always) stellar, talks a bit about her own writing progress.
It's a good, insightful read, and I was pleasantly surprised to find I shared some of the feelings she talks about when going through my own writing.
[ Amazon Featured Short: The Inheritance by Robin Hobb ]
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Looks like Tor is going to resume their Free E-book Giveaway program where, monthly, they give away a free e-book. No DRM (at least the previous e-books were DRM-free), no strings, no commitment to do anything but download and read.
Here's what they have to say about it in their latest newsletter:
More details next week--but yes, we plan to resume giving away selected e-books on Tor.com, at least one title per month. To download them you’ll need to not just visit Tor.com but register as a user; the downloads won’t be accessible until you do. Registering on the site takes maybe thirty seconds if you type particularly slowly...so Act Now, Act Without Thinking, get over to Tor.com and create yourself a user account today.
Looks like I'll be updating my list of Tor free e-books, and expect information posts about each of these new giveaways as they become available.
There's been some discussion on the benefits of Tor's program, and whether or not giving away one book leads to sales of others for that author. I'll leave such determinations and discussions up to the respective authors. I just like getting the free stuff.