This is a great introduction to one of the genre’s fresh new talkents, one of the few who seamlessly mixes the future with the bizarre.
Next Thursday, March 29 at 6:30, I’ll be doing a drop-in signing and meet-and-greet at the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego. They’ve got a stack of copies of Overclocked (my new short story collection) in stock. I hope to see you there!
When: Thursday, March 29: 6:30-7PM
Where: Mysterious Galaxy Books, 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Suite #302, San Diego, CA 92111, 858.268.4747
I just signed the contracts on a comic book deal for six of my stories with IDW. They got the exclusive right to sell commercial comics based on my stories, but those stories are already under Creative Commons Attribution/ShareAlike/Noncommercial licenses that allow fans to make non-commercial comics (and films, etc) from them. My agent, Russell Galen, wrote a nifty little clause spelling this out (see below).
Lots of people have asked me whether doing a non-commercial CC release makes it impossible to sell commercial rights to a traditional publisher. Here’s how it can work:
The exclusive rights granted to Licensee hereunder are subject to a pre-existing Creative Commons license which grants members of the public the irrevocable and nonexclusive right to create their own adaptations of the Licensed Property, including comic books. Such Creative Commons-licensed works may not be sold or distributed for profit. Licensee acknowledges that under the terms of this Creative Commons license, members of the public may create comic book version of the Licensed Property for non-commercial distribution. Licensor agrees not to license the rights which are granted to Licensee hereunder to any competitor of Licensee or to any commercial enterprise intending to create adaptations of the Works for commercial distribution.
Here’s the list of stories that are being adapted:
After the Siege
When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth
Nimby and the D-Hoppers
Cory Doctorow gives away his vital writing secret right here in these pages, a guaranteed method for producing cutting-edge, engaged, supercharged SF. In his preface to “Anda’s Game,” he says, “The easiest way to write futuristic (or futurismic) science fiction is to predict, with rigor and absolute accuracy, the present day.” Ah, but like the words of all oracles, his pronouncement has a cryptic, paradoxical air to it. What exactly can this mean?
Well, he’s simply giving us the classical, core methodology of SF from its Golden Age, restated for post-modern times. Doctorow is just doing, after all, what Robert Heinlein did at his best: steeping himself in the culture of the present and them amping up what he registers as significant to a day-after-tomorrow condition. Sounds trivial, put that way, doesn’t it? But the relative paucity of Heinleins and Doctorows on the market indicates it’s not as easy as it looks. One has to canvass thoroughly the whole of scientific, artistic and sociological progress, distill the essences, and then find a plot and characters that can best embody the lessons to be conveyed. Knowing a lot about history and the human heart is essential as well. In other words, even before one begins the conventional task of storytelling, one already faces a full-time job of analysis and prognostication.
But Doctorow, like Heinlein, is up to the task. As these stories illustrate, he has a knack for identifying those seminal trends of our current landscape that will in all likelihood determine the shape of our future(s). Add in a recursive affection for past landmarks of SF (besides the Asimovian references, there’s a lot of Clifford Simak in the “Row-Boat” piece), and a gentle empathy for the underdogs in such scenarios, and you get a winning narrative and ideational combination.
Midnight.Haulkerton, a “Grok Rock” band from Australia, has very kindly recorded a song inspired by my new short story collection, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present — just the first of more to come. This is about the coolest, most flattering thing ever.
Future shock, present shock, we’re already in past shock
Too much to go to and nowhere to go, we’ve got way too much to know
Something in the future’s already in the past, the present’s an illusion
Cos the world is spinning way too fast
Overclocked, clock shock
This watch never stops
Overclocked, time’s fast
You’ve been blasted in the past