Future of books in USA Today

I was interviewed for this excellent, thoughtful article on the future of the book in USA Today.

"I think book is a verb," Doctorow says. It's what you're doing when reading something like a narrative story or biography or academic argument in big chunks in multiple sessions, he says. "We need to find ways to insert the verb of book into technologies that arrive," Doctorow adds.

Doctorow admits he hasn't yet learned a lot from his fans about what books can become. But there are some interesting hints. For instance, he's certain that the free electronic copies are helping increase sales of hard copy books, which is the opposite of what publishers and authors fear.

"For almost every writer, the number of sales they lose because people never hear of their book is far larger than the sales they'd lose because people can get it for free online," Doctorow says. "The biggest threat we face isn't piracy, it's obscurity."

Podcast, Jon Carroll column, Brazilian paper interview

A bunch of great stuff was published about my latest book over the weekend, while I was off cavorting on a birthday holiday:

  • This podcast with
  • Beloved San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll waxes rhapsodic about the book in his column
  • Estado De S. Paulo, a Brazilian daily paper, has an interview with me about my use of the Creative Commons Developing Nations license (in Portuguese)

Interview with Staccato Music

Matt May, of the Staccato Music Podcast (a podcast focusing on Creative Content licensed material) has posted an interview with me about EFF and my new novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town.

Signing tomorrow night at Toronto’s BakkaPhoenix Books

My only scheduled Canadian signing for my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is tomorrow (Monday) night in Toronto, at BakkaPhoenix books at 7PM. Bakka is the sf bookstore that I worked at in the late 80s/early 90s -- many other sf writers are Bakka alumni, including Michelle Sagara (Michelle West), Tanya Huff, Nalo Hopkinson, Robert J Sawyer and others. The store's a real piece of Toronto history, and has an amazing new location at Queen St W and Niagara.

July 11, 7PM: BakkaPhoenix Books, 697 Queen St West, Toronto, ON, M6J 1E6, (416)963-9993

More Damon Wallace illos for Someone Comes to Town

Last week, I posted about Gabriel Serafini's efforts to get his friend Damon Wallace, a talented visual artist, to create fan-illustrations for scenes in my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town.


Wallace has posted two more wonderful illustrations (I especially love the family portrait illustration) in the series. He's also running an RSS feed for anyone who cares to keep track of new illos as they are posted.

Virtual edition of Someone Comes to Town

In preparation for my July 24 in-game virtual booksigning in Second Life, the Seocnd Lifers held a competition to design a virtual copy of my novel. The winner has just been announced and the virtual text is now freely available in-game. It's a really sweet virtual artifact, too, designed by Second Lifer Falk Bergman.

In a particularly brilliant addition, Falk has created a script which will enable Cory to autograph the Second Life edition his novel. To do that, readers just have to bring their copy of his book to the event, and set it on a small table in front of Cory. To autograph it, Cory simply has to mouse-click the book, which causes a digitized picture of his real signature (with author's dedication) to be superimposed on the cover. So signing the virtual edition of his book requires about as much effort as it does when he takes pen in hand to autograph the tree-based version.

Falk's attention to detail is staggering. To recreate the cover of the hardback edition he brought Caliandris Pendragon onto the project, to painstakingly create an avatar resembling its exotic young woman in blue jeans. (Caliandris' attention detail is also staggering: before fashioning a tribute to Dave McKean's cover art for Someone, she led the team that created Numbakulla, a tribute to fantastic adventure games like Myst and Riven. The Second Life game is still in operation, thanks to a dedicated fan base, some of whom actually offered to help subsidize the monthly server costs of the island it's based on.)

(Thanks, James!)

CORRECTION: Last Michigan appearance tomorrow night

Update: I've just been notified that this is the Schuler's Books in Eastwood -- not the one in Meridian Mall!

Tomorrow night, I'm doing my last Michigan appearance for the foreseeable future -- a signing and reading at Lansing's Schuler Books and Music (Meridian Mall) at 7:30PM. Last night's event at Archive Bookshop went swimmingly, despite the torrential rains, and attendees got to hear a little of "Themepunks," the novel I'm working on for next year. Tomorrow I'll read from "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth," a novella I've been working on here at Clarion. Hope to see you there!

"Maybe I can fix it from here," he said. He could login to the UPS for the cage and reboot the routers. The UPS was in a different netblock, with its own independent routers on their own uninterruptable power-supplies.

Kelly was sitting up in bed now, an indistinct shape against the headboard. "In five years of marriage, you have never once been able to fix anything from here." This time she was wrong -- he fixed stuff from home all the time, but he did it discreetly and didn't make a fuss, so she didn't remember it. And she was right, too -- he had logs that showed that after 1AM, nothing could ever be fixed without driving out to the cage. Law of Infinite Universal Perversity -- AKA Felix's Law.

Five minutes later he was behind the wheel. He hadn't been able to fix it from home. The independent router's netblock was offline, too. The last time that had happened, some dumbfuck construction worker had driven a ditch-witch through the main conduit into the data-center and Felix had joined a cadre of fifty enraged sysadmins who'd stood atop the resulting pit for a week, screaming abuse at the poor bastards who labored 24-7 to splice ten thousand wires back together.

Where: Schuler Books and Music, Meridian Mall, 2820 Towne Center Blvd., Lansing, MI 48912, (517) 316-7495

When: Thursday, July 7, 7:30PM

Signing tomorrow and Thursday in East Lansing, MI

Tomorrow (July 5) I'm doing a signing and reading at East Lansing's Archives Bookshop (517 W. Grand River, (517) 332-8444) at 7pm. I'm in East Lansing all week teaching the Clarion writers' workshop, and I'll be doing a second signing on Thursday July 7 at Schuler Books.

Podcast and fan-art for Someone Comes to Town

Dave Slusher from the Internet radio show "Voices in Your Head" on IT Conversations did a long interview with me about my new book, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, and it's live for download now. Also, Gabriel Serafini has gotten his friend Damon Wallace to do a series of illustrations based on the book -- the first is live now!

Tiger Heron Editor’s Pick

My novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town has been selected for Tiger Heron's Editor's Picks section for July -- w00t!

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