As many of you will know, I’m about to kick off the tour for a new YA science fiction novel, Pirate Cinema, which comes out next week. As with all my other novels, I’ll be putting up Creative Commons-licensed editions of the book for your downloading pleasure.
Now, whenever I do this, many readers write to me and ask if they can send me a tip or a donation to thank me for sharing the book with them. This isn’t a great way for me to earn money, as it cuts my (awesome, DRM-free, kick-ass) publisher out of the loop. I’ve come up with a much better solution: I publish the names of librarians, teachers, and other affiliated people who would like to receive hardcopies of my books, and then point generous donors to that list, so that they can send copies there. I pay an assistant, Ogla Nunes, who keeps track of who’s received their donations, crossing their names off the list when their requests are fulfilled. We’ve collectively donated thousands of books to schools, libraries and similar institutions. As one reader said, this is like paying your debts forward, with instant gratification. What a fine thing indeed.
Here’s where you come in. If you’re a librarian, teacher, or similar person and you would like a free copy or free copies of Pirate Cinema sent to you by one of my readers, please send Olga an email at email@example.com with your institutional details and your name so that we can populate the list and have it ready for release day, so that the generous impulses this generates in my readers can be converted to instantaneous action.
We just did this for Rapture of the Nerds, my novel for adults, co-written with Charles Stross, which was published earlier this month, and got an amazing response, both from would-be donation recipients and donors. But with your help, we can leave that signal success in the dust with Pirate Cinema.
Here’s a plot-summary to whet your appetite. I hope I’ll see you on the tour!
Trent McCauley is sixteen, brilliant, and obsessed with one thing: making movies on his computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads from the net. In the dystopian near-future Britain where Trent is growing up, this is more illegal than ever; the punishment for being caught three times is that your entire household’s access to the internet is cut off for a year, with no appeal.
Trent’s too clever for that too happen. Except it does, and it nearly destroys his family. Shamed and shattered, Trent runs away to London, where he slowly he learns the ways of staying alive on the streets. This brings him in touch with a demimonde of artists and activists who are trying to fight a new bill that will criminalize even more harmless internet creativity, making felons of millions of British citizens at a stroke.
Things look bad. Parliament is in power of a few wealthy media conglomerates. But the powers-that-be haven’t entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people’s minds….