Saturday, January 7, 2012

Protecting ourselves from porn producers

As some news sites will tell you (and as this article does), we are facing a crisis: what to do if unscrupulous porn producers attach our names to the new .xxx Web top-level domains (TLDs). As Sarah told me earlier today, and as this article confirms, some universities are quite concerned that these blackhearts will appropriate their names for dirty concerns. After all, what if someone other than, say, Duke (to pick on a school my daughter attends and which I quite like and respect) were to register such titillating domains as
What untold damage might ensue? The horror! What would this do to the reputation of Duke or any other university?

Give me a break.

The answer, of course, is absolutely nothing.

What would (and will) really happen is that some porn producers will buy a ton of domains that they hope will entice viewers. Some of those will work, and some will not. If domains tied to universities prove to work, the porn producers will come up with suggestive variations no matter how many domains the universities buy. (As of this writing, I don't believe Duke owns any of the above.)

You can't stop a troll on a thread by engaging with him/her. You certainly can't stop porn from finding a way to people who want to see it. Worrying about stuff like this is just plain silly.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Coming soon: Jon & Lobo audiobooks!

I've learned quite recently that the good folks at have purchased the audiobook rights to all five Jon and Lobo novels (the fifth being the upcoming No Going Back). I'm quite excited at the prospect of hearing these books.

Other than the fact of the purchase, however, I have very little data to offer you. My friend, Sam Montgomery-Blinn, broke the news on his SF audiobook blog. According to his contacts at Audible, the first four Jon and Lobo novels should appear in audiobook form by the end of March, with the fifth hitting about the same time as the print book (May 1). That would certainly be cool.

I have no clue who the narrator will be, nor will I get any voice in that selection process. Yes, I know that Neil Gaiman does, and I'm sure some other writers do, but I don't sell as well as Gaiman (though feel free to buy enough of my books to change that fact). I'll probably learn the narrator's identity when I first see the books come online.

As I said, though, I'm quite excited to hear these audiobooks. I've never had an audio version of any of my works, so I look forward to them. I hope you do, too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My 2012 awards self-pimpage post

Like many science fiction and fantasy writers, I'm aware that the awards nominating season is upon us. John Scalzi has helped popularize a new tradition of writing a simple self-pimpage post in which you list your eligible works for the year. He's even been gracious enough to host a post and comment thread in which others can pimp their stuff. Though I still feel rather awkward doing so, I posted there, and I'm also putting the information here.

For those who don't follow these things, the Hugo awards, the fan-voted accolades that are a centerpiece of each year's World SF convention, are now open for nomination. (For more information on this year's Hugos, see this page. To learn more about Chicon 7, the 2012 WorldCon, go here.)

My only eligible work from 2011 was a novelette:

The Long Dark Night of Diego Chan

It appeared in the anthology (which I edited), The Wild Side. I rather like the story, and all the reviews I've seen of it have been positive, for whatever that's worth. I definitely hope one day to write a few novels about Diego.

As I've noted before, it doesn't take a ton of nominations to make the Hugo ballot. In the novelette category, probably well under a hundred would do it. So, if you like this story--or any other--consider buying an attending or supporting membership to the con and nominating it. The more people who participate in the process, the better.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A PSA I can get behind

The cause is good, and the presentation is wonderful.

Thanks to my buddy, Griffin, for turning me on to this.

Best lines: "We need a volunteer that ain't breathin'. Here's one I made earlier."


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On a bookshelf in my office at work

sits this lovely gem

Why, you may well ask, is that glass-stoppered bottle sitting there?

That is exactly what visitors to my office wonder.

Clearly, my plan is working.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Things that piss me off:
People who won't use their turn signals

You either know what I'm talking about, or you're one of them.

Doing the right thing is not hard. You're in the right lane and heading toward the road where you're going to turn right. Before you get to the point at which you have to turn, you first hit your turn signal to warn those behind you of your impending action. Or, you're in the middle lane and want to change to the left lane, so you again hit that signal well before you change lands. And so on.

If you're a good driver, before you take any such action, you engage that signal.

As near as I can tell, despite how easy this is, most people today have never learned to use their directional signals.

I have to admit that using them can be tricky when you're holding your mobile phone in one hand, your beverage in another, and the wheel between your knees. (Yes, I've done that, and I was wrong when I did.) I'll even grant that turn signals don't matter when you're alone on the road, though keeping in the habit and using them even then is a good idea.

Even people who aren't facing those driving challenges, however, don't bother with their directional signals these days. It's as if they simply can't be bothered to be aware that our roads are resources that we should all share with care.

They are risking the lives and property of other drivers with their thoughtless actions.

Each and every one of these jerks pisses me off.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Where I stand on No Going Back

This message is an edited version of an exchange I had yesterday with Publisher Toni. I figured I owed folks an update.

The short form is that the book is a mess but is now on the right track.

That does nothing, however, for scheduling, so let me now give you a longer form. I will finish just in time for the very last-minute deadlines, but that is all.

I have lots of reasons for this piss-poor deadline performance, but they all ring like excuses in my ears, so I won't bother with them. What really matters is that after a very long time I finally realized I was writing the wrong book, an unrelentingly bleak novel that I would not want to read. After figuring out why and figuring out how to do what I wanted while not creating such a book, I put myself back on track. It will be a sprint to finish even on the very last-minute schedule, but I can do it.

I apologize to all for this colossal fuck-up, but I am at least now confident that this will be a good book, one I would like to read and one that others will, I hope, like to read.

I must end by noting that Publisher Toni was, despite what had to be an inner tirade of justifiable cursing and frustration, completely and totally supportive. Writers sometimes ask why I stick with Baen and don't explore other options. Among many other reasons (and there are many), one stands tallest: Toni. She makes the company a family, and she puts up with all of its eccentric members, most certainly including me, and that is worth a very great deal indeed.


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