Saturday, January 1, 2011

What I'm Doing Today.

After shutting down GSG, the obvious question is what's next. What will I be doing with my copious spare time?

Hopefully I've learned one lesson from last year - and that's to hold your cards a little closer. So, I'm not going to be very explicit in what I'm doing for the foreseeable future. There are the obvious things, of course. Flying Island Press continues to take some time - FlagShip has a Super Secret Subscriber's Only issue coming out next week. If you ever want to see it, you'll have to be subscribed by the end of January, because at that point, we take the files down and it will no longer be available anywhere.

That's Flying Island, though. And I've been teasing people to pay closer attention to Mad Poet Files. What's up with that?

What I Did Yesterday.

Yesterday, I recorded the last official episode of Geek Survival Guide. Some people were a little disappointed by that, and I wanted to explore a little why I did it.

At the beginning of 2010, I came out of the gate with a ton of enthusiasm. I was going to run Mad Poet Files AND Geek Survival Guide, get a lot of content out there, really kick butt. And I recorded this gung ho episode that in hindsight was pretty hilarious where I said I was going to release a new episode of one or the other every week. Which was an utter failure on my part. I think I recorded something like two additional episodes of GSG in 2010 before we actually hit November and I did the NaNoWriMo thing again.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reading Renaissance

(Cross-posted at FlagShip) This Christmas, there was an e-reader bonanza at the Ricks household. Out of the six families that gathered round the tree this year, four came away with Kindles. My Mom, both of my brothers, and a sister now have a handy dandy e-reader, which it became my job to fill with sweet, sweet content. Courtesy of Baen, and Flying Island Press, I think they've got plenty to read for a while.
If you've been listening to the Galley Table podcast for the last couple weeks, you've heard me talk about Baen a bit. Bottom line is, if you pick up certain hardcover editions, you get a CD that contains a LOT of Baen books. And because those files are all distributed with specific language that allows... um, encourages... uh, DEMANDS sharing, sharing is what you do with them. And while you don't necessarily have to buy the hardback (images of those CDs are available online at the Fifth Imperium), I'd encourage you to do so if for no reason other than to show some appreciation for a forward thinking publisher and some love for the authors that provided some really ripping yarns. And while you're out and about the internet, maybe you might consider swinging by and picking up a Baen e-book that isn't available on their free CDs.
Full disclosure. Baen is not paying me for this.
While I enjoy the audio format, and am very happy to see that Nathan Lowell's Owner's Share has its first five chapters available at, I'm also wildly enjoying all the reading I've been doing lately thanks to some free apps for my phone and the ready availability of content.
So, what's your take? Did you get a shiny new e-reader this holiday season? Have you had one? What do you think about it?

Monday, December 6, 2010


This is a test. Only a test. No reason to read anything into this. Nothing to see here...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

That thing I've been working on...

Some of you may be aware that I've been working on a science fiction/fantasy e-magazine for both e-readers and personal audio players.

Just wanted to say... issue #1 is live.

And if you wanted to sample it... say, try before you buy, well... I can help you.

Here's a link to a sample ePub file that includes one full story from the issue, and the columns Scott Roche and I wrote for it.

And here's the audio version of that same story, in case you prefer your fiction in audible form.


Download FlagShipPromo1.mp3

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On being an editor, and what I'm looking for...

Now that the first round of submissions for FlagShip is over (okay, technically, you still have about an hour to get your stuff in as of this posting), I realize a couple of things.
First, having someone respond positively to the feedback you give them, and hopefully write a stronger story because of it is a fantastic feeling.
Second, it seems to be a lot easier to write doom, gloom, and cynicism than it is to write optimistic and uplifting. Maybe it's the culture at large, maybe it's the writerly mindset. Whatever it is, it makes me realize that it's easier to write angst and sturm and drang than not. And a sense of wonder? Whoof. You might as well be asking for someone to turn lead into gold.
Maybe as an editor, I wasn't entirely clear on what I'm looking for in my short story fiction. So I'm going to explain the best way I know how... by using COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF ANIME MUSIC.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cost vs. Value

I’ve been sick for the last few days. (Why, yes, I’m feeling much better today, thanks for asking.) During a particularly lucid period, I decided to catch up on a lot of the RSS feeds I haven’t been paying enough attention to lately.
Anyway, one of the items that really got me thinking yesterday was this one from TechDirt: "Scott Adams: The Economic Value Of Content Is Going To Zero, But Maybe It's Okay".
Mike Masnick is a smart guy, and he does a lot of thinking about this kind of thing. And since I’ve got this little e-publishing venture launching its first issue in about four weeks, it’s got me thinking about things like cost, price, and value.
The specific bit that sunk its hooks into my brain was this:

“The economic value of that content doesn't go to zero. The price of that content may approach zero, but as we've pointed out over and over again price and value are not the same thing. In fact, there may be tremendous economic value in that content -- it's just that the economic value is realized elsewhere, by making something else gain a higher price.”
Now, as someone that’s starting a business that aims to survive (at least in the short term) by asking you to pay a price for content, that hit me right between the eyes. As I started thinking about it, I realized that I’d seen it in my own life.