Cheap books are already here

Let’s say you spend $25 on a book and, after reading it, you think that it was really great.

What if I told you that you could take the same $25 and get two great books.

You can, by buying trade paperbacks.

What if I told you that you could take the same $25 and get five great books.

You can, by buying mass market paperbacks.

What if I told you that you could take the same $25 and get twenty-five great books.

You can, by buying used books.

What if I told you that you could take the same $25 and get fifty great books.

You can, by buying 50¢ books at the library (at least at mine that’s what they cost.)

What if I told you that you could keep that $25 and read books for free.

You can at the library.

In this debate on cheap books there are rarely expressions of hatred towards trade paperbacks, mass market paperbacks, used books, or libraries.

Cheap books are already here.


I’m raising a feminist

My daughter, who is an avid and voracious reader, had some problems with the book she was reading today, a Babysitters Club book.

She felt it was unfair that the girls who didn’t have a date to the Sadie Hawkins dance were forced to work the party. She said that they should have been able to dance alone, or even with each other, and not be punished for not having a boy to dance with.

She’s 10.

The imaginary sequel to Brian Evenson’s Immobility

Brian Evenson writes about Immobility, a book that started out as imaginary then became reality. He also gives the synopsis for the imaginary sequel called Extinction.

When Josef Horkai is woken up from storage it’s a lifetime later, or maybe two. He wants his revenge on those who have manipulated him, but the “humans” have died out.

What’s left are lab-manufactured beings, as the so-called mules that carried him once were, and they’ve been trained to keep manufacturing themselves. But in the process they’ve lost a sense of their purpose and developed a new, and confused, mythology. A mythology that has Horkai, or someone like him, at its center.

But when the religious brothers from Granite Mountain come after what’s left, Horkai has to take sides with one of three groups: those who want to preserve humanity, those ready to surrender their humanity for good, or the befuddled lab-created who have taken him in and seem to be looking for a reason to worship him.

Extinction is a dark and incisive novel about the moral and immoral choices that lead to the extinction of the human race.

SOLD! So when can I buy a copy?

About that Savages ending & why I think there will be a third book

This post is written for those that have seen the movie and read both books so there be spoilers ahead.

My old friend Nerd of Noir wrote a review of Savages over at the Crimespree blog. Amid the over all praise he had a few choice words about the ending.

I was one hundred percent on board with the film all the way…and then the bucket of ice-cold piss that is the film’s cheat ending was thrown on me, killing my buzz something terrible.

After reading the review I sent him an email. Much of it is below.


Let me say up front that I agree with Nerd about the ending ending. Like it was designed to give viewers the sense of a happy ending using a cheap (cheat?) technique.

After watching the movie I was having a hard time remembering some of the differences between the book and the film so I went back and read the ending of the Savages.

Found some very interesting things too.

The crappy ending ending is right there on the page for the most part. They all get the morphine shots, Ben starts whispering to O about how she would have loved “Indo” and telling her all about it. Then the final chapter is her imagining being there and then you get that “beautiful savages” line.

(plus, before that, there’s no Dennis killing himself, and Elena turning on Lado for being a snitch)

Notice I said things above.

After reading The Kings of Cool, watching the movie, and doing a skim of the book I think the possibility is there for a third book. Here’s the skeleton of the agrument:

1) The prequel shows how Chon and O got together but NOT Ben and O.
2) The books don’t really show how Ben and Chon got together.
3) The ending of Savages (book) never really states that they die. It just walks up to the line and implies it. (Ben’s injury is vague and Chon says he will die, O has an arm injury, and Chon’s has a “wounded shoulder”)

What can we publishers do better?

asks Mysterious Matters:

What can we publishers do better? What can we do to get attention for books and writers?

I always thought that it would be a good idea for publishers or distributors or book stores to arrange for the tie-in versions of a movie’s novel to be sold at the theater where the movie is playing *at a reduced price*.

You go the local theater to see this crazy movie, like Savages for example, and in the lobby of the theater is a small book stand where you can pick up the novel for a couple of bucks. Get them while they are thinking about the movie.

Most people don’t buy books and movies sell more tickets. So instead of bringing Mohamed to the mountain bring the mountain to Mohamed.

Related, when you buy a DVD you should be given the opportunity to buy the book it is based on easily and cheaply.

On Binge Watching

Over at Slate Jim Pagels is advocating the end of binge watching.

Slow down. Even if you aren’t taking crystal meth to fuel your rapid consumption of the best series of the last 10 years (yes, I have seen The Wire), you’re still ruining much of what makes the show—and all TV shows—great.

I seem to recall Neil Gaiman saying years ago, about The Sandman, that at the same time he was writing individual issues he also kept an eye on the over all story arc because he wanted an arc to fit in a graphic novel. And that future readers wouldn’t reading the individual issues, that they would be reading the collections. So he played a long game and played to the future audiences who would be reading multiple collected issues at once.

There can be a certain appeal to watching a show on a weekly basis but I think that the best of today’s tv shows, the ones that allow a story to play out over a season, are designed to be watched all at once, or as near to it as possible.

Three random Savages related thoughts

1) If you read Savages and The Kings of Cool the door is slightly open for the possibility of a third book. Do you think one will ever be written?

2) Has there ever been a study or analysis done of the two guys/one girl dynamic in fiction? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cutter ‘s Way, Harry Potter, Savages…?

3) A stray observation of the movie that has nothing to do with the story. When John Travolta is on the screen you are drawn to him. When Benicio Del Toro is on the screen you are drawn to him. When Salma Hayek is on the screen you are drawn to her. When Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch & Aaron Johnson you are not drawn to them in the same way.

Whatever the former group has the latter group doesn’t