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Fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Archive for November, 2007

Buy Nothing Day

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 in Blog, food, politics | 2 comments

Welcome to Buy Nothing Day, where we try to stop all consumer spending for an entire 24-hour period. Gasp! I love this holiday. Even though I already screwed it up this morning by dashing to the grocery store for Cream of Wheat. Even so, I like the idea of noticing, just for a day, how much stuff we habitually buy, and how we go about acquiring it. The buying habit is so incredibly reflexive, so interwoven into our existence that it’s hard to even see it. It’s as if we’re fish in the ocean asked to notice the water. It’s all around us. It defines everything about us. (Queue...

Thankful for…

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 2 comments

Mostly, I’m a cynical bastard about holidays. I feel irritated and manipulated by them. So when someone tells me I should be thankful, right here, right now, my knee-jerk response is something along the lines of “screw you.” That said, the holiday comes at serendipitous time because I just happen to be thankful for a couple of things: 1) I’m thankful that my wife wasn’t seriously hurt or killed in her car crash. 2) I’m thankful that I’m spending most of my days writing, instead of, you know, working. 3) I’m thankful that my son is almost four, because he’s way more fun and interesting than when he was...

Magazine Covers!

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 15 comments

Chang sent me this brilliant rendition of the Armored Magazine concept. Personally, I’d pick it up for the jet pack instructions. But I think the dorky dude sticking out through the “O” needs some cross hairs centered on his forehead. :-) More seriously, Speclit has a series of posts which touch on design in the big three, “Designer’s eye for the stodgy digests” and he’s steps up to do some cover mockups as examples. It’s interesting that he looks at the digests as digests, and thinks about how their look might be updated while continuing to respect their current form...

Amazon Kindle

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 7 comments

I just watched the promo video stuff for Amazon’s Kindle, and I was struck by a couple of things. Kindle is obviously aimed at becoming something like the iPod of the reading experience, so it seems fair to compare the two. Quick reactions: 1) I’m really interested in Amazon’s model of connecting the Kindle to Amazon’s store over a cell network, without a computer intermediary. It seems like an generational leap from the iTunes store, and it appeals to me. Kindle is a book and a store, in one device, which means it removes some barriers to buying. If I’ve been thinking about picking up Jeff Vandermeer’s latest, but...

Interesting post on Online Content

Posted on Nov 17, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 4 comments

Erin Hoffman over at Homeless Moon has an interesting post on how she would try to transcend the print paradigm for magazines. Lots of stuff to chew on. I started commenting over there, and realized I was on the verge of writing another essay. And in _Car Accident News_, Anjula is feeling much much better. It looks like the meds were causing her complications. She’s now up and running, and even though her back and neck are still stiff and sore, she’s not dizzy and nauseous anymore. So we’ve got a family again. She also says she appreciates all the love people posted here, so thanks for that, too....

Car Wrecks

Posted on Nov 15, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 15 comments

Update Nov. 19. She’s up and running again. The meds were the problem. Much relief. Update Nov 16, 1pm: We thought she was okay at the time, but now she’s really dizzy and nauseous and we aren’t sure if it’s the pain medications the hospital gave her or if it’s something else that happened during the accident. The worst thing is that it’s hard to guess what the cause is so we have to sit and wait until her pain medication wears off completely to see if the symptoms are still there. I’m feeling pretty distressed. My wife just had a car wreck today. A driver t-boned her on...

SF Mags V – An SF magazine for girls?

Posted on Nov 10, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 16 comments

Okay, after I posted my suggested boy teen focused sf marketing experiment Armored Magazine as a way of growing a new short sf mag’s circulation, Shara Saunsaucie, noting with exquisite politeness the almost inherently sexist premise of Armored, posted a question about what a teen girl focused magazine might look like. And my answer was that I have no idea. With Armored, I can extrapolate from my own boyness and teen experiences to guess what might be marketable. With girls, I’m clueless. So now I’m wondering if other people have thoughts about what an sf (or f) magazine might look like that targets female youth, in the same way...

Science Fiction Magazines Part IV – Starting from Scratch

Posted on Nov 9, 2007 in Blog, writing biz | 15 comments

Okay, I can’t seem to stop thinking about this, so I’m going to beat the dead horse one last time. In the first three posts about Science Fiction magazines:Why Are the “Big Three” Dying?, Marketing in Meatspace, and Online Marketing, I wasn’t explicit about why I was focusing on marketing for the magazines rather than on their content mix. My assumptions were: 1) The editors choose what they like for the magazines, and will be uninterested and in fact probably unable to choose something other than what they currently choose for their content. Gordon Van Gelder, and Sheila Williams, and Stan Schmidt all have their individual tastes, and their...