Archive for February, 2012

February 24, 2012

This The Hobbit book cover-derived mug is sufficient. From Etsy

The Hobbit book cover by J.R.R. Tolkien 11 ounce mug, Lord of the Rings


Passage of the Day

February 24, 2012

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (1932):

The scent organ was playing a delightfully refreshing Herbal Capriccio–rippling arpeggios of thyme an lavender, of rosemary, basil, myrtle, tarragon; a series of daring modulations through the spice keys into ambergris; and a slow return through sandalwood, camphor, cedar and new-mown hay (with occasional subtle touches of discord–a whiff of kidney pudding, the faintest suspicion of pig’s dung) back to the simple aromatics with which the piece began. The final blast of thyme died away; there was a round of applause; the lights went up. In the synthetic music machine the sound-track roll began to unwind. It was a trio for hyper-violin, super-cello and oboe-surrogate that now filled the air with its agreeable langour. Thirty or fourty bars–and then, against this instrumental background, a much more than human voice began to warble; now throaty, now from the head, now hollow as a flute, now charged with yearning harmonics, it effortlessly passed from Gaspard’s Forster’s low record on the very frontiers of musical tone to a trilled bat-note high above the highest C to which (in 1770, at the Ducal opera of Parma , and to the astonishment of Mozart) Lucrezia Ajugari, alone of all the singers in history, once piercingly gave utterance.

Sunk in their pneumatic stalls, Lenina and the Savage sniffed and listened. It was now the turn also for eyes and skin.

The house lights went down; fiery letters stood out solid and as though self-supported in the darkness. THREE WEEKS IN A HELICOPTER. AN ALL-SUPER-SINGING, SYNTHETIC-TALKING, COLOURED, STEREOSCOPIC FEELY. WITH SYNCHRONIZED SCENT-ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT.

“Take hold of those metal knobs on the arms of your chair,” whispered Lenina. “Otherwise you won’t get any of the feely effects.”

The Savage did as he was told.

Anagram of the day

February 24, 2012

Dr Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary:

Tourism turns porn-headed rhythm

NYT: Amazon pulls 4000 e-books

February 24, 2012

Amazon removes 4000+ e-books in pricing disagreement (NY Times)

Also, “With each side unwilling to yield, Amazon pulled the plug, and all of I.P.G.’s books for Kindle disappeared. The physical books were not affected.”

Comic book Kickstarter project crosses $1 million raised

February 20, 2012

Rich Burlew’s The Order of the Stick project is currently sitting at $1,112,480 raised from 13,261 backers. This, to republish a book that went out of print less than ten years ago. Burlew’s goal was less than $58,000.

Bands have also been doing well on Kickstarter: Last week I saw that Five Iron Frenzy raised $207,000 on a $30,000 goal. Their more expensive prizes included a goofy song written for the pledger. Even as a fan of the group, I was totally surprised to see this amount of success for a band that was not a household name even in its heyday. (Personal plug since it’s my blog–I got to open for them once and it was awesome!). 

If nothing had yet happened inre its cancellation, Futurama could have been a candidate for an utterly massive Kickstarter campaign. The money and coordination it would take to buy the rights and produce the show, not to mention to manage the money, would take a new kind of entrepreneurial MBA. But it could happen, and with the number of unfairly discarded shows out there, I’d say it’s bound to happen.

I also wonder if Axe Cop could have pulled this off had Ethan Nicolle gone the self-publishing route. Axe Cop was a similar success story, but one ending in a publishing deal with (I think) Darkhorse Comics. Axe Cop was probably one year too early. But after this Order of the Stick business, semi-established authors might as well consider self-publishing as a viable and possibly sustainable alternative.

Lincoln book tower at Ford’s Theatre Center

February 20, 2012

Lincoln book tower at Ford’s Theatre Center, via NPR. Looking at a pile of Lincoln books: More fun than a swearing on a stack of Bibles.


How have I never read Brave New World before?

February 20, 2012

I’m 80 pages in and I’m already much the better for it. My 1940s edition begins with a droll and somewhat apologetic forward by the author–I was a bit worried. What immediately follows is a fully realized, beautiful dystopian comedy. In terms of science fiction writing, which I believe people do consider this, the style is up there with Asimov.