Quotes

I hate the new word processors

13 October 2018

I hate the new word processors that want to tell you, as you’re typing, that you made a mistake. I have to turn off all that crap. It’s like, shut up – I’m thinking now. I will worry about that sort of error later. I’m a human being. I can still read this, even though it’s wrong. You stupid machine, the fact that you can’t is irrelevant to me.

~ Ellen Ullman

When the web started

11 October 2018

When the web started, I used to get really grumpy with people because they put my poems up. They put my stories up. They put my stuff up on the web. I had this belief, which was completely erroneous, that if people put your stuff up on the web and you didn’t tell them to take it down, you would lose your copyright, which actually, is simply not true.

And I also got very grumpy because I felt like they were pirating my stuff, that it was bad. And then I started to notice that two things seemed much more significant. One of which was… places where I was being pirated, particularly Russia where people were translating my stuff into Russian and spreading around into the world, I was selling more and more books. People were discovering me through being pirated. Then they were going out and buying the real books, and when a new book would come out in Russia, it would sell more and more copies. I thought this was fascinating, and I tried a few experiments. Some of them are quite hard, you know, persuading my publisher for example to take one of my books and put it out for free. We took “American Gods,” a book that was still selling and selling very well, and for a month they put it up completely free on their website. You could read it and you could download it. What happened was sales of my books, through independent bookstores, because that’s all we were measuring it through, went up the following month three hundred percent.

I started to realize that actually, you’re not losing books. You’re not losing sales by having stuff out there. When I give a big talk now on these kinds of subjects and people say, “Well, what about the sales that I’m losing through having stuff copied, through having stuff floating out there?” I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question. Which is, I’d say, “Okay, do you have a favorite author?” They’d say, “Yes.” and I’d say, “Good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book, put up your hands.” And then, “Anybody who discovered your favorite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book raise your hands.” And it’s probably about five, ten percent of the people who actually discovered an author who’s their favorite author, who is the person who they buy everything of. They buy the hardbacks and they treasure the fact that they got this author. Very few of them bought the book. They were lent it. They were given it. They did not pay for it, and that’s how they found their favorite author. And I thought, “You know, that’s really all this is. It’s people lending books. And you can’t look on that as a loss of sale. It’s not a lost sale, nobody who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free.”

What you’re actually doing is advertising. You’re reaching more people, you’re raising awareness. Understanding that gave me a whole new idea of the shape of copyright and of what the web was doing. Because the biggest thing the web is doing is allowing people to hear things. Allowing people to read things. Allowing people to see things that they would never have otherwise seen. And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.

~ Neil Gaiman

Murder 

10 October 2018

Murder is always a mistake – one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner.

~ Oscar Wilde

Publishing

9 October 2018

Publishing is in a kind of Jurassic age.

~ Paulo Coelho

Fantasy has had some problems

8 October 2018

Fantasy has had some problems with being too repetitive, in my opinion. I try to read what other people are doing – and say, ‘How can I add to this rather than just recycle it? How can I stand on Tolkien’s shoulders rather than stand tied to his kneecaps?’

~ Brandon Sanderson

I don’t know what will happen then

7 October 2018
Comments Off on I don’t know what will happen then

I don’t know what will happen then, I don’t want to know and I can’t know; but if I want this, want glory, want to be known to people, want to be loved by them, it’s not my fault that I want it, that it’s the only thing I want, the only thing I live for. Yes, the only thing! I’ll never tell it to anyone, but my God! what am I to do if I love nothing except glory, except people’s love? Death, wounds, loss of family, nothing frightens me. And however near and dear many people are to me — my father, my sister, my wife — the dearest people to me — but, however terrible and unnatural it seems, I’d give them all now for a moment of glory, of triumph over people, for love from people I don’t know and will never know, for the love of these people here.

~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Well, my comfort is

6 October 2018

Well, my comfort is, I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart, and then he will be sorry for what he has done.

~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

 

Algy met a bear

5 October 2018

Algy met a bear,
The bear was bulgy,
The bulge was Algy.

 

This is an old poem PG located in a collection of children’s’ poetry with a 1969 copyright date. He would love to know who the author was.

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