Thursday, September 12, 2013

Libraries and E-Books; New Release

While I don’t always agree with Cory Doctorow’s opinions, I think this essay is right on:

Libraries and E-Books

I already knew about one publisher’s outrageous policy of designing its e-book files for the library market to self-destruct after a limited number of borrowings, but I wasn’t aware of the other ways major publishers rip off libraries in e-book purchases.

On an unrelated topic: My new shapeshifter erotic romance novella from Ellora’s Cave, “Bear Hugs,” was published yesterday. As the title hints, the hero is a were-bear. Lured into his private realm, a pocket of enchanted forest in a magically enclosed space, the heroine learns that he hopes she can break the curse upon him—but not the type of curse you’d probably expect.

Bear Hugs

I feel a little uneasy about the release date, even though twelve years have passed. How much time goes by before the anniversary of a shattering event becomes one more date in history? I wouldn’t have the same feeling if the publisher released a book on December 7 or the anniversary of D-Day.

Long before the Internet age, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I wrote a short vampire tale called “Crimson Skies,” printed in chapbook format. Although I recently discovered (after an inquiry from a reader) that I have a few copies left, I’ll never feel free to sell them—because the story, which is fairly light in tone, involves a plane hijacking. Unlike the time when the story was written, post-9-11 the motif of “hijacking a plane to Cuba” can never be a joke or a mere plot device. Pearl Harbor and D-Day can form the background for adventurous or romantic novels and movies. When enough generations have passed since a catastrophic event, it can even be referenced in jokes. (“Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”) I can’t imagine 9-11 reaching that point. A long-running TV series, HOGAN’S HEROES, turned a POW camp into a setting for comedy, but as far as I know, nobody has done that with the concentration camps of the same historical period.

Some authors have begun to transform 9-11 into art (Stephen King wrote a story called “The Things They Left Behind,” with a survivor as the protagonist), but that kind of work feels beyond my range.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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