My friend Peter Watts has just put his breakout novel Blindsight
under a Creative Commons license and put it online, partly because the book is selling so fast that readers are having a hard time laying their hands on copies. Peter writes the angriest, darkest sf I've ever read, heart-rending stuff that makes you glad you're alive if only because you're better off than his characters. He's also a wild talent when it comes to the intersection of biology and tech (he's got a Ph.D. in Marine Biology), the kind of person who spits out ideas that lesser writers end up hashing over for a decade afterwards (he once posited a perfectly plausible means
by which a computer virus and human pandemic could co-evolve, for example). I've had at least ten people I respect come up to me and spontaneously advise me to read Blindsight ASAP -- my discretionary reading list is very clogged, but it's as high on it as I can put it, you damned betcha.
I've set my latest novel free under the usual Creative Commons license: you can get Blindsight (Tor, October) by going to my backlist and clicking the relevant thumbnail. I've also produced seven alternative dust-jackets for the same title, using (with the artist's permission) artwork submitted to Tor but not used for their official Blindsight cover. You can get those here. (And take a look here for an impressionistic, documentary-style taste of the novel itself.)
I do this only partly to add data to the ongoing get-rich-by-giving-your-stuff-away experiment. The other reason is that a lot of people seem to be having trouble actually finding the book in brick-and-mortar stores. All the buzz in the world is worth jack-shit if the product isn't readily available.
So check it out and go wild. And when your eyes start to fall out from phosphor burn, consider buying an old-fashioned paper version. There should be enough to go around before long: I'm told Blindsight's going into second printing.
Peter Watts's wonderful dystopias under a CC license
Paul di Filippo on Maelstrom
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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