Fantastic fiction needs your help

Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly reading series hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel, held on the third Wednesday of every month at the famous KGB Bar in Manhattan. They are looking to fund several more years of their popular reading series via a Kickstarter fundraiser, running from May 17th through June 14th, 2017. Read the rest

How to support a writer's career

Since the earliest days of my novel-writing career, readers have written to me to thank me for my books and to ask how they can best support me and other writers whose work they enjoy. Nearly 15 years later, I have a pretty comprehensive answer for them!

Kickstarting a fourth Oh Joy Sex Toy collection

Oh Joy Sex Toy (previously), our favorite pervy webcomic, just announced their fourth annual kickstarter for a new collection of the best of their excellent, excellent, sex-positive comic. Read the rest

Tor Labs: a science fiction imprint for "experimental storytelling"

Tor Books -- my publisher, who are also DRM free and the largest English-language science fiction publisher in the world -- have announced a new project, Tor Labs, "a new imprint emphasizing experimental approaches to genre publishing, beginning with original dramatic podcasts." Read the rest

John Scalzi on the ups and downs of book tours

John Scalzi's on tour with his new novel, The Collapsing Empire: he's posted a list of ten things every touring author knows, and very few other people ever get to see. Read the rest

The Humble Unicorn Bundle, get great, DRM-free fantasy novels, support environmental causes

Steven Boyett writes, "Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that's me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, by Patricia McKillip." Read the rest

Indie feminist technology magazine "The Recompiler" needs $3000 to get to year three

Sumana writes, "The Recompiler is a feminist technology magazine launched in 2015. Their goal is to help people learn about technology in a fun, playful way, and highlight a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. They're running a fundraiser right now, asking for $3,000 in subscriptions, book orders, contributions and ads, to publish the seventh issue on time and sail into its third year, and they've made $2236 so far. And for every $500 raised, podcast host Christie Koehler will record a dramatic reading of a tongue-twister." Read the rest

Crowdfunding a subscription to Ms. for every state official in Wyoming, home of America's worst wage-gap

Rudy Rucker writes, "Isabel Rucker and friends are promoting a GoFundMe project to give an Ms. subscription to each of the elected officials in Wyoming. Why? To raise awareness of women's issues. Wyoming has the largest gender pay gap in the country, has the smallest percentage of women in its state legislature, is among the costliest for childcare, and faces continuing cuts in publicly funded family planning and in women's health services." Read the rest

Fair trade ebooks: how authors could double their royalties without costing their publishers a cent

My latest Publishers Weekly column announces the launch-date for my long-planned "Shut Up and Take My Money" ebook platform, which allows traditionally published authors to serve as retailers for their publishers, selling their ebooks direct to their fans and pocketing the 30% that Amazon would usually take, as well as the 25% the publisher gives back to them later in royalties. Read the rest

Minimalist web publishing platforms

Check out txt.fyi, a toy "publishing platform" I made. I put that phrase in quotes because it's designed to be as lightweight as possible: you type in text and hit publish, and your work is live on the internet. From the "about" page:

This is the dumbest publishing platform on the web. ... There's no tracking, ad-tech, webfonts, analytics, javascript, cookies, databases, user accounts, comments, friending, likes, follower counts or other quantifiers of social capital. The only practical way for anyone to find out about a posting is if the author links to it elsewhere.

But it is legible, no-nonsense static hypertext, good for short stories, not-short-enough tweets and adventures and all your numbers station or internet dead drop needs. Here you can scream into the void and know the form of your voice is out there forever.

Search engines are instructed not to index posts and I'll do my best to make sure this isn't used as a tool by spammers or other abusers. Nonetheless, posting will be turned off if anything bad grows out of it.

Use Dumbdown to format posts: #header, **bold**, *italic*, `code`, quote, and hyperlinks in the format [link](http://example.com). Try !hacker and !professor and !timestamp too. ...

Long live the independent web!

Read the rest

Pie-Modding 101: turning store-bought desserts into amazing nerd-chow

For nearly a year, Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) has delighted us with her nerdy, fannish pies and other baked goods, and now she's announced an ebook on "pie-modding" ("modifying pre-made desserts to create epic, edible works of art"): Pie Modding: Pies Are Awesome Vol 1, which you can pre-order for $2.97. Read the rest

Declining adult coloring book sales challenge bookselling's recovery

The unexpected success of adult coloring books was a huge boon to booksellers, going from a standing start to $90M in sales in 2015, and bringing plenty of readers into bookstores, where they availed themselves of the rest of the stores' wares. Read the rest

Fireside Fiction is back: The Resistance meets science fiction

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Magazine has just relaunched their website, with a focus on fiction for the resistance. Their latest short story, Andrea Phillips' The Revolution Brought to You by Nike, tells the story of what happens when a corporation turns its brand marketing into a tool for societal change. In light of the actual Nike's recent TV spots celebrating Arab female athletes, Andrea's story reads more like near-future prognosticating, rather than speculative fiction." Read the rest

Femme Magnifique! A Kickstarter for an anthology about amazing women!

The fabulous Shelly Bond, former DC Vertigo editor and head honcho, just launched a kickstarter for an anthology called Femme Magnifique that she’s doing in conjunction with Kristy and Brian Miller at HiFi Color. Read the rest

Researchers discover hundreds of thousands of unsuspected, Star Wars-themed twitterbots hiding in plain sight

Twitter is a great place for bots. Botherders like Shardcore produce amazing, politics, artistic bots that mine Twitter, inject useful information into Twitter, or just frolic on Twitter, making it a better place. Twitterbots produce entries in imaginary grimoires, conduct sociological research, produce virtual model railroads, alert the public when governments try to make bad news disappear, and much, much more. Read the rest

Kickstarting six books on self-empowerment: fermentation, feminism, punk, bicycling, sewing, and comics journalism

Elly from Microcosm Publishing (previously) writes, "We decided to try something different this time, and put up a project to help fund and spread the word about all six of the books we're putting out this coming spring. They're all very different on the surface, but the thread that runs through them is exactly what makes Microcosm work as a publishing company: Book-shaped tools that help people create the lives they want to live and the world they want to see." Read the rest

Kickstarting Papers & Paychecks, an RPG where you play "workers and students in an industrialized and technological society"

A thirty year old joke by Will McLean in the first edition of the Dungeon Masters Guide features a group of fantasy adventurer types crowded around a table playing an RPG where they pretend to be "workers and students in an industrialized and technological society." Read the rest

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