Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom webring

My pal Bill Shunn — a hell of an sf writer and top-notch geek — has started a Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom webring for fansites devoted to the book. I am beside myself.

I anticipate a desire among fans of the book to visit the sites where it (took/will take) place, sort of like hitting the Stations of the Cross in a Catholic cathedral, and snap photos proving they were there. Hoping to be the first to do so, and maybe thereby accumulate some whuffie of my own, I present the "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Whuffie Ring," a web ring to let people link up their Down and Out fan pages.

So go ahead. Travel to Florida. Visit Liberty Square, the Hall of the Presidents, the Haunted Mansion. Get your picture taken with one of its 999 happy haunts. You loved Disney World when you were a kid–you know you did. Now's your chance to show the world you love what it could someday be.

Below is my own humble Down and Out album. Now let's see yours.



(Thanks, Bill!)

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is out!

My first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is out! Yee-haw! I'm not a patient person by nature, and my Internet-immersion has foreshortened my already highly attenuated sense of forebearance, so you can well imagine how incredibly painful it's been to wait for years for this book to hit the stands.

As I promised, I've released the complete text of the book (in ASCII text, HTML, and printable PDF) under a Creative Commons license. Download it, share it, email it, post it to your site, drop it in your P2P file-sharing cache!

I've also prepared a list of meatspace and cyberspace booksellers around the world that are carrying the book. Please email me if you can suggest good indie bookstores that are carrying the book — I'd like to mention as many as possible.

All the info about the book — reviews, news, signings, etc — are gathered up on a Movable Type blog that Mena and Ben were kind enough to design and set up for me. I'm completely taken with how cool the site looks, and how easy it's been to get content into. Blogging tools are great CMS.

So, that's my big news for the day. I'm in Vegas today, attending CES for work, but I'm hanging onto my SideKick, so g'head and bombard me with your brickbats and laurels.

I sure hope you like my book.

Why am I doing this thing? Well, it's a long story, but to shorten it up: first-time novelists have a tough row to hoe. Our publishers don't have a lot of promotional budget to throw at unknown factors like us. Mostly, we rise and fall based on word-of-mouth. I'm not bad at word-of-mouth. I have a blog, Boing Boing, where I do a lot of word-of-mouthing. I compulsively tell friends and strangers about things that I like.

And telling people about stuff I like is way, way easier if I can just send it to 'em. Way easier.

What's more, P2P nets kick all kinds of ass. Most of the books, music and movies ever released are not available for sale, anywhere in the world. In the brief time that P2P nets have flourished, the ad-hoc masses of the Internet have managed to put just about *everything* online. What's more, they've done it for cheaper than any other archiving/revival effort ever. I'm a stone infovore and this kinda Internet mishegas gives me a serious frisson of futurosity.

Yeah, there are legal problems. Yeah, it's hard to figure out how people are gonna make money doing it. Yeah, there is a lot of social upheaval and a serious threat to innovation, freedom, business, and whatnot. It's your basic end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario, and as a science fiction writer, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenaria are my stock-in-trade.