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Friday, September 06, 2013

Comic Cuts - 6 September 2013

More good news on the Boys' World book... it looks like it will be out on schedule. OK, I had to push the schedule back a week, but it's now on the new schedule. The proof came in last Saturday and, with the aid of David Slinn, was turned around by Tuesday. I'm waiting on a copy before pressing the "go" button so that all our pre-orders are fulfilled. Hopefully I'll have a finished copy in my hands on Saturday or Monday and everyone should have their copies within a week.

The arrival of the proof rather mucked up my plans so I've been juggling three or four different things that I've had on hold while finishing the book. I was hoping to have our upcoming releases column updated and posted during the week, but... well, I didn't have time. With luck I'll have everything sorted this weekend and it will appear early next week. Hopefully you've been enjoying the 'What Would YOU Do?' puzzles. You'll find the answer to yesterday's at the bottom of this column.

One thing I'm hoping to do in the next week or two is to make a few things available through Kindle. I put up an article a year ago (The New Order of Detectives: The Origin of Sexton Blake) and I'm very surprised to see that it has new readers every month. I presume it's because I set the price so low that it is currently #29 in one of the Kindle Store categories (Crime & Thriller, Mystery, Reference). Mind you, that only makes me about #200,000 overall... although I did reach the dizzy heights of 184,000.

At the moment I'm having a dig around to see what I have that's suitable. I'll probably do some of the articles that appeared in Mean Streetmaps, which is now sold out. I'll update and expand where I can, so don't expect them to be posted immediately.

I'm also starting work on the next Bear Alley book and I've also been tinkering around with the one I'm planning to do after that. I've a piece to do for The Guardian—handy, because I could do with the money—so that's what I'll be working on over the next week or two.

One piece I didn't get, as it was already covered, related to Frederik Pohl, who died on Monday. He was one of the last Titans of science fiction but had a broader output than most people realised—as the first two covers show. Pohl, more than any other writer, was able to grow with the times and titles like Man Plus and Gateway were well-deserved award winners in the 1970s and far better attempts to reinvigorate a career than, say, Asimov's The Gods Themselves or Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth. Clarke was still able to write big stories (Rendezvous with Rama, Fountains of Paradise) and Asimov found himself writing bloated best-sellers based on some of his earliest successes (the Foundation and Robots continuations). Pohl, on the other hand, could have been an exciting new talent bursting on the horizon alongside John Varley and George R. R. Martin.

Next week: the long-promised upcoming releases column... unless there's a typhoon, an earthquake or an act of God.

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