Monthly Archives: September 2010

GPS and Jane Austin

“While digital devices create a number of exciting possibilities for reading, these concepts (and all the others like them) seem like the result of talented people fixing something that isn’t broken. Books have never had any trouble keeping readers’ attention, and they continue to hold their own in an increasingly crowded world of media. Adding GPS to Jane Austen isn’t necessary when generations of readers have fallen in love with her writing for what it is.”
Is this the future of the book?, MobyLives, September 23, 2010

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Electricland serialization, part 2/7

Almost every man in the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail downtown owed Detective Paul Russek a favor. But there were only a few in there he thought he could trust, and only one he knew he could. And only this one was a nicer guy in jail than out. The double glass between them hardly muted the sneering respect between him and Bishop.

“Fluorescent orange ain’t your color, but the shaved head kind of suits you.”
Continue reading Electricland serialization, part 2/7

Electricland serialization, part 1/7


There is nothing more dangerous than a woman with nothing to lose.

Bureaucracy: It’s Wonderful

Disciplinary action meetings for extramural anti-terrorism units (EAT-U) were held in a secure auditorium-like basement beneath a Virginia shopping mall. It was a grim room, but the middle-aged woman in the baggy tan suit had triumphed so often in rooms even grimmer than this one that it gave her a warm feeling in her thoracic cavity. The room was stuffy, but she was unfazed by it. Her face was a calm, resigned mask, as if she were merely facing another mountain of paperwork in a windowless back office. She wore the Glock 9mm in her shoulder holster as lightly as her cheap wristwatch and pearl stud earrings. She knew she could think her way out of anything, but violence, done well, was sometimes more effective. She was seated across from her abashed Section Manager and his boss, the Department Manager, whom she’d never met before. There were no introductions; they all knew as much as they needed to know about each other and why they were there. And technically, none of them existed outside of discreet payments to secure accounts under approved aliases, so introductions were pointless.
Continue reading Electricland serialization, part 1/7

Another Mayerson Interview

Another interview, not another Mayerson.

How long did it take to write the book?

“Six months. It was fun.

What inspired you to write the book?

“My life, music, and Reaganomics.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

“I wrote after work from 7pm until 1am as much as I could. Yes, I had no life, but now I have a book.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

“A better idea of good jazz and bad politics.”
Ginger Mayerson – Dr. Hackenbush Gets a Job,, September 14, 2010

I did some research for Dr. Hackenbush Gets a Job, mostly to keep my head in the 80s. My bibliography is here. I wrote Dr. Hackenbush Gets a Job in 2001, if you’re wondering what the comment at the top it about.

The Ruricolist on the perfection of the short story

“There are too many short stories in the world. For all x, where x is heartbreaking or horrifying, mystifying or magnificent, pitiful or precius, agonizing or astonishing—some short story already satisfies it perfectly.

“There is always room for another novel. Novels are too long for perfection. All novels do something wrong, leave some promise unfufilled. There is always room in its interstices. The novel is fractal; from the right perspective we could see every novel grow from another—see Don Quijote as the Mandelbrot set, dark among haloes.


“But short stories can be perfect. Pry open the novelist and you find a frustrated reader of novels; pry open the director and you find a frustrated watcher of movies. But pry open a short story writer and you find delight and devotion. This is strange. Perfection is so high and cold a thing; it should quell and silence us, it should make us resort to some open and unfulfilled field. What could inspire us to imitate what we cannot rival?”
Short Stories, by Paul M. Rodriguez, Ruricolist, September 12, 2010

That should be the ever thought provoking Paul M. Rodriguez.

Why printed books will be with us for a while longer

“There’s an underlying issue at play in all of this, the fundamental that books, in whatever their form, are simply text delivery systems. That sort of reductionist approach is true enough – whether ancient papyrus scroll, manuscript copy, printed book, or digital text the essential point is to distribute the written-word product of someone’s thinking – but the down to earth reality is quite different.

“Before books were printed, they were laboriously copied by hand and the text was often illustrated – illuminated – by artists of great skill. The book, very soon, became more than the text. The hundreds of years of perfecting the book were more than technical progression. A large measure of the book’s development has been due to it’s excellence as a medium of artistic expression, whether through its binding, the quality and appearance of its printing, etc. Long ago, books became a gestalt experience, the actual content surely its primary raison d’etre but not the only reason to appreciate and enjoy them.”
E-Publishing Consultant Mike Shatzkin Doesn’t Understand Books, by Booktryst, Seattle PI, August 19, 2010.

Yeah, e-books, ebooks, eBooks, alas, this book, Electricland, won’t be on Kindle or ePub due to some text formatting neither of those formats likes one bit. It will, however, be a available, um, somehow as a pdf, but I haven’t worked that out yet. But I will and I’ll let y’know.