Most urgently, World’s Collider is currently free to download from Amazon for Kindle owners. It’s the second time the book has been free, so I trust you already have a copy. If not, attend to this now. I feel like I’ve spent most of this year promoting various horrific ways in which the world might end, but in case you somehow missed this one it’s a mosaic novel with many authors telling tales of the slow ravaging of the world that follows a disaster at the Large Hadron Collider. It’s made up of various short stories, arranged chronologically along a set timeline. A handful of characters recur throughout, desperately trying to close the rift in dimensions that is slowly spilling disaster across the globe, giving what is in some ways an anthology of separate shorts the feel and coherence of a novel. The book has been extremely well received since it was released. A review over at LitStack sums up why: “If watching the world burn down slowly is your idea of fun, you’ll find many reasons to pick this anthology up.”
Ah, Facebook. You do know how to annoy people, don’t you? The latest public complaints are twofold. The first is that users may disagree with Facebook about how their information may or may not potentially be used in the future. Many people are posting a short disclaimer forbidding FB from doing certain things. I did the same, then deleted it immediately. Why? Because I am signed up to Facebook’s terms and conditions. So are you. The only way to ensure FB does not proceed under those terms and conditions is to abandon the platform altogether. If you want to guarantee that your private stuff to stay private, don’t give it to Facebook in the first place.
And that’s fair enough. It’s easy to forget that FB is a business, looking to profit. It is though. It’s never claimed otherwise. Being angry about it is a little naive, particularly in light of the huge amount of use we all make of it for free.
So, with that said, I find it a bit churlish to complain that FB no longer suits my purposes as either an author or a person (the second complaint). I have an author page over on FB (by all means, go and like it). The intention was to have a place where FB users could guarantee they’d get writer-type updates from me. The problem is, unless I pay Facebook money, only about 10% of users who have liked the page get to see each post. There are also strange algorithms in play with my personal profile, which pick and choose which of my friends should see my updates.
As I say, if that’s what FB wants to do, then fair enough. However, if you want to actually be sure that you’re getting updates from me in a timely way, I’d suggest alternatives. Firstly, follow me on Twitter. I’m @richard_wright. At the moment, Twitter doesn’t filter anything, so you should see my updates as I post them (and I post almost the same personal updates to Twitter as I do my FB page). If you want to follow my writing stuff or bloggery, use my website. It has loads of options. Look at the top right corner of this page. The orange button is an RSS link – if you aggregate stuff from websites using an RSS reader, click that and add me to your websites. If you’d rather get an email whenever I post a new blog, just put your email into the ‘Subscribe by Email’ box below that graphic. If you only want a very occasional update of what I’ve been doing every few months, then scan to the ‘Newsletter Signup’ box and add your email there.
Now you won’t miss anything, ever. Liking my page on Facebook is still a useful backup, but these will actually work.
I’ll still be on FB, by the way. No flouncing off for me. I just want to make sure that, if my updates are of interest, you actually receive them.
It’s a difficult time for independent book stores, with daily stories of misery and closure easily found in the local news. It’s heartening then to see a new one open. You can find Books and Boos tucked away at 514 Westchester Road in Colchester USA. They’re just finding their feet, so any support you can give them would doubtless be hugely appreciated. It’s also worth noting that, at the time of writing, they’re the world’s only physical stockists of my novels Cuckoo and Thy Fearful Symmetry (and may well have some copies of World’s Collider too). If you’re in the area, hold back from ordering direct from Amazon just this once. Instead, take a half hour out of your day, drive on over, tell them I sent you, and pick up a paperback. Browse the shelves while you’re there, especially if you like the spooky stuff. You’ll make discoveries…
I like Amazon. It’s great. I like people with such personal passion about books that they’ll invest their life savings in opening a new independent bookstore even more though.
You may recall that physical copies of my little chapbook His Work To See (a short prequel to Thy Fearful Symmetry) can’t be purchased anywhere. They exist only to be given away, and I print them solely for that purpose. That said, I sent a batch to the Four Horsemen (organisers of Anthocon) to put in the bags of registered attendees as a freebie. I sent more than required, to be on the safe side, and they had a few left over when the convention closed.
Rather than bin such leftover goodies, the Horsemen have instead been passing them out to local businesses as a thanks for the support. This means that for a short time, you can grab an errant copy of the chapbook by dropping into Jetpack Comics in Rochester, or Adelles Coffeehouse in Dover. Do I really need to tell you that supporting local businesses is a good thing? If you’re within reach, pop in and grab a copy while there are some left.
That’s me caught up. Proper blog soon.