Tag Archives: stephen king

New book publishing trend? Delayed ebook release.

I think we’re on the verge of a new publishing trend. I think we’re going to see ebooks starting to more frequently get a delayed release.

Stephen King just announced his new book Joyland would be released as paperback first. The press release sports the following text: “That way fans will have to buy ‘the actual book’.” While this probably was more about the fact that he wants people to have the experience of a physical book in their hand, it says a lot when a big time author, especially one who championed the ebook movement, decides to forego ebook publishing. And he’s not the only one.

The Wheel of Time is a very popular fantasy series. A Memory of Light, the final book of the fourteen-book epic concluded on January 8th. It was a print only release. The ebook version will not be released until April 9th, 2013. That’s right. Ebook fans will need to wait three whole months to read the conclusion of the loved franchise. The Wheel of Time is published by TOR, a company that announced it was going DRM-free beginning July 20, 2012.

It isn’t hard to imagine that the fact that the book could be widely distributed in a digital format played a part in the ebook delay. Stephen King’s books have never known DRM freedom, but being one of the most popular authors in the industry probably lends itself to pretty high priority on the ‘books to pirate’ scale.

So what say you? Does King’s decision disappoint you? Or will it put more paper books on your shelf?

Does TOR’s decision to delay the ebook make sense to you given the lack of DRM protection?

Duma Key and my Dad

Today I finished Stephen King’s Duma Key. It was easily one of the best King novels I’ve read. It’s easily in my Top 3. It’s right there with Bag of Bones and The Stand. In any event, I heard about this story last year sometime. A high school classmate of mine recommended it highly. I put it on my list of things to read and filed it away for later. This month became that later.

I have been missing Dad, naturally, but that didn’t play into my decision to read Duma Key at all. I had no idea it was set in Florida. In fact, it is set in Florida not too far from where my Dad lived. The first time the book mentioned Tamiami Trail, I smiled ear to ear and a tear may have crept up on me. Later in the book Bradenton is mentioned. My Dad had a doctor in Bradenton that he would visit.

This isn’t the best segue but this past weekend I took the kids up to the elementary school to play. It was the first time since last summer. The weather has been unseasonably warm, just how Dad would have liked it, and when we arrived at the school a white Malibu was sitting on the curb, just how Dad used to park when he’d come to see the kids on the playground. Dad drove a white Malibu. My heart broke a little when I saw that.

And there have been a lot of reminders of Dad lately. His birthday was March 4th, his car was up at the park where we used to watch the kids play and now his old stomping grounds are showing up in my Fiction. Him creeping into areas I wasn’t expecting him in has been a difficult. I’ve used these occurrences as a reminder to beat myself up or mourn but mostly it’s been a 50/50 split.

As I was relating the story to Cynthia she told me something that is usually such an empty platitude, at least to me, but for some reason it rang with truth. She said, “maybe you should think of it as a reminder that he’s still here with you.” I hadn’t thought of it that way. I only saw these instances as painful reminders of what was lost. I hadn’t thought of them as opportunities for growth. I didn’t allow them to bring me happiness. I only allowed them to bring me pain.

As I read Duma Key, and particularly as I was finishing it, I was thinking about how I wouldn’t be hearing anymore stories of Sun City, the Gulf of Mexico, or Bradenton. No more complaints of Tampa traffic or gripes about the snow birds – The snow bird complaints particularly ironic given the fact that he had become a snow bird himself, in his final years – but the fact that those stories are done will be missed more than they were ever appreciated in life.

I’m still learning what that fact means to me. Mostly it makes me heartsick. More broken than I would ever have expected, but the fact that I could see a ray or two of hope makes me believe that better days are ahead. And honestly, I knew they would be. I’m not some crazy depressive person who believes the best is behind him. But there have been a great many more grey days that I would have guessed there would be.

So I guess I find myself at the same place: at the end of two different stories. One fiction. One non-fiction. And I’ll miss them both. But I know too, that time has a way of working at the memory. Much like sandstorms work at old abandoned desert towns, eventually teaming with sun and wind to take them apart a piece at a time. Each story will fade. Thankfully though, never entirely.

But already time is at work.

Mile 81 – Formatting Woes

I’m going to preface this with I love Stephen King. I’ve read all most several of his books and they rank up there in terms of books I look forward to their release. Mile 81 is a short story in the vein of Christine and Stand By Me or so I’m told. I was debating whether or not to purchase the story when I started seeing initial impressions mentioning how sloppy some of the formatting is. I was immediately heart broken because that is a big pet peeve of mine.

Despite it all I decided to take the chance. Here are my fist impressions.

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Apparently I purchased Stephen Mil 8.

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Scribner New York London Toronto Sydney New D…

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Contents look fine.

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Unfortunately the chapters cannot be accessed from the Contents menu.

Now all of this stuff is well and good. I can deal with a lack of table of contents on a short story. I can even deal with the cover being ridiculously huge and not displaying properly. But if the book itself isn’t formatted properly I may scream. And while Mr. King may be pleased to hear that, I don’t think it would be for quite the same reasons as he’d hope.

Time for the moment of truth.

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Oh thank heavens!

Well, I can live with this. Formatting pet peeve is only pegging at about a 2 out of 10. Now to finish Terry Brooks so I can pull over onto Mile 81.

I’m doing my part for economic stimulus

After the last couple of posts I think it’s time to lighten the mood a little. I’m going to lay out my plan to help the ailing economy. Nothing like a little consumerism to do that.  Is consumerism even a word? In any event here are a few of my upcoming contributions.

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Aug. 23 – Terry Brooks : The Measure of the Magic – This is the last book of a duology that I started. It comes out shortly but since eBook highway robbery is going on I’m going to wait for a price drop. Seriously. They thought I was crazy enough to pay $14 for an eBook when the hardcover costs $14.51. I won’t be a victim of price fixing. Particularly when the product is so readily available via other avenues. Eh, who am I kidding? I’m number 7 on my library’s wait list. So much for helping the economy.

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Sept. 13 – NHL12 – I’m a hockey guy and I’ve always liked the EA Sports NHL games. This year has Legends mode and Steve Yzerman returns to the Detroit Red Wings. That alone escalated my level of excitement but there is also rumor of Gordie Howe joining the cast of Legends. Stevie Y? Mr. Hockey? Consider me sold. Careful I don’t hip check you on the way into the store.

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Sept. 20 – Gears of War 3 – It’s hard to say goodbye to Marcus and the other Gears but it’s time to wrap the trilogy. At least until a new trilogy is announced. Epic, makers of this game, would be foolish to let this cash cow dry up. Gears has a cover system that is still the best in the industry. Run and gun will get you killed, fool. Who do you think you are? A Spartan? One of the more interesting story points for me is the continuation of Dom’s story. Gears 2 left him broken after a long search for his wife Maria, who is a tortured shell when she’s found. Off camera he pulls a trigger and ends her misery. In Gears 3 we find his brother. Epic sold shirts (virtual and physical) to decide his brother’s fate. Does he live or does he die? Can Dom’s fragile mind handle another difficult loss? We’ll find out soon enough.

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Nov. 8 – 11/22/63 : Stephen King – I guess the premise of this book is that an English teacher named Jake Epping has a friend who owns a diner that has a portal to 1958 in it. Jake enters the portal on a mission to prevent the assassination of JFK. He takes on a new identity and if I understand correctly even befriends a loner by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald. Sounds like an interesting premise to me.

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Nov. 15 – Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary – The game that established Microsoft and the Xbox as legitimate competition to Nintendo and Sony is being remade in high definition. Same physics, Same AI, modern graphics. It’s time to step behind the visor of Master Chief once again. I expect a great deal of nostalgia. The last time I played this game was 2002. I was a very different person then. I was travelling extensively with work. On long trips, more often than not, my Xbox was packed in my luggage and there were many nights me and co-workers would gather around and slay Covenant forces until early in the morning.

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??? – Verizon 4G Android Phone – The picture above was of the phone I was sure I was going to buy… last month. Then it got delayed…again. And in the time I’ve been waiting, newer models have been rumored and are closer than they were last month. Ask me to wait three months for the next great thing and it’s going to be a lot harder than asking me to wait one month. By the time the Droid Bionic is finally released the Droid HD (which looks and sounds nice) may be shortly behind it  but we’ll also be closer to the rumored Nexus Prime which may be the first phone to rock Google’s next Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. Decisions. Decisions.

So there you have it. My contribution to the struggling economy. I can’t do it alone people. So I encourage you to make your own list and get cracking. With any luck we can steer this 800lb gorilla back in the right direction.

What I’m reading

Barnes & Noble Nook I have a little confession. I love technology. I also love having stories told to me. I don’t care if they are in books, word of mouth or on the television. I just love a good tale. When you combine more than one of those loves together you get a recipe for much happiness. To those who know that about me it should come as no surprise that I love my Barnes & Noble Nook. It has to be my favorite electronic next to my Motorola Droid and computers themselves.

I’ve been reading so much more since getting the nook but that’s help add a little difficulty to my life. Since I’ve been reading more I’ve been paying more attention to the books that are out there and which books are hyped and which books have been released in series that are familiar to me. For example, when I was reading all the time I was reading a series by Terry Brooks called Shannara. It’s basically fantasy, druids, magic, etc. But they are quick reads and he writes really fascinating characters. And just last week a new book of his came out. Just one more book to add to the pile.

So here’s what’s on my reading to-do list. Comments and recommendations welcome, but please no spoilers.

Currently Reading:

The Stand: Complete & Uncut by Stephen King The Stand by Stephen King – Of course I’d want the edition with an extra 400 pages. What was I thinking?

To Read (in intended reading order):

The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart – This one would be on the back burner for sure if I hadn’t committed to read it. If I don’t participate in the group I’ll be excluded from future early look book groups.

Bearers of the Black Staff by Terry Brooks – I’ve read all the other Shannara books to date and this one sounds really fascinating. I like how he’s drawn his two series together: Shannara and Word & The Void.

The Passage by Justin Cronin – I’ve heard it described as The Stand with vampires. So you know I’m going to check that out.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – It’s one of those huge book series that people are talking about. It’s also being made into a movie. I’m interested in finding out if it’s all hype because the author died or if it’s legitimately good. If it IS good, there are two other books that follow it.

I’m pretty sure there is more but that’s all I have off the top of my head and honestly that’s enough to keep me busy for a while. Until then, there is no doubt my list will continue growing.

nook fan sticker from getglue.com