Tuesday, May 06, 2008

get your YAs out

I talked about Cory Doctorow's Little Brother here a few months ago, because I loved it. They've used some of what I wrote on the blog, with my permission, as a blurb for the book; I'd stand by everything I said.

You can now read it at where it's available for download under Creative Commons. And you'll probably like it. If you do, buy hard copies for friends. Or if you happen to be a foreign publisher, buy the rights to it in your language, and publish it there.

In US bookshops, you'll probably find it shelved in YA -- Young Adult -- unless you are dealing with a smart store that has it on display up the front and has also put it in SF and Fantasy. (Lots of debate on Boing Boing and at Mr Scalzi's excellent blog about this. Not a lot I can add to the debate, other than that I sometimes really wish that all fiction books of all genres for any people over the age of about 12 were simply filed alphabetically by author, because as Patrick Nielsen Hayden once pointed out to me, shelving by genre simply tells people the places in a bookshop that they don't have to go. And Sturgeon's Law suggests that they'll be missing out on some good stuff that's shelved in those places.)


This was written last night after the signing, and then not posted because I wasn't sure if it was funny or just me being grumpy late at night after signing for many hours.

I get strangely punchy after a long signing. And it was a long signing, for about 500 people.

Back in my hotel room at midnight, wanting something to eat, I phone room service, after looking at the 24 hour menu, which has the same limited selection as any 24 hour menu...

"Room service?"

"Yes. Could I have a hamburger, please?"

"Ah. We've only got beefburgers here. But I could make you one from scratch."

"Make me one what?"


"Which is different from a beefburger in what way?"

"Well, we make them of ground-up ham."

"But a hamburger is a beefburger. It takes its name from the town of Hamburg in Germany. It isn't made of ham. It shouldn't be made of ham. It never has been made of ham."

(Unconvinced Five Star Hotel Night Chef.) "If you say so, sir. It's just people here complain if their hamburgers aren't made of ham. Do you want a slice of beetroot on that*?"

"Not really."

And now I wait in my room, looking at all the bags I've managed to strew all over the bed, and wondering whether, if I glare at them hard enough, they will climb off the bed themselves and arrange themselves tidily on the floor, or if I'm going to have to do it for them.


Look, me and Eddie Campbell, all blurry at Eddie's blog. I look like Harpo Marx.

*this is a normal query in Australia and not at all odd.

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