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Old 02-16-2008, 06:26 PM   #106
JSWolf
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Originally Posted by Cthulhu View Post
Jon:

If that isn't bounced back, I'd like copy some of the bits and send it along myself.
Feel free to borrow bits of my message. The more who send the better.

So far, all I can say is that it did not bounce and I did not get an automated responce. So I'll probably not see any reply until Tuesday if then.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:41 PM   #107
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Simply in SF/Fantasy, I've watched Alternate History become almost a full-fledged genre of its own, with a good argument to be made that some of it isn't really SF, as it has none of the tropes: simply an underlying assumption that things happened differently than the history we know.
My ex, Jo Walton, has written two (with a third on the way) brilliant AH novels, Farthing, and Ha'penny, which have been getting rave reviews and oodles of award nominations in the US, where they're published by Tor. They're set in an alternate 1940s where Britain made peace with Hitler in 1941, and written in the style of period murder mysteries (with added creeping fascism!). But despite the fact that they're set in Britain, and have a very British feel to them (Jo's British, now living in Canada), she can't get a British publisher. The SF publishers say they're not SF enough, the mystery publishers say they're too SF, the mainstream publishers won't touch a genre writer. I've recommended them to lots of people who don't read SF and they've all come back praising them to the skies, but the publishers over here seem so locked into their genre subdivisions that they daren't publish something that doesn't fit their neat categories.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:28 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by carandol View Post
My ex, Jo Walton, has written two (with a third on the way) brilliant AH novels, Farthing, and Ha'penny, which have been getting rave reviews and oodles of award nominations in the US, where they're published by Tor. They're set in an alternate 1940s where Britain made peace with Hitler in 1941, and written in the style of period murder mysteries (with added creeping fascism!). But despite the fact that they're set in Britain, and have a very British feel to them (Jo's British, now living in Canada), she can't get a British publisher. The SF publishers say they're not SF enough, the mystery publishers say they're too SF, the mainstream publishers won't touch a genre writer. I've recommended them to lots of people who don't read SF and they've all come back praising them to the skies, but the publishers over here seem so locked into their genre subdivisions that they daren't publish something that doesn't fit their neat categories.
<sigh>

You know, I was just thinking about a couple of other examples like that, such as Robert Harris's _Fatherland_, published over here as a mystery. Same premise: Nazi Germany won WWII, and the protagonist is a German cop tossed into the middle of a nasty mystery.

A friend of mine is British SF/Fantasy writer Liz Williams. She's still getting published in the UK by Macmillan, but was dropped from the roster by US publisher Bantam/Spectra. Liz had a similar problem. Her stuff is brilliant, but every book was different. She built a cult following, but Bantam/Spectra is the largest mass market PB house, and they need much more than cult sales. She's currently being published in the US by small press Night Shade Books, who are doing well with her "Detective Inspector Chen" novels, set in a near future where Singapore has spawned a franchise -- Chen is a police officer in Singapore3. It's fantasy because Chinese mythology is very real in Singapore3. Chen is the "snake agent" -- the department specialist in crimes involving the supernatural. His wife is a demon, and he finds himself partnered with Zhu Irzh, a Seneschal of the Ministry of Vice in Hell. Hell has laws too, and demons whose job is to enforce them. I'm reading the third one now, and it's a delight. The series is doing well enough that Night Shade is happy to issue them. (And I've met the Night Shade folks. They are delighted to be able to publish Liz.)

Liz ran into the same problem as Jo, but on this side of the pond: too hard to neatly classify, pigeonhole, and sell.
______
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:12 PM   #109
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@Dennis: Are any of Liz Williams' books available in bits? More specifically, in bits that I can use on my PRS500?

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Old 02-16-2008, 11:33 PM   #110
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There are a couple of Liz Williams eBook over at BooksOnBoard in Mobipocket format. Just Strip the DRM, run Mobi2lrf and voila!

http://www.booksonboard.com/index.ph...Liz%20Williams
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:41 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
@Dennis: Are any of Liz Williams' books available in bits? More specifically, in bits that I can use on my PRS500?

Xenophon
Good question. I don't know. I have a short story or two she sent me in electronic format, but the books are all dead tree editions.

Night Shade doesn't seem to do ebooks. I don't know offhand about Bantam/Spectra or Macmillan UK.

Hmmm. Just saw Jon's post. Good to know.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:11 AM   #112
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If I recall correctly, she's also looking for more books like Jaqueline Carey's "Kushiel" series, which I can only call BDSM fantasy. Porn isn't dead, it's just called romance these days...
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That was a great series. Would like to see more like it.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:14 AM   #113
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That was a great series. Would like to see more like it.
That's why Tor has an editor looking for it...
______
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:14 AM   #114
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I was incorrect. Even Acrobat pro bungled some of the paragraphs. This is why I hate PDF eBooks. The conversions don't always work all that well.

I think we should send e-mail en mass to TOR to tell them we don't want PDF. Should we use the address given in the email or is there a better address to use?
Jon, after several attempts (most already mentioned here) I finally gave up & put it through my ABBYY Finereader OCR. Text did quite well but I lost the graphics at each chapter. Should have makrec them as graphics rather than letting it try them as text.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:18 AM   #115
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I will not let a PDF file get the best of me. I shall read this and fix the errors and get a good copy out of it when all is said and done.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:33 AM   #116
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I don't know guys : I think that - even in crappy pdf, the fact that the ebook proposed by Tor is free AND drm-free is a real good sign for the future.
No ??

(I didn't read it though : I don't want to start a series while the next books are only available in paper books)
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:04 AM   #117
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The only thing that actually worked was using Adobe Acrobat to output it as HTML 4.01 with CSS.
I agree. I have figured out it gives the best result.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:05 AM   #118
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OK, some real news about the Tor thing. I was talking about this to a friend on LiveJournal, and who should be reading it but Patrick Nielsen-Hayden of Tor, who says:

Quote:
In fact, the plan for the giveaway was originally to offer the books in both PDF and HTML, and then the HTML version got dropped at the last minute for technical reasons that have now been fixed. As I understand it, starting with book #2, Old Man's War, they'll be available in both PDF and HTML, and we're actively looking into MobiPocket, among other formats.

I do want to emphasize that the program under discussion is a nonce, one-off, quick-and-dirty promotional program designed to do one thing only: encourage people to pre-register for the super-duper-secret Tor site currently being constructed in our secret laboratory high atop Skullcrusher Mountain. About which (the site, not the secret lab), I can simply say that it will combine elements of news, original fiction, lightweight Web 2.0-ness, and Other Stuff, and we'll be rolling it out in late Spring. This new site--not to be confused with our normal company web site, which is at www.tor-forge.com--will not be built around giving away free digital editions of novel-length works, although we may well do some of that when it suits our other purposes. And it's entirely possible that in the fullness of time we'll have something like the Baen Free Library (or, just as likely, simply join forces with the Baen Free Library). But the shapes of the cones in which we're giving away this particular round of free ice cream should not be taken as determinative of any future "e-book" plans.
So now you know!
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:17 AM   #119
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Tor? Baen? Somebody is gonna wear a TorBaen around their head?

OK, not too puny, but I like the progressive and proactive response from Tor. I did d/l the first novel and well, when i noticed it was a PDF I just decided I have plenty of other stuff to read and I wasn't going to waste the heartbeats trying to convert the mess.

I think the combined forces of Baen & Tor are a natural...interesting thanks for posting that response you received back!
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:54 AM   #120
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I will not let a PDF file get the best of me. I shall read this and fix the errors and get a good copy out of it when all is said and done.
Regarding my issues with the missing chars, it turns out that Mobile Creator finds certain "fi" & "fl" pairs & puts in either the Unicode chars themselves (fi & fl) in UTF-8 mode or the ampersand escaped codes if in Window-encoding mode, but (for me) these are dropped by BD, even if the language is pre-set to German.

I ended up editting the raw HTML to search & replace them back - Together with a bit of editing things such as the page breaks, I think I've now got a decent enough copy, including em-dashes & italics, which my first pdf2lrf try dropped. Having said that, it's not quite as pretty as the PDF, as my chapter headers only have the central graphic, not the full effect...

I don't have a copy of Acrobat to hand, (although now I think of it, I did have an very old version in the past,) so unfortunately, I can't compare the result from that.


Worth asking the Tor contact if there's any way we can upload a 'legal' .lrf/html0 format here?

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