Links for 2010-09-23

September 23rd, 2010 | brainjuice

On Going Non-Physical

September 23rd, 2010 | daybook

In the few quiet moments during the general horror and mess of this week, it’s been sort of dawning on me that I could, as a comics writer, go pretty much all-digital for new releases at this point. (With a few outstanding exceptions.)

FREAKANGELS has been a successful project, doing what lots of people told me (and Avatar!) couldn’t or shouldn’t be done — paying creators to make a weekly webcomic and then making the money back on the (re)print collected editions. It must be doing okay, because every six months I hear from the Avatar compound that William’s rubbing money on his chest and giggling as he drinks gin from an athletic Brazilian girl doing a handstand.

Online, FREAKANGELS gets between 30 and 40 thousand readers a week. (We’re on a veeery shallow constant upward trending curve, but the actual count is a bit more jagged.) I don’t have solid numbers on the book collections, but, like I said, there’s rubbing and crimes whenever a new volume goes out, so I guess they do okay. I know there have been occasions where we’ve done 5K copies of a FREAKANGELS book on release month, and have been continuing to move at least 500 copies of that same book per month several months later. We do okay. We earn out and go into profit.

If this were a print periodical, 30-40K a pop for an indie book about weird kids in London would be kind of a big deal. Not least because forty thousand readers for a monthly comic about people building greenhouses and jabbering about the true shape of the mind would be, in this market, close to impossible.

The stores obviously like selling the collections, though. More than they’d like selling the singles. (And if that were untrue, THE WALKING DEAD would be the best-selling comic in English. As it is, THE WALKING DEAD, probably the best longform serial in American comics today and about to become a prestigious tv series, has taken 77 issues to wrestle to an audience of 27K per month. Its collected editions do extremely well, as they should.)

Which gives one furiously to think.

Which I will be.

(Not fully baked. Must go back to work. I’ll end up with a coherent thought, though. Really.)

Apex Magazine Plans An Issue Of Arabic And Muslim Writers

September 23rd, 2010 | researchmaterial

Cat Valente:

I was thinking the other day about the whole horrifying Elizabeth Moon situation.

She refers to sf novelist Elizabeth Moon, who outed herself on her own blog recently as a racist idiot who appears to get all her information about the world from Fox News.

I don’t like to just watch bad things happen and make outraged noises and then go back to reading the intertubes like nothing happened. I always want to do something–something positive, something that stands on its own and says something good just by being. I can’t do anything about Moon or Wiscon or any of it. I’m not on the concom and I’m not a habitual buyer of Moon’s books.

What I am is the editor of Apex Magazine.

That’s sf magazine Apex, generally considered to be having a bit of a renaissance since Cat took over as fiction editor, and available in very handy digital editions for various devices.

And I have the Wand of Editorial Oomph.

I would like to announce that the November issue of Apex will be an entirely Arab/Muslim issue. It will be beautiful. It will showcase writers of Arab descent and Muslim writers. (I am aware that many folk not of Arab descent are Muslim, that’s why I’m structuring it this way, so that writers from either culture or both can be part of the issue.) It will show how Islam is as much a part of the human experience as any other faith or story system that writers of the fantastic draw from. It will be a small thing, in the grand scheme. It will not save the world. But it will exist, and perhaps in its own way can stand beside the recent ugliness in the SFF world as something bright and good.

I am looking for material, but most especially poetry, from Muslim authors and authors of Arab descent. Let’s make it easy: if you think you might “count,” then you do. Southeast Asian Muslims, yes. American Muslims, yes. Anybody with a connection to the cultures of Islam, yes. The subject of your works can be anything you like, but I am only looking for authors with connections to Islam and/or the Arabic world. Please do not send reprints, we have that covered.

Excellent plan.

September 23rd, 2010 | brainjuice

see, the guy on the left is all “well, hi mister big brain futurist” and Jamais Cascio is on the right giving it “excuse me a moment while I KILL YOU WITH MY MIND” and then the guy on the left just fucking died

September 23rd, 2010 | photography


Astra 3B undergoing testing in the anechoic chamber at EADS Astrium, Toulouse – image by Simon Norfolk, found at CR.