It’s obvious: there’s no money in it. If you print books that no one wants then you have to pay to buy them back, to have them pulped and recycled so you can make them into more books that people do want. Publishing is an expensive business and profit is a key motivator. It’s why most authors need to keep writing new books as the only way to remain profitable is to keep writing new material as eventually the publishers will stop printing the old stuff.
eBooks are changing this to a degree, but even there I imagine there is pruning of the archives. You could let people buy any book that has ever been converted to an eBook format, but doing so means that they might fail to find the expensive new ones you want to promote.
Certainly there’s been little effort to re-publish many of the books that are now out of print in eBook format – why expend effort on a market you consider dead?
And this, finally, brings me to my point. There are books I read long ago that I have wanted to re-read at certain points in my life. As a teenager, I devoured my local library to the point I had to buy reams of my own books to keep myself in books. Amazon was a saving grace for me, as it meant that I could buy books I didn’t even know existed. But now, fifteen years later, there are books I once read from the library that I can’t find any more. At least not new. Some of them I’ve managed to buy used copies of, but I’m sure there are others I haven’t found at all, and even getting complete sets of some of the ones I have found has been an arduous task.
It isn’t even like the authors I have been seeking out are of little consequence. If anyone can say that Isaac Asimov and Timothy Zahn are of little consequence to science-fiction then they’re missing out on some great material. Collecting the Conquerors’ trilogy by Timothy Zahn was a bit tricky, but I managed it – by no means his most famous work but I always liked it. Asimov’s Foundation series also presented a challenge and that’s despite films and television series supposedly being in the works.
There is little profit in reprinting old books so companies don’t do it, meaning that you’re left with the choice of the new up-and-coming books while your half-finished collections are sometimes destined to go unfinished. But it doesn’t stop me wishing that this wasn’t the case – that I could reach back and pluck new copies of any book I wanted out of its time and into mine so I could share them with others who’d enjoy them as well.
If eBooks have one fault beyond all others, it’s that you can’t loan them to other people.
Started thinking about some pirate laws today. For reasons.
- Be ye not on fire
- Pillage before ye burn
- Possession be more important than ownership
- If I licked it, it be mine
- It be Cap’n, not anything else
- No doublin’ up on monikers
- Dying your beard to get a new moniker be acceptable
- Swords be better than guns
- Thar be no pirate laws
- The pirate code be more like guidelines
I may come up with a better name than this, but I like the alliteration of Lost Letters.
Letter-writing roleplay is something I had never really considered to be it’s own thing until recently, having set it firmly in the category of “assisting other roleplay” in my mind. The idea I had was that letter-writing made other games better – writing letters between characters enhances roleplay. I’m not sure when I changed my mind about that and determined that the act of writing letters on its own could be more than enough roleplay to be getting on with without needing the structure of an external game to support it.
And so, my concept of “lost letters”. These are letters or emails which while addressed (correctly) to the recipient seem to be impossible or out of left-field, encouraging the recipient to respond and between the two of you create a new world of roleplay.
The first example of this I did was crafting a letter from a shady laboratory to a replicant offering assistance with maintenance and upgrades in exchange for the opportunity to study them. This was well received, and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since.
Tonight it came up again, and I came up with the concept of letters that are replies to letters that were never sent by the recipient. Exactly how the chain of letters came to be is up for decision by the participants in it, depending on how they craft their letters and responses. It could be that the letters are travelling in time somehow ala The Lake House, or perhaps the original letter came from an alternate reality. Perhaps a doppelganger has been pretending to be you and sending letters on your behalf, or perhaps you aren’t who you think you are. It could be that it’s all an honest mistake but you find yourself enthralled by the contents of the letter.
There are no rules to this game except those you apply yourselves. You need only someone to roleplay with and a chosen medium to do so in. I doubt the concept is entirely original, but feel free to attribute me if you want to, or link to this post – I appreciate a bit of traffic now and then.
I’ve spent some time of late considering my priorities when it comes to my spare time and I’ve decided to start cutting down on the hobbies that have the lowest energy:enjoyment ratios. That is to say I mean to stop doing things that take a lot of time and energy but don’t reward my effort with add much enjoyment as I get from other sources.
What that means is that I’m not going to expend time and energy on things I’m not enjoying which should mean I have more time and energy to do what I do enjoy.
To cut a long story short, this means that I don’t intend to renew my membership in the Isles of Darkness. I’ve not enjoyed playing the games as much as I used to for quite some time and I’m tired of expending effort on IoD that I’d rather be using on other projects. I have other games I want to write and run that get put aside for the pressures of running an IoD game every month.
If I spent as much time on my next No Rest event as I’ve spent on IoD stuff this year, my event would be mostly done by now.
Part of my problem with IoD is that I enjoy storytelling but I don’t like being painted into a corner and having my work second-guessed by people who haven’t even seen it.
I’d much rather spend my time and energy on Empire, Future’s End, and the field LRPs I’m running and that’s what I plan to do.
I’m not going to just drop out of things, but my membership will lapse in a few months and that coincides with the end of my term as LST Scotland Awakening so it seems like a fair time to go.
My LRP schedule for the year has been pretty full since last October and events are still being added.
- 22-24 Jan – Empire Player Event: In the Fields of the Cloth of Gold
- 19-21 Feb – Empire Player Event: Gilded Horn Carta Winter Retreat
- 4-6 Mar – Future’s End: Mission One
- 25-28 Mar – Empire: 379YE Winter Solstice
- 6-8 May – Stargate: The Spaces Inbetween
- 13-15 May – No Rest for the Wicked: Dark Deeds
- 27-30 May – Empire: 380YE Spring Equinox
- 1-3 Jul – No Rest for the Wicked: By Schisms Rent Asunder
- 29-31 Jul – Empire: 380YE Summer Solstice
- 9-11 Sept – Empire 380YE Autumn Equinox
- 30 Sept – 2 Oct – Future’s End: Mission Two
- 14 – 16 Oct: No Rest for the Wicked: Humans Are Such Easy Prey
And that’s not including any extra Stargate events I get tempted into, or any extra Empire player events that might happen post-season, or the potential of going to CP in August.
On the other hand, I only have 8 days of holiday left and I may want to take the Thursday off for Empire E3 and E4 and any Christmas leave I want has to come out of that as well. So maybe this is about my LRP limit in a year. But maybe not.
I spent my weekend in a castle, my face painted with scales and two bottles of booze in my bag. It was a good weekend.
To say I was unsure what I was going to do/achieve at the beginning of the event would be an understatement. I had no idea if I was going to manage what I wanted, never mind if it was possible. Turns out I was proven wrong.
My goals for the weekend were to introduce myself to some people, get better acquainted with others, and have some fun. All of these goals were met and then some.
Turns out that I accidentally ended up being the most competent person in the room at one point which led to me being embroiled in some politics I’d previously had no idea about – that’s going to give me a lot more to do in the field this year.
I may also have almost started a new religion with my salted caramel cream liqueur hot chocolate – pronounced to “taste like glory” and to be “heresy, so I should confiscate it for the good of the Empire”.
Decided to join the tournament with the last minute addition of hidden steel chainmail under my Suaq layers. That helped me through the first round, but didn’t help at all against Rodrigo Barossa’s zweihander. If only I’d had my mage staff…
Bohemond even congratulated me on my duelling technique – shame he later shook me until booze entered his hand.
So very glad I went, and so very keen for Empire now…
We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:
#1) Respect the privacy of others.
#2) Think before you type.
#3) With great power comes great responsibility.
I love this. This is what you get on some linux systems when you use the sudo command for the first time. I just love how simple yet effective and geeky it is.
none* was an awesome game of riddles. none*2 is the sequel.
NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT THE NONE* GAME IS ABOUT
It gives you a question, and you have to figure out the answer to progress. All you have is the clue and a keyboard to answer with. Having just completed none*2, I’ve posted the questions and answers below.
Continue reading none*2
You know, when a company leaves a message on your blog asking you to contact them after you wrote an article about their product, you kinda expect it to be about them possibly providing free samples or something so you can try it out, not a complaint about an apparent issue with being linked to too many times.
If you’re reading this and you haven’t watched the film yet, stop and go watch it. I’ll wait. No really, go watch it. I’m not going to hold back under here, I’m still buzzing after seeing it and I don’t want to miss things by trying to avoid spoilers.
Also, I’m placing it behind a cut, so don’t read it unless you really want to…
Continue reading The Force Awakens (contains spoilers)