Archive for September, 2011

A Change of Schedule!

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Unfortunately, due to some last minute changes, I will be unable to be at the Northwest Book Fest in Kirkland!

Please do go and have a wonderful time!

Robin Hobb

Unfortunately, due to some last minute changes, I will be unable to be at the Northwest Book Fest in Kirkland! Please do go and have a wonderful time! Robin Hobb

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NFB and Paddle to the Sea

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The National Film Board of Canada has, over the years, provided me with entertainment such as I have found nowhere else. Years ago, I discovered via the NFB an animator called Richard Condie. Through much of my career, Getting Started has been the best way in the world to short circuit an attack of writers block.  The Big Snit, also by Richerd Condie, can put any internet flame war to shame as well as putting it in perspective.  The simple phrase ‘Sawing for Teens’ can dissolve any family gathering at my house into hysteria.

Likewise  The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker has delighted every generation of my family that as seen it.  And if I am in a romantic mood, The Log Drivers Waltz  by John Weldon never fails to touch my heart.  It’s always a dangerous website for me to visit if I haven any work scheduled for the day, for the temptation is simply to move from one short film to another.

Today was no exception. The email from NFB was in my mailbox and I could not resist the lure of Paddle to the Sea .  The rich voice, gentle narration and calmness of this film from 1966 took me back to a time when films for kids were slower paced and thoughtful.  It’s 28 minutes long, and it may be the most enjoyable 28 minutes of your fast paced day.

Thanks NFB.  A quick injection of pure Story was exactly what I needed today!

But before I go back to my day’s work, I need to waltz with that Log Driver one more time!

 

The National Film Board of Canada has, over the years, provided me with entertainment such as I have found nowhere else. Years ago, I discovered via the NFB an animator called Richard Condie. Through much of my career, Getting Started has been the best way in the world to short circuit an attack of writers block.  The Big […]

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When the Mews won’t let you work

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Ever had one of those days when you just couldn’t seem to sit down in your chair and get any writing done?

Ever had one of those days when you just couldn’t seem to sit down in your chair and get any writing done?

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Espresso Book Machine and Harper Collins

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What is an Espresso Book Machine?  A quick summary would be that it’s a machine that can very quickly (less than 7 minutes) print out from a file a paperback book, complete with color, that is virtually the same as a book you would buy off a book store shelf.

My friend Vlad at Third Place Books has made a video of their Espresso Book Machine in action.  

These machines were already pretty cool.  If you have access to one, then you can get a physical copy of a public domain book, even if it has been out of print for years.  Project Gutenberg books, Google books . . . the machine has access to over 5 million books.  AND more and more authors are using the machine to make their own ‘out of print’ books available  as paper books again.  Not to mention self publishing authors who wish to have paper books as well as e-books for their readers.

Now here is where it gets even more interesting.

This link goes to the story from yesterday, about HarperCollins making its paperback list available to any store that has an Espresso book machine. So, regardless of floor space and racks, a little book store can almost instantly hand the customer a copy of any HC papeback.  And it’s a competitively priced book, too.

Think of what that means.  IF it catches on, it means that publishers and bookstores will have less expense related to shipping and storing books.  Returns would definitely taper off.  There would be much less waste in the book industry.

I would miss actually browsing a real shelf of books, and opening one at random to take a peek inside.  I suppose that sort of browsing can be done from a computer, to some extent, but I will miss the physical part of the experience.

I will be watching this with interest to see where it goes.

 

What is an Espresso Book Machine?  A quick summary would be that it’s a machine that can very quickly (less than 7 minutes) print out from a file a paperback book, complete with color, that is virtually the same as a book you would buy off a book store shelf. My friend Vlad at Third […]

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New Cover Art for US City of Dragons

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The surprise is, you readers from the UK and Australia will recognize the artist immediately!

This is the first time that my books in the UK, US and Australia have featured the same art!

Here’s a peek at the cover for City of Dragons.  The artist is Jackie Morris, often mentioned here.  Click on her name to visit her website for all sorts of beautiful images.  And to see hints of things to come for Blood of Dragons.

 

 

The surprise is, you readers from the UK and Australia will recognize the artist immediately! This is the first time that my books in the UK, US and Australia have featured the same art! Here’s a peek at the cover for City of Dragons.  The artist is Jackie Morris, often mentioned here.  Click on her […]

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Bits and Pieces

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One of my current resolves is to put more reading time into my life.  To that end, I’ve been immersed in Blake Charlton’s new book, Spellbound.  It’s the sequel to Spellwright, a volume I greatly enjoyed.  No spoilers here, but I’ll add that to be dyslexic in a world where wizards must literally spell their spells can make for very interesting times . . .   For those of you who live near me, Blake will be reading at University Book Store in Seattle tomorrow ( Sept. 21) at 7 PM.  Definitely a ‘don’t miss’ evening.

My other reading pleasures tonight were a couple of entries from  the September 2011 Asimov’s  Science Fiction. Both stories featured youthful protagonists (as the cliche goes!) but they could not be more different from one another.  “Grandma Said” by R. Neube is about a young man who volunteers to work for the Plague Center, battling outbreaks of an indigenous disease in a colony on a terraformed planet.  “Stalker” by Robert Reed (an author who with alarming regularity writes absolutely wonderful short stories) is about a very different sort of teen and the ‘unbounded, bodiless personality designed to hover close to that one significant soul.’   And if that significant soul is the worst possible sort of young man that one can imagine, and your duty is to be devoted to him . . . Where does that leave an AI? 

I recommend both stories!

And in my own backyard, I have some cover art news that I’m not quite ready to share yet, but it definitely makes me grin!

And this last week I’ve signed contracts with Heyne for mass market German editions of Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven.  From earlier in the month, Luitingh will be bringing out a Dutch edition of The Inheritance.  And Pygmalion will be publishing a French edition of City of Dragons.  All of which makes me very happy.  I’ve been invited to Elf Fantasy Fair in the Netherlands for April of 2012 and I’m desperately trying to fit that in to my writing schedule.  It has absolutely everything that I love in a fantasy gathering, and the castle setting is the finishing touch.  I’m so hoping that I can make this come together!

But to make that happen, I need less time on the Internet and more time putting words on the virtual page!

Best wishes to all!

Robin

 

One of my current resolves is to put more reading time into my life.  To that end, I’ve been immersed in Blake Charlton’s new book, Spellbound.  It’s the sequel to Spellwright, a volume I greatly enjoyed.  No spoilers here, but I’ll add that to be dyslexic in a world where wizards must literally spell their […]

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City of Dragons

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Well, the book marches one step closer to being real.  I have seen the cover art for the UK edition.  Jackie Morris has outdone herself!  I will ask permission to post it here.  Some of you who are friend with Jackie on Facebook may have already had a sneak peek at it.

The publication date for both the US and the UK/Australia will be February of 2012.  The concluding volume will be released in 2013, not 2012 as I had previously thought.  But at least I can assure you that the books is finished, edited and safely in the hands of the publishers.  Book four will still have to go thorugh copy editing of course, but the story does exist.

The weather here has finally cooled, the sky has grayed and I am comfortable outside again.  I am now looking at all that must be done in the garden and down at my pocket farm before it becomes very rainy.  Then I try to balance that against all the writing tasks before me, and I realize I’d best sharpen my self discipline and use my time more efficiently.

I still have blueberries and black berries to pick, and it looks as if we will have a bumper crop of apples, if the deer don’t get to them first.  I persuade myself that berries will not stay on the bushes forever, so that is what I should get to first this week.  But I know it is just a convenient excuse for being outside and doing something I love instead of sitting at my desk.

I’ve decided that this year I will go back to my old ways, and put away a lot of food in the freezer and in jars.  I’ve made green bean garlic dill pickles, and all sorts of jam as well as freezing batches of blackberries and blueberries.  Perhaps it is time to replace the ancient pressure cooker.  I want to do cinnamon apple rings this fall, as well as applesauce and pumpkin.  Yes. Better find a good pressure cooker.

Robin

Well, the book marches one step closer to being real.  I have seen the cover art for the UK edition.  Jackie Morris has outdone herself!  I will ask permission to post it here.  Some of you who are friend with Jackie on Facebook may have already had a sneak peek at it. The publication date […]

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An Inteview and a Contest

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Just a short update on a busy weekend.   My neighbor and I were commiserating that when we get an extra day off, we just use it to do a different sort of work. We are both outside today, getting our ‘end of summer’ tasks done.

But if you are inside and reading on your screen today, you might want to visit Oberon’s Law for a short Robin Hobb interview.

Or, if you are feeling lucky, you might drop by Pat’s Fantasy Hot Spot for a chance to win one of the limited edition copies of The Inheritance from Subterranean Press

Hint: If you are a Jack Vance fan, you really want to click on that Subterranean link up there . . .

Back to work.  Pulling weeds while the sun shines!

Robin

Just a short update on a busy weekend.   My neighbor and I were commiserating that when we get an extra day off, we just use it to do a different sort of work. We are both outside today, getting our ‘end of summer’ tasks done. But if you are inside and reading on your screen […]

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