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Blatant Advertising

My latest novella, "Equoid", is available in print ebook from Wednesday October 16th. It's only $1.99, or about £1.49 if you're in the UK (a chunk of that is sales tax). As it's my birthday on Friday, if you feel like buying an ebook I'll consider it a donation to my beer fund :)

You can buy it from various American ebook stores:

[Amazon] [Barnes&Noble] [Apple iBooks] [Google Play] [Kobo]

You can also buy it in the UK:

[Amazon.co.uk] [Apple iBooks (UK)] [Google Play]

(No W. H. Smiths link currently available because whoops).

(No, Microsoft Word was not used in the creation of this work.)

76 Comments

1:

Was there any inspiration from Codex Seraphinanus?

Specifically, this bit: http://setupmac.com/images5/cs-p22.jpg

2:

Nope -- never seen a copy.

3:

Happy Birthday for Friday. Celebrating mine on Saturday. Will have a few for us both. Thanks for the book.

4:

As there has been no use of a certain piece of software in the crafting of this fine example of literature you can be certain that I shall be donating to your birthday beer fund. Please raise a glass of your favourite libation on the anniversary of the auspicious day of your birth.

Can't wait until the new book comes out either :-)

5:

Did you have to jump through hoops (eg. "fight with publisher") to keep Word out of the loop on this one?

If so, is there anything useful you can share about that process?

6:

Not so much on this one. (Wrote it in Scrivener. Generated .doc output to send to editor, as usual; editor ran some copy-edit changes past me, but nothing that required serious change tracking so I could answer the queries by just checking the Scriv project.) It's via Tor.com, whose process is much more magazine-like than book-publisher-like.

7:

FYI The Google Play link works just as well in the UK as the US.

8:

Thanks! Links updated.

9:

So this is what you get when you don't use Word — ravenous killer unicorns from beyond spacetime…

10:

"(No, Microsoft Word was not used in the creation of this work.)"

Hallelujah!

Hope springs eternal.

11:

Charlie, a suggestion: since you amassed quite a lot of Laundry-verse texts already, perhaps an official recommended order of reading is in order?

12:

Preordered. I loved this one on the Tor.com site, wonderfully disturbing, even for one of your Laundry books.

13:

Sure. Here's the canonical Laundry reading order:

The Atrocity Archive
The Concrete Jungle
The Jennifer Morgue
Pimpf (optional)
Down on the Farm
Equoid
The Fuller Memorandum
Overtime
The Apocalypse Codex
-- nothing below this line is in print yet --
The Rhesus Chart (novel, July 2014)
The Armageddon Score (novel, hopefully July 2015)
A Conventional Boy (novella, not yet finished)
Story without a name (not yet started)
The Nightmare Stacks (novel, not yet started; planned for July 2016)

14:

I can't believe that I'm the last person who'd rather read his fiction on paper than on a screen. So why no print edition?

16:

Hmm.

Had you used Word, would there be a bit more risk of being... grabbed by the story, as it were?

Yog shoth palantino bold?

17:

Hi! I'm a great fan of the Laundry series and Equoid is a very very fine addition to the sequence. Possibly the creepiest of all.

But...

(Yes, there's a but...)

I just got the Kindle version - and it uses underlines for italics throughout.

You wouldn't think it, but it turns out this is incredibly distracting.

18:

Happy Birthday! I would buy an ebook copy in celebration but I already indulged and pre-ordered a leather-bound signed copy.

19:

Tor bought electronic rights only, with a 12 month exclusive. The special limited edition signed hardcover from Subterranean will therefore come out 12 months later.

As to why ...

All (or nearly all) authors have two aims; to maximize their readership, and to maximize their income. This mix just happens to work best for me in this case. I could have sold all rights to Subterranean for slightly more money, and the hardback would now be in print ... in a run of 1000 copies. Instead, by splitting the rights I got slightly less money, but massive exposure via Tor.com (read: thousands to tens of thousands more readers).

20:

Thanks, I'll check that and get Tor to correct it if I can confirm it.

21:

I am in the middle of reading the iBook edition. I read it first on the Tor site, but it is, I think, important to contribute to Charlie's intake of beer (given that this novel was inspired in a pub, correct?)

In the iBook there is at least one instance where HPL's letter is incorrectly formatted as main text. It's the extract that begins "“Having for so long been tongue-tied”.

I too find the underlines distracting compared to italics.

22:

Is there DRM on the Google or Amazon editions?

23:

There should be no DRM on any edition. If you encounter DRM, let me know and I'll get Tor to yell at the booksellers who imposed it.

24:

Bought. Also, the Kobo link works for the UK too.

25:

Kobo link is good for NZ too, where it is NZD2.50 (i.e. about right).
My next question is 'Can I hold off reading it until I fly to back-country NSW in a couple of weeks?'

26:

UK link for the Apple iBook store is:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/equoid-a-laundry-novella/id697938901?mt=11

Best of all, it's only 99p! *yoink*

27:

The amazon edition appears to have underlining standing in for italics. It is quite distracting.

B>

28:

I loved it! I can recommend against going to a pet shop where you weren't expecting to see giant land snails on display just after finishing it though...

(I also live on a horse stud in Sussex, but I've checked the stables and the occupants are still furry, not slimy horrors from beyond spacetime.)

29:

I've now verified this and am nagging my editor. Hopefully it'll be fixed within a day or three (it takes time to rebuild the ebook file and then push it out through Amazon).

Has anyone encountered underlining instead of italics in the text of the epub versions (Google, Nook, etc)?

30:

Just checked. The Kobo version has underlining too.

31:

two words:

More, Please !

32:

You'll have to wait.

However, "The Rhesus Chart" comes out next July (and is about four times the length of "Equoid" -- it's the longest Laundry novel yet).

And if plans come to fruition, "The Armageddon Score" will follow in July 2015, and "The Nightmare Stacks" in July 2016. Alternating with new Merchant Princes novels, of course.

33:

Isn't MSWord proof — or at least evidence — that the Laundry is real?

That's certainly the only explanation I can come up with for some of the ... inventive ... autocorrects built into the system by default. For example, almost nobody has ever used (r) as an abbreviation for "registered trademark, and yet a lot of people have needed the p-in-a-circle for pre-1972 recorded music. Therefore, I infer that there is an eldritch distinction between the two that only Bob can trace down; whether it's necessary to autocorrect the one without the other to avoid or to force the correct representation of a name of the Old Ones...

34:

almost nobody has ever used (r) as an abbreviation for "registered trademark, and yet a lot of people have needed the p-in-a-circle for pre-1972 recorded music

You do know that MS's market is business, yes, and thus the ability to use ™ and ® is required?

(I'm not even aware of that circled-P you mention, and I have no idea what its HTML entity name might be, sorry, or I'd have used it here.)

35:

In other words: A lot to look forward to.
I have to ask, will "The Armageddon Score" focus on Mo and her fiddle? I believe you once mentioned that a future laundry novel would.

I prefer to think of my pre-order as a donation to the Feeding Future Felines Fund. Only because it was made a couple weeks ago, not because I have anything against beer--which I don't.

36:

I have to ask, will "The Armageddon Score" focus on Mo and her fiddle? I believe you once mentioned that a future laundry novel would.

Yes. In fact, it'll be told from Mo's viewpoint, not Bob's.

37:

Yes, the Google version has underlines also.

38:

Google books version also has underlines instead of italics

39:

Tor are aware of the issue and working on fixing it.

40:

Happy beerthday in advance. If you received 100% of the sale price, I just bought you 37% of a pint. Given how royalties go, I'd ask few hundred more of your fans to pony up.

I don't know if it's accurate, but there's an interesting website (www.pintprice.com) that lists beer prices by city.

41:

Underlines on the Nook also.

42:

I pre-ordered on Kobo UK a couple of weeks ago. There was an email this morning saying it was available to download, and my Kobo is busy synching as I type.

Pity I can't buy my own titles through Kobo right now...

43:

I will not contribute to your beer fund. Sorry : I have no kindle or e-book reader and don't want one.
but I pre-orderded something square, made of dead-trees, with illustrations and no battery required .. the book ! I'll read it next year, maybe with a beer...
but thanks for putting your work for free on the web. My best friend has read Rapture of the Nerd for free ... and bought Halting state. I'll tell him ther is a new novella from you for free and with luck he will buy tha atrocity archives.

44:

With the Laundry and Merchant Princes keeping you busy through 2016, is the third Halting State novel on permanent hold?

45:

Use, yes. They're in the character set and can be entered with the "Insert Symbol" command.

Autocorrect, not so much... especially since no typist outside of Word is taught to use (r) for the registered-mark symbol.

46:

With the Laundry and Merchant Princes keeping you busy through 2016, is the third Halting State novel on permanent hold?

Yes.

Bear in mind that I wrote "Halting State" in 2005-06, and it was set 10-12 years out, in 2017. It is now late 2013. That future is already obsolescent. I was going to write "The Lambda Functionary" in 2012/13 but figured out it was going to take me at least two years to write (hugely ambitious book!) and would be obsolete before I finished it, so you're getting 2-3 Laundry novels and 3 Merchant Princes novels instead.

A book of that title, in a near future setting, may eventually surface -- but not until I've completed the current batch of 6 other novels and written the rest of "Palimpsest" (which I'm aiming to be my biggest high-concept novel since "Accelerando"). Hope you don't mind.

47:

Many happy returns for Friday, Charlie.

It's also my birthday, but due to time zones I shall be a few hours behind you in kicking off the drinking.

48:

Non-sequitur, but one wonders if these amplituhedrons which have gone viral among the theoretical physicists and other purveyors of Wu are the Dho-Nha geometry, finally surfacing after desperate attempts to keep it silent.

Enquiring minds do want to know.

49:

Mind? Mind?! Hell no - whilst I did enjoy Halting State and Rule 43, I'm an absolute glutton for the Laundry (majored in CS in 1997, now a professional sysadmin), and the Merchant Princes was a very interesting read. The prospect of a novel length version of Palimpsest is just the icing on the cake. (Granted that I don't speak for the rest of the fan base, but ... yeah.)

There's a beverage of your choice with your name on it, should you ever find yourself in, or near, .melb.vic.au.

50:

I already suffered reading this on the Kindle web browser. Next time I'll just wait the two weeks. I hate windowing!

Re: future plans for Halting State, its funny that future shock causes such practical problems for scifi authors.

51:

I am new to e-books, but I bought it on google and now wish I hadn't. It downloads the epub in .acsm, which of course Calibre (the reader I decided to go with) can't open or convert...

Anyway thanks Charlie, and I look forward to 'The Rhesus Chart'

52:

To open an acsm file, you need Adobe Digital Editions, a piece of software which is freely downloadable for Windows and OS X, though not for other operating systems ( https://www.adobe.com/products/digital-editions.html ). An acsm file isn't the book itself, but a link to an epub copy of the book, usually (but not always) DRM'd.
Once Digital Editions opens the link, it'll download the epub and stick it in a directory called My Digital Editions. You can then open it in calibre.

53:

no typist outside of Word is taught to use (r) for the registered-mark symbol.

So no-one except the 90% of all PC users who have Word inflicted on them or actively choose it then?

54:

Wheedling request: There is only one customer review of "Equoid" on Amazon.

It's looking kind of lonely.

If you bought it there, why not go back and say a few words?

55:

I loved it - I fully support the suggestion of moar pub time, it this is inspired by pub time.

(reviewed)

56:

beer money sent!

Question : you snuck Pimpf pass me :( where and when did the get published and is there a way for me to send beer money for that, until I'm able to direct supply said beer directly.

(and happy bd!)

57:

"Pimpf" is appended to "The Jennifer Morgue". In the US editions, at least, I assume in the UK also? I'm wondering why it's Optional?

58:

It's a lightweight throw-away story. If I wrote manga, I'd call it a chibi-Laundry story ...

59:

>A book of that title, in a near future setting, may eventually surface -- but not until
>I've completed the current batch of 6 other novels and written the rest of
>"Palimpsest" (which I'm aiming to be my biggest high-concept novel since
>"Accelerando"). Hope you don't mind.

Halting State is my favorite series of yours but Laundry is a close second so giving up 1 HS book for 3 Laundry books plus some other stuff? Yeah, that works. Thanks for the update.

60:

Happy birthday! Nice to have a well formatted ecopy.

61:

Silly, silly me, I actually thought the underlines were some form of encrypted message and started noting them down to see if they would make some sense as the story goes...

62:

Re: future plans for Halting State, its funny that future shock causes such practical problems for scifi authors.

This isn't even a new problem. Larry Niven has described attending the public announcement of a new physics Shiny Thing, rushing home to pound out a story using it before any other SF author could do so - and having the technical physics part out of date before the story was published.

63:

I just saw this article about mounted knights fighting snails in illuminated manuscripts, and it seemed appropriate to the subject at hand ;)

Great story - I hope you'll put out more "chibi Laundry" stories in future, Laundry is always welcome :)

64:

Happy Birthday! And beer money day.

65:

I got mine on the Nook app for Windows RT[1] from Barnes Noble and it too has the the underlines instead of italics. I wonder if it's a USAnian thing as it seems it's more customary here to treat underlines and italics as interchangeable than it is back in Blightly.

That said, stonkingly good read. 5/5.

[1] No, I'm not stupid enough to buy a Surface. My brother used to work for the Beast of Redmond.

66:

the underlines instead of italics. I wonder if it's a USAnian thing as it seems it's more customary here to treat underlines and italics as interchangeable than it is back in Blightly.

Not a US thing, that I've seen. Underlining where text is to be printed in italics is standard manuscript formatting, it's easier to spot underlining while scanning the text. It seems more like a failure to convert the manuscript.

67:

like others have said; Happy Birthday to Charlie!

68:

I dropped a quick one liner and 5 stars on the google books page... btw, it claims it's 32 pages long, not 101 as the pagecount inside the app reports.

69:

Underlining for emphasis is part of standard manuscript format -- it dates to the age of manual typewriters (which obviously didn't have interchangeable type balls/daisy wheels). It's also easier for a typesetter to see underlined text than italics in some possibly-not-very-clear typeface. (It may even go back further, to the age of the handwritten manuscript ...)

Anyway, it's something that should have been converted to italics before the ebook was generated and distributed. Tor are aware of it as a bug and will be fixing it in due course. (But as noted elsewhere, this is not a push-button job: someone in editorial has to generate a change request to whoever typeset the ebook, and they have to update the master file, then someone has to check it, then upload it to half a dozen different ebook stores and check what they're doing with it ...)

70:

This is what's great about electronic formats - I can buy a novella that might have sunk without a trace for a couple of bucks. It's fascinating to watch the likeable Bob becoming a more formidable go-to guy for inter-dimensional indiscretions, even as the endless paperwork keeps him anchored in a reality... of sorts.

It also demonstrates why it's more important than ever to block popup ads when browsing. You've been warned.

71:

not an e-reader person, but eagerly awaiting the subterranean press copy i've pre-ordered! ^_^

72:

Bought it, reading it, enjoying it. More Laundry!

73:

I finished the story last night. Then this shows up in my email from Smithsonian:

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2013/10/why-were-medieval-knights-always-fighting-snails/?utm_source=smithsoniantopic&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20131020-Weekender

Why were medieval knights shown fighting snails? I guess I know now...

74:

Yep. That's been mentioned earlier on this thread (see Neal C at #63).

Also a few posts back in late September when this article was also mentioned on this blog. It's later than the source of the Smithsonian's article, but contains some more examples.

75:

It looks like the Google Play edition has DRM, though I'm not completely certain. It's definitely not cross-platform-friendly.

With other non-DRM'd Play books that I've seen, asking for a download gives a straight EPUB or PDF which one can then use on any system that supports that format. When asking to download Equoid, the experience is the same as trying to download other DRM'd titles I've seen. The file provided is an ACSM, which (as pointed out earlier) is a link to an EPUB, and must be opened with the Adobe Digital Editions software.

Digital Editions is only available for Windows and Mac OS, so I wasn't able to confirm whether the resulting file has DRM. I *can* confirm that as a Linux user, it'd be a huge hassle to find out, and that I can't get the EPUB without installing/virtualizing/whatever another OS on which to install Digital Editions.

Do you think you might be able to check with Tor to double-extra-check whether the Play edition has DRM, and whether it might be possible to enable direct EPUB downloads without needing Digital Editions?

76:

Charlie has just arrived at the World Fantasy Convention, and I'd expect him to be a bit occupied for the next few days, so please be patient on this.

(On the other hand, at least one Tor editor should also be there, so he might notice this and get something done.)

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on October 15, 2013 6:39 PM.

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