Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Everyone's going ballistic over the body of a mermaid being found. Even the NOAA got involved, issuing a formal statement in an effort to curb the hysteria. News organizations are up in arms wondering why, stating that the show that aired on Sunday on the Discovery Channel titled Mermaids: The Body Found was clearly science fiction.
Okay, media-heads, you want to know WHY people believe this stuff?
No, it's not because we're dumb. Get over yourselves.
No, it's because magic and fantasy and mythology are things that continue to fascinate us, that make us sit up straight and pay attention, even today in a world almost completely explained and dissected by science. We're fascinated because mystery itself draws us. We're fascinated because a part of us will always be that child trying to stay awake on Christmas Eve and witness Santa's arrival. We're fascinated because wouldn't life itself prove to be the miracle we know in our hearts it is if creatures like unicorns and mermaids turned out to be real? By finding a mermaid's body, we may all open the door again to the possibilities that swirled around us daily back before the age of science. Anything could be true, even magic.
It's funny that the media is comparing this show and the reaction to it to The Blair Witch Project, because they are extremely similar and the forces at work that made that poorly-filmed amateurish movie a runaway success were the same as what drives this news story. You say "based on real events" and we hear one word: real. You say "witch", we say "really"??? You say "mermaid", we say "where" and "how soon can we book a cruise to go see them"????
It's the reason behind the huge upswing in the fantasy genre in fiction, this
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
To be honest, I can't believe I've jumped on the free ebook bandwagon. It's shocking, really.
You see, my attitude up until recently was that if it was free, how good could it be? Would anyone even buy an ebook again considering how many free ones are available? And piracy, piracy, piracy - eek! These are valid points...but a brilliant argument made by Neil Gaiman on YouTube convinced me that my fears were misplaced.
Why Free Ebooks Are a Good Idea
There is one main and extremely compelling reason: exposure to new readers. Think about it - how often do you buy an unknown author's work? Really, I'm serious here. Most people find new writers by getting their books at a library or borrowing a book from a friend or - these days - downloading a free ebook. Because sometimes the sample and the cover and description aren't enough. You want to see if the writer can hold your interest, carry off a story, and even make you think about the characters or tale itself long after you've finished it.
I'm making some of my short story ebooks available for free! Right now, Girl Shaped Shadows is free on Smashwords (go here for a free ebook: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131892) or a free PDF is available right off of this website on my new handy-dandy "FREE EBOOKS" page: http://taramctiernanfiction.blogspot.com/p/free-ebooks.html Another short story is in the works as well and should be published within a few months. Definitely check them out and enjoy!
Other Big News:
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
I was surfing the internet the other day and happened upon a video by Margaret Atwood, a brilliant writer whose work I adore, who was talking about ebooks versus print books. After watching it, I realized it truly merited a discussion. Why do people still buy paper books? Do you know that 80 % of the reading public ONLY reads paper books? Another fascinating fact is that most owners of ereaders still read paper books, too!
So what is the lure of the paper book? What are the benefits of electronic? Let's list them and compare:
Print versus Electronic: Convenience
Sorry, but ebooks win this one. It's so much more convenient to sit at home in your pj's and order books to your heart's content and get them immediately. No need to climb in your car and go to the local bookstore or wait for them to be delivered. Right here, right now, you can read it.
Round one goes to: Ebooks
Print versus Electronic: The sensual aspect
Holding a Kindle or another ereader just isn't like holding a paper book, smelling that fresh binding-and-paper (or old binding-and-paper) smell. You won't enjoy the cover art as much either, glancing at it only when you first purchase it and open the ebook, then probably never seeing it again.
Round two goes to: Paper books
Print versus Electronic: Portability
Watch out, your ereader is so heavy it might just...wait a second! You can have twenty books on that sucker and never feel the difference as you carry it around! Try doing that with twenty paper books, even if they're slim little tomes. Still pretty heavy. And they take up so much space! Most people find themselves chucking books whenever they move, not wanting to have to box them all up and haul them along.
Round three goes to: Ebooks
Print versus Electronic: Cost
Ebooks are usually cheaper than print books. Now, they shouldn't be pennies or a few bucks because the cost of paper and shipping are only a percentage of the costs that go into making a book, paper or