Alyssa
03 June 2009 @ 07:42 pm


The Juliets finally meet (Grames, right; Ulman, left) and instantly find a book cover under which to pose.



Colleen Lindsay trades her tie with someone I know I was introduced to.



My ex-publisher Kevin (he's the non-evil one, the other two have red eyes!) between Tiffany and Allegra at BEA Tweetup.

And the rest of the weekend was very similar to the above. Lots of friends, old and new; lots of book covers and fewer galleys; lots of drinks and meet-and-greets. Next year I'll take more than three pictures. Would you believe I had 85 pictures of Loki and 3 pictures of BEA on my camera? Okay. Perhaps you would.
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Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
 
 
Alyssa
22 May 2009 @ 03:40 pm
Cover Love: The Invisible Hook, P.T. Leeson  


The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, P.T. Leeson
Princeton University Press
Cover design by Jason Alejandro with more info here

Pirates! Money! What's not to love?

I don't read much nonfiction (for pleasure, I mean; I read LOTS for work) but this cover is so breathtaking in its simplicity and its conceit that you can't wait to touch it. And who wouldn't want to read about pirates?

It comes with a book trailer, but you'll have to watch it from the Princeton University site.

Sales copy:

The Invisible Hook takes readers inside the wily world of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century pirates. With swashbuckling irreverence and devilish wit, Peter Leeson uncovers the hidden economics behind pirates' notorious, entertaining, and sometimes downright shocking behavior. Why did pirates fly flags of Skull & Bones? Why did they create a "pirate code"? Were pirates really ferocious madmen? And what made them so successful?

The Invisible Hook looks at legendary pirate captains like Blackbeard, Black Bart Roberts, and Calico Jack Rackam, and shows how pirates' search for plunder led them to pioneer remarkable and forward-thinking practices. Pirates understood the advantages of constitutional democracy—a model they adopted more than fifty years before the United States did so. Pirates also initiated an early system of workers' compensation, regulated drinking and smoking, and in some cases practiced racial tolerance and equality. Leeson contends that pirates exemplified the virtues of vice—their self-seeking interests generated socially desirable effects and their greedy criminality secured social order. Pirates proved that anarchy could be organized.
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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Alyssa
20 May 2009 @ 07:19 pm
This will be a ramble.

Work is horribly busy. I have a few rush titles that are crashing through (one in particular that will be great if the author manages to rewrite it in, oh, two days and if not then I have to do it and even quicker) so by the time I get home I'm exhausted.

Some fun projects are chugging steadily on, but mostly by the time I get home, I'm exhausted and not in the mood to post. I am considering my evening "pattern" to figure out why I do this, and I think I figured it out. Right now I a) get home b) take the bird out and entertain him for 30-60 mins while making dinner c) log onto the computer and read email/LJ/Twitter d) update -if- I don't want to just read and crash for the evening.

I think I need to reverse d and c. I can read in the morning before work, and I still have energy after step b (Loki is too cute not to be in a good mood, too!) but the act of reading for an hour throws my rhythm off and I just don't get anything else done for the day. Tomorrow I'll test that theory.

This weekend I'm visiting friends in Baltimore and bought round trip Megabus tickets for $11.50 total. That wouldn't even pay for the tolls! I have no excuse (okay, a bird-shaped exuse) not to visit people if this is what it will cost me.

My roommate officially moved out on Friday. I've been by myself for a little under a week and still have her queen sized oak sleigh bed in the new office space. Anyone want to purchase it for a nominal fee? (Selling for her.) It's gorgeous! She also left a brand new set of size 10 rollerblades (new for $130!)

I would like to live by myself instead of getting a new roommate (by myself! for the first time ever!) but am worried about not being able to make enough freelance in order to do it. I contacted a few friends and passed my resume on but if you're reading please feel free to pass along the word as well.

I'll make the final determination on June 15th. If nothing has turned up, I'll want someone in by July. I'll be okay for a few months w/o anything additional coming in, but it will put a lot of my long term plans (like any $$ saved or cards going down in balance) on hold. Erg.

To wrap up this ramble, have a video of the cutest bird ever. There is nothing cuter than baby owls. Except perhaps adolescent owls who want their head scritched:

 
 
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
 
 
Alyssa
05 May 2009 @ 07:04 pm
Wolverine was fun light entertainment with great action scenes (a bit too much of the standing across from each other roaring, but hey, it is Logan). You have a complete lack of any emotional content, but it was pretty. Give me my Magneto now, please.

This Friday? This Friday we shall have something great. (And Sylar on the big screen! *swoon*) But first, here's the Onion discussing what old Star Trek fans are saying about the new movie. (Thanks to Wil Wheaton for the link.)



I spent a big chunk of the weekend revising a book proposal and am very excited about how its taking shape. With luck I'll be able to talk about it soon! (Ha. Book publishing moves about as fast as a hippo in mud.)
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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Alyssa
28 April 2009 @ 08:45 pm
So there's been a lot happening since my post on the Google Books settlement. A judge has ruled on the settlement and delayed its end.

And even more importantly, courtesy of the SFWA's Twitter stream (oh twitter, I love thee): The US Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of the Google Book Settlement.
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Current Mood: awakeawake
 
 
Alyssa
28 April 2009 @ 07:51 pm
From rush manuscripts to new roommates to swine flu, life is just crazy lately.

I've been rereading and have a stack of books to review for my "favorites" series (including Diane Duane's Young Wizards series and James Clavell's Shogun) but instead, I give you John Stewart's reaction to the low flying plane that buzzed NY yesterday. (Yes, really.)



He didn't quite catch my #!%$@&#$ attitude towards it, but came close. Grump.

Will have a "Best Of" up tomorrow, perhaps during lunch (do I get those still?).
 
 
Current Mood: chipperchipper
 
 
Alyssa
19 April 2009 @ 11:50 am
Just today, sun conures were determined to be an endangered species by the IUCN. To quote: "Although it was formerly fairly common, trapping for the cagebird trade has extirpated it from much of its former range and it is now in urgent need of effective protection." What you can do:

Promote responsible bird-ownership. If you are looking to add a bird in your home, find one at a rescue rather than a pet shop, and never ever purchase a wild-caught animal. Report wild-caught birds to conservation agencies if you happen to find one. Donate to the World Parrot Trust (if you are a pet owner you can buy toys from them).

Those are all tiny steps but everything will help. Just as the only way to stop puppy mills is to stop buying puppies so that income dries up for those breeding them, one way to stop bird trapping in the wild is to make it unprofitable as well as illegal (which it is).

I'll close with a picture from my Loki, bred here in the states and given up for adoption by his first owners when he was just 2 years old. Pets are not disposable, folks!

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Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
 
 
Alyssa
On March 13th I attended a symposium sponsored by the Columbia Law School to discuss the long term implications of the Google Books class settlement, announced in October of 2008. I’ve written a bit about it as well as some enlightenment as to the terms of the settlement under the cut.

Read more...Collapse )
 
 
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Alyssa
13 April 2009 @ 08:21 pm
Cover Love: Soon I Will Be Invincible, Austin Grossman  


I love this cover so much I bought the book. It's a conceit that worked perfectly with the premise (a world that has the occasional superpower, and it's just natural that some of them want to be evil).

When I read it, I was coming right off of the Dr. Horrible craze and it felt so natural to read about villains as heroes. I wish the book had held up to my (admittedly high) expectations; it did a fine job of telling an adventure story but not as fine of a job of making the main character likable. I wanted to root for the "bad guy," but never fell in love. Added to that, some of the tale wasn't about him at all but instead told from the point of view of one of the heroes, the fact that Doctor Impossible never actually did anything terribly clever throughout, the immense lack of character development, and the entire thing just turned into a mess.

Doesn't change my cover love, however.

Sales copy:

Doctor Impossible—evil genius, diabolical scientist, wannabe world dominator—languishes in a federal detention facility. He's lost his freedom, his girlfriend, and his hidden island fortress.

Over the years he's tried to take over the world in every way imaginable: doomsday devices of all varieties (nuclear, thermonuclear, nanotechnological) and mass mind control. He's traveled backwards in time to change history, forward in time to escape it. He's commanded robot armies, insect armies, and dinosaur armies. Fungus army. Army of fish. Of rodents. Alien invasions. All failures. But not this time. This time it’s going to be different...
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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Alyssa
09 April 2009 @ 09:03 pm
Courtesy of greenpear comes this brilliant mashup:



 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused