Days of future multiplied

I have made the executive decision that since I already had a vaguely planned-out future history for how we get from here to Requite (yes, it is all in my head, I contain multitudes) it could just as well do for the time-travel thing (provisionally entitled ‘Anna Chronistic and the Scarab of Destiny’) which I am writing at present as well. Though it does have frankly terrifying crossover possibilities, particularly since not only is Tzenni Boccamera fully capable of back-engineering a time machine, so is Lady Essex Hawkwood who has far fewer compunctions about what to do with it.

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If you’ve ever wondered what the desk I work at looks like…

mainecooninvasion

It looks like this.

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Rambling on about my Kindle sales again

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Well, after a dip that I think was caused by Amazon’s rollout of Kindle Unlimited, sales seem to be picking back up again. I have no scientific answers as to why, but this Christmas I had a look at a relative’s Kindle with online lending enabled and the experience of searching the Kindle Store for a book you might read for free could be better. A lot better. This may be why Kindle online lending hasn’t taken over the world yet.

I’ve complained about Amazon’s useless categorisation system before, and over the… three years? four years? I’ve had a Kindle, it hasn’t got any better, which leads me to think that there just isn’t any money for Amazon in improving it.

I am not trying to knock people who want preppers handbooks, books about how to improve your life with mega-doses of vitamins or giving control over to the angels, any variation on BDSM with millionaires, aliens or millionaire aliens, books about conspiracies or books by people who have already had worse happen to them than the Illuminati could ever dream up.

However, I have no interest in any of these, so it would be nice if every damn category wasn’t full of them. (As for people who want erotic stories about embarrassing ‘accidents’, you pursue your dream, but do you really have to do it in the Politics and Sociology section?) My best guess is that these books are popular enough that Amazon actually makes more from people who would like a misery memoir clicking on ‘Fantasy: Arthurian’ by mistake [1] and then finding something they’d like than they lose on people whose tastes run to different genres giving up in disgust.

Anyway, it’s made me feel a lot better about not including the books in Kindle Unlimited, because I don’t think anyone would be able to find them if I did.

As far as getting new books written goes, I have to admit that 2014 has been a total washout. This year I have mostly been moving house (twice) and trying to get the house I’ve finally settled in how I want it, and my creative energies have gone on that. The rest of my time has been spent sleeping. I do now have a writing room that isn’t entirely filled with boxes, so hopefully writing will recommence some time in 2015.

Happy holidays, or happy random time off work because of other people’s cultural holidays, to you all!

[1] ‘Uncle Daddy, You Didn’t Want Me To Be Born And Then You Tried To Drown Me’ by Mordred would sell like hot cakes, I bet.

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Guess the carol or Christmas song

from the Requite character’s reaction to it!

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1) “I would very much like to run some tests on that old top hat they found.” – Tzenni Boccamera

2) “Even I know that it’s foolish to put your baby in anything a vrykol customarily eats out of.” – Ligeia Boccamera

3) *approval of depicted weather conditions* *approval also of offerings of warm flesh* – A Grue

4) “Anything that behaves like that isn’t a star. It’s probably some kind of Founder debris in a decaying orbit.” – Idrian Hawkwood

5) “Teaching children that the people who make lists and check them twice, and who know when you are sleeping and when you’re awake, only visit once a year and wear easily recognisable red clothing? What a good idea…” – The Order Of The Neither

6) “What could be more festive than seeing three profitable ventures return at once?” – Ushantih Diallo

7) “No one ever wrote a song about doing up the halls with boughs of vinog, I know that much,” – Innes Liang

8) “I’m in favour of getting enough rest and not being dismayed at any time of the year, and the rest of the tidings sound delicious too.” – Lotus Hart

9) “If some woman doesn’t want to swive you, open the door before she stabs you with something, Cristobal.” – Bel-Imperia Hawkwood

10) “Hell yeah you should sleep while you’re watching your flocks. And if anyone turns up, it’s definitely an angel of God and not some Hawkwoods.” – Kallisty Hawkwood

And a very merry Christmas or happy December to all of you!

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Mostly for gamers

Girls can be benign as well as alarming!

I assume quite a few of my readers are familiar with the Dungeons and Dragons alignment system.  If not, it basically pigeonholes characters on two moral axes: good versus evil and law versus chaos.  There are some odd wrinkles – there’s an ongoing argument, for example, about whether Chaotic Neutral can be a character with a ‘does stuff for kicks on the spur of the moment’ personality or whether it means someone who reacts to life utterly at random.

In the spirit of the season, I have come up with some ideas about what alignments some of the characters I’ve written would be if they were player characters.  Feel extremely free to disagree in the comments.

Heavy Ice

I did the quiz on the linked page for Kallisty Hawkwood, and she came out Neutral Evil, which I don’t think is unfair.  So did Raj, though he’s a surprisingly soft-hearted con man: I suspect the results got skewed by his having been brought up KinHarzin, which is enough to turn anyone lawful evil whatever their original inclinations.

Bel-Imperia Hawkwood is Lawful Don’t You Mess With My Friends.  Zak the concubine thinks he’s lawful good, but acts more like lawful evil.  Cardinal Indrago Lasair <i>knows</i> he’s lawful evil and is quite happy that way.  Considine Prime and his family are mostly chaotic good, which probably explains why they’re making such a mess of running a theocracy.  Strat has her own entry in the Monster Manual.

The Requite Duology

Catha Boccamera is chaotic good.  Ligeia Boccamera is probably most kindly described as lawful neutral, but could fit either of the other lawful alignments depending on your moral outlook.  Tzenni Boccamera is Neutral Scientific.  Innes Liang’s alignment is irrelevant as no gamesmaster in their senses would let a character that overpowered into their game.

The Kapellan brothers are mostly Lawful Hungry apart from Kjarten, who’s more like Chaotic Horny.  The Bastard of Mukhtar is Neutral in every way he can manage as a policy choice.  Sorszenna Hawkwood is Chaotic Adolescent.  The Order of the Neither, in as far as can be ascertained, are Lawful Weird, though not as weird as some of the other factions lurking about the place.

Goodness knows what’s going on in Firebrand, but apparently a requirement for the Noble prestige class is possession of either the name Augustus or a pug.

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Noise

I’ve sold slightly more .epubs and slightly fewer .mobis since Kindle Unlimited came in. Given the numbers involved I suspect this is just noise, but it’ll be interesting to see whether the trend continues.

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Today’s context-free snippet from the WIP

Spring-Heeled Jack image from Wikimedia Commons

Spring-Heeled Jack image from Wikimedia Commons

“Spring-Heeled Jack is not your spirit animal.”

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