Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where Kiri at Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image every month to compare and contrast. This is actually our first picture of 2019!
This image has two components: the trapezoid shapes are Lambda-class shuttle wings, and the round shapes are TIE fighter viewports. So it’s a mandala of Imperial spaceships.
I chose this one because it reminded me of a stained glass window, specifically a Gothic rose window, like the famous one at Notre Dame in Paris.
That’s why I used a bunch of bold primary colors, but whenever I do that in these pictures I never like it as much as when I use weirder color themes. So I think this one turned out ok, but not my favorite.
This means my characters tend to be self-sacrificing and selfless (even to the point of martyrdom…). They have a strong sense of duty and “superhuman fortitude.” They strive to protect the people and things they love. It gives Scarlett O’Hara, James Bond, and Iron Man as examples.
I had never thought of my writing this way! For the result of a goofy little quiz, it does seem to fit my characters pretty well.
I love superheroes of all kinds. I see superhero comics as a kind of modern mythology, a reflection of cultural aspirations and values. Even though I’m drawn to grey characters, I don’t write a lot of them (at least not yet…). Most of my characters have a Lawful Good bent, which I think mostly goes along with the superhero concept.
My last NaNoWriMo project is a great example of this; it features a healer who’s trying to free the spirit of a goddess (while possibly losing herself in the process), and a gladiator-turned-personal bodyguard who gets sucked into her quest. They may have different reasons for doing what they do, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are both Protectors in their own way.
At first, I thought that another NaNoWriMo project, Ash and Team, threw a wrench in this scheme. However, although the titular characters Ash and Team don’t really fit this superhero mold, the narrator Meg does. Meg is Team’s older sister and a friend of Ash, a protector to them both. Way back when I started conceptualizing the retelling, it wasn’t until I looked through her perspective that the story really took shape. She’s really the heart of the story, despite not being the “main” character.
As I have mentioned recently, the majority of my reading is currently done via ebooks on my Kindle. And though I do buy some ebooks, mainly indie titles or during sales, my primary source is my local library via the Overdrive system. And since my primary genres are sci-fi and fantasy, I ran into an unexpected issue recently; I’m kind of uncertain how I feel about it and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
After reading VE Schwab’s Vicious (you can read my glowing brief review here), I was eager to pick up the sequel Vengeful, which came out September 25, 2018, published by Tor Books. However, when I went to place a hold on it on Overdrive, I found that there was only an audiobook copy, no ebook to be found. I thought that was strange, so while I waited, and waited, and waited months for the audiobook I did some digging.
Last summer, sci-fi/fantasy publisher Tor, a division of Macmillan, announced a test wherein they would only sell ebooks to libraries after a four month waiting period. They suspect that library lending is cutting into their sales, so by restricting the digital copies they sell to libraries they hope more people will buy their ebooks. Here are some are some articles with more detail from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.
I had vaguely seen this in passing last year, but for some reason had not expected it to affect me. I have to admit, once I discovered why I was unable to get a library ebook copy of Vengeful, it had the exact opposite effect on me. I had briefly considered buying a copy instead of waiting for it, but after finding out about Tor’s plan I absolutely refuse to buy it. Maybe that’s just me being stubborn, but I really dislike feeling almost like the publisher is manipulating me. I personally buy most books only after having read them from the library first; you can argue whether that’s fair or not, but it’s a strategy that I am comfortable with.
Of course plenty of other people are upset about Tor’s plan also. The ALA issued a press release on it, and John Scalzi (a Tor author) wrote a very fair-minded response to many fan complaints. (Among other things he points out that Tor was one of the first to abandon DRM on their digital books, and that the four month delay does not apply to print copies.)
I understand that Tor is running a business, but this move does not seem designed to foster goodwill with their customers. I am certainly less inclined to buy any of Tor’s books right now.
Presumably my library will be able to get an ebook copy of Vengeful on January 25 (they don’t have a print copy right now either for whatever reason). Maybe I’ll be able to read it at some point after that, or maybe I’ll just move on to other books (my to-read list is certainly long enough). Tor did express that this was a test, but there’s no information on how long they expect the test to go on (it’s “open-ended”), nor have I found any updates on how their sales have been since last summer.
Have any of you run into this same issue with Tor ebooks? What are your thoughts? Should I just suck it up and get used to sci-fi audiobooks? 😀