June 21st, 2007


Wheatland Press Sale

I meant to do this a couple of days ago, but things have been kind of busy, so it got pushed to the side.


Wheatland Press is having a sale and it goes until the 30th of June. It works much like the last sale, in which you, "Buy any title with a cover price of $19.95 and get any other title free. Just place the order for the first title as usual and list your choice of a free title in the comments box on the Paypal form."

This means, for example, you can buy Jay Lake's new collection, The River Knows its Own, and get Forrest Aquirre's new book, Swans Over the Moon, free. It also means that you can get Lucius Shepard's Weapons of Mass Seduction, Steve Utley's The Beast of Love, Jerry Oltion's Paradise Passed, Howard Waldrop's Dream Factories and Radio Pictures, Jay Lake and Frank Wu's Greetings From Lake Wu, and the Jay Lake and David Moles edited All Star Zeppelin Stories, and Bruce Holland Roger's The Keyhole Opera, to name just a few.

And if you order one of these books, you can also get the award winning Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, free.*

So, go now and purchase:


* Award given to the cover by Andrew Macrae (andrewmacrae), which arrives free with the content. No content written by Ben Peek within this book has been recognised or awarded a statue by anyone involved in any kind of award function. Also, it won a Ditmar, which really isn't an award, anyhow.

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For the Children

Dear Teenagers in the World,

It has come to my attention that authors in the blogsphere are telling you that your writing sucks.

Apparently some of you have taken this badly, perhaps because you dream of being continually poor and with a career in an industry that, like all industries based on an art form, are designed to make money out of those who are the talent. Perhaps not, though. At any rate, you've not enjoyed hearing that you suck because of your age.

Well, get over it.

You do suck.

But then, and perhaps more importantly, most of the authors telling you that you suck, are shit.

In fact, most authors are shit. Most published authors, I mean. Ask any author: 99% of what is out there is shit, which means that most published authors suck fucking ass. And I don't mean in a good, sexual deviant way, either. If you dig that, that's cool, but what we're talking about here is literature, and most of the authors on bookshelves being sold to you right now are innocuous, bland, inoffensive, and with all the writing skills of your dead bunny rabbit. Live ones have slightly more. The failure of literature in this new century is not a failure of ambition, or of an author writing out of his/her comfort zone--of which the failure is, quite often, an interesting one--but the success of the repetitive and safe nature of the work that is written not to offend or confuse a reader. Because of this, most published authors are highly derivative of the influences that they have; the market wants what has already been proven, and so risks are hard to come by. In speculative fiction, in fact, you could argue that as a whole the genre is held up by authors who are living out their childhood dreams by writing about spaceships and knights and destiny. Other industries are similar--after all, why would talented men and women spend their time writing and drawing Superman and Batman when they could be creating their own work...

Oh, for the money, you say?

Yes, well, for the money is always the sign of artistic pursuit, isn't it? That totally puts you in a position where your shit don't stink.

The correct response to authors telling you that you suck is to raise your middle finger and say, "Fuck you, you old fuck." Then you are to beat them, like a scene from Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, which you should have read instead of those authors who are telling you that you suck. For here is a truth you should take: If you are reading bland and innocuous authors who take no risks and plough an already mapped territory, then you will in turn become a bland and innocuous author who is derivative of their already derivative work.

Listen to me:

Originality is a scant and rare thing and chances are you don't have it.

That is why you suck.

That is why most authors suck.

You are no different to the average.


The Cranky and Cynical Author of this Blog.

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