People trolling in the genre mines of Science Fiction and Fantasy often harbor some resentment towards “mainstream” authors who manage to write books with heavy genre elements and get them to be taken seriously by people whose job it is to take books seriously.
You may have heard of the non-profit initiative called “One Laptop Per Child.” It is essentially an attempt to bridge the technology divide between the technological west and the developing world. OLPC was founded by Nicholas Negroponte with the goal of producing a laptop as cheaply as possible and provide it to schoolchildren all over the world. While development goal was a laptop under $100, they’ve managed a production model at under $200, which seems quite in line with the group’s mission. The XO is being produced and distributed as we speak.
Now, of course, since the hardware takes up most of that $200 cost, the XO runs a Linux OS and associated open source software. And we all know that when someone actually distributes an inexpensive flash-based Linux laptop, God kills a Microsoft Marketing VP.
Funny thing is, whenever someone opens a market, Microsoft wants to stick its 800 lb gorilla foot in it. Doesn’t matter how much sense it makes, they want some of that hot Third-World computing action and they’re asking OLPC to beef up the hardware so the XO has half a chance of running a suitably crippled version of Windows XP. Wow. They’re whining about being locked out of hardware when they’ve gone out of their way to dictate terms to hardware vendors that would make it impossible to run a non-proprietary (i.e. non-Windows) OS— and incidentally making sure the same hardware doesn’t even work with Vista a fair bit of the time.
At least that’s how it’s looking. With help from my kick-ass agent, Eleanor, I’ve sold Wolfbreed and a subsequent novel to Anne Groell at Bantam/Spectra for an advance a bit more than three times what DAW was giving me. Contracts are being written as we speak, and by this time next month, I will be the newest author at Bantam. Or, at least one of me will be. We haven’t talked bylines yet, though Eleanor thinks that Wolfbreed may be an S. A. Swiniarski book.
We will pause this blog post for an important message: WAHOOO!!!! We now return to your regularly scheduled blog.
We can add to this news the amusing wrinkle that will probably make a few friends of mine’s head ‘splode:
I’ve become a romance author.
Ok, it’s dark paranormal historical romance (and how deep can we subclass a genre?) but still. Now, from earlier posts you might have gathered that I was expecting this. I was. But I don’t think anyone else was. This includes Anne at Bantam who approached the subject of genre very gingerly; in her words “Some boys are scared by the label.” She obviously expected some resistance on my end. Frankly I am the last person to look down on anyone’s genre, and given the way SF has been treated historically, I think any SF writer that peers down his nose at romance writers is an arrogant twit.