It's been another busy few days in the blogosphere, but I'm afraid to say that many of the last week's developments have been either bad or downright sad. No drum rolls today, please. Without further ado...
I don't know how it makes me feel to know so much about such an terrible, intimate thing as a woman's last moments, but without the updates on The Green Man Review - you can go here to find out more - I can't imagine there would have been such an outpouring of support and latterly sympathy from the community, and that can only be a good thing.
ARCs be damned, I will read a Kage Baker novel this year. I only wish that it was in my power to do more.
Also over the weekend, Amazon, in their eternal quest to cut out the middlemen and line their conglomerate pockets with the spoils of war, managed to make an enemy of the entire speculative blogosphere. After a disagreement with Macmillan over the pricing of ebooks, the great bullies decided, in their infinite wisdom, to refuse any further sales of the publisher's books from their store - be they the paper versions or the electronic equivalent. But what has come to be known as Amazonfail was only just beginning.
Now although I've ogled the iPad along with the rest of the internet, I don't have an e-reader, and I'm based in the UK - Scotland, don't you know - so I can hardly speak with any authority on the particulars of what happened between Amazon and Macmillan, but I'd point you towards Leviathan author Scott Westerfeld's Zinc Blinked blog for a concise, step-by-step summation of the scandal as it developed.
My immediate, uninformed reaction to the situation was: well, isn't it in readers' best interests if Amazon insists on keeping the prices of ebooks low? Let it be said that I was sorely mistaken. Do not make the mistake of thinking, as I did, that this disgusting grudge match is playing out for anyone's benefit but Amazon's own.
Amazon have since recanted, although not at all gracefully. So crude was their statement, in fact, so insulting, that I'll be cancelling my Prime membership immediately and buying all my books from Waterstones' website in the future. They offer free postage to UK addresses and everything.
Hold tight, readers; there's one last bit of bad news to report before we move on to cheerier stuff. As per my worries in the last edition of From Your Blogosphere Correspondent, the first original episode of considered Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica aired in the States on Friday, and died a death in the ratings. In fact, despite the feature-length pilot having been out on DVD since April '09 and available in the interim to watch online for free, 'Rebirth' couldn't even match its paltry audience, with only 1.4m viewers tuning in to watch.
Sadly, unless the ratings improve dramatically, I don't see a second season of Caprica as a very likely prospect at all. More's the pity. In two short weeks, this show has already gone to some incredible places. Profound, thoughtful and introspective television is apparently not something Americans respond to. Honestly, why go to all the bother of creating these brilliant series if all you're going to do is kneecap them?
Now I'm just depressed. The tragic death of an SF&F great before her time; the Amazonfail scandal; and the States' downright apathetic reception to the best new show on TV in years. It really hasn't been a great week.
One last thing before I go. Gav from nextread has lifted one of the subjects I raised in Had We Worlds Enough and Time and How We Read: An Addendum last month and craftily attributed the inspiration for the question he answers in How Many Is Too Many? to the great Mark Charon Newton. But I do not eat the sour grapes; the community has responded in force and there's a great conversation going on in the comments section. If you stop by to have your say, though - and you should - do The Speculative Scotsman a favour: tell him I sent you.
That's it for today.