Thought for the day: Swamped By The Backlist

I certainly think the expanding backlist of trade published writers re-releasing as e-books will be big over the next few years, but I’m not convinced it’s going to be so big that new writers won’t be found. The more lasting backlist novels have remained in print, while many of those that have gone out of print did so because they’re far less relevant than they were when first released.

Whole genres that were popular a couple of decades ago don’t really have much relevance to people today. Cold War thrillers, for example, or post-WWIII nuclear survivalist action novels; the good ones are still around, but the majority probably deserved to vanish into the depths of $0.99 used book sales on ebay. SF stories set in the far future may still be relevant, but those set in the near future written a couple of decades back, not so much; I remember one of Clarke’s novels where he wrote about people entering competitions to find information on a global information network… it was probably pretty cool in the 80s, but today it’s rather quaint and most people would think ‘why don’t they use Google?’

I hate Windows again

So, I boot into Windows for the first time in a couple of weeks. When I boot into Linux the wireless LAN is connected before I even log in, whereas Windows waits, so I’m forced to sit there wasting my time waiting for the LAN to connect when it could already have done so while I was logging in.

But that’s not the worst problem. I sit there for two minutes as the wireless LAN icon spins around, I check the icon and the popup says I’m connecting to ‘unknown network’ while the other popup says I’m connected to my network. I try Firefox, but it can’t get a connection.

Disconnect, connect, wait another couple of minutes. Nope. Select troubleshooting and waste another couple of minutes while it faffs around and tells me it can’t connect. Reboot. Nope. Complete power down, battery out. Nope. Try disconnect and reconnect again and it says ‘Connecting to the network is taking longer than normal’.

Well, wow. I figured that out.

What annoys me is not just that it’s completely failing to connect, but the way Microsoft phrase the excuse: ‘Connecting is taking longer than usual’. Not ‘I’m taking longer than usual to connect’, but trying to blame the problem on anything but Windows.

Finally after fifteen minutes of faffing it does connect. The only reason I need the LAN is to copy some files from my file server to install Fusion on this system and… now it tells me my password is incorrect.

So I reboot into Linux and copy it over on a USB stick.

I really have no idea how anyone can do real world on such a lousy excuse for an operating system.

Endless Revisions

Endless Love is almost ready to go; I need to create a cover and do one more pass through it to tidy up a few loose ends before I can upload it. I should really find the original short film and upload it here afterwards.

I’m about a third of the way through revising Horror Movie, and I’d like to complete that next month but I probably won’t finish that quickly. I began writing it in March last year, so hopefully it will be available to purchase in March this year. The main reason for the rewrite was to change the location, and that’s given me some great new ideas for improving the story.

I should also have an Amazon author page shortly at:

And I’ve updated the Smashwords page at:


I just found an exercise book full of stories I wrote when I was nine years old. It must have been among the piles of junk random stuff from my parents’ house that I shipped over when I emigrated, and I discovered it again while looking for a book I needed as research material for Highgate Horror.

I guess the challenge now will be to rewrite one of the stories and publish the revised version :).


Strange things about living in Canada

Getting in your car and realising the interior is colder than the inside of your freezer.

Scraping the ice off your glasses so you can see to drive.

Thinking ‘feels a bit cold today’ while walking home from the bus stop, then checking the weather and discovering the temperature is minus forty-six with wind-chill.

Thinking ‘oh, it’s only minus twenty, that’s a pleasant winter’s day.’


Coming up

So my plan for the near future is to get at least one more short story out next month, and rewrite Highgate Horror (which will be renamed since it’s not set in Highgate anymore and it was always a dumb working title anyway). I wrote the first draft a couple of years ago and the fundamental problem has always been that I was trying to force two stories into one novel; I just need to split it up and use the second story for the sequel.