Daily Archives: November 2, 2006

Election Analysis? Already?

I’ve gotten a few e-mails from folks asking me for my analysis on the election; basically my response to this is: Uh, shouldn’t we have the election first? It does seem like a lot of folks have either happily or bitterly said their bit on the election, but unless I’m stuck in some weird pocket of slow time out here in rural Ohio, the election isn’t actually over, and I kind of like to do my election post-mortems when things are actually “post.” The closer we get to election day, the less convinced I am that something could happen to drastically change the status of the election, and I certainly have expectations as to how things are going to go, which are generally in line with most other people’s: i.e., that it’s likely to be a big year for the Democrats. But in terms of what it all means, I prefer to wait until we know what we have in terms of election results. Call me paranoid.

This is also a reminder to folks of all political stripes that your expectations on how things are going to go on election day (and night) are likely to be contingent on your actually voting. Complacency is a fine way to find yourself in a country you didn’t sign up for, in terms of its political direction. Vote, damn you. All of you. Even those of you who will cancel out my vote.

I will say this: At this point, my major concern about the election is not how people will vote but whether their votes will be accurately counted and whether they will be allowed to get to the ballot box at all. The problems with electronic polling places have been chewed over here and other places; I believe they’re a menace to the democratic process and that’s all I need to say about that right now. But it’s not just the electronic polls that contribute to this problem; it’s not all Diebold. Here in Ohio, for example, a voter ID law has been so wildly screwed up that it’s possible some chunk of registered voters will get to the polls and find they can’t actually vote (or they’ll be given provisional ballots, which may or may not be counted); some of the folks who voted absentee may find their ballots thrown out because they entered the wrong number off their driver’s license (not that they were told which of two numbers to use before they voted).

Frankly, this sort of thing sucks. Look, it’s more important that everyone who can vote is able to vote, than one candidate or another wins. Just that simple. For God’s sake, people, make sure you have everything you need to vote with you before you go vote. Don’t give anyone an excuse to keep you from exercising your franchise.

You all already know how I’m going to vote. I’ll have more to say on the actual elections on Wednesday. Until then, I’ll keep some amount of my thinking on the elections to myself until we have results on the ground.

Now: Tell me you’re going to vote.

The Last Colony Cover Art?

I just got an e-mail from someone mentioning that they’d seen the cover art of The Last Colony on Amazon.ca and that they’d liked it, and my reaction to that was “qua?” Because I didn’t know such a thing existed. But I went and checked Amazon.com, and sure enough:

tlcprelim.jpg

Thoughts: First, if you visit the Amazon page, don’t try to order it yet; they’re not even taking pre-orders yet. Second, I suspect this might be a preliminary design, because certain elements on the other covers are not in this one. Third: Ah, look, they put in a Campbell plug. Sweet.

Anyway, there you go. Don’t say I don’t pass on stuff to you.

In-Store Promotion

Jeff Hentosz sends along this picture of the sign promoting my appearance next week at the Barnes & Noble in Columbus’ Easton Town Center:

TAD110206a.jpg

I’m pretty sure the actual sheep are Photoshopped in. But it would be funny if they were not. And look at the attention to Photoshop detail — shadows and everything. It’s as if Jeff were a graphic designer or something.

I’m trying to decide what I’ll read at the appearance. I sometimes read from the first chapter of TAD, but it’s got a whole lot of profanity in it, which is probably not appropriate for a book store in a mall. So I think I may read from the first part of the third chapter, which both introduces the hero and explains why the governor of Nebraska was sent to prison after some aliens visited his state. That’s fairly amusing. I may also read either a snippet from The Last Colony or “The Sagan Diary,” depending; it might be fun to give folks who show up a sneak preview of what I’m writing.

On the subject of bookstores, I’m hearing from a couple of folks that they’ve spotted TAD in the general fiction section, not in the science fiction, which I think is interesting. If that’s happening I suspect it’s due to the cover art, which despite the presence of an android on it does not immediately scream “Science Fiction” the way many science fiction covers do. I know I’ve seen Cherie Priest and Nick Sagan’s books shelved in general fiction because they’ve had atypical covers. Will this be a positive or negative for sales? I haven’t the slightest idea. I don’t mind the book being shelved with general fiction; I think it’s good enough to compete there. But I also know my editor reads the Whatever, so if there’s an issue with it, he’ll get on the horn to the store reps and deal with it. Yay Intarweebs!

Hey, for those of you who have read/are read TAD, someone posted a question on Yahoo! Answers wanting to know if the book was good and worth her time and money. If you’ve got a Yahoo account, let her know your thoughts, would you? I’d tell myself I think the book is fairly decent, but I think that might be a little creepy to have the author show up and try to hand sell you his book.