The Thanksgiving Advent Calendar, Day Nine: Foreign Language Editions

Today’s Thanksgiving Advent Calendar entry will be short, on account of me being a bit punchy from being up since four am for the purposes of traveling, but showing you all the artwork for the upcoming Spanish language edition of Fuzzy Nation reminded me that, in fact, foreign language editions of my books are things I am thankful about. One, and most practically, it’s literally free money — that is, I’m getting paid for work I’ve already done and already been paid what I’d been expecting for that labor. So when someone else comes along and says “Hey, You know that thing? That you wrote? And already got paid for? Can I give you some more money for it?” it’s hard to do anything but smile and nod happily. Why, yes, I’m always happy to have more money, especially when it requires no additional effort on my part.

Less practically, it means that in places in the world I’ve never been and in languages I don’t speak, people are reading my words — or at the very least, a reasonably translated facsimile thereof. And that’s a little bit mindblowing. It’s like having an alternate version of yourself — one that speaks Japanese, or Hebrew, or Turkish or whatever — out there in the world. By this metric, there are currently 15 alternate versions of me. The facial hair stylings required to tell them all apart has to be amazing.

And I’m thankful for these alternate versions of myself — or more accurately, of my words — who are finding their way to people who might not otherwise read my stories. I’m thankful for the publishers and translators who have made my words available in all these different languages. I’m even more thankful to these people reading different languages who decide to try the local version of my books. And as we all know, thankfulness is the true universal language!

“Fuzzy Nation” Spanish Artwork

Because I know you’re all wondering. The title has been changed, as it often is in translated versions; the new title means “The Unexpected Visitor,” which given the story is accurate enough. I’m told that this version of the book is scheduled for January 2012. Excellent.

V for Vendetta, O for Occupy

In this week’s column, I have a bit of a meditation on how the film V for Vendetta (and, yes, the graphic novel from which it was derived) has had an influence on the “Occupy” movement that is going on today, why Guy Fawkes and the “V” story are imperfect metaphors for the real world protest, and how much that imperfectness matters (or doesn’t). Check it out and as always, if you have comments, leave them there.

You’re Not the Boss of Ohio, Man

Well, it looks like Issue 2 got smacked down in Ohio pretty handily, but Democrats and liberals inclined to gloat or read too much into these particular tea leaves are invited to note that Issue 3, the one that makes it unconstitutional to mandate health care (i.e., the initiative to bypass the Federal health care law), passed by an even wider margin. The lesson: Ohio — it’s big and purple and apparently likes to flip to bird to anyone trying to tell it what to do. I’ll note Issue 2 was voted down in my own deeply conservative county, albeit by a razor-thin margin of just 57 votes. Don’t let anyone tell you your one vote might not make a difference, folks.

Outside of Ohio, it’s interesting to note that the Mississippi “Personhood” Initiative went down in defeat, and by a larger margin than I suspect many observers would have guessed: 58% to 42%. I suspect that tally might gut-punch efforts to get that particular sort of initiative to pass in other states; if that sort of thing gets shot down by a wide margin in the deep red deep south, it probably doesn’t stand a chance most anywhere else.

This is a thread for all y’all to talk about your thoughts about your own election days, if you like.