Taos Toolbox, Redshirts French Cover, My Anthology Availability

Three things science fictional and fantastical, and lumped into a single post because of it:

1. Walter Jon Williams is once again heading up Taos Toolbox, a “graduate-level” writing workshop for science fiction and fantasy, and it’s application time once more for the program. WJW tells me in a note, “We want to concentrate on giving talented, burgeoning writers the information necessary to become professionals within the science fiction and fantasy field. Though short fiction will be enthusiastically received, there will be an emphasis at Taos Toolbox on the craft of the novel, with attention given to such vital topics as plotting, pacing, and selling full-length works.” I know a lot of satisfied graduates of the toolbox, so if this sounds cool to you, hit up that link above for more details.

2. Behold! The cover to the French edition of Redshirts:

It’s very groovy in a late-60s sort of way, and of course clearly plays up the Star Trek association in the typography and iconography. The subtitle is “in defiance of danger” (or so Google Translate — our era’s very own universal translator! — tells me), and that’s fairly accurate in terms of the story, I suppose. Anyway, very cool.

Additionally, if you want a copy of your own, it’ll be out February 21.

3. As I contributed a story to Audible.com’s Rip-Off! anthology, in apparent contradiction to my policy of not contributing to anthologies, I have other editors pinging me about the possibility contributing to their anthologies as well.

Sorry, guys, no. Rip-Off! was a very specific project, to which I contributed for a specific, almost certainly not repeatable purpose. Generally speaking I am still not planning to contribute to anthologies for two main reasons: One, no time for it with the other projects I have planned; Two, I have discovered that I am really really really bad at writing specific-themed short stories to a deadline, and dislike being the dude editors have to badger for a story. It’s annoying for them and annoying for me. So rather than develop a reputation for always being late and kind of a dick, I just sit out anthologies entirely.

So if you’re thinking of inviting me to contribute to your anthology: Thank you, no.


22 Comments on “Taos Toolbox, Redshirts French Cover, My Anthology Availability”

  1. Well Redshirts be coming out in mass market paperback in the US? More and more it seems publishers are picking hardcover and trade paperback only (latest trend is the shape that’s like mass market paperback but an inch too tall).

  2. Wow, that’s . . . blatant. I mean, the font is one thing, but that almost-Enterprise-symbol UU logo feels a little bit like “Hey, Paramount/Viacaom-or-whoever-owns-the-license-these-days! Come sue us, please!” But I suppose things are less litigious in France..

  3. Like Mark, I wondered if the French publisher licensed the Star Trek trade dress, or whether French trademark law is loose enough to permit this kind of thing. (I suppose even in the US it could be defended as a parody, but if I ran a publishing house I wouldn’t want to go to court over the cover design in the first place.)

  4. I hope Paramount isn’t dumb enough to go to court over a book which is basically a love letter to one of their flagship (heh) properties.

    Actually, over the years they’ve been pretty tolerant about fan fiction, fan films, etc. Maybe someone in the hierarchy there actually Gets It.

  5. I’ve always wanted to do one of these writing getaways, but they’re so expensive (at least, to my paycheck). Know anything about possible scholarships for it/other programs?

  6. Espace, frontiere de l’infini vers laquelle voyage notre vaisseaux spatial. Sa mission de 5 ans, explorer de nouveaux mondes etranges, decouvrir de nouvelle vies, d’autre civilisations et au mepris du danger, avancer vers l’inconnu.

  7. Speaking of anthologies, ever hear from the collective minds behind Metatropolis…will they ever create a third one? The first two were some of the best short fiction I have err “read” in years.

  8. ooh, so close CS, just ditch the -x on vaisseaux, since the Enterprise – would we call it l’Entreprise? – is just the one ship

  9. Seems like in the last couple of years every time thing B, which resembles thing A, shows up on the web, the comment sections suddenly start burbling about copyright violations. Seriously, guys, most of you aren’t lawyers, and it’s not your IP, why the hell do you care? I can see the interest if it’s a case of a major corporation blatantly ripping off some small content producer who may not have the means to challenge it, but like John says, Paramount and L’Atalante both have plenty of lawyers who can hash out any issues if need be.

  10. Maybe that logo, which carries the star and the moon, is a Trojan horse that can carry tactical things to the point as the “Museum boy”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rihMXwLhg9o
    But the elephant have a good memory, better than horse’s, maybe. If it carries the planets, it knows why it does it…
    Happy new year 2013!

  11. Not sure I’d worry overmuch about the legal issue either. If this cover art runs afoul of the CBS/Paramount legal office in French/European Union courts, another design can and will be substituted. And there is that parody defence idea…

  12. Speaking of anthologies, ever hear from the collective minds behind Metatropolis…will they ever create a third one? The first two were some of the best short fiction I have err “read” in years.

    When audio books first became popular, many of the affordable ones were three hour abridgements on two C90 cassettes, and the unabridged versions were fairly expensive.

    Now at audible.com it is pretty rare to find abridged audio editions and I think most of them date back to that earlier time.

    So for fiction, if it’s unabridged, is there any difference between reading the book and listening to the audio edition? If anyone asks me if I read a work that I listened to, my answer is “yes”. It’s just easier, since what the person is asking is whether I am familiar with the content of the work. For fiction, aside from not being able to see the may of Fantasy Land (TM) inside the front cover, I’m reasonably confident that I know what the person reading the book knows, aside from the spelling of names and made-up words. I do know of some possible exceptions.

    With non-fiction, charts & graphs make things trickier.

    Until we have a single verb that means consuming the content in any form, I’m going to stick with using ‘read’.

  13. Extremely Trek-like but I do like that cover a lot. Actually, the other covers you posted as alternates from the publisher were also really cool. Now we just need two more sequels, “Blueshirts” and “Yellowshirts” to round out the epic trilogy of shirt-i-ness!

  14. John :

    L’Atalante has lawyers, I imagine. I wouldn’t expend too much hand-wringing over it.

    I doubt that L’Atalante, which is a rather small firm, has lawyers, or even that they consulted one
    about this cover. But as Marks suggests, things are less litigious here; and in any case L’Atalante
    could easily plead its good faith here, considering the subject of the novel. I’m no lawyer either, but
    my guess is that the worst they could expect, for a first offence and with no clear prejudice to
    anybody, is the obligation to modify the cover in their next printing.

    But most likely, nothing will happen : not only is it basically excellent publicity for the Star Trek
    franchise, but the French SF fandom tends to be sensitive about such things, and Paramount
    could expect a lot of negative buzz if this commercial giant decided to sue L’Atalante over it.

    The only franchise famous for systematically sending its lawyers for minor copyright violations
    in France is the (Belgian) Hergé estate (i.e. Tintin), and it doesn’t seem to do much good to its reputation…

  15. Eric Picholle:

    “I doubt that L’Atalante, which is a rather small firm, has lawyers”

    I don’t. Most of the small presses I know have legal representation, even if it’s someone on retainer.

  16. John : I don’t know for sure about L’Atalante, although I’ve met them in numerous occasions.
    But most French small, and even not-so-small publishing houses don’t.
    Newspapers do, and of couses publishers specialized in celebrities…

    I don’t know what your contract with looks like, but I guess that your agent will have seen
    to it that it’s rigorous enough. But you should see some of the contracts proposed
    to French authors — amateurish doesn’t begin to describe it.