The Next Read- Webfiction Publisher


Here’s an interesting site. It attempts to capture the better aspects of a serialized webfiction site (offering chapters at 10 cents each) and a traditional publisher by also letting readers buy the whole book if it’s available and they wish.

It’s been up around a year and a half and doesn’t look like it’s had a huge amount of traffic based on the number of views each of the books they have up has had, but it’s an interesting idea as a startup. I hope they don’t lose steam and can get out a marketing push, because they might be able to make something of this yet!

The Next Read : Serial Fiction Extravaganza.

5 Sci-Fi Medical Procedures We’ll Have in Our Lifetime |


As I know a number of people who suffer from various types of depression, this one sounds especially promising. Although I have to wonder what other tricks they can use this technique for, hopefully not #5…

#3. The Anti-Depression Magnet

The Problem:

Depression and the various ailments that spring from it are the scourge of modern society. Sure, most of us get the blues every now and again, but when things really go off the rails, that shit goes clinical. Clinical depression is a dead serious thing that goes way beyond listening to shitty country ballads and sulking, deeply affecting the life of the person and likely everyone they’re close to.

And here’s the problem: Depression is a bitch to treat. Even in fictional universes where they have beams that instantly heal wounds, they’d never depict some kind of invisible depression-curing ray that they could just shoot at your brain.



Depression: Cured.

The Sci-Fi Solution:

Well, here it is:



Nothing treats depression like a dentist’s chair attached to a bewildering array of soulless machines.

The secret is magnets, and we’re not talking about the pseudoscience bullshit magnetic bracelets that are intended to cure your arthritis. This is no placebo, this is transcranial magnetic stimulation, where a patient’s head is exposed to a powerful electromagnet that stimulates the mood-controlling areas of the brain. The principle isn’t that much different from electroshock therapy, only without the electrodes and without so many patients running away screaming at the mention of it.

And experiments show it apparently works. Once they figured out a way to perform tests in a reliable way (which was, for some reason, bombarding everyone’s brain with electric shocks to mask the magnet), the magnet proved its effectiveness and is currently getting tweaked for widespread use. And it’ll be available pretty damn soon, considering the fact that magnetic therapy devices have already been approved by the FDA.

via 5 Sci-Fi Medical Procedures We’ll Have in Our Lifetime |

Chinese Rural Substitute Teachers Earn Little & See No Future – chinaSMACK


For all those local teachers here in London, Ontario who think the job market here sucks- take a look at what it’s like in China. I really admire the dedication of these men to teaching, without them very few of these students would get any kind of education at all. :-/


They have no social status, they earn little, and they are called “substitute teachers”, referring to those who work in rural schools as temporary teachers without formal employment, and once called civilian/private teachers [not employed by the government/state]. While the Department of Education put an end to civilian teachers as early as 1985, it is still difficult for the government to employ professional teachers because living conditions are miserable in rural areas. Currently, substitute teachers still constitute a boost to education in the western regions of China, especially the remote mountainous areas.

via Chinese Rural Substitute Teachers Earn Little & See No Future – chinaSMACK.

Subtly shaded map of moon reveals titanium treasure troves


Looks like we might have a reason to stick some colonies up on the moon after all, or at least cloned workers who think they’re the original…

“Looking up at the Moon, its surface appears painted with shades of grey – at least to the human eye. But with the right instruments, the Moon can appear colourful,” said Robinson, of Arizona State University. “The maria appear reddish in some places and blue in others. Although subtle, these colour variations tell us important things about the chemistry and evolution of the lunar surface. They indicate the titanium and iron abundance, as well as the maturity of a lunar soil.”

via Subtly shaded map of moon reveals titanium treasure troves.

How Much Should You Price Your E-Book?


Fascinating discussion of eBook pricing:

Here’s the gist of the pricing issue as I understand it. Amazon pays you a royalty of 70% on all Kindle titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99. For e-books priced below $2.99 and above $9.99, Amazon pays a royalty of 35%.


That means, the least you can price your book to get the 70% royalty is $2.99, which will yield you a net royalty of $2.09 per sale. If you opt to price your book at $0.99, then you’ll get 35 cents per sale. In order to get $2.09 in royalties with a book priced at $0.99, you’ll have to sell 6 books.

via How Much Should You Price Your E-Book? | Book Marketing Strategies and Tips For Authors.

How to Use Tags to Help Sell Books or E-Books on Amazon by Nick Daws


Article worth reading on Tagging:

It follows that getting your book tagged can be highly beneficial. Amazon has no objection to you, as the author, tagging your own book, as doing this helps people find your title and gives them a better idea what it is about. Here are a few tips for getting the most from tagging…

* Use your own name as a tag in all your books and e-books. This will make it easier for fans of your work to find other titles you have written.

* Use specific terms that relate to your book. If it’s a history of American motoring, for example, you could use tags such as Ford and Cadillac.

* With a novel, use the place where it is set as one of your tags. Many people like to read novels set in their home town or somewhere they know well. If you have multiple settings, naturally, use all of them.

via How to Use Tags to Help Sell Books or E-Books on Amazon by Nick Daws | Book Marketing Strategies and Tips For Authors.

The Inuyama Rebellion- Part Twelve


The lord of the Kurokawa was starting to grow weary of debating with this tiresome samurai and considered whether the wait was really worth the trouble.

“Your lord’s rebellion will fail, Yamaguchi-san.” Kurokawa said plainly. “He was most foolish to tempt fate. Now he will lose both his land and his sons.”
Read More.

Astoundingly cool (and incredibly huge!) picture of the Solar System!


An amazing picture of the Solar System.

This thing is about 10 screens wide, so if it just looks like a tiny line at the top of your screen then click on it after it finishes loading. (It’s about 18mb in size.)


The 1,000 Words Rule of Blogging (Book Excerpt) – Boing Boing


I’d say this is good advice for writers in general. I myself need to really work on this. :-/

 This word count is not impossible. It’s about two pages of standard paper a day. At first, do not surpass this word count. This is an endurance race, not a sprint. The recommended dosage of 1,000 words a day is doable by the average writer, is a concrete number for you to strive toward, and is about as much as your audience can read in a day. Do not do less, either. This is a regimen. You need to get used to producing this much content quickly and without complaint.

The 1,000 Words Rule of Blogging (Book Excerpt) – Boing Boing.

Scientists discover virus that kills all types of breast cancer ‘within seven days’ | The Raw Story


Wow…Just…Wow! This is incredible news. Who knows what other cancers this may also be used to treat? Just amazing!

Scientists discover virus that kills all types of breast cancer ‘within seven days’ | The Raw Story.