Why This Has Been Delayed

Lancer on a hiatus

REACTIONS & REJOINDERS

Why This Has Been Delayed
Sun August 9, 2009
Lancer on a hiatus

Ive got another book in the works  something unlike anything Ive written for public consumption before  and its a kind of psychological imperative thats making it necessary for me to get it done.

The book is called Not My Closet and its kind of an answer to people whove been telling me for years that I need to put more emotional content in my work. I would post the first draft material online as I am doing with Lancer, but its not so plot-driven as Lancer and its more the sort of thing you want to read from top to bottom in a few days. I hope. So I plan to get it done and out in the world sometime early in 2010  all at once.

Ive been doing a lot of thinking the past few years about copyrights and the nature of creative work in general. The advent of the Internet is a lot like the advent of the printing press in that it changes all the rules about the distribution of information. This morning someone sent me a Facebook message telling me to go somewhere online if I want to see sneak previews of the second Iron Man film which, as I write this, is not due out until almost a year from now. What I went to sneak a peek at turns out to have been a trailer shown only at San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks ago, as recorded by somebody in the audience who sneaked in a camcorder and put the purloined light up online for all the world to see. So it turns out you dont have to have bought a day pass to the convention and stood in line for a couple of hours with people who were dressed funny to see it. It looked seriously cool, by the way, but theres a lot of that stuff going around these days  purloined light I mean.

When this sort of thing is possible  even commonplace  then were not only creating fire and magic, but were in a field of opportunities and pitfalls as well. These new conditions allow us to move from the read-only culture of the twentieth century where material was published and produced by a few entrepreneurs who fed it abroad in the land and thus defined the culture, to a post-millennial read-write culture to which virtually anyone can contribute and where information and art rise or sink of their own merit.

Those of us who have benefited in some manner from the rules as they exist  who have been published, who have made a living by trafficking with established publishers and producers  might now sometimes feel as though the ground we stand on is sinking. In fact its not. Whats really happening is the ground surrounding us is rising. Whatever the metaphor you subscribe to, however, the rules must inevitably change. I like to think thats a good thing.

A.J. Liebling once said, Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. This past year, according to Publishers Marketplace, more books in the United States were published and distributed by start-ups and small presses than by the long established publishing companies. This has not been the case, I suspect, since the days of Benjamin Franklin when newspapers were distributed by anyone who happened to have spent his early career as a printers apprentice. Suddenly we all own a printing press. So publishing, producing, creating culture have become the business of all of us and success is determined not so much by promotion and marketing as by merit and the verdict of a broad marketplace. Im looking forward to seeing, in an environment where we all make the rules, how well both Lancer and Not My Closet manage to find an audience.

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