commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
ObDisclaimer: I was one of the proofreaders of this book. I do not, however, benefit in any way from its sale, except by acquiring more people with whom I can discuss the ideas in it.

This is a compendium of speeches, essays, introductions, afterwords, blog posts, and travelogues, spanning a thirty-year period, covering a wide range of topics, and seriously, I can't remember the last time I had so much sheer fun proofreading anything – probably the last time I proofed a Bujold novel, actually. My query emails back to Lois[1] contained large amounts of unprofessional squee and at least one episode of actual incoherent keyboard mashing.

Because this is one of the smartest books of essays I've read in a very long time. It's funny and thoughtful, it's observant, it's passionate and compassionate ... there's stuff in here I'm going to be going back to and chewing over for a good long time.

Being fairly bad at reviews qua reviews, I will now attempt to sell you a copy of this book by dint of quoting a small cross-section of teasers taken from some of the bits that particularly delighted me, enough so to make me need to stop work and past things to my wife so that we could squee over them together. There were a lot of those: I have restricted myself severely here, to short bits that strike me as being able to stand alone without entirely losing their power.

In Sidelines, Bujold talks about writing, of course, the craft and the business and the travel (I really, really want to go to Croatia now) and the occasional surreality (I can't quote any part of Editorial Dining; it's a piece that has to be read as a whole, but dear God, it is funny) of writing SF and F for a living, but also about reading:

for me, this sheaf of inked paper with the gaudy cover glued to the spine is not the book. The book is not an object on the table; it is an event in the reader’s mind. ...[t]he words on the page are merely the means to that end, a think-by-numbers set, a bottled daydream.

and readers:

Some people have far too much life already, and need to get away from it for a few hours ... I like to think of "Ms. Average Reader" as a children's cancer hospice nurse, home from a particularly bad day at work.

wars in the fictional future:

If geography is the mother of strategy, surely technology is its father


I expected to learn a lot about romance through writing one, and I did. I was more surprised to learn something new to me about fantasy and science fiction—which is how profoundly, intensely, relentlessly political most of the stories in these genres are ... I had not noticed this the way a fish does not notice water.

and gender:

action-adventure, for a woman [character] with children in tow ... is not fun. In fact, it is a fair approximation of hell.

As of now it's available, for the quite reasonable sum of $6.99 USD, on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. It will be available on iTunes shortly.

[1] "Lois" being a person I sometimes write to, whereas "Bujold" is an author I sometimes write about.

Date: 2013-03-19 06:35 am (UTC)
meieresque: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meieresque
About Croatia. talk to Jon it is one of his favorite places. As for the book. I want, will have to wait.

Date: 2013-03-19 07:48 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Do you happen to know what the DRM position is on the new volume? I tried to buy the last ebook as gift for my partner but it was so ferociously DRMed I was unable either to direct it to be downloaded to his machine not mine as I was buying it or transfer (NOT copy - I was trying to effect a permanent transfer) it to his after I'd done so. It was a real disappointment and very frustrating all round.

Seconding Croatia - it's a wonderful place. Narcissa's island, in LoP, is intended to be in Croatia.
Edited Date: 2013-03-19 07:51 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-03-19 07:44 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Oh, dear. I don't think that's likely to happen, then.

Date: 2013-03-19 07:55 am (UTC)
gale_storm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gale_storm
Convinced here. Now bought the kindle edition, so I'll read soon!

Date: 2013-03-19 08:01 am (UTC)
muccamukk: Creedy and Quinn reenacting a lightsaber battle. Text: "Bedtime Stories" (Reign of Fire: Stories)
From: [personal profile] muccamukk
This looks amazing! I love Bujold.

I hope someone sells an ebup that I can buy someday.

Date: 2013-03-19 08:08 am (UTC)
muccamukk: Lacy smiling. (MM: Smile)
From: [personal profile] muccamukk
It is. Though I have all her other books as drm free epubs. Which is lovely. iTunes and my computer don't get on, sadly.

Date: 2013-03-19 08:57 pm (UTC)
xinef: (Default)
From: [personal profile] xinef
Likewise, Kobo is my flavour too.

Date: 2013-03-19 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] auriaephiala
Is this book DRMed?

I read eBooks off and on and I appreciate why Lois has chosen this format for this book, and have bought a few from Baen and BVC, but...

I don't do Kindle or iTunes under any circumstances, and my one experience with B&N was unpleasant.

Love to buy it, but someone will have to convince me that I can actually a) back it up and b) can read it easily on the platform I want to read it on.

Date: 2013-03-19 01:30 pm (UTC)
fajrdrako: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fajrdrako
Wonderful! When you go to Croatia, can I go with you?

Date: 2013-03-19 02:06 pm (UTC)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
From: [personal profile] twistedchick
Is there any chance at all that this will be published on paper sometime so that I can read it?

Date: 2013-03-19 02:26 pm (UTC)
fajrdrako: (pic#435946)
From: [personal profile] fajrdrako
I tried to get this and I am heartbroken to see that you just can't get it in Canada.

It's not fair it's not fair it's not fair.


I shall have to console myself with your quotations, which are beautiful.

Date: 2013-03-19 07:35 pm (UTC)
fajrdrako: ([Panda])
From: [personal profile] fajrdrako
Yes, I am happy to say. With some encouragement from Antione on the list I tried again, and ignored them when they said I couldn't get it. So it seems to have worked.

Silly system.

Date: 2013-03-19 06:27 pm (UTC)
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
From: [personal profile] mme_hardy
Bought it, and thanks!

I didn't know you were friends with Bujold. (Note that you say "friends with Lois", while I say "friends with Bujold", because she and I are not first-name.)

Date: 2013-03-20 12:21 am (UTC)
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
From: [personal profile] stultiloquentia
I would buy this for my dad in a heartbeat if it lost the DRM.


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