Angry Robot Books

Assume the Physician by John Hunt

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received in August. One of them is a self-published novel by John Hunt, whose serialized thriller published by Laissez Faire Books we are reviewing weekly. The others are from forward-thinking Angry Robot Books.

Angry Robot Army

I recently joined Angry Robot’s Robot Army program. It has the most reviewer-friendly system I’ve seen so far for distributing advance review copies (ARCs) of upcoming publications in multiple formats, arranging interviews with authors, and more. Reviewers are also rewarded with free copies of published books. [Update 10/01/12: Angry Robot switched to using NetGalley, which is not as convenient as the more informal proprietary system they had been using.]

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Atlas Shrugged: The Movie, Part II Teaser Poster

Atlas Shrugged: The Movie, Part II Teaser Poster

Reason.com has had some interesting posts recently.

One is on the subject of fan fiction vs. copyright. Does fan fiction count as a copyright violation? What should authors think or do about it? My response to the first question is: Who cares? Copyright is an illegitimate government grant of monopoly privilege that gives people legal ownership over that which cannot really be property, ideas, and which cannot be enforced without infringing on the prior real property rights (in one’s body and physical objects) of others. My response to the second question is: Authors should embrace fan fiction as community-building and free advertising. Fighting fan fiction only makes you a dick, a criminal (in my view) dick if you sue.

Anyway, now that I’ve worked that rant out of my system, check out the post Fan Fiction vs. Copyright – Q&A with Rebecca Tushnet and watch the interview below. Tushnet is “a member of the Organization for Transformative Works, Tushnet works to defend fan fiction creators caught in the legal debate between protected intellectual property and fair use.” I’ve previously discussed how Angry Robot Books is embracing fan fiction, if not as much as we libertarians and fiction fans would like.

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Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged iPad App

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged iPad AppThe Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged book app for iPad has been awarded the App Fiction prize in the 2012 Publishing Innovation Awards. The award was handed out at the recent Digital Book World Conference.

In addition to the novel itself, the app “includes some of Rand’s lectures, additional articles for further reading on Rand and her philosophies, a timeline of events in Rand’s life as well as the works she published, and other materials.” If you own an iOS device, you might want to check it out, but it will cost you $14.99.

In related news, filming for Atlas Shrugged: Part Two is scheduled to begin in April. The first film was not great (see Matthew Alexander’s review) and didn’t do so well financially. It doesn’t bode well that the second film will have a smaller budget and a new director and may have some central characters recasted.

~*~

But back to Apple-related news, one P.J. Rey over at The Society Pages: Cyborgology has an interesting article about “How Cyberpunk Warned against Apple’s Consumer Revolution.” There are at times anti-corporate progressive and Marxist overtones in the article — Rey even references Marx’s notion of “false consciousness” — but nevertheless Rey’s criticism of Apple in light of cyberpunk’s tendency toward individualist anarchism should be of interest to radical libertarians of all stripes.

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In my last news roundup, I briefly discussed the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction being put online for free by Gollancz. At the time, I speculated: “Why [put it online for free]? Oh, I don’t know, maybe reading through the encyclopedia will tempt people into buying more books and ebooks of and about the stories and authors described within it.” This was before I had heard about Gollancz’s new SF Gateway imprint.

SF Gateway will be publishing online in ebook form a catalog numbering in the thousands of out-of-print backlist books from its authors. Including “the classic SF pulp writers of the Golden Age right through to modern award-winning authors,” SF Gateway purports to be “the largest library of digital Science Fiction and Fantasy ever assembled.” All of these titles will naturally be directly interlinked with author and title entries in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, so the encyclopedia will serve as a handy way to spur sales. The SF Gateway site will also serve in part as a social network, which is another clever idea — build up an online community around the encyclopedia and that large library of sf&f ebooks. You can read more about it in the pdf press release.

Also in the last news roundup, I mentioned some innovations in publishing. Here is some more info on a couple of them:

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