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May 232013



     by Krypton Radio intern Hannah Carter
Amazon struck up a controversy this week after announcing plans for a fan fiction publishing platform called Kindle Worlds. Groups of people writing satire and “what if?” scenarios for their favorite stories and characters is nothing new. Fan fiction has been around almost as long as intellectual property. However, Amazon’s platform, offered through the Kindle store, adds a whole new element to the process of fan fiction writing: money.

Kindle Worlds allows anyone to upload short stories, novellas, and full-fledged novels based on certain fictional universes which Amazon has licensed. Writers can upload their work, fill in an editorial description and other information, and create a cover. Once published, the stories will earn writers monthly royalties for each copy sold, plus a royalty to the owners of the intellectual property.

In general, Kindle Worlds does not accept pornography, offensive content, crossover, content that infringes on other people’s rights to their intellectual property, or works which provide a poor customer experience. In addition, each licensed “world” has specific guidelines, in regards to content, which must be followed. For a full list of the worlds and their individual rules, check out the Kindle Worlds page on Amazon.

This announcement has, understandably, become a hot topic. Many fans are excited by the prospects of being paid for writing and publishing their fan fiction, while some authors and publishers are not too keen on having other people make money off of their intellectual property.

Thomas Galvin, author of The Vampires of St. Troy, tweeted that “from an ‘I have characters people might want to write about’ point of view, [Kindle Worlds] is fascinating.”

Malinda Lo, a Young Adult writer, points out in her blog that “Fan fiction is for fans; it’s done for the love of a TV show/movie/book/whatever. It’s not done for money. When it’s done for money, it becomes officially licensed tie-in media. It’s regulated, and it takes the fan out of fan fiction: it basically turns you into a work-for-hire writer.”

John Scalzi, author of Old Man’s War and The Androids Dream, has other problems with Kindle Worlds. In his blog, Whatever, he expresses his concerns over “red flags” in the publishing platform’s policies:

“Note that on its page Amazon makes a show of saying that the writer owns the copyright on the original things that are copyrightable, but inasmuch as Amazon also acquires all rights for the length of the copyright and Alloy is given the right to exploit the new elements without further compensation, this show about you keeping your copyright appears to be just that: show.”

One thing is sure: people all over the country will be waiting to see what happens as a result of writers using Kindle Worlds.

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Apr 242013
John Scalzi, LATFOB 2013
by staff writer Laura Davis

As the crowd settles in for John Scalzi’s talk at the L.A. Times Festival of Books 2013, Richard Kadrey begins his introduction, “John Scalzi, [session number] 2064, Richard Kadrey…”

Scalzi interjects, “Isn’t there a video game, Robotron 2064, something like that?”

“Twenty EIGHTY four!” comes from the audience.

“Shut UP!” Scalzi retorts, laughing. “Forty seconds in and I’ve already been nerd corrected! Can’t take you kids anywhere!”

And so it begins.

John Scalzi is a Hugo award-winning Sci-Fi writer, journalist, business writer, script and game writer, and author of the blog, Whatever. His style of not pulling punches yet delivering them with a wicked sense of humor makes for very entertaining reading.  Last fall, his satirical post, “A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians,” signed “Just Another Rapist” triggered a tidal wave of responses, both by fans and by those who do not understand the concept of satire.

Earlier this year, a troll began attacking Scalzi online, inciting his followers to flood Scalzi’s blog with hateful commentary. Scalzi’s response? In a post entitled, “Solving My Racist Sexist Homophobic Dip[$#!t] Problem,” Scalzi pledged to put $5 into a fund every time the troll mentioned Scalzi’s name (or a nickname for him) on his blog. Fans monitored the troll’s blog and kept account. The fund (Scalzi offered up to $1,000 of his own money) would be divided among charities serving women, people of color, and the LGBT community. As Scalzi’s fans asked to join in the fun, they raised over $50,000 for these charities, and succeeded in really infuriating said troll. That’s how Scalzi rolls.

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Dec 302011
Tom Hutchison's creation "Critter", from Big Dog Ink
Tom Hutchison's creation "Critter", from Big Dog Ink

Tom Hutchison's creation "Critter", from Big Dog Ink

Krypton Radio Interviews Tom Hutchison and Stephen Smirl of Big Dog Ink

Interview by Gene Turnbow

At the annual Long Beach Comic Convention last October 30, we got to speak with Tom Hutchison and Stephen Smirl of Big Dog Ink!  Mr. Hutchison owns the fledgling but rising comic book company and created Critter; Mr. Smirl writes and draws Island Tales.

The first issue of Critter was released to the public in April of 2011, and it takes comic books back to the basics: good story, appealing artwork, great characters, fantasy costumes and utility belts.

Gene Turnbow: It’s great to see you here at the convention, Tom! Can you tell our readers about your publishing company and what you’ve been doing?

Tom Hutchinson: Actually this is our third year at the Long Beach Comic Convention, and our third year that we’ve been in existence, so this is sort of our anniversary as well. Since 2009, we came with a couple of titles, starting with “Penny for your Soul”, which we followed up with our superhero title called “Critter”, and this year we’re doing five or six series. We’re releasing at this show our western reimagining of the Wizard of Oz called “The Wicked West”, and we just keep on growing.

GT: I see the quality of these books is extremely high, certainly as good as from any major publisher I’ve ever seen. How long does it take to produce one of these books, and what are you working hard on developing right now?

Tom Hutchinson: When we started this, we really wanted to make a splash with our art. To do that, we really had to make some decisions, primarily about the distribution of it. Most of our books at this point are bi-monthly, they’re coming out every two months. We want to give our artists all the time in the world to do the best work they can possibly do. In order for us to compete artistically in this business – well, art is the first thing people see. So we let our artists do their job, and we have great people working for us.

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Aug 312011

The real life company, The Moon Publishing & Printing has come to Second Life.  Founded in 2003, the publisher of fiction and nonfiction writing and art  was attracted by what the Second Life platform might offer to real world businesses and recently decided to see for themselves what might be possible.


They describe the experience so far as “quite an adventure”, and plan eventually to sell eBooks for in-world viewing. In the meantime, they are selling a selling a promotional book containing excerpts from 25 books published by The Moon, and the September issue of “The Moon”, their monthly magazine. Both items can be read in world and bought either in world at their cart in the ElvenGlen Marketplace or through the Second Life Marketplace.


They have also begun an interesting machinema video series entitled “Bookworms”, available on YouTube.  The series features Second Life residents Silver Moon Unicorn and White Lion Unicorn. The new series explores the use of Second Life as a story-telling medium, and appears to show some promise. We wish them well, and we hope to see more in the coming months.
Says Silver Moon Unicorn about the new venture, ” I’d heard of [Second Life] years ago and it sounded fascinating then, but I didn’t think I could get into it until recently. It’s a strange dream-like world full of endless fun and new people. I knew it wasn’t difficult nor is it expensive to run a business in world. Of course, I don’t have much of a budget for marketing and Second Life seems to be a rather cost effective way to reach out to more customers. “

[youtube c6NghAXrZ2k]

For more information, check out http://www.moonpublishprint.com

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