Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

October 22, 2012

MRP Day 20 – Rucka on Writing

Filed under: comics,the month of relentless positivity,wordsmithery — lexifab @ 10:57 pm

Greg Rucka‘s one of those powerhouses of modern comics writing. Not quite as big a name as a Morrison or a Bendis or (shudder) Geoff Johns, but one of those utterly reliable writers whom you can depend upon to produce work anywhere between satisfying and exhilarating. His early works like the British spy drama Queen and Country and the Antarctic murder mystery  miniseries Whiteout  [1] remain some of my favourite non-mainstream titles, and since then he’s racked up a list of credits and well-deserved awards as long as your arm [2].

I mention him here today for two particular reasons, though I could cherry-pick anything from his Batman-adjacent cop drama Gotham Central (co-written with Ed Brubaker, about whom I could also rave enthusiastically) to the holy-shit-it’s-really-good Batwoman: Elegy to his recent action-adventure novel Alpha [3].

You probably get the sense that I like Greg Rucka’s writing, and I’ve seen no more than a small fraction of his career body of work. So when he offered a piece of writing advice to a somewhat-daunted NaNoWriMo noob last week, I (along with a lot of people inside my attention sphere) took notice. It’s succinct, and it’s useful. Moreover, I’m using it. There was one specific suggestion in there that helped me to pick apart the serious mental block that I’ve been carrying all year over my novel. I understand what I need to do to fix it now. Arguably without this very short article I might have continued squinting helplessly at a nearly-but-not-quite-there manuscript for months or years to come.  As he rightly notes, it may be of no particular value to you in your writing – no writing advice is ever universally applicable [4] – but it certainly helped me. So I owe Rucka for that one.

The other thing I can do is throw a shout-out to his current twice-weekly webcomic project (with long-time art collaborator Rick Burchett) Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether.

Now certainly you, like me, may well be disposed towards the story on the basis of that name alone, and it would be disingenuous of me to dissuade you from pursuing that urge. Go check out the first arc “A Dance of Steel” – but having done so, let me offer a suggestion, which is that you immediately read the second arc as well. The first is an amusing extend duel scene featuring the eponymous heroine stealing something from an airship run by some Prussian-looking dudes. It’s all very “sa-ha!” and “have at you, varlet”, but a little light on for narrative depth. The second arc, “The Easterly Call”, which introduces some old West-style bounty hunters, appears to have nothing whatsoever to do with what has come before.

That’s why you might then roll straight into the third arc “The Blind Leading the Blind”, which starts tying the two plotlines together. It’s also about where it becomes apparent that Rucka has a big story planned for this strip, and that he is in no particular hurry to tell it. There’s clever, delicate worldbuilding going on behind the showiness of witty sword duels atop airships and the steam-powered shootouts in dusty western streets. It’s an approach to storytelling I’m attracted to, even as it baffles me. For comic creators and those interested in such, Rucka posts the script for each page-sized episode, including dialogue and stage directions for the artists. It’s generous and instructive. At times it borders on revelatory, providing insight into thestorytelling tricks he hides in plain view. For a completely different insight into a great storyteller’s techniques, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Also, swordplay and gunfights – what more could you possibly demand?


[1] Both of which at more than ten years old suddenly make me feel my age, for some reason.

[2] I acknowledge that my assumption here that the reader has not suffered catastrophic bodily dismemberment is highly ableist.

[3] Which is an action-adventure story about a Delta Force operator finding new and inventive ways to kill terrorists at a Disneyesque funpark, which would already have my money if I were not currently reigning in my frenzied ebook purchasing impulses.

[4] Although one that must come close is “A writer writes, always” from that seminal examination of the psyche of the frustrated novelist Throw Momma From the Train, a film I recall in unsettling detail for something I haven’t seen in about twenty years.

October 19, 2012

MRP Day 19 – Lifehacking

I have work to do including a novel to outline and my tummy is full of Margaret River Shiraz and spaghetti bolognaise [1]. Under the circumstances, I think you will agree that the less time I spend blogging tonight the better. But in lieu of my usual dubious and maddeningly scant commentary, I will point you to a Tumblr link that I came across today (likely via BoingBoing, but I really don’t remember.

This is a list of 99 clever little tricks for making a selection of almost-inconsequential first world problems go away. Some of them are likely things that you already do – I suspect that everyone knows the one about the last little sliver of soap, and after nearly five years of kids, unknotting a plastic bag is now an automatic reflex for me – but some of them are downright ingenious. I cannot imagine a circumstance in which, for example, I would have thought of using a hotel television USB input as a charge point for a mobile device, and yet its utility is blindingly obvious once it has been pointed out. And I kind of love his obsession with keeping power and data cables in order. [2]

Scanning this list today gave me a genuine pang of joy. Not all of it, obviously, but enough of it. I love watching problems solved with sparkling ingenuity (probably because it’s a quality I never expect to experience directly).

So, what’s your favourite?

[1] Oh no, I drank all the Shiraz, which was a Leeuwin Estate Siblings 2009. I highly recommend it – full of soft berry flavours and no heavy tannins. Plus it goes great in a bolognese sauce.

[2] I am pretty sure I am going to use the one with the toilet rolls.


October 18, 2012

MRP Day 18 – Back to the Island 2.24 – Live Together, Die Alone Part 2

Filed under: back to the island,the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 11:52 pm

Back to the Island 2.24 – Live Together, Die Alone Part 2

“I’m sorry for whatever happened that made you lose your faith, John. But it’s all real. And now I’ve got to go and make it all go away.” – Desmond Hume

Summary: Desmond and Locke allow the Swan Station to count down to catastrophe o’clock and the Others take Jack’s gang captive.

The Best Bit: Mostly this is the Desmond show, and he is very good in it, but Terry O’Quinn steals the show as usual with a single moment. Realising that his decision to trash the Numbers computers and let nature take its course was pretty far from sound, he looks at a wounded and dumbfounded Mr Eko and says in slight disbelief: “I was wrong.” He wrings a lot of emotion out of such a short line – we can’t miss that Locke has suddenly realised that all his past decisions have let to this one fateful moment, in which he has made the worst possible call, one that he has no time to correct.

The Worst Bit: The action in the episode is all a bit passive for a season finale. There are a couple of dramatic sequences, but most of them follow from Locke’s (stupid) decision to not enter the Numbers into the computer – which leads to electromagnetic shenanigans – and Jack’s (stupid) decision to play along with Michael’s trap, which leads to him and the others getting trapped. Most of the episode is taken up with philosophical debates, which, while dramatically very satisfying, fly in the face of the promise of the previous episode that Sayyid would sweatily sweep into the Others’ camp and go all gangbusters on their arses. Disappointed!

The Mythology: This episode is packed with new information – some of it actually resolves outstanding questions. Most of it raises new questions, of course.

The night that Locke got Boone killed and hammered on the Hatch for a sign, Desmond was down inside planning suicide. Locke’s unexpected appearance gave Desmond hope that someone had come to rescue him from his button-pressing purgatory. This is of course the same Gordian Knot that Locke circumvents by rebelling against the button-pressing doctrine, albeit on the basis of some pretty flawed thinking.

We see confirmation that the Pearl Station which observes the Swan button-pressers is a fake. The records meticulously recorded and submitted by the Pearl lab rats have all popped out into a vast pyramid on a hill somewhere, completely ignored. What then is or was the Dharma Institute’s purpose in setting up the Pearl Station – observation outpost, twisted psychological examination, endurance study testing boredom thresholds or deliberate mental torture?

Kelvin says that the Swan Station sits atop “geologically unique electromagnetism” (which sounds scientific right up until the moment that it sounds like drooling babble) and that the Incident creates a buildup of the electromagnetic charge. The button discharges it and if it is not pressed – boom!

When the Numbers clock runs down, the Egyptian hieroglyphs reappear and the Swan Station’s magnetic properties go crazy. Desmond turns the failsafe key and releases the ‘electromagnetic energy’ (whatever it actually is), which makes everyone’s ears hurt and makes the sky turn purple and oversaturated. Then – we presume – the Swan Station blows up. The last time something similar happened, Oceanic 815 fell out of the sky onto the Island

‘Henry Gale’, apparently the leader of the Others, claims that they are the good guys. And while they do hold Jack, Kate and Sawyer at gunpoint and put bags over their heads, they also let Hurley go and they don’t welch on their deal with Michael. He also hints that they “got more than they bargained for with Walt” but doesn’t elaborate.

Penelope Widmore, Desmond’s long lost love, has apparently set up a tracking station in the Arctic (judging by the I-guess-Russian accents of its crew) to monitor electromagnetic anomalies. How she knows that the electromagnetic spike from the Island has anything to do with Desmond is not explained.

The Literature: After Kelvin dies and traps Desmond alone at the Swan Station to press buttons indefinitely, Des gets all liquored up and starts on his suicide project, reading Dicken’s “Our Mutual Friend”. Luckily he finds a written pep talk from Penny instead, and the Locke interrupts his pity party, so he never gets to read it.

The Episode: I could complain that Sayyid, Sun and Jin don’t get much to do after the setup of last episode, but the fact that Sayyid’s plan to raid the camp is a nice bait-and-switch that makes the Others seem just that little bit smarter and better prepared – and therefore scarier – than the crash survivors. They assumed that Michael would blow his own cover, so they prepared a double bluff to get Jack and the others to a different place from where they thought they were heading. Henry’s reappearance at the end, claiming to be the good guy and living up to the bargain made with Michael, is clinical and menacing – his “Bon voyage, Michael” is flat-out sinister – while the hints of almost familial bickering among the Others is more curious still.

Most of our heroes get not much to do, other than Desmond, Locke and Eko, and with the latter spending half the episode unconscious from his own dynamite  blast, it falls to Desmond and Locke to exposit and debate their way to the thrilling conclusion. Desmond’s realisation that he caused the Oceanic crash (by taking a bit too long to get back to the Swan after accidentally killing Kelvin) saves the day at the last minute, while Locke, who thought he was freeing them all from a false god, instead realises he almost killed everybody. So, good for Desmond, I guess.

In an amusing end-note to the conclusion of the first season, the Hatch which was a compelling mystery element back then, is blown off and flung down to the survivors’ beach. That and Henry’s “We’re the good guys” speech are clear declarations that, once again, Lost intends to reinvent itself in the next season. It’s no longer about survivors waiting for rescue, nor is it about exploring a strange and sometime hostile Island. So what will Season Three be about? Well, the obvious (and correct) answer is The Others.What’s the deal with those guys, anyhow?

“Live Together, Die Alone” is an exciting and dramatic episode, but it does have more of the feel of a setup for something else than a climax in its own right. Eight out of ten for being the muscular ankle rather than the foot kicking arse.

MRP Day 17 – Marvel Graphic Novels Collection

Filed under: comics,the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 4:12 pm

If you have happened to go into a newsagent sometime in the last few months – which I want to emphasise is something I nearly never have cause to do – you might have noticed they are selling a series of hardcover graphic novel collections of classic Marvel superhero stories. [1] This is one of those deals where, in theory, you pick up a new instalment every week or fortnight or month until – 50 or so iterations later – you’ve collected the whole set and have a smart-looking conversation piece for your bookshelf. In practise what happens is that you miss a vital issue here or there and you spend weeks scouring eBay so that you can spend a crippling sum to assuage your completist packrat tendencies.


In this instance though, I know there are going to be gaps in my collection, because I already have some of these stories – the first one, for example, is the first volume of J.M. Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man, all of which I have [3] and I see that an upcoming volume is  the first part of Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men [4]. But overall there’s a lot of stuff in this collection that I am looking forward to getting.

The covers are a handsome black affair with a centrepiece drawn from the best cover in the series, the spines are painted so that when the whole collection is put together they form a portrait of probably everyone in the Marvel Universe, and there are helpful essays inside explaining the context of the stories and some of the subsequent events. Handy if your comic continuity awareness is patchy, as indeed is mine. And at twenty bucks for a hardcover, they are good value.

When I found the Wikipedia entry for the series and saw that it had the full listing of titles, I tried very hard not to look ahead and spoil the surprise of what’s coming, but I did notice two things that inflicted some trauma on my modus positivitus [5]. One – I was kind of hoping that, based on his appearance in the masthead, there might be at least one volume featuring Luke Cage (aka Power Man) who – along with his (white, billionaire, industrialist) buddy Danny Rand (aka Iron Fist) – rose above an origin as a quick cash-in on the popularity of blaxpolitation and kung fu movies in the 70’s to occupy a compelling moral corner of the Marvel Universe. But I don’t see his name anywhere, which is annoying.

Two – there is one – one! – title which features a solo female character. Don’t get me wrong, I am fond of She-Hulk and agree she deserves her place in the spotlight, but seriously, people? In the space of a 60-volume series you couldn’t find more than one spot for a leading woman? No Black Widow? No Spider-Woman? No Wasp? No Scarlet Witch? No whatever-Carol-Danvers-is-calling-herself-this-week? Not even Jean (yawn) Grey? I realise that most of these characters don’t get their own solo titles, but this ain’t a good look, Marvel. C’mon, boys, pull your socks up.

(On the other hand, it is hard not to squee with delight to note that the next volume is Ed Brubaker’s Winter Soldier, which resurrected Bucky Barnes as a Russian sleeper agent with a bionic arm. I acknowledge that I am part of the problem).


[1] You might equally have noticed similar collect-them-all-one-month-at-a-time promotions going for classic Agatha Christie murder novels and a DC Heroes chess set. [2]

[2] The DC chess set is completely ruined by the presence of Hush, the stupidest comics character since Paste Pot Pete.

[3] Except for the final volume “One More Day” which I cannot bring myself to pay money for because it is such flawed and gutless reset-button copout bullshit. But look at me, editorialising.

[4] Which is magnificent if for no other reason than elevating Kitty Pryde to the status of hardcore kickarse legend that she has long deserved.

[5] To execrably coin the faux-Latin phrase.

October 17, 2012

MRP Day 16 – Celebrating the successes of others

Filed under: friends,the month of relentless positivity,wordsmithery — lexifab @ 3:45 pm

Last night I received an email letting me know that one of my stories currently out for submission has made it through to the second round of reading. Which I have interpreted, perhaps naively, as meaning that someone didn’t automatically think that it sucked. Now I am certainly not getting ahead of myself – this particular story has already been rejected by a couple of other publishers – but it does put me in mind of the fact that sometimes things do go your way. The stars align, hard work and good luck pay off and someone backs up a truckload of cash and awards in acknowledgment of your genius [1].

In lieu of something of my own to celebrate, though, I can take great pleasure in the success of others. Today is a case in point – my homeys of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild entered a team in the 2012 Write-a-book-in-a-day fundraiser back in July or so. [2] The goal was to write, illustrate, print and bind an entire book in a single 12 hour period. Their tale – Cover Story – is a twisty, black-humoured tale of creepy sympathetic magic and zookeeping, pitched at more or less the young adult reader (or perhaps younger teens).

Today the winners were announced, and Cover Story finished with a Highly Commended in the Open category, a runner-up in fundraising and the winner for Best Illustrations. Shauna O’Meara tirelessly slaved over a sketch pad all day to produce a remarkable number of highly polished pictures, many of which featured animals [3]. A well-deserved win!

So, who else has some little success to celebrate or wants to give a shoutout to someone else’s big win? [4]


[1] I am aware that this has never happened to anyone.

[2]I couldn’t spare a whole Saturday to join them, alas, or I would have been there like a shot.

[3] Animals are pretty hard to draw, yo.

[4] Andrea, how’s And All the Stars doing? I’d have called it out above, but I have no sense of the reaction to it yet, except that Jimbo seemed to be enjoying it.

October 16, 2012

MRP 15 – New phone! and other stories

Filed under: Games,news of the day,the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 2:36 pm

I missed yesterday’s entry because of Reasons Unrelated to Positivity [1], and the window for catching up is short, so while I do intend to make up for lost time, today’s [2] relentless positivity will be in cursory list form:

New phone – I am about to join the 21st century and become the possessor of my first smart phone, albeit a nigh-obsolete one that the more zeitgeisty elements of society abandoned probably 2 or 3 years ago – the Samsung Galaxy S II. Probably somewhere near the bottom of the range of smart mobiles on the market, but I am not a power user of mobile telephony by any stretch. It will make calls, send texts, take photos (all of which my previous crappy phone, a bottom-of-the-range Nokia, also did), play music & podcasts and connect to the internet. [3] The only differences anyone else is likely to notice are that I will be able to actually view photos sent to me by SMS and I will be able to use Twitter more easily. I don’t intend to go overboard in using it to play games or access the net, but if anyone has any essential Android apps they recommend, let me know.

Games – Fans of old-school computer RPGs like Baldur’s Gate [4], Fallout and Planescape: Torment may be interested in this Kickstarter for a game called Project Eternity. The production team includes alumni of all of the aforementioned games who, assembled as a veritable Voltron of CRPG design, aim to make a crazily ambitious new world with all the requisite mega-dungeons, sassy companions and morally complex stories [5]. The Kickstarter campaign is in its last 24 hours and they are on the verge of adding an extra major city to the setting. That would be rad!

And hey, I really, really need another thing to distract me from writing, because yesterday I came this close to editing one of my short stories. Luckily I had to do tax accounting for a few hours and then pass out from a heavy dose of painkillers to stem the stabbing pains in my knee, because otherwise I would have committed the Sin of Creativity!


[1] Being that the baby wombat is now two days into a bout of unpleasant gastro, and she needs my time more than this blog does. Although her much-needed nap does afford me a quick moment to make up some lost ground. But not much.

[2] Technically, it’s yesterday’s, and today’s will come either today or tomorrow – but now I’m confusing myself.

[3] Tellingly, my wife is still using a Motorola with a monochrome screen, which still does everything she needs it to (send calls and send incredibly rare text messages). She is clearly the more sensible of the two of us.

[4] Holy crap, Baldur’s Gate is coming out for iPad and Android soon? That is also rad!

[5] Well, more complex than “stab/shoot all the green/black people”, at any rate.

October 14, 2012

MRP Day 14 – Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse

Filed under: comics,the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 1:21 pm

Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos’ Cow Boy is the story of Boyd Linney, a bounty hunter in the old west hunting down his criminal kin. Boyd is ten years old, pragmatic and wise beyond his years, simmering with anger and inexpressably sad. He’s trying to atone for his family’s sins against society at large by bringing them to justice one by one, starting with his deadbeat father.

So okay, this is not a happy story, but it is rather beautiful. Boyd’s tough, determined and resourceful – but he’s also a ten-year-old kid who would like to live a normal life. He’d rather that life was not a constant stream of disappointments and betrayals from the ones he loves, but that’s just how things are.

Cosby’s dialogue is weary and laconic, but witty and drenched with charm. Eliopoulos’ art is a simple cartoonish style that my limited artistic vocabulary suggests is what Walt Kelly or maybe Berkeley Breathed would come up with if they were drawing Lucky Luke. But comparisons aside, the art is a delight – visually appealing [1] and with a measured command of pacing and facial expressions that tell the story as effectively as any of the dialogue.

The first book of Cow Boy is out in a smart and attractive hardcover volume (thanks to Emma-Jean who bought me a copy for my birthday after I couldn’t even remember what it was called) but you can read the whole story so far for free online. I recommend the hardcover though, because it’s very reasonably priced and each chapter is separated by a mini-story by a guest writer-artist team. One of those stories has a penguin.

[1] Kids could read this, because although the melancholic subject mater is tragic, it is still about a kid wearing a cowboy hat, riding a horse and shooting at bad guys with the cutest firearm in modern fiction. It might raise some hard-to-answer questions about bad parenting models though.

MRP Day 13 – Celebrating cheating copouts

Filed under: the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 12:31 am

Wasn’t the weather today great? I mean, yesterday it was all blizzards and surprise death storms, but today it was sunny and cool. [1]


Okay, so I may have established a precedent for the Month of Relentless Positivity of longish blog entries. And maybe I am starting to conclude that there are days when I am just not going to hit that target (like days when I potter about the yard and the shed and then spend my evening pretending to be a science mouse with a spear and a high-visibility orange cloak).

On such a day, what you get is you get the weather. [2]


[1] Except for the 15 minutes or so after I finished hanging the washing out on the clothesline, when it did kind of rain.

[2] Really, it was a pretty nice day.

October 13, 2012

MRP Day 12 – Fitness

Filed under: fitter/happier,the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 12:46 am

I’ve just climbed off the treadmill for the first time in about three months, so it’s not quite possible to be relentlessly positive at the moment because ow.

It’s probably pretty typical, but since moving to Canberra I’ve fallen into a pattern when it comes to physical fitness of spending most of the year imposing at least basic discipline on myself and then letting it all go to waste during the winter months [1]. It gets pretty cold and dark here – who wants to get up early to hit the gym or even go outside?

This year I managed to spend a couple of months in the leadup to winter with a recurring flu that put me in bed a few times and discouraged all attempts at exercise. When winter came around, I was already out of shape and on a steady decline. My daily step count was way down. I don’t keep track of my weight or anything, but it was pretty easy to tell that what muscle was there was mushing up something chronic.Worse than that is the certainty that when my body gets flabby, my creative drive drops away, I have trouble taking information in and my capacity to concentrate falls to comically low levels. [2]

But the current cold snap notwithstanding, the days are starting to brighten and warm, so I remonstrate with myself that I am out of excuses. I know it’s going to hurt for a few days and I know that I’m going to have a few nights of pretty ordinary sleep (late evenings being the only time I can really use the treadmill in the lounge without disturbing anyone) but I have to convince myself that it will be worth it.

(You can probably already tell that this is less of an attempt to communicate to the wide world and more of an internal pep talk. Cheerleaders are optional but welcome).

Having cleaned the shed out and installed a spare television, the home gym can move outside the house in the near future. [4] Then I can start getting up at the crack of dawn and busting out the old elliptical trainer in front of the news (or hook up a DVD player and watch something halfway decent instead). Of course to do that I will probably have to stop staying up until after midnight writing every day. Decisions, decisions.

[1] Which is not to say that I know one end of a barbell from another or that I would survive for more than six seconds on a rowing machine. We are talking minimal exertion here.

[2] I am quietly suspicious that at the end of the year when I make graphs of all the step and word counts that I have been diligently tracking through 2012, periods of high word counts will coincide with weeks when I walk above average distances. [3]

[3] I may need the assistance of someone who can do maths to actually demonstrate this, mind you.

[4] Once the overnight temperatures stop falling below zero, preferably

October 11, 2012

MRP Day 11 – eBooks for Charity!

Filed under: books of 2012,the month of relentless positivity — lexifab @ 2:55 pm

I am deeply and passionatly in love with my Kindle [1], which has been more or less instrumental in revolutionising my reading habits. Over the past year I have discovered a fondness for Australian writers, for short story collections and anthologies and for obscuer small-press and self-published material. Before the Kindle, none of those existed for me in any meaningful sense – I read novels. Almost exclusively I read soft SF or epic fantasy, and more often than not heavily serialised examples of those.

Now I’m like an overcaffeeinated crow at an eyeball factory, spoiled for choice and plucking at every shiny treat that rolls through my field of view. I still read the epic fantasies and SF, but I’ve added crime, horror, pulp adventure and even romance to my reading list. Maybe not all that much more intellectually stimulating fare, you might argue, but a few steps closer to a well-rounded literary diet, at any rate.

And then along comes something like this: the Humble ebook Bundle. The Humble Bundles began as a promotional tool for small independent games, to raise money for charity while promoting some terrific but obscure games with nonexistent marketing budgets. They went very well, by all accounts: the first one raised more than a million bucks [2] and the numerous subsequent bundle variants have mostly beaten the takings from their predecessors.

Now they are trying the same thing with some ebooks, and though none of the writers are exactly obscure (John Scalzi, Mercedes Lackey and Neil-frickin’-Gaiman are all household names, for certain values of ‘household’), there is a good range of old hands and fresher faces represented.

The selection of titles is a dead-on hit for me. Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Lauren Beukes’ Zoo City were both on my to-read list, I’ve enjoyed several of Cory Doctorow’s previous works, and Paolo Bacigalupi and Kelly Link are names I’ve heard a lot lately. It’s been ages since I read any Mercedes Lackey, but I am happy to give her latest a shot as well. I already have the Gaiman/McKean in trade paperback, but a PDF copy is nice too.

All in all it’s a pretty fabulous collection, and you can pay whatever you want (but you need to pay over the average, which at the time of writing was about $12, to get the Gaiman and Scalzi books). A sizeable chunk of cash is going to charity, and the writers will all do very well out of it as well. [3]

[1] but, oh, Kindle Paperwhite, how my roving eyes have strayed in your direction these past weeks, especially on those night when I feel like reading in bed without waking up Fiona or the baby wombat…

[2] The proceeds are split between the charities and the games developers, with an optional gratuity payable to the promoters.

[3] As Scalzi pointed out on Twitter, if the sales on this promotion were treated like normal sales, all eight titles would make the New York Times bestsellers list this week.

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