October 5th, 2004


Writing life in the morning...

I always try to check out the local news in the morning... this story isn't
local to us now, but was n area close to where we were 16 years ago this month
when we first moved to Maine. I also had work-related stuff in the area, both
as a computer-geek store manager and as a computer-geek traveling sysop and


So Maine... the way life could be. Chess last night: I came out about even
in wins losses and draws, with one of each, I guess, but the win was a really
interesting game against the reigning club champion, a guy who's
had that title about seven of the last dozen years. So, we'll call that
a plus evening all around... I should note that although I haven't been active
recently, I was club champion and a member of the state championship
league team in the past, back around the time I was named
Maine Chess Organizer of The Year. Maybe I ought to re-up my USCF membership...

Meanwhile, a pleasant phone call this morning with Richard Michaels of Embiid
(http://www.embiid.com) tells us that Crystal Soldier's electronic edition is
keeping his server fairly busy -- having been requested more in the first 4 days
than some of his ebooks in their first month. Guess that turns
Crystal Soldier into a bestseller already...

Speaking of bestsellers, Balance of Trade is doing some strange stuff
over on amazon.com -- this morning it was ranked 1868, the highest amazon ranking
we've seen for it since March or April -- months that later earned it
Locus bestseller spots. We *did* just change the banner over on the
korval home page... I dunno.

Meanwhile, someone with time on hands tells us that BoT is running
in the top 10 percent of amazon hardcover sf for the year, which is
cool news. Let's see -- they said it was ranked #86 out of 1187 in
hardcover SF published in 2004; and it was (they say) ranked 188
out of 5154 of all SF published so far in 2004. That's scary --
top 4%? But ... nothing's more fleeting than amazing.com rankings
so I doubt that the rankings are the same now as they were at 8:57
this morning. And for humility sake I'll note Balance of Trade is
ranking in the 30,000s over on B&N. I wonder if only USENET folks
who are mad at amazon use B&N...

By the way, if you know fans of ebooks who haven't heard of Embiid,
please, share the news. They've done well by us and well by readers,
and they're just about recovered from the move from Hawaii to North
Dakota. And some folks said that our move from Baltimore-Owings Mills
to Skowhegan, Maine was a change of pace...

All of this, because I ought to be writing and Jerel is sticking
her tongue out at me because she doesn't like taking those
getting-hit-on-the-head-lessons, which are on the schedule RSN. Or
maybe, instead, it'll be a stunner... hmmm ... gotta go...
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