Mortality Bridge e-Book/Trade Paperback

I’m delighted to announce that Mortality Bridge will be available in e-Book and trade paperback formats fairly soon. Agreements are being drawn up now, and I believe the editions will be available within a month or two after the contracts are finalized — pretty speedy, considering the limited hardcover was published about six weeks ago.

If you’d like to be notified when the e-book & trade paperback are available, please visit this page on the Mortality Bridge website and enter your email address. (Your info will only be used to notify you — I definitely don’t believe in spamming my readers!

I’m gratified at the reaction the novel has received from readers. If you enjoyed it, please leave feedback on Amazon. (Well, if you didn’t enjoy it I suppose you can leave feedback on Amazon, too. But I cheerfully admit my bias here.)

My “Big Idea” Column on Whatever

My essay on what it took to write & publish Mortality Bridge is up on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog. Take a look — and thank you, John!

On a related note, I’m delighted to announce that there will be a trade paperback & e-book of Mortality Bridge very soon, probably within a few months. Meantime, you can sign up to be notified when they are released at the Mortality Bridge website. And thanks!

Social Notworking

I have not & will not open a Facebook account because I take serious issue with that company’s privacy (or lack thereof) policies, and I basically feel that a fundamental disrespect of and disregard for their user base is ingrained in the company’s DNA. I’m sure that for many users — indeed, for most users — Facebook is helpful, useful, and valuable. That doesn’t mean it ain’t evil.

But to be honest, a more direct reason I won’t traffic with Facebook is that I absolutely don’t understand social networking. I already blog (hi!). I email and IM and SMS and phone my friends. I belong to a few forums. (I don’t Tweet because if you want to follow someone 144 characters at a time, or whateverthehell it is, knock yourself out. I ain’t that guy.)  So I feel that I’ve got a lot of ground covered.

I admit that some friend from third grade who’d be more likely to find me on Facebook isn’t connected to me in any of the above ways. But it ain’t exactly hard to get in touch with me on the web (Googling “Steve Boyett” and “Steven R. Boyett” gets you there pretty darned quickly, albeit from some different directions), and in any case, if my third-grade soul buddy can’t be bothered to look anywhere but on Facebook to find me, I figure he doesn’t really want to contact me all that badly.

So I don’t remotely feel the absence of Facebook in my life.

Enter Google+. I got invites and kind of shrugged, and then took one of them up and opened an account a few weeks ago. I figured, well, Google isn’t necessarily any more concerned about my privacy than Facebook, but they’re at least more transparent in what they’re doing with my information. A bit.

My misgiving is that Google’s motto is “Dont Be Evil.” Some people think that’s a very cool credo. It gives me the creeps. I mean, think about it. What does it tell you about a guy when has to tell himself every morning, “Hey, don’t kill anybody today”? Ya think maybe he kinda always wants to? Yeah, I think so too.

In any case, I opened a Google+ account and quickly ran across some friends & acquaintainces, current & from back in the day. But I find that I have nothing whatsoever to say on my own G+ account that I don’t already either say here or tell my friends. I find that I don’t give a gnat fart in a hurricane about adding “LOLZ — COOL!!!” to the pile of comments on someone else’s post. I find my day is in no way bettered by checking my stream to learn learn about the tasty egg sandwich someone in my circle just ate.  In fact I find the whole thing an enormous waste of time.

I also find it kind of stoopid that you have to have a gmail account to participate in G+ in more than an “I’m getting emails about this” capacity. Does Google want to compete with Facebook or don’t they? I have a Gmail account and I check it about twice a year, largely because I don’t especially like Gmail. I think it’s ugly.

So mostly I log on to G+, look at the thing a minute, and log off. Maybe somebody can explain to me what I’m missing. But I sorta think that what people get from online social networking is utterly absent for me. And I kinda get the feeling my G+ account is gonna get very dusty.

I Am Now a Citizen of Appistan

I have released Podrunner: Shift, an iPhone/iTouch app for my Podrunner podcast, which means I have joined the iNation of Appistan, an e-country with a clearly liberal immigration policy.

Podrunner: Shift lets Podrunner listeners change the speed of any Podrunner workout mix to whatever BPM they want, plus or minus 50% of the original BPM — opening up the entire Podrunner catalog to people who want more mixes at their own speed, and putting the mixes into the range of those whose workouts were previously outside of Podrunner’s offerings (e.g., slower walkers, speed runners, bicyclists, spinners, etc.).

Since Podrunner mixes are available from 130 to 180 BPM, Podrunner: Shift gives an effective range of 65 to 270 BPM — yikes.

Podrunner: Shift also has an “Intro Skip” button that lets listeners bypass the two-minute intro and go straight into the mix.

The free version is a self-contained manager for Podrunner listeners, letting users search, sort, download, & play Podrunner mixes directly, without any need to sync via iTunes.

Producing an app was an educational experience. Design- and function-wise it isn’t that huge a deal — except for the core function of beatshifting on the fly, which is pushing right at the limits of what the CPU of these phones can do (and that it can do it at all is amazing). That took forever.

The whole process has got me thinking about interesting ways I can implement apps as a writer. I got some ideas, I tell ya.