Today, on a rainy Tuesday in Minnesota, Amazon announced the quarterfinalists of the 2011 Breakthrough Novel Awards. Despite lots of positive comments from the reviewers… Mendacities isn’t among them.
I had hoped to make it this far, but had no illusions of proceeding any further, so I’m not particularly bothered. I’ve other irons in the fire, future epic failures as-yet unperpetrated on an unsuspecting public, et cetera. I apparently got lucky, in that I was reviewed by intelligent, literate readers, so no hard feelings or anything on my part. Horror stories abound on the ABNA forums of worse-than-useless reviews left by people with highly questionable reading comprehension/writing/communication skills. Okay, Sturgeon’s Law says a lot of negative reviews are more than justified, but I’ve seen some purported reviews that attacked authors’ abilities to spell, while themselves being full of egregious typos…
That having been said, for anyone who might happen to care, Mendacities has recently become available for the Nook, directly from Barnes and Noble, as well as – supposedly – through Apple’s iBooks app.
In (possibly) more interesting news, I’m cynically amused by the division between domestic and international reporting on the airstrikes in Libya. Here, it seems the press has been very quick to minimize the US’ involvement in the actions, whereas overseas media seem to be endlessly describing the strikes as “US-led”. Go figure.
Last week, Bruce Schneier linked to some interesting research about “write-printing”, i.e. identifying the authors of anonymous written material through statistical analysis. I haven’t looked at this too closely, but I suspect it wouldn’t be too hard to defeat from either end – i.e. to write an e-mail that was not in your own “style”, or to write an e-mail in someone else’s style, given a few samples to work with. Aspects of this really kind of fascinate me, in part for professional reasons, but I’ve way too many things on my plate right now to poke around at it, alas.
Public Intelligence appears to be down because of a spike in traffic due to the “kill team” article published by Der Spiegel (or more correctly because their host, apparently EuroVPS, suspended them). Hopefully they’ll return with a better provider/server infrastructure soon. If you’re a real geek, you might be interested to check out the reverse-DNS for their IP address 188.8.131.52; I’d never seen a single IP address with more than one PTR record before…