Sunday, February 9, 2014

Comic-Con Badge Sales

Now that it's over, what do you all think of this year's Cimic-Con badge sale?

Things had to change the year Comic-Con attendees bought up all the badges for the next year's Con. Naturally those who didn't have a chance to buy one complained.

For a couple of years they had one first-come-first-served registration for those who'd attended the previous year's Con and those who hadn't.   You felt like you'd won the lottery if you got a badge for any day.

Last year was a semi-lottery, but winning partially depended on your internet connection, and your typing skill if your number was low enough. 

This year it was a total lottery. everyone had plenty of time to get enter and the same chance of having their number pulled. 

We here at GHPALS liked it. We also liked the new pricing structure. We know people bought 4-day badges when they could only go 3 days. They didn't do that this year.

Of course, they wouldn't have to limit badge sales if the Con moved to Anaheim. 

Why Don't Authors Get Residuals?

A few of us volunteer at the local library bookstores, where you can find great books dirt cheap. The store in the Newport Beach Central Library is the best because it is so convenient to donate there-it's right inside the door, and the nice volunteers will take a cart out to your car to get your donations.

One of our members is adamantly opposed to buying used books because the author receives no money from the sale. She doesn't think that'sright, and if she ran a used bookstore she would send every author a percent whenever one of his/her books sold, even though it would be expensive. If she couldn't find an author easily she would put the money in a savings account for a couple of years in case the author appeared.

Most of us think this is totally impractical, though we support her desire to support writers. But it did raise the whole subject of earnings after the initial sale.

Musicians and songwriters often get paid when their works are played on the radio, TV or movies. Some people working in Tv or film get residuals. Sometimes people who've written magazine or newspaper articles grt paid when it's reprinted.

But book authors only get paid on initial sales. Should they get a cut of retail sales? How could they, given the market is so decentralized. Authors do get paid for digital sales, however.

If an eBook is as cheap as a used copy, we think you should buy the digital version so the author gets paid. What do you think?

Reviewing Films for the Newport Beach Film Festival

It's that time of year again where several of our members are glued to their computers screening submissions to the Newport Beach Film Festival. It's a great opportunity to see a gem before the rest of the world. Or a great time waster since there's some real dreck submitted.

Screeners are sworn to confidentiality. Not only can we not share the names of the films we screen, or our opinions of them, but we cannot watch them with anyone who is not also a screener.

Once the program schedule is final, and printed, we are free to advise our readers on the films to see. And we will.

In the meantime, our scribe has watched two full-length horror films. One was truly awful and the other was very interesting, and scary. She recommended the later be shown. We'll see.

Every Captive Has A Story and There Are Many Good Ones Here

Several of us joined NetGalley and review advance copies of books. From time to time we've shared some of the ones we like. Our scribe does a lot of genealogy and was really excited about Ian Stone's book, Setting All the Captives Free. After listening to her, we are too as we think about the amazing stories each captive had to tell.

Anyone whose ancestors were part of the fight for and settlement of the Allegheny country should read this book to gain a good understanding of the risks they took, the challenges they faced, and the impacts in the already settled areas. By that, I mean everyone from French Canada to the Carolinas and even further south.

The book is very readable, well-written and easily understood by the layman. I particularly liked the explanation of the Warrior's Path traveled for centuries by the Iroquois raiding Shawnee and other southern tribes. No wonder there were conflicts when settlers cleared out fields and built homes on it.

The author tried to identify every person taken captive in the Alleghenies. By every person, he means just that. There were a lot of different kinds of people wandering around the area: traders from French Canada and Pennsylvania, Iroquois Indian raiding parties as well as settlers, plus soldiers from France Britain and the American colonies. Everyone was was taking captives and some of those poor folks traveled long distances before they were released-even to Europe! I can't imagine being captured in the wilderness and released in France or England with no easy way to get home.

Every person the author identified is listed in the appendices, along with information about each one: where and when he/she was captured and his/her ultimate fate. In many cases the author searched land and marriage, birth and death records trying to identify what happened to the person. Each person has a story, and to me each one was interesting. Sometimes several members of a family were captured at the same time and separated. I can't help wondering how a parent felt as one or two children came home and other's chose not to, becoming White Indians instead.

This book also has useful maps that actually show locations discussed in the book. All too often historical works don't have clear maps. I've been told that's because the author, not the publisher, has to pay someone to create them. If that is indeed the case, many thanks to Mr. Steele for caring enough to pay for good ones.