Cover to Cover #443: Alan Dean Foster

The Human BlendMike and Mike continue the discussion from previous episodes, about the business of publishing and electronic self-publishing.

Remember, when dealing with contracts and items that might not be explicitly covered, be safe and ALWAYS get it in writing.

Interview: This week, our guest is Alan Dean Foster, and his latest SF novel is The Human Blend, and his newest book is a memoir, Predators I Have Known (coming out as a first print digital edition).

In The Human Blend, he explores a world where genetic engineering and body modifications are widely in use, including as punishments for criminals. It's the first book in his new "The Tipping Point" trilogy.

Alan is also a conservationist and lover of the natural world, and has spent the last few years traveling the globe and interacting with some of its most dangerous creatures.

Predators I Have KnownPredators I Have Known chronicles his adventure travels around the world, taking readers through the heart of the Amazon on the trail of deadly tangarana ants, riding on the back of an elephant on safari in India in search of the elusive tiger, and face to face with Great White sharks off the coast of Australia.

Open Road Media, the publisher, has also incorporated some of the video that Alan has shot over the years into the ebook, along with a few of his media interviews.

Link: Alan Dean Foster @ Open Road Media
Link: @openroadmedia on Twitter

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Comments

  1. Ho boy. Over the many years I've listened to a great many gaffes spoken by Mr. Mennenga, but never one as outrageously huge and outright unquestionably wrong as what I just heard in this episode.
    Mike made an assertion that there is "currently a shift" in business, in which employers are only now starting to not treat their employees with respect, a respect that, according to Mike, was the norm in years past.

    I really do hope you were just talking without thinking and don't really believe that. The history of labor since the industrial revolution has been all about employers taking as much from employees as they can get away with. Why do you think people had to fight, literally, for child labor laws? For fair wage laws? For the existence of unemployment benefits? For work days less than 16 hours and work weeks less than 6 or 7 days? The right to even have lunch breaks? The only reason work is as humane as it is today, is because a hundred years ago people had to fight tooth and nail against the exploitation of employers and force government to step in and mandate better working conditions.

    And at every moment for the last 150 years employers have been fighting to take back as much as they can, to eliminate the ability of the worker to negotiate for better wages and conditions when employers (thanks to threats such as high unemployment) inherently have the most power. Workers, employees, have always been considered by employers as a liability to the bottom line. "Labor" is an expenditure and labor costs have always been considered something to be suffered at best, and minimized at worst.

    1 minute of Interneting provided a handful of links that should help Mike see the error of his couldn't-be-wronger assertion:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweatshop
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_history_of_the_United_States
    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1678.html
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_the_working_conditions_like_in_the_1900's_in_Russia

    And Mr. Stackpole, I'm ashamed of you. Usually you do a great job reining Mr. Mennenga in when he goes far afield, but you didn't here when I know you know the wrongness of what he claimed.
    Normally I bite my tongue at the gaffes, but especially in light of what the workers in Wisconsin are trying to accomplish for themselves while their Gov. is working hard to turn back the clock to the time when employees had no power, and public officials like Indiana deputy attorney general saying publicly that protesting workers are "political enemies" and should quite literally be shot by the police, claims that employers and employees have always enjoyed some kind of friendly and harmonious relationship is unconscionable.

  2. B. B. Stanfield says:

    Wow! An interesting take on employer-employee relations. I won't address this one, I was expecting something a little less intense.

    My reason for writing is to comment on the section where Mr. Foster talked about including media in e-books. It seems obvious to me that someone would mention the idea of including older media, such as animated .gif files into the introduction of a book or article.

    On hearing that my first and most immediate thoughts reverted to some older information where Arthur C Clarke talked about how technology is so advanced that it was indistinguishable from magic. My immediate second thought was of Harry Potter movies. If you recall the newspapers and pictures in the Harry Potter movies are all animated, ostensibly by magic. It seems these two ideas, although totally unrelated, are once again proving science fiction/fantasy coming true in some form.

    I am amazed at just how fast ideas become reality. If it were possible, it would be a great exercise ferreting out how much of various authors writing, such as Mr. Clarke, influenced the Harry Potter movie development so many decades later.

    That's my two cents worth. Listening to your podcasts are helpful. I still have to figure out how to get my stories written, even if they are likely never to be published. Thanks for listening to my weird thought associations.