Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Watch Me Destroy Good News! or Up The Amazon Without A Paddle

Well. Here it is, on sale at this very moment. My first hard-copy publication outside the underground.

It hasn't really gotten to me. I noticed a typo, and a bad word choice. What kind of crawling scum would write, 'bubbled furiously' instead of 'seethed?' That's six syllables to one! That's a terrible fucking score! What the hell was wrong with me? I will be made to suffer for this transgression against Our Lady Language...

Aside from that, though, it hasn't really gotten to me.

But it's led to a situation. I mean, it turns out.

Well, there's this fucking thing.

I mean, what the fuck? Was somebody drunk? Isn't there some kind of firewall in place to keep this shit from happening?

Let's be honest. I see Amazon as a fundamental bad. It concentrates wealth and power in ways I distrust, it adds to the environmental impact of consumer culture, it treats art as an economic commodity, thus training people to undervalue culture and be unwilling to give it legitimate economic support. Life for fiction writers has gotten shittier and shittier since Amazon came on the scene. When you tell me thus-and-such a percentage of writers get thus-and-such a percentage of their income from Amazon, I think of all the Macmillan writers who lost income when Amazon refused to sell their books for weeks after the dispute with Macmillan was settled. That was harm done to innocent parties for spite, and that is Amazon. Amazon also publicly defended their passive support of predatory child molestation with the good old, "We're not censors," bullshit.

So, yeah, I hate Amazon, I hate Bezos, and I hate what they stand for. My fucking story in Future Lovecraft is predicated on Amazon's collapse. And you pretty much have to buy it from Amazon. That is my situation, right there.

Unfortunately, for a writer in the twenty-first century to hate Amazon is like a farmer hating dirt. And I noticed on my way in to my author's page? Amazon made big deal out of how they have no connection with me, made me sign a statement that they provide me with no support, have no responsibility for their distribution of my information.

As grownups, we understand this is bullshit, right? You can't dispel an onus with that kind of protective phrase, no matter how well it might hold up in court. But hey. They're admitting up-front they don't like me any more than I like them. For some reason, that makes me feel more at ease.

So. Maybe it's time for me to set aside my need for ethical (by my twisted standards) purity, and make a compromise. The simple fact of the matter is that unless you exist at the top or outside the system, your work goes to benefit horrible, horrible entities of one kind or another. Otherwise, they wouldn't send you a check.

I don't know. I'm going to reflect on it. But it looks as if I'm going to be in bed with Amazon no matter what, and it would be shrewdest to cooperate.

I don't know, he said, looking at the paw and the trap, trying to figure out what is morality, what is self-denial, and what is pure finickiness. I just do not know.


NM said...

Send Sylvia the typo—as it's a POD book, she can just upload it again, corrected.

Sean Craven said...

Well. That's where it gets weird. See, I sent Sylvia a copy of Swill 5, and recently, I reread it and realized that a character named Sylvia Morales suffers badly off-camera. Basically, being named Sylvia in one of my stories is like being played by Steve Buscemi in a Coen Brothers movie.

Guess which sentence in Deep Blue Dreams contains a typo. I don't want to draw attention to that, especially after the lovely Christmas card Sylvia sent with my extra copy.

You know what the trouble with writing transgressive fiction is? Transgressing.