Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shaken: Stories for Japan--Editor, Tim Hallinan

I think I'd better start off with a disclaimer. I am not absolutely thrilled by the whole Kindle model in general. I'm a bit uneasy about a future in which all our books are 'in the cloud', and where one corporation might be able to make that book disappear overnight, whether for good reasons or ill. I don't like the exclusivity of the Kindle model either.

That said, though, this is an example of a good use of a new technology. This anthology, a 'Kindle Exclusive', was put together by Tim Hallinan and all proceeds go to help the people of Japan. It's a terrific list of writers who have contributed to this effort, and it's only going to put you out $3.99. You can download a Kindle reader for free to your computer, which I've done for precisely such an occasion. Believe me, reading books on my computer is not going to cut into my desire for bound books any time soon, but this was a great idea, and I'm happy to support it. I haven't actually read my copy yet, but this is one of those times where I thought getting the word out was probably more important than any actual commentary I might make.

Here's a list of contributors, in case that might entice you further:

Basho, Brett Battles, Cara Black, Vicki Doudera, Dianne Emley, Dale Furutani, Timothy Hallinan, Stefan Hammond, Rosemary Harris, Naomi Hirahara, Wendy Hornsby, Ken Kuhlken, Debbi Mack, Adrian McKinty, I.J. Parker, Gary Phillips, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeffrey Siger, Kelli Stanley, C.J. West, and Jeri Westerson.


  1. I am not quite confident about Amazon´s super power either, but I do like the opportunities my Kindle gives me - like when people tempt me with interesting novels or collections, and I can buy them immediately.

    But one of the things we can do as customers is to check the market and buy books via other suppliers when that is possible. So for e-books I always check Smashwords first (also because they don´t have to add VAT for Danish customers ;D)

  2. I probably shouldn't have started out with my qualms about Kindle, especially since Amazon is what's making this very generous venture possible. I sort of wanted to make my own position clear before anyone starts rhapsodizing about their device, although as long as they don't expect me to jump on board they are perfectly free to do so.

    As I've had to think about this all quite a lot, working in an independent book store, my conclusion is that my allegience is to the authors first, the bookstore second and Amazon not at all. I've mainly been buying my foreign titles through Book Depository, partly for the free shipping, but also to get out of the crossed loyalities dilemma.

    Thanks for stopping by here! I remember reading of your decision shift over to wordpress, but I forgot to update my blog roll. That will be corrected as soon as I'm done. Are you happy with your decision so far?

  3. Hi, Seana -

    Thanks so much for posting this -- people like you are getting the word out, and as a result, the book continues to sell.

    All of us who worked on the collection appreciate this post.

  4. I am not a fan of the idea of e-reader. The enthusiasm for e-books and the expensive device necessary to read them, doesn't take into consideration the young and the old and those in the middle who simply do not have the financial resources to buy a Kindle or Nook.

    The more e-books libraries buy with their increasingly diminishing resources means that fewer paper books can be purchased, leaving fewer books for the bigger pool of library patrons.

    On the other hand, I downloaded the free Kindle application for the PC and that allowed me to read SHAKEN - Stories For Japan. SHAKEN is twenty excellent short stories written by twenty authors, some of whom are new to me. I can appreciate the stories by long-time favorites like Jeff Siger, Cara Black, Jeri Westerson, Naomi Hirahara, and, of course, the motivating force behind the project, Tim Hallinan.

    SHAKEN introduced me to authors whose work I have not yet read in long form but which I will get to soon.

    And, for 3.99, we have the opportunity to help people who need it.

    Having read all the stories in one sitting, I think Tim should have set the price higher.

  5. Tim, the pleasure is all mine. It was a great idea,and the added benefit is that it gives people, me among them, the chance to get a sense of the style of lots of people I've heard of but not gotten around to yet.

    I don't think this little blog gets much traffic, but every little bit helps, I guess.

    My word verification word is a nice Japanesism: reversu

  6. Beth, thanks for stopping in. Yes, I have many qualms around all our devices, especially after listening to an interview last night with the author Daniel Wilson, whose new book Robopocalypse is about a scenario where the devices take over. I guess it's better to use them while we can, until that day where they start using us!

    And though I agree the price is very low, it will help spread the book more quickly and that's all to the good.

  7. Happy with Wordpress? Yesterday I visited you three times, wrote a comment and tried to publish it - but in vain. So yes, I am very happy with Wordpress :D

    Beth: a Kindle may seem expensive to readers who can get cheap books. In Denmark the price corresponds to 3-5 hardbacks. (Not that I ever buy Danish hardbacks). And until recently, I have had to pay quite a lot to have British and American books sent to me. Not complaining, just explaining why I think my gadget was fairly cheap ;)

  8. Yes, I've been having trouble with logging in at various blogs for awhile now too. As far as I can tell, if you don't click the stay signed in button, you can stay signed in--which is counterintuitive to say the least! I'm kind of glad to know it isn't only me, although glad maybe isn't quite the right word...

  9. You’re a naysayer. Tomorrow belongs to Amazon!
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

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  11. Seana, blogs that use the new Blogger template have not been letting me post comments. I make the post, get asked to type a verification word, get asked to sign in, get asked to type a verification word again, get asked to sign in…

    Commenting on Wordpress has always been iffy, especially if one signs one’s comments with a URL.

    I have every confidence that these problems are mere detours on the road to better life for all through technology.

  12. Better life for all, yes--especially if you're a robot. Or someone with stock in Amazon.