Thursday, July 5, 2007

Transformers and e-books ...

Saw Transformers. It's better than everything else Michael Bay's ever directed -- put together -- which means it's halfway not-bad. Fair's fair -- Michael Bay did direct one really nice bit once, in The Rock:

John Mason: Are you sure you're ready for this?
Stanley: I'll do my best.
John Mason: Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.
Stanley: Carla was the prom queen.

So it's not the Hill of Beans speech. But I saw Bad Boys, The Rock, and Armageddon before I got completely clear that Michael Bay's name on a movie was a guarantee of awfulness -- so I skipped Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys II, and The Island, and no doubt I'm the better person for it. That one nice note in The Rock was, until Transformers, the high spot of the Michael Bay ouvre.

It turns out that Michael Bay was always supposed to be directing cartoons. Transformers isn't a great cartoon, but it's a pretty good one, the boy playing the boy can deliver a line, and the girl playing the girl was visibly a girl in ways that half the audience couldn't yet appreciate ... and the Transformers are genuinely cool in a way my inner small boy can still appreciate.

I'm the wrong generation for Transformers -- I was an adult when that cartoon hit -- the non-parent audience for that show was overwhelmingly male and under 35. I suppose I could take a moment to mock the grown men sitting in the theater for a Transformers movie ... except, you know, I'm there on opening night for the Speed Racer movie. So I should probably skip the mocking.

I'm waiting on a letter from the guy at Quietvision who was publishing Armageddon Blues, Emerald Eyes, The Long Run, The Last Dancer, and Terminal Freedom -- when I get it, I'm going to take the PDFs and make them availble for free download. Half a dozen people have asked me to put up a donate button on this blog -- once those books are available for download, anyone who wants to donate is welcome to. It's not a requirement, either explicit or implied: the downloads will be free. There's another book I'm going to make available which is a collection of short fiction and essays -- "A Freeway In My Back Yard." That'll follow a while after the other stuff and will also be free. Thereafter, one or two at a time, I'll PDF and make available whatever else I have floating around on my hard drive, until everything worth making public, is.

If someone can recommend a good file-sharing service that's easy to use (both for me and for downloaders) I'd appreciate it.


Sean Fagan said...

Ooooh... that'd be nice. I'm still trying to decide on a nice ebook device; some folks pointed me at the (not yet released) Bookeen Cybook device (uses e-Ink), and Charlie Stross pointed out the Nokia 770 "web tablet." I've ordered the latter, but we'll see if the order actually goes through.

The thing that makes an ebook a viable idea for me is Baen (if you do release your books, I'd like to suggest you talk to the Baen Free Library folks -- even Lackey admitted it was a good idea, finally ;)).

Dan Moran said...

I've never used Baen's free library, but as long as it's not exclusive (i.e., books posted there can only be posted there, sort of thing) I'd be happy to upload to it.

Sean Fagan said...

As far as I know, it's not exclusive at all -- you can even sell your book elsewhere and have it on the free library.

You should talk with Eric Flint about it; he was the driving force behind it. I'm not sure what his current email address is, but the SFWA directory was mailed out recently :).

Anonymous said...

I definitely had mixed feelings about Transformers. Having grown up on the original cartoon I was definitely looking forward to it. And in someways, on occasion, the film delivered in full, all that I was hoping for. Of course, there was some serious disappointment also. The worst aspect, in my opinion, is the way the movie fluctuated between being enjoyable and being crap. The crap was always worse for being displayed right next to some goodness. Prime only ever really felt like Prime when he confronted his first decepticon, and that was my biggest let down. Overall, I think I'm more inclined to watch the animated movie again.

Moving on. It's great to hear that you plan on releasing everything as PDF's. More welcome news would be hard to imagine. And with that, I am now I'm done fluffing. :)

susan villalobos said...

Hi Dan Heres a blast from the past, remember star wars dressing up and me as leia and you and jim accompaning me to star wars. I think the best burgers come from planet hollywood but that's just my humble opinion. Hope you and Holly are doing great. Love the picture. Are You still a perfect person. I guess you must be right about fatburger if you are but I still say you havn't lived until you have had a planet hollywood cheesburger. Hope to here from you soon. Looks like the writing career is going well! I miss you guys. Susan V. PS:! Yeah I know it's odd but you know I have never done anything the normal Way!

Dan Moran said...

Susan! Sweetie, drop me a line at with your current e-mail address. It's been forever -- hell, Holly and I have been divorced for 17 years now. (Though on good terms -- I sent her some Dixie Chicks CDs recently -- she's writing romance novels as Sierra Donovan --

I'm married to Amy Stout, the editor who bought my novels back in my Bantam days, and we have 5 kids and life is mostly good ....

Would love to see you again.

Dan Moran said...

Never mind, I see your email address in there, I missed it at first in the shock of seeing your name.

Anonymous said...


That there, is a way to make friends.

I'm giddy with anticipation, despite owning the hardback Long Run & Armageddon Blues, and paperback EE & TLD.

Having 'em on the Treo will make even the waiting at the the Dr's office tolerable.

How is it that DKM is not a Billionaire Media Mogul yet?

joseph said...

Thank you very much, I just might have to get some portable reader so I can take TLR with me. Now we see which author truly appreciates his fans.

Dan Moran said...

>How is it that DKM is not a
>Billionaire Media Mogul yet?

I can't understand it myself.

Joe Bono said... might work for your needs if you just want a place to store PDF files online and make them freely available.

Anonymous said...

Hi Daniel!! Just found this spot onb the web. Been hunting your work down for years!!!
No kidding. I believe I found a copy of Last Dancer in 1994? Anyway, I read it and immediately fell in love with it! So I tried to find Emerald Eyes and Long Run. Of course the bookseller said Out of Print!! I was so upset. To me it was one of the best books I have ever read. And I've read thousands.
Finally, just last year, I found a copy of Long Run in this little seedy bookstore. So excited I looked for Emerald Eyes. No such luck. Read it in a day and still loved the concept.
Finally, I found someone online who shared the whole series. this is last week. I'm almost finished with Emerald and can't wait to get to my version of A.I. War. However, I noticed you said it's owned by the publisher right now. Is it still a short story or has it evolved into a novel? I would love to read your books with your sister. Terminal Freedom. Also would love to read Devlin's Razor. Is there anyway to get an ebook of those (BTW, the only way I could get your series is in ebook form)? My email is
Hope you can help. Also hope I don't start getting a bunch of spam. But it's worth the risk to get a message through to you.
I truly hope you keep writing because it's so hard to find anything decent to read these days! I feel like I've read everything worth reading. (I'm not only limited to sf. I read it all! Classics to Non-Fiction!) Thanks you for entertaining me and the public for all these years!!

Your fan,

Alex Nikolich