Monday, April 30, 2007

"ßehemoth" set free

For the last couple of years I've been subjected to chronic whelming demand for a Creative Commons release of the final rifters novel. I am relieved to announce that "ßehemoth" went live as of 2a.m. this morning, over on the Backlist page. (The first bug fixes were up by around 11, so if you downloaded the html version before then you'll find hash where "°"s, "ß"s, and the like are supposed to be.)

This is actually something of a landmark. Now, officially, my entire oeuvre is out there for anyone to pillage. "ßehemoth", like my other CC releases, is available here as a pdf, zipped html file for convenient download, or as an eyeball-burning experience to be read online, right off the site. If precedent is anything to go on, others may well pitch in and translate into other formats — but they'll have to find out about it first so, you know. Spread the word. I've done my bit.

And yes, I am presenting the damn thing as originally intended before Tor's beancounters got ahold of it: as a single self-contained entity, not the miserable abortion that was ripped in half and then thrown at the market in two soggy severed chunks, months apart, the slashed stubs of tendons once responsible for balance, arc, and thematic symmetry quivering and necrotic.

You probably haven't noticed, but I'm still a wee bit bitter over that...

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13 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

Excellent! While I own dead tree copies of all the books, I like having access wherever there's a computer hooked up to the 'net. I reread books pretty often, so this'll be a nice way to spend some of the slower parts of the day at work. We'll call that 'lunch' for the sake of the overlords.

What prompted this now, rather than earlier or later? Personal preference, or some sort of legal jazz?

April 30, 2007 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Neither. I've been planning on doing this for almost a year now, but just never found the time until now. (Who knows, I may even get around to finishing the missing Blindsight pages one of these days...)

April 30, 2007 at 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck yeah, that's excellent. "Finally", I guess is the word I'm looking for.

- anonypost by razorsmile, in ph3ar of our Google-eyed overlords.

May 1, 2007 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Chizzle said...

Cool! I just wish I had the patience to read stuff onscreen. I like waht I read of Maelstrom.

May 1, 2007 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Steve S. said...

The benefit of coming late to the party is that one gets to read ├čehemoth straight through on paper, regardless of what the publishers do. Which is what I had just finished doing this last weekend before I read this post.

Still, I'm glad you put it online. I read Blindsight, Starfish and Maelstrom on my PDA, and strongly served to suck me in.

Thanks!

May 2, 2007 at 3:36 AM  
Anonymous Ivan said...

Thanks! That's really excellent news.

Pity the book had already become out of print by the time I stumbled upon it - I'd love to get it on d.t. but no second-hand retailer would send it to Russia.

However, I got Blindsight as soon as it appeared. Hope the Hugo will be yours, btw!

May 2, 2007 at 6:03 AM  
Anonymous rabbit said...

Aw, christ, man, how am I supposed to get any work done now?

Which is to say: Yay!

I hope that this brings you a new batch of paypal donations. I know it will from me since I never found the book in the store.

May 2, 2007 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous David Ellis said...


Cool! I just wish I had the patience to read stuff onscreen. I like waht I read of Maelstrom.



Reading it off the screen is for suckers.

Text-to-speech software is the way to "read" ebooks.

My preference is NaturalVoice (which is freeware).

May 2, 2007 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Scott C. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 2, 2007 at 11:15 PM  
Anonymous david ellis said...


If you 're trying to avoid occular hemorrhaging, and you dont want to reduce it to a "books on tape as read by Stephen Hawking" experience


Text-to-speech software has gotten much better at making those computer voices more natural than they used to be. No one will be fooled that its a human reader, certainly, but some of them are really pretty good.

May 3, 2007 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Peter Watts said...

Text-to-speech software is the way to "read" ebooks... My preference is NaturalVoice

Dude, if you're getting a speech synthesiser to read fiction to you, I guarantee you're not getting your money's worth (and yes, I say that knowing full well you're talking about a free product). There's emotion in fiction. There's passion and hot buttons and simmering resentment and sheer dumbfounded sensawunda. I know the tech has come a long way, but I've tried NaturalVoice, and while it does the job for business correspondence, it utterly kills even the most deathless prose.

If you're using it, or any other HAL 9000 wannabe to read my books— please. Stop. I'm begging you.

May 4, 2007 at 12:42 AM  
Anonymous david ellis said...

If you can manage to get an audiobook of your novels created I'll be glad to buy them (snowballs chance in hell, I know).

Until then, my imagination is more than capable of inserting the emotional nuances that the computer generated voice can't.

May 5, 2007 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Ian said...

I ordered B:B-max and B:Seppuku from Amazon.com along with Blindsight. They sent me Blindsight (glorious!), but told me they were unable to source B:B-max and B:Seppuku AT ALL, so they couldn't sell me the books.

My Toronto connection has promised to find me some copies and ship them Down Under.

Will Copy shops like Kinkos actually print up a PDF book? I thought they'd refuse to be an accomplice to blatant copyright violation? If they will, I'm pleased to know.

May 18, 2007 at 3:19 AM  

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