August 13th, 1999

August, 1999

Posted at 6:25 PM by Jack Chalker

Those of you following my saga know that I’m going through a very bad time right now, along with a LOT of other writers, not just science fiction ones as well. The consolidation in the publishing industry, the takeover of book distribution by Wall Street, and the firing of the old editors like those at Del Rey who were mostly concerned with books rather than media has caused a real slump and financial as well as other problems. How much of a standing do I have with Del Rey at this point, a company I’ve been with for 20+ years and sold millions of copies through? Well, the current management printed a mere 20,000 copies of PRIAM’S LENS, and when those sold out seemed awfully surprised and they say they’re going to maybe print 3 or 4 thousand more. If they won’t promote you, won’t believe in you, and don’t get you out there on the stands, how can you prove ‘em wrong? It’s very sad.

Barnes & Noble finally came around, only to discover it couldn’t reorder PRIAM’S LENS because it was out of stock! Waldens picked it up so late they couldn’t get enough for all their stores. Naturally, they’re now saying that, gee, Chalker’s last book sold very poorly. He must be over the hill like we said, see? Of course, every copy they printed sold without one iota of support from them, but they are proving what they want to prove.

Thanks for the kind notes on my illness. I’m back home, the leg’s getting better, but I’m slowed down on writing at a time when I need every dime. Hollywood still isn’t knocking, either.

I hope they don’t kill the new Well World books as well (the last ones sold very well indeed), but I suspect that they will. The fellow deciding what gets published is no fan of mine….

Been getting some mail about the motion picture The Matrix noting just how many elements of it were lifted almost verbatim from The Wonderland Gambit. It’s true, and they stole them and that’s why I got nothing, no credits, no money, from it. Were I in better shape financially it would be worth going after them, but, alas, unless you know a contingency lawyer with Hollywood experience willing to take it on it’s just going to have to be another rip-off that Hollywood is famous for. And if they don’t like me saying that, then let them sue me! Oh—that goes for The Thirteenth Floor, too, but nobody saw that one and at least they credited the late Dan Gallouye for the heart of it….

Baen Books has now released the last Quintara book under the slightly altered title of 90 Trillion Fausts with my approval. Unlike Del Rey’s treatment, you should be able to find this one at your local bookstores and chains both online and in stores. You might want to read the new intro to Bibliography; I’m less thrilled with of late but I have some other suggestions that might save you money, too.

Unfortunately, I’ve got no more guest of honor gigs this year; we’ve not been asked anyplace else, and with finances poor (I’ve just missed my first World SF Convention in 33 years!) our con going will be limited this year.

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