Category Archives: Uncategorized

Space Cowboys 404 (Cow Not Found)

Our little press released its first anthology in April of 2022.

Yesterday we released #17.

Wow. 17 anthologies in 20 months. And that doesn’t count the re-release of both LawDog Files books, or the Postcard series we did.

One of the clichés that really annoys me — and always has — is: “That’s the way we’ve always done it.” I’ll grant that some times the “way we’ve always done it” is still the best way to do something; but if you’ve been doing it this way for a century, and you haven’t allowed for technological advances, the “way we’ve always done it” sometimes doesn’t hold up.

Publishing is a case in point. It is mired in TTPs* first set down in the last century, and shows very little willingness to improvise, adapt, and use modern tech to overcome the obstacles common to the industry.

When I went to my first convention as a baby publisher I was told by someone older and wiser than myself — who had been in publishing for a while — that there was no way we could get as many anthologies out as I had publicly planned. That I had “bitten off more than I could chew.”

Well, here we are, and we’re right on track. That’s despite pretty much learning publishing from the ground up, and having the oopsies common to all new companies.

I can’t thank Jonna Hayden, Cedar Sanderson, CV Walter, Sarah Clithero, and Liota Wakal enough for their experience, insight, and just plain digging in to get the job done.

And, of course, Rita. I seriously couldn’t have done it without her.

To our authors and fans: Thank you for your faith in us, thank you for entrusting your stories to us, and you might want to strap in and hang on — y’all ain’t seen nothing yet.

Buy! Read! Review!

Seriously — thank y’all.

LawDog

*Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures.

Meditations on architecture

I love old buildings. I really like Art Deco buildings, but anything pre-Brutalist Period has some charm somewhere. Beauty for beauty’s sake in architecture says something about the society that was extant when the building was erected. Exuberance. Faith (whether that being faith in a higher power, or faith in society as a whole). Hope. Optimism.

Just being a long-standing public exhibit of the ability of Man’s soul to produce something useful that is also beautiful and uplifting.

I can’t stand Brutalism, and I find most modern architecture to be rather soul-less, truth be told.

One of the things about old buildings — aside from their charm, if not outright beauty — is that they were built during a period when air-conditioning was Not A Thing. They supported folks going about their daily duties without dying of heatstroke at their typewriters on a daily basis. 

High ceilings that allowed heat to rise away from the work areas. Transom windows above doors  so that heat could flow away, but maintain some level of security and privacy. Floor vaults, thick walls, and functional cupolas all provided environmental consistency and relative comfort at a time when HVAC was still a fever dream.

I have to ask: Why, at a time when elements of the population are decrying the “wasteful” use of widespread conditioned air (and demanding that more public buildings get “green”) are these older, time-tested — and quite frankly, charming — features not being incorporated into more of these “ecologically-sensitive” modern buildings?

I would love to see a “Neo-Art Deco” style come back into popularity. Beaux-Arts.  Even (if we have to) “Neo Moderne”

Buildings that are not only “environmentally conscious” (can’t believe I typed that  with a straight face), but are graceful and beautiful for beauty’s sake.

What? I can hope, right?

LawDog

Coffee

I drink coffee before mid-day, and tea after; so let’s have a rumination on coffee, shall we?

For me, coffee is best out of a pour-over set-up. I use Melitta filters in a generic cup-top holder usually, although we do have a French press. I tend to find that a French press is extra fiddly for an extra value I’m not really sure is worth the extra effort.

We have a Brita water filter that we run tap water through before it goes into the electric kettle.

By the by: why don’t more Americans have an electric kettle? They’re all sorts of useful.

Seeing as how we’re doing an anthology with King Harv’s Imperial Coffees in 2024, and since they have a blend specifically for us, I feel I should do a plug for them, but truth be told they make damned fine coffee, and I’d recommend them even if we didn’t have a connection.

If King Harv’s is out of your budget, Wide Awake Coffee Company and Community Coffee are my go-tos for good, inexpensive coffee.

Since I am diabetic, I put one packet of Splenda stevia sweetener and one packet of Splenda monk fruit sweetener in my mug, then I wet the filter at the faucet and put it in the holder on top of the mug.

My Rule of Thumb is one tablespoon of ground coffee for each person drinking, and one for the pot; so two tablespoons of ground coffee in the filter, and a gentle pour once the water is just off the boil.

For those Gentle Readers not familiar with that phrase, when the water hits a rolling boil, turn off the heat, wait about 15-20 seconds after the bubbles have stopped, and you have water “just off the boil”.

The “one per cup and one for the pot” can vary. King Harv’s Geisha blend doesn’t require that much grounds, so trial and error is your friend here.

Pour the water into the filter, making sure all of the grounds are well wetted, and continue to pour until you have the amount of coffee you are looking for.

I prefer evaporated milk for my coffee and tea — my African childhood coming through — but half-and-half is perfectly ok.

As an aside: half-and-half is closer to what I remember milk in Europe as being. I don’t know what Americans do to their milk, but it isn’t as rich as I remember it from other places.

Then I sip gently on the back steps, watching the dogs snuffle around the backyard, and mentally preparing for the day.

Voila! Coffee.

LawDog

Pinup Noir 2

Anthology #15 is out!

Pinup Noir 2, the second of our series inspired by Greg Hildebrandt’s stunning ‘Saturday Night Special‘ painting is now — after some hiccoughs — live!

(Have I mentioned that Amazon makes my eye twitch?)

Support starving authors — buy this book.

Direct link is here.

I’m so proud of all the authors that submitted stories for this series — picking the best of all of them was agonizing.

LawDog

 

… Oh, wow.

So, I was banging around Amazon just now, when I found this:

Being ever-so-slightly curious, I decided to see how many Raconteur Press books were in the “Top 100 Paid” “Best Sellers in Science Fiction Anthologies”, that being a very competitive area.

Would you believe we currently hold 8% of the Top 100?

Not bad for a nothing little press out in the middle of fly-over country, hey?

*suppressed inner squee*

LawDog

Moggies! Back in space!

Well, that went live a day early, but — cats. What can you do?

It’s a fantastic problem to experience when you have so many wonderful authors submitting so many outstanding stories that your one-off anthology has to have a Part 2.

Thank y’all from the bottoms of our hearts. Thank you.

So. Cats! Space! Possible hairballs!

Direct link is here.

LawDog

Due diligence, and you

Dear authors,

Every one of you who has submitted a story to us — CHECK YOUR AUTHOR EMAIL ADDRESS, PLEASE.

If you have an e-mail address set up for your author account/author business, and you’re sending stories out, do me a solid and check that email address regularly. And by “regularly” I mean “at least once a day”.

We’ve had a previous story that we really, really liked; that we wanted to publish; and that we wanted to see that young author GET PAID FOR.

However, said author didn’t respond to the contract we sent out until a month after we sent them the contract. We had to pull that very excellent story from an anthology.

You’d think this would be a one-off event, but we’re having to do it again. We have a wonderful story submitted, but the author that submitted it isn’t checking his/her e-mail address, and we’re coming up to the launch point for the anthology.

We’re on a tight deadline. I’m not holding up a release for one person, because I don’t want to deal with a failure cascade on our very tight production schedule.

Jonna is about to send a 5th email to this latest example. Five. Trust me – any other publishing house would yank your story after the first one, and I (as the publisher) am seriously considering pulling rank and pinching this sort of thing off.

Which makes me sad, truth be told.

So. If you want to make money writing, treat it like a business. Follow up. Check your author email address regularly — like every day — because if you’re not going to treat your craft seriously … why should we?

Frustrated, I remain:

LawDog

Or All Will Burn

The latest release from Raconteur Press is another one of our collaborations with established authors.

This one was suggested by Kacey Ezell, and is centred around what someone would do to keep their child safe. The stories we got are just fantastic.

We also managed to snag Marisa Wolf for this one, and I’m tickled pink about that.

Cedar’s cover is just … wow.

Direct link is here.

As usual, our authors went above and beyond, so there will be a second edition of Or All Will Burn, but I would take it as a kindness if you would spread the news about this one far and wide. 

LawDog