Christmas Doom

Written By: William T. Quick - Dec• 22•15

I posted this elsewhere, but I thought it fit well with this site’s general thematic approach, so I’m reposting it here:

 

All I want for Christmas is DOOM

The engine of economics is driven by scarcity.

A basic definition of “economics” is given by Thomas Sowell (PBUH, may he live a thousand years), which I paraphrase here: “Economics is a system of allocating scarce resources which have alternate uses.” The key word I want to focus on here is scarce. It is not abundance but scarcity that lies at the heart of economics. Scarcity of resources is what makes economics a fundamental property of nature. Scarcity is an inherent, inseparable, eternal property of reality. It is not a problem that can be solved — it is bound up in the laws of physics that govern the cosmos.

The necessities of life — water, food, clothing, shelter — are drawn from scarce resources which have alternate uses and thus require a method of allocation.

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of reality.

What Monty is talking about here is the allocation of “stuff,” that is, material goods.  All material goods have one characteristic in common: at the fundamental level, they are constructed of quarks, atoms, and molecules, the building blocks of all matter (including ourselves, by the way).

There is no shortage of quarks, atoms, or molecules here on earth, in our solar system, our galaxy, or our universe.  Our wants and needs for stuff are the most minuscule fraction of a fraction of what is ultimately available, and always will be.

Our problem is that, currently, these nanoscale particles are not arranged in structures that provide us an inexhaustible cornucopia of stuff.  That is already beginning to change, and will, over the next few decades, change vastly more, and render all the tropes of classic economics irrelevant.

We are even now transitioning from thousands of years of economies of scarcity into existence, for the first time in our history, in an economy of abundance.

This is a nearly impossible mental adjustment for most people to make.  We are genetically hardwired to compete, and what we compete for is stuff, because we have always needed stuff to survive and thrive – food, water, shelter, Star Wars movies, bacon.

Faced with a reality that renders all this hard-wiring obsolete, irrelevant, or both, we flail in protest:

1.  We will all die without the need to compete.

2.  Who or what will make all of this stuff for us?  Why?

3.  It will be a thousand years before we can do things like this.

In fact, such objections will vanish along with economies of scarcity themselves, and, within not too long a time, will come to be seen as vestiges of our barbarian, uncivilized past, un-regretted way stations on the long path to our new everyday lives of abundance.

We won’t die because scarcity no longer requires us to get out of bed in the morning, put on a coat and tie, and go slay a mammoth at GigantiCorp.

Our machines and the technologies created by the Artificial Intelligences we will first create, and then see them recreate and improve, will move the nano-particles into more pleasing and useful shapes – anything we want or imagine that we want.

This will happen, not in a thousand years, but in a few decades.  In fact, it is already happening now.

We are standing hesitantly, fearfully, on the brink of a truly new existence.  But once we have fully entered into it, it will, just as everything has before, come to be seen as normal, everyday life.

And it will go on.

Well, There and I’m Back Again

Written By: William T. Quick - Dec• 22•15

My, it’s been a while.

Kinda dusty here.

Well, it won’t take long to fix that.

Anyways, new book.

Yes, a new book I’m working on right now.

It’s called There Will be Time.

It’s space opera.  Huge scale space opera, in fact.  I’m scheduled to deliver the first draft to Caitlin Blasdell, my wonderful, superheroic NYC lit agent, by the middle of January, 2016.  Amazingly enough, that actually looks fairly doable.

I’ll keep you all posted.  Check back often.

On the work sched for today:  “Vampires.”  And “Zombies.”  And Artificial Intelligence. All with nasty and, I hope, unexpected twists.

Back to it.

Just Got Some Good News About Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster: There Will Be An Audio Book Edition

Written By: William T. Quick - Mar• 26•14

Today I agreed to a tidy little deal with Blackstone Audio to publish the audio version of the novel.

I don’t think I’ve ever had any of my dead tree works done as “talking books” before.

Stoked.

Who We Sell To

Written By: William T. Quick - Mar• 26•14

The Business Rusch: Marketing And Readers (Discoverability Part Who Knows) « Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Traditional publishers don’t really pay attention to a fan base. Publishers sell books to distributors and bookstores, remember, and so target their advertising to those companies. When the chain bookstores took over the business, traditional publishers only had to convince a handful of book buyers to take tens of thousands of copies of certain books, based not on the author’s sales record, but on what was “hot” or a “great cover” or a “new concept.”

I snatched this from a KK Rusch post of a couple months ago. It’s true, of course. I’ve been selling books in the traditional NYC publishing model since 1985, and I’ve learned the hard way about how books are really bought and sold, while personally going from bookstore to bookstore begging them to order my latest title – usually with no success. “That’s all handled by the SF buyer in NY,” I’d be told.

Sigh. Of course, most of those bookstore chains are now dead as the sands on which Ozymandias stands, just as the number of major publishing houses has also drastically shrunk.

Which means traditional publishing is now in the curious position where writers sell books to a couple dozen acquisition editors, and half a dozen publishing houses sell to even fewer bookstore chains.

In other words, what you, the reader, is permitted to buy is determined by a tiny handful of gatekeeping decision makers at publishing houses and chain bookstores. The dayI finally figured that out was the day I decided to try to transfer my efforts toward becoming a successful independent author.

You see, I want to write books for, and sell them to readers, not editors or chain buyers. It’s that simple.

Book Report: Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster

Written By: William T. Quick - Mar• 25•14

An update on recent news of my new book, Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster:

Over the weekend, the book received major notice in USA Today, The Blaze, and SF author John Scalzi’s much trafficked site, Whatever, as well as dozens of other web sites, blogs, and news outlets.

This pushed the book’s rankings at Amazon into the Top 200 of all books, #13 in Science Fiction, #3 in Hard SF, as well as into various Hot New Release lists.

This morning, I’ve begun to get interview requests from radio shows.  Also, my agent in NYC notified me of a publisher interested in bringing the book out as an Audible Book.  I’ll let you know the details of that as soon as I have further info.

The book is startng to fall back down the sales list this morning, but I still have hopes it will develop legs.  Anybody with a blog or news venue who would like a review copy, please let me know at iceberg@iw3p.com, along with what digital format you would like.

If you are a publisher interested in discussing sale of rights, please contact me at this link:  Lightning Fall: Rights.

Once again, my thanks to all who have helped make this book the success it has become so far.

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