Remember The Boy and the Darkness, the Russian fantasy book that Moonshadow is translating? We may have run into problems with it. The author, Sergei Lukjanenko, is a well-known writer who has the pleasant habit of putting his books on the net, so that people can read them for free. He says this has not damaged his income much, although it's probably damaged the bank balances of a fair few Russians with internet access ^.^
Anyway, as well as the Russian scripts, he also has a couple of English translations on his website, which were done and offered for free and with permission, much like we're doing (they're linked from the above page). One of them is Labyrinth of Reflections. Mr Lukjanenko had been trying to publish Labyrinth of Reflections in English. Last week, he got an email from the publishing company stating, basically, that the English-speaking market wouldn't be able to handle selling a book that was on the net for free, and 'until Russian sci-fi authors stop with the free dispersing of books on the internet', they would not be approached by a North American publisher. They were quite rude about it (see here; scroll down through the Cyrillic until you get to the English excerpt). Mr Lukjanenko was understandably angry, but as a result of this he has removed the translation of Labyrinth of Reflections from his website. We have emailed him asking what the status of The Boy and the Darkness is. I don't know if he ever had plans to publish a translation of this particular book, and I don't know if his decision to remove Labyrinth of Reflections means we will also have to take down the translation of The Boy and the Darkness whether or not there will be an English publication. We'll let you know when we do.
There is a new image in the gallery; here. I am intending to use it as the image for the 'Compile, Link, EXE!' T-shirt requested on the wiki (discussion here, inspiration here). There are several ways I can get this on a T-shirt:
The first, most obvious way is to add it to the Toothycat Cafepress store. This method has the advantage of being easy (for me, at least), and the T-shirts are known to be good quality. The disadvantages are the need for a credit card and the shipping cost from America (but the T-shirts themselves are cheaper - one would cost about 14 pounds including shipping). Also, Cafepress don't do black T-shirts.
An alternative is to ask a commercial UK company to do them. From Talking Tees, a shop in Cambridge, such a T-shirt would cost from 12 pounds upwards, not including the postage (if any is needed). This has the advantage of not needing transcontinental shipping, and Talking Tees do good black T-shirts. However, we would have to have the T-shirts printed in bulk, which involves organisation and would not allow constant availability. Also, I suspect that a multicolour image would cost quite a bit.
The other two alternatives are variations on the DIY theme. We have just acquired a good quality inkjet photo printer. It is possible to get transfers for black T-shirts that will cope with a 40-degree wash. We could either post the transfer to customers, who could then put it on whatever item of clothing they want, or we could do the T-shirts and post them. Payment would have to be by cheque in the post (or personally, if you're in Cambridge/at LAC). I was thinking of charging on the order of 15 pounds for a T-shirt and 6 or 7 for a transfer, but it depends on how much the T-shirts are and whether we can get them in bulk - and whether it would be worth getting them in bulk. We have some cheapo transfers and will probably try something this weekend. The result will be photographed and stuck on the wiki, and also probably on the store page.
Obviously, the above-linked image is not the only one that can go on a T-shirt. If anyone is interested, or would like to comment or offer suggestions, feel free to do so on the wiki, at the bottom of this page.
- Sun Kitten, 30th May '03