It’s that time of year once more. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you readers, followers, and friends for spending time with me and my random collections of (mostly book related) posts in 2018.
Before the New Year, I’ll post one of those Top 10 post lists to discuss the highlights of my 2018 blogging… and the stats, you know I love talking stats.
As a gift for this festive season, I wanted to share some free books with you all. You see, for the first time in over 20 years, on the first of January, books from 1923 will enter the US public domain.
Yes, it has been 75 years already… Wait, quick maths tells me that 1923+75=1998, so shouldn’t these books have already been available in 1999? Why, yes, yes they should have. But apparently, the US Congress decided that for totally justifiable reasons [insert eyeroll] that books from 1923 to 1977 needed an expanded copyright term of 95 years.*
I’ve blogged previously about how copyright has excluded a lot of titles from the public domain. This essentially made any out-of-print titles disappear. And academics like Rebecca Giblin have been researching how copyright needs to change.
But now (some of) the drought is over. Google Books will offer the full text of books from 1923, instead of showing only snippet views or authorized previews. The Internet Archive will add books to its online library, and stores will be able to make these titles available for cheap (studies have shown that public domain books are less expensive, available in more editions and formats, and more likely to be in print—see here, here, and here.)
A few examples of books that will now be available in the public domain:
- Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Golden Lion
- Agatha Christie, The Murder on the Links
- Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis
- e.e. cummings, Tulips and Chimneys
- Robert Frost, New Hampshire
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
- Aldous Huxley, Antic Hay
- D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo
- Bertrand and Dora Russell, The Prospects of Industrial Civilization
- Carl Sandberg, Rootabaga Pigeons
- Edith Wharton, A Son at the Front
- P.G. Wodehouse, works including The Inimitable Jeeves and Leave it to Psmith (Source)
So have a happy holiday and enjoy whatever festivities you celebrate at this time of year with a free book!
*See more on copyright from Rebecca Giblin’s Author’s Interest project.
I’m looking forward to 2015. With each New Year there is a chance to change ourselves and the world around us, to make it better, to lay plans to bring about a better Australia. It is always best to make these plans at the beginning of the year, not at any other times throughout the year, because the earlier we make the plans, the easier it will be to forget them when it comes time to follow through.
This year I plan to make a few small changes, and if others follow my lead, we may have a better country by 2016.
Join a gym.
Last year I tried to lose weight using the Paleo Diet, which was based on the diet that someone who failed history and biology thought our ancestors ate. This year I’m going to join a gym for the year and then stop attending sometime in the second week of January. Regular gym members appreciate it if New Year’s Resolutioners leave before the end of January so that they have forty-eight to fifty weeks of the year they can work out unhindered. Gyms appreciate the extra memberships to keep their business running without having to invest in more equipment and space.
Do something about climate change.
I know I’ve been putting this one off since the 1980s, but this year for sure. Look, I know that coal is good for humanity and that climate change is crap, but I have all of these scientist friends who work for all of these science organisations who have been pestering me. I think at this stage it would be easier to stop using fossil fuels just to shut these experts up.
Stop reading the fantasy fiction genre.
There has been a lot of fantasy fiction released this past year. Regular series were back again with tales from Fox News, The Australian, in fact just about everything published by News Corporation. Until these fantasy authors start producing more realistic stories, such as Matthew Reilly’s story about a zoo filled with dragons, then I will have to stop reading them.
End my expectation of entitlement and join team Australia.
Australians have been far too entitled for far too long. Living in a first world economy that survived the 2008 Global Financial Crisis relatively unscathed has made us complacent. We have to stop expecting welfare, job security, privacy, and a fair go, unless we are rich, white, coal miners.
Start saving for my kids’ education.
Part of being entitled was the idea that we could expect an education that would give Aussies a good start at the fair go. Now it is up to me to make sure that my kids can afford an education. Our leaders know that it isn’t realistic for Aussies to expect a free education like they had, it is much more realistic to saddle young Australians with huge education debts, or have rich parents. Not being rich I’ll have to save money now for my kids’ education, they’ll just have to do without clothes, shoes and food in the meantime.
Write more letters of support for politicians.
Our nation’s elected leaders had a tough time in 2014 with experts from science, economics and ethics disagreeing with their policies and statements. Whether it be scientists pointing out that climate change was real, economists disagreeing with the budget measures and pointing out that the carbon tax was working, or the Human Rights Commission condemning the asylum seeker policies, it is clear that our politicians need more support for their uninformed policies. So I will be writing letters of support in 2015 encouraging them to stay the course, no matter how many uppity experts, with their facts and logic, disagree with them.
There are so many religious, non-religious, familial and festive events on this month, leading into the switch over to the new calendar year of 2014. So I hope that whatever end of year, harvest festival, solstice or denominational event you are celebrating, that it is a joyous one.
I’ve had a great year, published a few short stories, I have a novel in submission, my son has gone from sleep, eat and cry to eat, play, sleep and cry, and you have all shared that with me here. I hope you have had a good year as well, or at least one that will make you look forward to 2014 as much as I am.
So, join me again next year, slightly older, slightly wiser, slightly hungover and ready for some fun.
We are closing in on the end of the calendar year and on the annual spend fest that is the pagan tradition rebadged for
consumerists Christians. I’ve enjoyed 2012 and I thank my readers here for stopping by and joining me throughout the year. Whatever your religion, culture or creed, I hope that you have a good holiday and festive season and I hope that 2013 actually arrives. If 2013 does arrive, I hope that you were able to get lots of good stuff off of the people who swore the world would end on the 21st of December, and that the new year brings you joy and happiness or at least a pay rise.