Thursday, 30 May 2013

Imagine that you had a Magic Wine Glass

Imagine that you had a Magic Wine Glass

Imagine that you had a magic wine glass, that would instantly fill up whenever you pushed a button that was conveniently located on the glass.  The wine might come from anywhere in the world – from a great vineyard in France to a small operation in  Argentina.  Indeed, it might even come from a neighbor’s saskatoon berry orchard.  Whatever your whim, there was probably a wine to satisfy it.

Not only that, but you could get a small sample of that wine for free, before making your purchase.  And in most cases, the wine was less expensive than wine you purchased from a grocery or liquor store.  And as far as the bottle goes – no deposit, no return since there is no bottle.

It would be hard for a liquor store to compete with that.  Sure, they would tell you that their buyers provided  curation, culling down the list of wines that you might buy to a precious few that they had personally vetted for you.  They might also say that their clerks provided an invaluable service, advising you of the best wines to go with each meal.  They might even tell you that the sound of the clinking bottle and smell of the cork were vital parts of the wine drinking experience.  Last, but not least, they would tell you that a shelf full of wine bottles (full and empty) was the sign of a cultured person.

The reality was that you drove to the liquor store, fighting traffic in order to get to a location with a limited selection of wines, many of which you didn’t really care for.  More often than not, you dealt with a poorly paid, harried and harassed clerk who didn’t really care for wine at all.  And finally, you hauled heavy bottles home, then hauled them somewhere else to dispose of them once they were empty.

Well, that’s a long segue into the difference between the kindle (or kobo) ebook and the paper book at the bookstore.  It seems hard to believe that the wine store could long compete with the magic wine glass and it seems hard to believe that the paper bookstore can long compete with online ebook store.

Speaking of wine, you might enjoy a glass of Sickle Island Red from  the Drowned Planet of Terra Book One:

Or perhaps  one of the Carmack Estate wines from the planet of Vultaire of Kati of Terra Book Two:

Or a glass of Galactic Gardens White Wine with Sarah and Coryn on Space Station RES of The Witches Stones:


Friday, 17 May 2013

What is Dodecahedron Books?

What is Dodecahedron Books?

Or perhaps that should be "who are Dodecahedron Books"?

Well, as of May 2013 we are a small ebook publisher, consisting of a husband and wife team, Dale Olausen and Helena Puumala.  Helena provides the writing talent, with Dale adding the odd chapter or story idea that Helena turns into a chapter.  Dale does the "publishing", which is to say the miscellaneous computer work (formatting books, facebook pages, etc) and the project management (collaborating with the artist(s) on cover art, maps for books, editing, etc).

Helena has a B.A. in English from Carleton University.  Dale has a B.Sc. in physics and math from the University of Alberta, along with an extra year’s course work in statistics and statistical methodology.  In his other life, he is a statistician working for a major research university.  On occasion, we get some scientific advice from an astrophysics PhD student, who also happens to be our son Scott.  So, Dodecahedron Books covers off both the "science" and "fiction" parts of  "science fiction" pretty well.

Speaking of cover art, we have had most of our artwork done by Leona Olausen, a really fine artist, the sort who has work hanging in galleries and who makes actual money from her painting. It is great to have the input and advice of someone with such a keen artistic sense. We like to think that Leona's artistic sensibilities give Dodecahedon's books a distinctive look. We also have a number of beta readers, on whom we rely for independent reading, commentary of story ideas, help with line editing and so forth. Among our most helpful are Kaye and Ken.

So far, we have produced two of Helena's novels (Kati of Terra Book 1 and The Witches' Stones Book 1), as well as a mixed collection of short stories. A third novel will be out very shortly, Book 2 of the Kati of Terra series.  The Kati of Terra series is a nice blend of romance and science fiction/adventure.  The Witches’ Stones series is more science fiction adventure, though romance is probably in Sarah’s future (she’s the lead character of the Witches’ Stones series).

As for future projects, Helena is busily writing Book 3 of the Kati series at this time.  She will probably go back to the Witches’ Stones series after that.  We are also working on a children’s fantasy story, with artwork by Jordan Lang, a young woman with a whimsical artistic style that should mesh well with the story.

This blog will cover our books, as well as sometimes general commentary on books and publishing.  Since Dale is a practicing statistician, the commentary will sometimes have a statistical flavour.  Helena’s contributions will be about the worlds that she imagines.

Finally, what’s a dodecahedron?  It’s a solid with 12 faces, each of which is a 5 sided pentagon, one of the five Platonic solids.  In Plato’s philosophy, the dodecahedron was said to be the solid that “encompassed the entire universe”.  In that same spirit, Dodecahedron Books’ mission is to publish science fiction and fantasy ebooks that encompass the entire universe of imagination.  Included in that universe are romance, adventure, humour, danger, friendship and intrigue - the things that make life interesting.