Category Archives: Writing

Arpia novel available as “print-on-demand”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As of today, I have received my proof copies of the Arpia novel from three different print-on-demand solutions: the Blackwell bookstore in London, Lulu.com and Createspace (an Amazon.com partner).

If you fancy spending approximately 24 USD/18.50 Euros on a sci-fi novel of epic scale (seriously: 503 pages in A5 format, 650 in a slightly smaller format), I suggest you read on…

For those who don’t want to read this but want the book in physical format, please visit the Arpia novel page at Lulu.com. There, you’ll find a high quality yet cheap print-on-demand version of the Arpia novel, and the shipping costs worldwide are fairly low.

Note: the prices here are as low as I could get them. I decided against royalties, so you’re paying for the print-on-demand itself only.

Of the three solutions, Blackwell was the most expensive and, unfortunately, the one with the lowest quality. The cost is currently 5p per page, i.e. a bit over £30 for a copy of the Arpia novel, and the heavy paper used for the cover is not quite as high grade as the others. Moreover, the binding doesn’t seem as sturdy as the others. If you live in London and go to that bookstore (on Charing Cross Road) often, however, it may be an easy solution.

The Createspace solution allows Arpia to appear on Amazon.com, which is awesome, but I have no idea of whether this will extend to the other Amazon websites (.co.uk, .fr, …). Shipping from Createspace cost me almost as much as the price of the book itself, as it was shipping from the US… Result: 18.51 USD for shipping to the EU. Apparently, they only have printers in the US, so it may not be the best solution for people based outside of North America. A major qualm I have with Createspace is the fact that it wasn’t easy to set my own “spine” design (the side cover), and theirs is, frankly, not very nice.
Cost in store: 24.17 USD.

Finally, my favourite solution: Lulu.com. This has the highest quality cover paper, and I was forced to adopt a new format for Lulu.com, namely A5. The other two solutions use a format that is slightly smaller than A5, which makes the novel nearly pocket-size. The A5 format does, however, have an unforeseen advantage: the star maps included in the novel are more readable. One of the great things about Lulu.com is that it uses printers around the world, which means that shipping costs are lower than the other solutions. To ship to the EU, I paid 6 Euros.
Cost in store: 18.50 Euros/22.56 USD/£15.66.

Edit: added the Amazon.com link.

Arpia novel released and available (online)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I made a spontaneous decision a few days ago: as the Arpia novel has been ready for some time, and as it doesn’t look like literary agents in the UK want it, I’ll make it freely available online.

This led me to recall the existence of an “Espresso Book Machine”, an easy way for aspiring authors and others to obtain a printed version of a book, be it their own or one that is out of publication (but still with a digital presence). This machine can be found in Blackwell, on Charing Cross Road in London.

On 25 August 2010, I was in London to hand in a paper copy of my dissertation for my LLM, and I took advantage of the trip to London to order one copy of my book. When I receive the copy by post, I’ll be able to let you Londoners know whether you should consider ordering a little sci-fi novel from there – they currently charge 5p a page, which given the size of my novel amounts to £30… Definitely the most expensive novel I’ve bought!

I’m going to work on making the novel available in ePub and other formats (note: ePub now available), perhaps also on online e-book catalogues (if possible for free) and on other self-publishing print-on-demand platforms (hopefully not too expensively).

In the meantime, though, why not take a look at the Arpia novel page, and read through the first chapters or the entire book?

Legal Implications of Internet Filtering

 

 
 
 

Five years, eleven months and some 5 days or so after my very first lecture on law, I have handed in my final contribution to my six years of legal studies. As it is a work of some importance, both academically and personally, I publish it here.

Here’s the non-legal intro to show you what it’s all about. Or you can omit reading it here, and read it in the document itself: Legal Implications of Internet Filtering.

Continue reading Legal Implications of Internet Filtering

Law Code: a new website for a new topic

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Rather than keep on posting my random thoughts about the effects of code and law, I thought it might be good to create a new website for the discussion of the effects of the adoption of code as a means of regulating behaviour.

If you have any interest in the questions of why countries filter the Internet, of why speed bumps are preferred to simple car speeding laws, of how Alex in A Clockwork Orange may be our future, I heartily recommend that you take a look at lawcode.net, a place where a few friends and myself will attempt to bring these questions into the open, with the hope that as time goes by, people from all over will contribute articles or short columns.

You don’t need to be a lawyer and you don’t need to be a technologist. All you need is an interest, however remote, in the questions that will appear there. So why not take a look and see what you think?

Law Code: choice is but a memory.

The Order of the Two Magpies

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

An art historian, P.C., who wishes to remain anonymous, has uncovered a plot deeper and more fascinating than any work of fiction by Dan Brown: that of the Order of the Two Magpies.
It is a tale of intrigue and mystery to which the only clues are to be found in art, in a vast collection of paintings dating back to the 15th century.

The existence of the Order of the Two Magpies was unknown to most of the world for many centuries, but on 3 June 2010, P.C. discovered an anomaly in a number of paintings exhibited at the National Gallery, London: there appeared to be a motif common to art of different eras, namely a constant depiction of two birds, generally resembling magpies. Their significance, at first deemed to be a mere coincidence, soon led to the unraveling of the greatest mystery known to man.

Continue reading The Order of the Two Magpies

An opening scene

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

The boy looked uncomfortable, and his forehead was starting to shine. His shirt collar was hanging down inelegantly. Who wore a green shirt anyway? He was cute, obviously a romantic fool, but he wouldn’t last two more minutes.

“This is a nice place,” he said with a hesitant smile.

Look me in the eye, the girl wanted to reply as his eyes returned from examining the surroundings to staring at her lips. Instead, she nodded. Why had she accepted his invitation?

“And it’s nice that they allow you to take your pet with you.”

The girl’s thoughts went straight to Artemis, the animal nested on her lap. She felt Artemis stiffen, and she stroked her on the neck to soothe her. It was inevitable that people would mistake a firnex for an unintelligent pet, probably thinking it was a simple fennec fox, but speaking with so little tact and by repeating a bland adjective demonstrated stupidity.

Continue reading An opening scene

Intellectual property and the world today

 

 
 
 

The more I study intellectual property (IP), and the more I see its daily uses, the more inadequate I find the prevalent IP systems.

It’s frustrating, because I hope to work in this very field (I find it fascinating), and all I seem to see are the manners in which people have been slowly destroying the system by acting in a way that they believe helps the system.

Continue reading Intellectual property and the world today

A new literary favourite

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In my life so far, I have read books in too great a number for me to judge, and over the years, my tastes have evolved (as with films, music, …). I have enjoyed many books, adored some, abhorred a couple (some of which I was forced to keep on reading for school), and it seemed to be firmly established that the books that most captured my imagination were Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

But today, something strange happened: I had tears in my eyes upon reading the ending of another book, a newly discovered gem of literature.

Tears in my eyes! When faced with writing, the only time this has happened to me was while writing certain sections of the Arpia novel.

I must conclude that this book, which I found hard to set aside, has conquered my heart.

Its title? Scaramouche, by Rafael Sabatini (an Italian gentleman who wrote in English).

Its content? The tale of a young man who goes from the robe (lawyer) to the buskin (actor) to the sword (maître d’armes) around the period of the Révolution française.

Go read it. Now.

A poem for womankind

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Our world is like a garden,
Eternally in blossom
The saplings grow,
The flowers bloom,
And no plant can be forgotten

They come in all colours and sizes,
A feast upon the eyes
As I walk among them,
As if in paradise,
It is I that each one mesmerises

At first glance all I see is beauty
Superficial and yet so true
I draw closer and see
What they shall live to be
And behold them in all their glory

It is like being close to a phoenix
Or an angel whose heart is pure
When they shine like the sun with goodness,
With a smile any ill they will cure

Between passion and admiration,
Both in doubt and feeling too sure,
I cannot help respecting and loving them,
These beings with the power to lure

What would the world be without them,
With no such treasure to discover?
If we live, if we die,
These words are no lie:
We exist to serve these women.

Cyberlaw – an area of law?

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Short essay done for class – because it’s more opinion than anything, I thought I might share it. Warning: legal stuff.

 

What is cyberlaw? Cyberlaw is the law applicable in ‘cyberspace’, a seemingly ‘global-economic zone, borderless and unregulatable’ (John Perry Barlow in 1966, quoted in Reed, 2004). Yet, as Chris Reed argues, it is possible to proceed to a localisation in the ‘physical’ world of the constituent elements of any given activity in cyberspace, and national laws will therefore apply, in accordance with rules on applicable law (such as the Rome I and Rome II Regulations, at the level of the European Union).

Therefore, there are as many legal orders in cyberspace as there are national (or supranational) legal orders.

Having made these preliminary remarks, the original question, to which the introductory statement refers, remains: is cyberlaw an area of law?

Continue reading Cyberlaw – an area of law?