First: so hey, it looks like our novel, Something Greater than Artifice, was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Indie Book of the Year!
Which is nice.
Second: which means that the message behind the book is getting out there.
Which is even better.
Because Something Greater than Artifice, while being a sci-fi romp through the countryside featuring futuristic tech and faceless villains and people getting punched square in the face, represents something greater than the sum of its parts.
We at &yet believe in a free and open web, and we support that idea by making open source projects based around the idea that siloization is bad, and that sharing is good. And sometimes we make cool apps like Talky and share all the fundamental components we used to make it!
And sometimes we write books about it.
For those of you who don’t know, Something Greater than Artifice is a straight-up allegory for open source realtime technologies, and what will happen if we let the silos win.
Well...they're not always bad. Not at first. Silos are just storage units, really, just like the ones you'd see on a farm – big containers for just one kind of thing (which isn't inherently bad, either).
But when it comes to technology, sometimes those silos are less like big ol' grain canisters and more like the Prince John from the old Robin Hood movies: taking everything of value and sealing it up behind an impassable wall. Everything belongs in its place, separated from everything else. Nothing escapes and nothing travels in between. Not even ideas.
And like Prince John, the people who own these silos don't like competition. They want to snap up anything that doesn't fit into their stratified, hypercapitalist worldview and make it go away forever. They want everything to be the same, and they want to own it.
And we're not cool with that.
(Which is why we call the bad guys SILOS. Subtle, right? Then just wait for the Snowden joke.)
So if you wanna live indie and silo-free, you might wanna check out this book. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
AND NOW, A PARABLE: A couple years back, my wife and I were watching a vapid reality TV program. One of the participants in the show, a professional public figure, had her memoirs written by a ghost writer. When her friends find out, they mock her for not having written her own book.
Her response? “It takes a village to write a book.”
My response to that? Mostly cussing.
Because at the time I saw the compositional process as an isolated one. Hell, I was friggin’ Shakespeare as far as I was concerned. Or at least a less-mathematically-obsessed Neal Stephenson. Yes indeed, some men are an island, and that island was me.
But I didn’t realize it until I started working on SGtA how much I rely on the people around me.
Adam, telling me in no uncertain terms to ax former character Ernesto, after which fan-favorite Ivan grew in his place.
Lise, my editor, patiently explaining that I can only use the term “byzantine” so many times.
A lot of people worked very hard on this book. But then, that’s the indie spirit isn’t it? It’s not about doing everything yourself; it’s about coming together with the people around you, those stalwart few who actually give a damn about one another, and making something greater.
(Which is kind of what &yet’s all about, if you ask me)
OR...if you wanna go full indie, skip the silos and get it here.