Ever wonder what a “Little Englander” is? See BK Marcus’s article on how “words from Victorian England continue to haunt advocates of freedom and peace” in today’s Freeman.
We are pleased to announce that a print edition of John Brown’s State of Terror is now available on Amazon.
In the near future, there has been a series of terrorist attacks. With the War on Terror now a global conflict, the distinction between the war front and the home front has blurred. With the Homeland at war, the old rules of law and of war no longer apply. New enemies call for new tactics. Drone and satellite surveillance, warrantless search, universal electronic monitoring, internal passports, and abusive checkpoints and strip searches have become routine in the emerging National Security State. New enabling laws authorize secret courts and indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Plunged headlong into a nightmarish world of “ghost” detainees in black-site prisons is Tom Benson, a banking executive and U.S. Army veteran. Growing distant from his wife, and with his son facing conscription, his troubles start when he is mysteriously unable to cash a check. Arrested and declared an Unlawful Enemy Combatant, he endures progressively harsher “enhanced” interrogation as he struggles to regain his freedom and strike back.
State of Terror explores Benjamin Franklin’s timeless warning: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
One reviewer on Amazon writes,
The most terrifying aspect of this novel is the reality that many Americans are willing to give up essential liberties for a false sense of safety — on both “sides of the aisle.” This novel’s ideas are rooted in our day to day reality where Americans and its political leaders will try to crush those who show us how truly un-free we are, case in point: Edward Snowden. A well told “Dystopia-thriller” that will inspire readers (much like the novel’s hero Benson) to value their personal freedoms hopefully enough to fight for them.
And if you like this book as much as we think you will, please make sure to review it on Amazon.com.
Allen Mendenhall’s new book, Literature and Liberty: Essays in Libertarian Literary Criticism is available now on Amazon.com. This book brings together new versions of 7 different Mendenhall essays. Some of these are punchy and short, like “Bowdlerizing Huck,” which discusses the practice of censoring the “n-word” out of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Others, like “Law and Liberty in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India, provide lengthy, contemplative explorations of polycentric law.
This book comes out under the Rowman & Littlefield imprimatur, with the editing and indexing done by Invisible Order.
In a discussion over at the Libertarian Fiction Authors association, during a recent conversation about professional publishing assistance, one of our clients recently gave us a ringing endorsement. Here’s the full statement from John Brown, author of State of Terror.
Having a professional do your editing, cover, and interior design is not an option; it’s mandatory. Don’t even think about editing your own writing, even if you’re an editor by trade. And, do you have a solid background in graphical design? How about HTML? Sure, you could just hit a button and publish, but this is one of those things where just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Try to save money by doing it yourself and it will show. In traditional publishing, they do these services for you. With self-publishing, you are still expected to have a polished product. You can afford to pay for your own professional team because you’ll be getting much higher royalties. It’s an investment; you’ll get a return from higher sales and better comments. I think we owe the reading public the very best we can do. If your name is on it, then it should be of the highest quality, something in which you can take pride for many years. Otherwise, don’t bother.
Publishing is much more than just writing. It’s best to put one’s ego aside and think of the entire project as a collaboration. The writer may be the master architect, but there are builders and designers involved, and they play a critical role in execution. Much of the creative process comes from involving others and letting the project evolve in unforeseen directions. For this reason, I don’t like speed writing contests, the 50,000-words-in-50-days type of promotions. Art and craft take time.
I also believe that it’s best to hire professionals who can work together. Handoffs are to be avoided; it lessens responsibility for the final product. That’s why I went with Invisible Order. They do it all, from editing and design, to setting up ISBNs and vendor accounts. Jeffrey Tucker and Wendy McElroy went with IO, and that was good enough for me.
We’re very grateful to John and all the other authors who’ve put their trust in us over the last few years. To see a sample of our handiwork, you can buy the ebook of John’s IO-produced novel, State of Terror, on Amazon.com. We’ll be releasing the print version shortly.
In the final days of the month, as the sky opens and empties an ongoing downpour on the riverside Liberty Liberty Fest (so nice, they named it twice), the bossa nova song stuck in my head offers itself as a theme: "The Waters of March" by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
And the riverbank talks
Of the waters of March
It’s the promise of life
It’s the joy in your heart.
I’m probably most familiar with the David Byrne rendition with Marisa Monte on the 1996 album Red Hot + Rio. But I listen to enough bossa nova to know Brazilian versions as well. That is, I know the sound of them, but I don’t speak Portuguese, so I just imagine the English version as I listen to the Brazilian singers. After all, Jobim wrote both sets of lyrics.
For years the song has lifted my spirits and helped me endure the feeling of unending late winter. Yes, March is dismal, with trees still skeletal against a steel-colored sky and unending mud underfoot, but spring is on its way. The waters of March signal the promise of life and let joy return to my heart.
But, silly me, I’d never thought before of how different March is in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed. March, in Jobim’s Brazil, marks the onset of winter, not spring.
"The inspiration for ‘Águas de Março,’" Wikipedia informs us, "comes from Rio de Janeiro’s rainiest month. March is typically marked by sudden storms with heavy rains and strong winds that cause flooding in many places around the city."
A stick, a stone, a sliver of glass, these seemingly random bits in the lyrics are examples of all that gets churned up and washed away in the floods. The Brazilian waters of March are full of refuse. It is not a washing away of the detritus so much as a threat of chaos before the oncoming cold.
Wikipedia explains: "All these details swirling around the central metaphor of ‘the waters of March’ can give the impression of the passing of daily life and its continual, inevitable progression towards death, just as the rains of March mark the end of a Brazilian summer."
Did I just get it backwards? Is my song of hope really a song of despair, misinterpreted because of cultural narrowness?
Apparently that’s not the whole story. Jobim added additional phrases to the English lyrics to make them fit better with the Northern Hemisphere’s conception of March: "the joy in your heart" and "the promise of spring."
As I’ve written in a different context, "the message sent is not always the same as the message received," but in this case, we have multiple messages at the source. The life-affirming lyrics are Jobim’s gift to his English-speaking audience, and I’m grateful for them. After an unusually long and cold winter, when I find myself standing in mud, huddled among my comrades, discussing liberty in the downpour, I need the waters of March to speak of hope for a future that is no longer some abstract distance on the calendar, but just around the next bend in the deep river.
[Cross-posted at bkmarcus.com.]
When copyediting,* why is it important to follow a written standard — and when should you part company with that standard?
The prime directive for copyeditors is this: be consistent. Whatever decision you make about spelling, punctuation, or the minutiae of syntax, make sure to apply it consistently throughout the document you’re editing. If you aren’t going to follow the strictures of an established style guide, at least maintain your own style guide, even if it’s only a list of the decisions you’ve made so far. (See “What Is a Style Sheet?” for some notes on the terminology here.)