So I Saw This Meme the Other Day; or, How a Joke Becomes a Novel by C. V. Walter

So I Saw This Meme the Other Day; or, How a Joke Becomes a Novel by C. V. Walter

freakazoid  –  i am moron !!

I saw this cartoon the day it aired and it tickled my funny bone and my imagination in ways a lot of other things haven’t.

I tend to ask a lot of “what if” questions or answer funny ones when I’m trying to keep myself from doom scrolling through the internet.

I was wasting time on Pinterest a few years ago when I saw a screenshot of a tumblr thread about dinosaurs.

I always love the ones about dinosaurs. I either learn something or get awesome pictures of dinosaurs. There’s not really a situation in which I lose when I click on them.

So I clicked on this one about dinosaurs.

It asked, what if there were aliens and they’ve already been by the Earth but when they were here, there were a whole bunch of these big, scary lizards on the planet so they said “Nope!” and left.

With some of what we understand about the dinosaurs, they might have actually been looking at giant chickens and geese. Which, really, doesn’t make it any less scary if you’ve encountered these animals in real life.

What if they came by the Earth looking for something and thought “You know, that planet would be perfect if it wasn’t for those big, scary lizards.” So, they sent something to the planet to take care of the lizards and left to let things die out and then forgot about us.

And, what if it only looks like a meteor because we don’t know what a terraforming pod would actually look like?

What if they came back, expecting a perfectly terraformed planet to find…us.

How much would we have in common? If they created a planet that was ideal for them to live on, and we’re here, how compatible would we be?

What if they weren’t looking to conquer and destroy but fleeing a psychotic government that was bent on destroying its own people? They’re here, not as examples of peace and advanced technology, but as refugees?

What would we do? How would we handle it?

We have so many books and movies with aliens as the enemy or these beings who are so advanced, they no longer want anything but peace. What if they’re more like us than either of those other options could possibly be?

And there, flying through my subconscious, was the Forward Hope, running away from a crazy Emperor and smack into the Bradbury 12. The only casualty? A whole bunch of supplies and one Molly, a woman who left what most people would have considered a pampered existence to take a blue collar job on a space station.

I couldn’t take another alien invasion, humans are evil, repent because destruction is nigh book. So, I found a hero to pull Molly from the horror of dying in the cold vacuum of space and put her back together, in body and spirit. And, I’ll be honest, he started putting together some of the pieces of my heart that had been broken by the world gone mad that was the pandemic.

The Alien’s Accidental Bride was the story I needed; one of hope, healing, reconciliation and adventure.

The stories after the Accidental Bride explore the best place to hide an Alien, what happens when you suddenly have the chance to be cured of something that has shaped your entire life, the importance of family and networking and adapting cookie recipes to unusual ingredients in outer space.

Upcoming ones are the nature of rumors and the absolute destruction they can cause, fun upgrades to prosthetics, what happens when you outsource your white cells to something that can be re-programmed without your permission and how far dare we take genetic manipulation.

And all that’s happening before I even really get to the dragons.

Because, yes, sometimes when you’re exploring the parts of the maps that say “Here Be Dragons”, you actually find dragons.

123 thoughts on “So I Saw This Meme the Other Day; or, How a Joke Becomes a Novel by C. V. Walter

  1. “That’s Uranus!”

    Yes, that show was hilarious back then. Just don’t mention the name of that guy with bag on his head or you’ll vanish. 😉


    1. So I’m not the only one who giggles at “I’m gonna need more rope”, right? 20+ years later and it still makes me laugh

      1. It was funny then. Still funny now. Not gonna lie, I still find Monty Python, Carol Burnette, Dan Aykroyd, and Jim Belushi still funny, too. Laughter keeps us young! Maybe, at least a little bit.

      2. “What are you going to do to us?” “I don’t know, never got so many at once… not a very bright group are you?” 😀

      1. Freakazoid. I’m pretty sure.

        Haven’t seen it, but the references to someone seem to fit. There was a person in that who watched a lot of F-Troop, and would kidnap people who said his name, or perhaps title.

      1. Humanity meets another alien species, but all contact is done remotely, or with the aliens in environmental suits.

        Disaster ensues, and our protagonist gets caught in an escape pod with three females of the other species and after they crash-land, we learn why they remain isolated so much. The alien species responds…very interestingly to being around humans and vice versa. And, then they have to deal with the consequences of the disaster.

        1. Which disaster are they responding to? The one before, or the one after they all get into the escape pod?


          1. I got the idea that the “disaster” was the reaction of the female aliens to a human male on the planet they landed on. 😈

            1. One of the ideas behind the original SDF Macross is sort of similar. The invading aliens are effectively biologically identical to humans, albeit fifty-feet tall. And they can be shrunk to human size.

              And they’re sex-segregated vat-grown clone soldiers who have been cut off from any and all forms of non-military culture, and don’t mix at all with the other sex.

              Predictably, the first defector is a female ace pilot who falls in love with her human male rival.

              Much later, the sight of their infant daughter freaks out a station full of the giant aliens since they don’t know what a baby is.

              There’s also the anime Vandread, which starts out being about two planets of clones, engaged in a literal battle of the sexes. Then it dumps three individuals from the male planet on a pirate ship full of women, and throws them half-way across the galaxy. Hijinx ensue, of course, since it’s a comedy series.

              1. VanDread is not all comedy; there are some pretty deep and dark themes in there. Especially when you find out why the Firsts established two planets of clones segregated by sex.

                I picked up the VanDread Ultimate Series on DVD a long time ago. Wrote a VanDread fan-fiction I’m still working on, too.

                1. Yes, there’s a lot of serious mixed in with the comedy, and sometimes from surprising directions. Plus the horrific background to the setting that slowly gets revealed over time.

                  Still, the general focus of the show is light-hearted, with both the stereo-typing of life on the respective planets, as well as the overall theme of the two sexes getting reacquainted with each other.

                  I’ve got the DVDs. I really need to watch it again.

          2. Before (getting down to a habitable planet and surviving the disaster aboard ship).
            After (discovering that the aliens are humanoid, cute, all three are female, their environmental suits were damaged, and all three respond massively well to human sexual desire. Because when the aliens were made, their creators intended them to be a cuckoo species. They have to insert themselves in the local reproductive cycle, so that the aliens can take over the world by out-breeding the local species. Then, said aliens rebelled, won, exterminated the slave-makers, discovered that they couldn’t remove that issue, and have been doing their best to not make the human race another notch on their belt.)
            Then, hilarity does ensue…(the desire cycle is even more massive than any other species the aliens have encountered when dealing with humans, especially young humans. And there’s also some serious changes as well. But there’s also…well, let’s just say that if you knew that pulling a train would up your IQ by 5-10 points every stroke of the piston…)

              1. I’m taking notes on it. It’ll be a tricky book to write, because in many way’s it’s a teen/YA novel, but there’s going to be far too much sex for most publishers.

                It’ll be interesting writing…

                1. You can fade to black at any point, though. A lot of innuendo and then poof! Next chapter, self satisfied smiles and even more innuendo “how did you have the stamina…?” “A proper diet and exercise regimen, of course!” Waggled eyebrows, knowing looks, the whole shebang.

                  If we go by the standards that the schools have for this sort of thing (DON’T), you could get away with full on smut as long as it was pervy enough. I advise lots of ogling, innuendo, and whatnot in place of Tab A -> Slot B. You can still be wholesome and have romance happening just off screen, I think. Might be tough, but we grow as writers by doing the difficult tasks.

                  Well, that and writing lots, fixing our mistakes, reading and then stealing from the best, and sometimes occasionally succeeding in bewildering fashion.

                    1. That’s doable. I’ve spoken with a few other authors about it, and know of one that has. Err, make that two, now that I think on it. Can’t give you numbers on clean/naughty sales as I don’t know the two personally, but I know it’s been done before.

                      Some people have a talent for writing that kind of thing. I’ve seen good ones and authors that really, really shouldn’t- at least until they’ve sat down with an open minded editor and gone over a few things. Such as “human beings don’t work that way. You can make it sci fi, but keep it in mind if you’re talking about homo sapiens, no. Just no.” Those that have the talent and can pull it off successfully will find that there *is* a market for it.

                      If you can pull it off both ways, I say go for it. That way you have two potential revenue audiences.

                2. Make them early 20’s, call it New Adult. Fade to black where appropriate. And you’d be amazed at what some publishers are allowing in YA these days. There’s a reason I DO NOT write YA and won’t let my kids read most trad published YA without a thorough vetting.

                3. I keep thinking of Poul Anderson’s, “Virgin Planet.” Been a long while since I read it…

        2. My luck, it would be three alien ladies of the praying mantis persuasion.

          I have no desire to be the nuptial dinner, even, or especially, with three females.

          1. Oh no, no, no.

            It’s the classic “stern older sister that wants to be wild, but has to be responsible,” “middle sister that is charming but mildly autistic,” and “youngest sister that is curious and that odd mixture of slightly innocent and curiously naughty.” And…I’ve already worked out the biology and psychology of our aliens (the local Precursors tended to use a lot of hominids when they settled other worlds…).

    1. Ever since I quit writing horror I’ve been chasing the “simple story, well told” thing. Without resorting to cheap cliffhanger gimmicks (those happen without me even trying), clumsy yanks at the emotional heartstrings, or cat stories.

      Since then I’ve learned that putting your heroes in combat where they can’t talk to each other is a bad idea. That side characters have minds of their own, and can and do steal entire scenes before being stuffed back in the box. That the story you intend to write is almost never the story you get written. And that hardest lesson, that you always need to leave room in the story for the reader to put their imagination in, because that’s almost always better than more adjectives.

      Once in a while, the “what if” gremlins get ahold of me and there’s nothing to do but write something to get them out. I’ve got too many stories to write already. I don’t need any more plot bunnies. But every now and then…

      1. I’ve been dealing with that as well. Sometimes my love of weird details gets in the way of the story. But, I need those weird details because sometimes I need to explain why a character did this and not that.

      2. Yeah… I had a tertiary character decide he needed to be a secondary character and push his way into the center of an important scene. I mean, it all worked out, but it very mush wasn’t what I had originally planned.

        These things happen with you let the story write itself, as it were, rather than forcing it to be what you want. Forcing usually results in a bad story.

      3. No, wait. LIFE is really like that. The side characters show they are just as, if not more important, than the main protagonist. I just read the latest Wearing the Cape book this past weekend, and Mr. Harmon wrote several stories from secondary character viewpoints that were just as important to world peace and safety as Astra’s contributions. But that’s a common thread series of short stories. Can you write a novel of worth where you end with different important characters than the one(s) you started with? (And I really hate to toss out the first Game of Thrones novel because we got introduced to a whole pile of major characters that almost immediately get killed off or sidelined.)

        1. Can you write a novel of worth where you end with different important characters than the one(s) you started with? (And I really hate to toss out the first Game of Thrones novel because we got introduced to a whole pile of major characters that almost immediately get killed off or sidelined.)

          It is possible that there’s a story written (never to see the light of day as it) of a zombiesque plague in a *very* enclosed environment (think Dead Space, but with a much wider cast of characters that react realistically to catastrophe and a bigger square footage to mess around with). Written in episodic format as PoV characters die off. Plot armor is more of a bullseye painted on the poor characters’ backs. It wasn’t written from a good place, and the prose frankly sucks. So creating something like that “of worth” is not a trivial exercise, I think.

          Some of the stories I have the most fun with *aren’t* the ones where you’re looking over the hero’s shoulder in his PoV, though. The farmboy that joins the militia to defend his little farm from goblins while the heroes are off slaying liches and dragons. The wandering skeleton the necromancer forgot about. The rookie wizard, the sacrifice that wasn’t, the zombified corpse of a forgotten minor hero, the reincarnated golem and his ghostly mother, and the town at the edge of the world after the villains won (they try to convince the evil bureaucracy that they were in on the evil empire the whole time, and they’re competently evil enough to keep ruling their little town. It’s dystopia with a funny bone).

          One of these days I need to do some re-writing and editing. Or in at least one case, completely reconstructing, because I’ve no idea where I hid the manuscript. Sometimes just viewing the action from afar gives a worthwhile perspective on things. My little story on grief could have been summed up in the old guy’s PoV by rambling about cats, birds, and survivor’s guilt. I think it worked out better from the familiars’ point of view.

            1. Thank you. Some stories can only be effectively told by people on the outside, I think. That was one of those that was written just about as fast as you read it- in came the words and onto the page they went. Hit post and just about passed out, asleep. Can’t do that consistently time after time, though it’d be nice if I could.

              It’s kind of like when you see two people you know, and they are *obviously* interested in each other, but for some reason are hesitating. They totally should be dating, but they’re not… yet. The perspective of the people involved is too close to the issue. They literally can’t bloody see what’s right in front of their faces.

              It’s also why I find writing in first person too limiting, most of the time. Or reading in first person. It’s rare the author with a talent to make that style sing. But easy for a new author to use it as a crutch. At least I find it so.

        2. Can you write a novel of worth where you end with different important characters than the one(s) you started with?


          That isn’t multi-generational, of course.

          Another option is a novel that’s more a series of novelettes or short-stories, all packed between the same set of covers, and bound together by a common narrative. An example might be the story of the people who are involved with a dinosaur skeleton starting with when it’s unearthed, and ending with the public unveiling in the museum. The team that dug it up isn’t going to be the team prepping the display

          1. Yeah, I know Webber had said that he originally intended the Honor Harrington series to be multi-generational with her son as the new protagonist, and then changed his mind about killing Honor off. (Thank you!) The thing is, with the device of prolong in that society, there’s less reason to kill off a character, so you can have both multigenerational, and keep the original. Wow. I can have my cake and eat it too?

            1. so you can have both multigenerational, and keep the original.

              IMO It depends on “what position/status” the original has.

              David Weber very early decided that Honor Harrington would rise in rank in her navy (actually both navies).

              So Honor’s days of “Death Runs” basically ended when she reached the Admiral Chair. Currently, Honor is in the situation where it would rare that she’d even command a Fleet.

              Of course, she might go into Politics. 😈

              So in “your multi-generational” story, is the Old Man or Old Woman still in the job that he/she held as a younger character?

              Is the Old Man/Woman somebody that the younger generations will call on when It Is A Big Problem?

              1. In To End in Fire, she does get called upon to lead a fleet.
                I was pleasantly surprised by that book. And it leaves plenty of room to return to his original format -a disaster-movie ending, with Honor/Emily’s chidren in lead roles in any sequels.
                Just occurred to me – Weber set up an homage to “Children of the Lens,” with Honor in the Kimball Kinnison role.

        3. Yes, you can, but it’s rare. You need to take it from many points of view from the word go and probably have an overarching story that many people all participate in.

          1. hmmm. . . I had fun in Queen Shumalith’s Ball with many characters, but there were many threads running through it from beginning to end.

  2. Why are horses, elephants, skunks built in the image of man? Why do they have forelegs attached to scapulars, bones designed to hold weight hanging and swinging from trees instead of good solid pelvic girdles, designed to hold the weigh off the ground such as the back legs?


    The first life on earth, a bipedal spaceman, lay rotting, cells mutating, spreading throughout the sterile ocean.


    Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.


    Bipedal life predate quadrupedal life?


    The image of man already encoded in the first cell in the primordial soup?

    Hum, perhaps there be the dragons and the dragons be us.

  3. I never saw it, but IIRC, Alien Nation did the “aliens as refugees” thing, sort of. Except that my understanding is that it was a crashed prison transport that I guess no one ever came looking for.

    1. The ship was a slave transport ship and one of the follow-up movies shows one of enslaving species coming to Earth to reclaim the escaped slaves (and apparently to take humans with him).

  4. Alien Nation. A spaceship crashes outside LA and it turns out to be full of escaped alien slaves. The TV series was fun. My mother has never laughed as hard as she did watching a male be ‘pregnant’, with swollen ankles and difficulty getting up off the couch and the whole nine yards.

    1. “Alien refugees,” like “alien Conquistadores,” is a trope common enough that I hardly notice it.

      I do have to stop judging a book by its title and/or cover, though. I saw this and wondered how it snuck into my Sunday feed, and didn’t even look at the blurb. My bad. On the to be purchased list now.

      Alien Nation was hilarious in that story line. I don’t recall, though, after this many years, whether they included the imperative need to always know where a restroom was located and that it was within a very short range? (Okay, I am male, so don’t really understand at a visceral level – but I was well trained by the end of the first one. Very rough pregnancy on both ends of the gestation cycle, that one.)

      1. We went to Yosemite in the spring, when I was almost 6 months pregnant. Not only did go from being able to see my feet to not, on a day hike … Went to top of falls the steep way, came back down the longer less steep way. But we hit almost every rest and truck stop along the way (or it seemed like it). Also it seems the more popular trails (then at least) have rest stops on them. (Note, almost 33 years ago … I was MUCH younger.) When we started going on long drives to National Parks with the infant/toddler, we cheated … got an RV; we had the bathroom with us (so much easier).

  5. I found the premises somewhat goofy, but that did not keep me from enjoying the book, and the ones following. Since I only seem to be doing audio books at the moment, I’ve one burned through the one that are out in audio. and Now I’m waiting for the next one to drop. So, if you haven’t read it, give it a chance

    1. I’m being very good about not bugging the publisher about release dates. But… soon. I’ll find out in January if they contract for the rest of the series or not.

  6. What if plants are really farming humans so they can feed off us once we are planted in the ground?

    And they get really, really angry because finally, after millions of years of patiently nudging us, they got us to the point where we were uploading all this beautiful carbon into the air for them to feed on, then we STOPPED! On purpose!

    How would they take their revenge?

    1. I occasionally want to ask AGW believers if Gaia yearns to return to those millions of years of warm, shallow seas and luxuriant vegetation. How do they know Gaia hasn’t been promoting industrialization to release trapped carbon and promote the return of warmth?
      I tend to refrain because I don’t want to start a religious war.

      1. I did tell the school counselor, who is a rabid recycler, that I had no intention whatsoever of taking the 200 computer boxes for our new student computers to the recycling bins.

        She was horrified.

        I said, nope, I’m taking them my No-Dig garden to nourish the soil and suppress weeds naturally, returning the lovely, lovely carbon they contain to the plants who need it. I told her that I never, ever recycle cardboard because it’s the best thing they put in a landfill and helps the soil immensely.

        She was silent.

        She LOVES Science! But doesn’t actually know any.

          1. It’s better to use brown or white cardboard, stuff that doesn’t have too much chemicals in the ink. But yes, cardboard is great. You can use it to cover soil as a mulch, earthworms love the moisture caught under it… and even better, you can put other kinds of mulch on top of it, like pine straw or leaves, and it’ll decay right under there while it holds that mulch in place.

              1. It works. We used to dump out the mix from the compost over the cardboard Before the early spring rains and then turn it once it got good and wet for a week or two. Makes for a good plot to grow tasty veggies. Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, squash, cucumbers, beans, little bit of this, little bit of that.

                Takes a bit of work to keep ’em pest and disease free. The cats always used to “help” in the garden, once they saw us digging. And they always appeared to appreciate the regular supply of birds.

                If I ever get the time to garden proper again, I’m thinking full greenhouse, raised beds, the whole shebang. Because working bent over like that got old at least a decade ago. Lazy and proud of it!

                1. I’m with you Dan. I’ve done raised beds a couple of times with just fieldstone, but that ends up too porous, unless I cemented them in permanently. Plus I have root encroachment issues with the trees near the garden (yeah, oak trees sending roots a hundred feet to reach the nutrient rich soil in my garden.) I’ve got another plan with railroad ties where they’re just wide enough for me to run the rototiller down them once a year (don’t fall off!) Always playing with ideas.

                  1. Damn greedy oaks. I’ve my own particular oakish headache that’s near as done the same thing. Been thinking on a solution I’ve yet to try.


                    Occasionally when a house gets demo’d the smart companies pull off things like that and sell them off. Getting paid twice, as it were, as they’re paid to haul off the dross when done anyway. Stop up the drain, brick it in to height, and stick your loamy goodness right in there. Also gave a thought to repurposing some old feed troughs, but I’m not sure how the aluminum would hold up vs. solid ceramic.

                    Always good to have plans.

                    1. If you can *find* water troughs that someone hasn’t already snagged, they make great insta-gardens– I grew up with the folks at our economic level using tractor tires instead, because even if the trough was damaged enough to not hold water they were worth a pretty penny.

                    2. I come from a family line that never throws out anything. I’m pretty sure there’s parts to an old Farmall stacked in the barn with the spinning wheel and the butter churn. I think I can find one… If not, I’ll weld together some of the scrap metal that’s been lying around for the past few decades and put it to work.

                      May Himself help us if anyone ever tries to organize that particular plot of land. It wouldn’t surprise me to find a bronze gladius tucked away in there somewhere. Some of the stuff that’s piled here and there in attics, barns, and crawlspaces is positively *ancient.*

                    3. When my BIL’s step-dad died, his mom inherited the family house that had been in the step-dad’s family for generations. She kept her good furniture. But told the kids they could have whatever was in the house before it was sold. Six kids, just his siblings, nieces and nephews. BIL, and sister, ended up with three antique dining table, chair, and sideboard sets, 4 sets of china, IDK how many sets of crystal glass ware, and real silverware, all of which had been tucked away in the attic. Then there are the trunks of hand embroidered towels and table napkins. Most of which they didn’t have room for. But BIL was NOT letting it go to second hand dealers. Their children or grandchildren get that pleasure 🙂 when it is their turn 😉

                      On the flip side, by the time our mom dies, she’ll be outfitting the young families of her great-grandchildren 🙂

                      Would have happened with our grandparents too. Neither set had much to pass down that was salvageable.

                    4. Most bathtubs are a glass or ceramic coating on metal. Nice solid cast iron if you’re lucky, stamped sheet steel if you’re not.

                      I saw an episode in one of the shows after Holmes On Homes where, in a NEW house, the builder had to replace the cheap stamped sheet metal bathtub 3 times — with 3 new cheap bathtubs. Just replacing it ONCE cost them more than they ‘saved’ on the cheap bathtub. They refused to replace it a 4th time.

                      See, the man of the house was a big guy. About Mike’s size. When he stood in the cheap sheet metal bathtub, the bottom flexed enough to crack the glass coating, water got to the steel, it rusted and leaked.

                      Mike put in a proper cast iron bathtub. End of problems.

                    5. Oh — if you do find an ancient gladius, keep it where you can find it in the dark. 😀

              2. Use it for mulch. 🙂 Your plants will love it, your earthworms rejoice.

                One of the nicest things is that, since it’s cardboard, you can cover a whole bed with it, then use a shovel to just cut right through any place you want to stick a plant. And that means your plant grows up through the hole, and most weeds can’t – saves time in the garden!

              3. That’s where the layer we’re putting down to block weeds, etc, came from.

                It works great, when I get around to getting it out and weighing them down so that they can spend the winter rotting into the soil…..

          2. I live at high elevation and it is a challenge. I have had very good luck using Charles Dowding’s methods. You basically use cardboard as mulch and weed suppression. And it’s absorbed right into the soil as time goes on. The sections of my garden I have started this way are very superior to the conventional areas. I really love his YouTube videos.


      2. When someone starts carping (sorry) about enacting ‘carbon taxes’, I usually ask about who and how I can charge for the carbon I contribute to the atmosphere each year. Why should farmers, foresters, etc. get a free ride on my coattails?

    2. A while back, when our Hostess had her “Here are some titles, write a synopsis” post, I suggested a book about Gaia fighting to stop a billionaire who’s about to implement his plan to stop global warming once and for all.

  7. John just wanted to sit on the dock, relaxing in the sun, and thinking about just about nothing. Of course, he had to look like he was busy doing something or folks wouldn’t leave him alone. So he got his pole, threw the line in the water, but never bothered to put a hook or bait on it.

    Which worked just fine until the local River God yanked the line, pole, and John into the river!

  8. You know Sarah, it looks like you and Ms. Walter are birds of a feather. SF and Romance? And Denver, Colorado? I guess a pertinent question would be if she’s also looking to move before Colorado goes full Californication.

  9. I have to say I’m not normally into this kind of SF, but I admit to being intrigued by the setup 🙂 Possibly intrigued enough to read it, I mean 🙂

  10. I had a comment that included a link for Charles Dowding’s No-Dig Gardening method but it must have been lost in moderation because of the link.

    He’s on YouTube and I love his videos. So helpful. He has quite a few on various gardening topics. Just search his name and lots will come up.

  11. “what happens when you outsource your white cells to something that can be re-programmed without your permission and how far dare we take genetic manipulation.”

    Is this supposed to hyperlink to a page for cheap wooden crates?

    ‘cos if so, I’m not making the connection…

  12. And now for something completely different:

    Just checked on Amazon and bought Deep Pink for 99¢ — is that this week’s sale title?

    Barbarella #1, #2, #3 and #4 are all priced at 99¢ too. Didn’t see #5. Are they on sale, or is that the regular price?

    Now that I’ve got a few books, is there any way to get them out of Amazon’s walled garden? I don’t have a Kindle, don’t want one, am concerned about Amazon’s history of making books people paid for just go away. I want a book file I can store on my computer or a USB stick.
    Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

    1. I’d like instructions too, to remove encryption from Kindle books. I have Calibre with the decryption plugins for both Kindle and Barnes & Noble. Kindle version never has worked. Barnes & Noble quit working. Barnes & Noble, at least I can use it to store the book files somewhere out of reach of their app, even if I can’t use them on another media. Kindle, I can’t even do that.

      Grouse, grumble, whine …

      1. Check out the Apprentice Alf site for de-DRMing Kindle books.

        There are problems with the newest Kindle-For-PC program and de-DRMing so you may have to download one of the older Kindle-For-PC programs (and turn off the auto-update).

        Oh, B&N did mess things up. There is a way to find where the Nook books are stored on your hard-drive (with the new Nook app) and I was able to de-DRM some of my older Nook books.

        My problem is that I’m not going to be able to use the Credit Card that B&N “knows” about anymore.

        1. I’ll check them out Thanks.

          Yes. I know about where the books are hidden, that wasn’t the problem. They pulled that awhile ago. Imported books stopped decrypting a few weeks ago (been lazy). I’ve kept the plugin updated. Haven’t changed the credit card (it is B&N version, 5% off any B&N purchase even ebooks).

    2. By the way, IIRC the “disappearing Kindle book” happened once with a book that the person putting it in the Kindle Store didn’t have the rights to it. There’s other garbage associated with the story especially since the book didn’t “disappear” from the buyer’s hard drive. The last I heard, Amazon hasn’t deleted any Kindle books from the purchaser’s Kindle (on their site) after that mess.

      If you have Kindle For The PC, the Kindle book is downloaded to your hard drive.

      There’s a program called Calibre that can convert un-DRMed Kindle books to your preferred e-format.

      As for removing DRM, do a search for Apprentice Alf, they provide tools to de-DRM ebooks (using Calibre).

      As for Barbarella #5, it is available on comiXology. Oh, your Amazon Account info works for comiXology.

        1. Don’t know, you might find info about that on Apprentice Alf’s site.

        2. Grab Calibre, go into your content and devices manager in your Amazon profile, download to hard drive, load to Calibre. Easy peasy.

    3. I also find the name ‘Kindle’ for a book reader just a bit…problematic. Sort of like naming a dam ‘Erosion’, or calling a bridge ‘Structural Failure’. 😛

    4. the heck. They didn’t tell me they were on sale. (Not regular price) and Deep Pink, no.
      Imaginos: Get Calibre and convert the books. They have no DRM I put there.

      1. I have Calibre, but how can I copy the books out of Amazon? I don’t see any options for ‘download a copy’ anywhere.

        1. Under “more options” there’s download and load via USB. That will put it to your hard drive and you can do with it as you will

          1. Do you mean the ‘More Actions’ pulldown menu on each book? I tried that, and all I got was a message:

            You do not have any compatible devices registered for this content. Buy a Kindle or get the free Kindle reading app.

            I just want to read books on my computer! WHY do they go to such lengths to make that a pain in the ass?

            1. “WHY do they go to such lengths to make that a pain in the ass?”

              That is a very interesting question, as it happens. They make it amazingly easy to -buy- the book, but everything else about it is a cluster-fark. Unless you have the app. Then its easy again.

              So we know that it -could- be easy, and they chose to make it farking impossible. Mostly (IMHO) this is due to DRM, aka “digital rights management” which basically boils down to they want to decide what you do with that thing you bought.

              Also they really really REALLY want you to download that Kindle app, because they sell all the copious data they pull from it for a lot of money. In fact they might make more money from selling that data than they do from selling the books. My guess is they make a lot more, because they make everything so very difficult to do without the app.

              I blame this on the very advanced stupidity only possible for those with a PhD in software engineering, who decided that they should accomodate the insanity of lawyers and MBA marketing weenies.

              I think what Amazon wants above all else is end-to-end ownership of the ebook and all the data generated by the consumer. I also think they would very much like to make it a rental, not a purchase. Pay a penny every day for the rest of your life for that ebook you wanted, and surrender any notion of privacy as well.

              Nice business model compared to the one-time sale of a physical object with shipping, handling, inventory and pilferage costs not to mention TAX on your unsold physical inventory, sold by very expensive employees from an expensive retail space. You can see why they’d want to push that “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy!” fairy tale.

            2. Huh. Weird. I know there was the Kindle Cloud app that let you read Kindle books on Chrome and I think it works on Chromium? It’s been a minute since I’ve looked, though, and they might have stopped supporting it.

              1. I even clicked on the ‘free Kindle reading app’ link. All I got was a page with a stupid video ad for Kindle and some links to other pages touting various Kindle features. Nowhere to be found was any way to actually download a Kindle app.

                I can read the books on Amazon. That’s it.

                The more they try to force me to buy a F’n Kindle, the stiffer my middle finger gets.

              2. They’ve changed recently. But they do still have “download book” at least for me. Mind you, right now they’re a dog.
                Also, Imaginos, I’m trying to figure out how to do this, and will give readers the opportunity to buy these books outside amazon and in other formats. (Probably through my newsletter.) I just have to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and for that I need to get my schedule working.
                Okay, the easiest way to do this is to do “subscribe” on my newsletter, set an amount per year that covers it all, and hten the subscriber posts will have links to book funnel to download the books.
                BUT again, I first need to tell you what the minimum # of books you get will be.

  13. What if they weren’t looking to conquer and destroy but fleeing a psychotic government that was bent on destroying its own people?

    So they come here and find…a psychotic government bent on destroying its own people.

    The Aliens: “AARRGH!! The universe hates us!”

    1. Definitely explicit and I can’t think of euphemisms used at all…. (No offense to CVW, but I kinda skimmed those parts. More interested in the world building parts once it was obvious what was going on.)

  14. The Christmas story sneaked up on me. I’ve been busy with Real Life this week and haven’t yet read all of my emals from the Zon, so I didn’t know about that one, but I’ve got it now! Thank you!

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