Monthly Archives: April 2008

Of A Literary Bent

When I’m not in the Second Life® virtual world, or EVE Online, or indeed in front of my computer at all, I can often be found curled up with a good book. I try to consume several each week as part of a staple diet. 🙂 So, when I got a message from Selina Greene, co-owner of Book Island and Publishing Island and a real-life publisher, letting me know about the 2008 SL Book Fair, I figured, hey, it’s worth my time to mention. I’ll see if I’m able to show up for any of it, though my schedule this weekend involves, not only events at Lexxistential Deviances, but a RL event I’m driving down south for on Saturday.

Here’s the schedule of events for the 2008 SL Book Fair (all times SLT, venue SLURLs™ attached):

Friday, April 25th

  • 2pm – Opening Ceremony (Cartland Court)
  • 3pm – Marylmagner Munz, reading from The Big Secret by Mary Magner (Beach Area)
  • 3pm – Threik Wilkinson, reading from The Courage of Intimacy by Keith Ainsworth (Open Books)
  • 3pm – Kabbalah Today – live Kabbalah concert and Q&A session (Publishing Island stage)
  • 4pm – TBA
  • 5pm – Madddyyy Schnook – “Building for Beginners” (SLGuides Virtual Learning Centre)
  • 5pm-7pm – DJs Shannah Halberd and Rat Halberd from Simkast (Cartland Court)
  • 7pm – Poetry and prose readings from INKsters and ANON magazine (Publishing Island stage)

Saturday, April 26th

  • 6am – Discussion: “Death Penalty, Right or Wrong?” Selina Greene (Beach Area)
  • 7am – TBA
  • 8am – Nebbisk Oh – “Fictionary” game, where you make up definitions to fool your opponents. (Beach Area)
  • 9am – Madddyyy Schnook, “Marketing and Sales in Virtual Worlds” (Book Island stage)
  • 10am – Babu Writer – “Amazon and POD – What’s going on?” (Publishing Island stage)
  • 10am – Selina Greene – “The RL Book Publishing Process” – talk and Q&A (Book Island stage)
  • 11am – Cricket Gears – “How Art and Music Can Change the World” (Cartland Court stage)
  • 12pm – Trinity Dechou, Voodoo Buwan – Rez Magazine debate on inworld Publishing (Cartland Court stage)
  • 1pm – Noble Charron – “Characterization – the Soul of the Story” – Lecture and Q&A by bestselling author, Michael A. Stackpole (Beach Area)
  • 2pm – Elan Neruda and Kit Jimenez – “Paying the Bills While Paying Your Dues: A Partially Practical Guide to Writing Genre Fiction for A Living” with Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Publishing Island stage)
  • 2pm-4pm – Miriam Antonelli DJ (Cartland Court)
  • 3pm – Madddyyy Schnook – “Building for Beginners” (SLGuides)
  • 4pm – Diana Allandale – “Promoting Yourself, From an Author’s POV,” workshop with author Diana Hunter (Beach Area)
  • 5pm – Wilbur Rich – reading

Sunday, April 27th

  • 6am – Discussion: “What’s SLove Got To Do With It? RL/SL Relationship Pleasures and Pitfalls,” Selina Greene (Beach Area)
  • 7am – DJ Doubledown Tandino spins his signature blend of nujazz and house in a live turntable mix (Cartland Court)
  • 8am – Discussion: “What Makes a Book a Cult Book, Rather Than Just a Good Book?” Selina Greene (Beach Area)
  • 9am – Jilly Kidd hosts readings from writers in the Written Word group (Beach Area)
  • 10am – Sean Voss – Author Sean Percival, The Second Life In-World Travel Guide talk, Q&A (Book Island stage)
  • 10am – Madddyyy Schbook – “Building for Beginners” (SLGuides)
  • 11am – Simeon Beresford – Literary quiz (Book Island stage)
  • 12pm – Poetry and prose readings from INKsters and ANON magazine (Publishing Island stage)
  • 1pm – Kitumscheid Writer – “The Publishing Process for Illustrated Books,” based on experiences from her book, Pirate’s Alphabet (Publishing Island stage)
  • 1pm-3pm – DJ Ravishal Bentham from Kona Radio (Cartland Court)
  • 3pm – Diana Allandale – “The Ins and Outs of Writing Erotica” workshop with author, Diana Hunter (Beach Area)
  • 4pm – Arton Tripsa – “The Writing Life: The Creation Of A Novel,” a talk/Q&A with Jane Watson, author of The Hindustan Contessa (Book Island stage)
  • 5pm – Closing ceremony and afterparty (Cartland Court)

Event Venues

Information provided by Selina Greene, SL Book Fair 2008. Additional information supplied by Shawna Montgomery, Commander, Science Fiction Rangers.


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Filed under Public Relations, Roadside Attractions

LL to Island Owners: Drop Dead

Or, as Lexx would put it…“Blow me.”

Linden Lab®©™ announced yesterday a big break in the price of private island sims…now regular islands will be going for US$1000, down from US$1675, and “open space” (low prim) sims will drop in price to US$250. (Tier, of course, will stay the same…the cost of power, cooling, and bandwidth isn’t getting any lower, nor is the need to amortize the development costs of the server software getting any less.)

Those of you planning to buy sims in the near future are probably dancing with glee right now. Those of you who just bought sims, on the other hand, are most likely as livid as Lexx is, or as Nobody Fugazi is. True, LL did throw a sop to some of the more recent sim buyers, offering them a free low-prim sim to go alongside their suddenly-devalued purchase. Of course, Lexx took delivery of Lexxotica a little too late to take advantage of that bonus…which just doubles the piss-off, as far as she’s concerned.

Of course, as Nobody points out, “I’m really glad I’m not someone with a lot of land holdings. Sarah Nerd must be feeling this – and I just know Anshe Chung is.” You can add a bunch of other names to that list, like Sirux Mahoney, Desmond Shang, and Doeko Cassidy, to name a few. All of them have large numbers of sims–Fantasyland, in fact, just doubled its sim count not long ago through strategic acquisitions–and the value of those assets just took a 41% nosedive.

And, if Prokofy is right, the sim market is set to keep going down like the stock market on Black Whit-Monday…in fact, all the way to zero when the Grid finally goes totally open-source and I could set up a spare machine here to run a sim. (No doubt I’d have to pay a tier fee to LL still, though, to connect to the “official” Grid and its asset servers and user pool.) Harbingers of that are already appearing, in the form of grids running the OpenSim software (which I really ought to check out, by the way…I could easily see running a small Grid on one of our test clusters at the office); they’re charging, in some cases, less than US$100 for a sim, with tier of US$75 a month. (Though, with the dollar going the way it is, I’m betting some of those outfits will want to start quoting their prices in euros…but that’s another story.)

This strikes me as somewhat unfair to LL’s existing customers…you know, the ones that are responsible for so much of what makes Second Life®©™, Second Life®©™. And not just the land barons; most of the good fashion retailers have their own sims, too, as do many other unique groups. As far as I know, the only company that seems to be able to get away with pissing off its own customers on a regular basis is Microsoft…and even for them, that strategy is starting to fall apart. LL really, really, really might want to think hard before they do this again. They might be able to get away with this once. But after that, all bets are off.

“The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.”David Ogilvy

UPDATE: Tateru over at has a post up about the price drop, where she advances some theories about reasons for the price drop, namely, drops in the price of Class 5-type server hardware and greater automation in the island-buying process due to the new Land Store. Which is all well and good, but the steep drop in price hurts existing customers as much as it helps new ones. LL could easily have kept the sim prices the same and pocketed the extra profits, or scheduled a more gradual price drop curve, say, US$100-150 a quarter over the next year, which wouldn’t have been such a big “ouch” to existing customers.


Filed under Business, Current Events