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March 28, 2006

Spin, Accelerando and Old Man's War: The 2006 Hugo/Campbell Voters Electronic Editions


8/1/06: Hugo voting for 2006 is now closed. I regret we may no longer offer electronic versions of Spin and Old Man's War.

For the duration of the 2006 Hugo and Campbell campaign, Tor Books has graciously reverted certain electronic rights to John Scalzi and Robert Charles Wilson concerning their Hugo-nominated novels Old Man's War and Spin. This allows the two of them to make special electronic editions available at request to 2006 Hugo and Campbell voters. The authors have put together a package of both books for the voters' convenience. Where can they get these special editions? Well, right here, of course!

(Update, 3/29/06 2:30pm -- Charlie Stross has given a thumbs up to adding his 2006 Hugo-nominated novel Accelerando to the package as well! That's three out of the five Hugo nominees, all in one place for Hugo/Campbell voters.)

And now, the questions:

Who is eligible to receive this collection?

2006 Hugo/Campbell voters are eligible. To be a Hugo/Campbell voter, you must be a member of LAcon IV, this year's Worldcon. If you are not yet a member, you can become one here.

Is there a cost to these electronic editions?

No. The authors do hope if the 2006 Hugo/Campbell voters enjoy the books, they might consider picking up physical copies of Spin, Accelerando and Old Man's War; their mortgages will thank you. However, these electronic editions are provided without cost to eligible voters.

I'm a member of LAcon IV, and I'm going to vote for the Hugo and Campbell! How do I get these electronic editions?

Send an e-mail to hugo@scalzi.com requesting the editions.

IMPORTANT: Your e-mail MUST include the following information: The name under which you are registered for LAcon IV, your membership number, and your home state/province/country (if not US or Canada). This is so we may confirm you are, indeed, an LAcon IV member and are thus eligible to vote for the 2006 Hugo/Campbell Awards. DO NOT PROVIDE YOUR PIN NUMBER. We don't need that, and as per your bank card, that's not a number you need to share with anyone else.

Information sent to the "hugo@scalzi.com" address will be stored by John Scalzi for the duration of the nomination process. After the final day for voting is over, it will deleted. None of this information will be seen or used by anyone other than John Scalzi, nor used for any purpose other than verifying LAcon IV membership and providing 2006 Hugo/Campbell voters with the eligible texts.

(Update, 5:51pm -- we've already had more than one person ask if they really have to provide that information. Yes, you really do.)

Why are you not making these editions available to anyone but 2006 Hugo/Campbell voters?

Tor reverted these electronic rights back to the authors under these specific conditions; they are legally obliged to honor them. Tor is currently working industriously toward making commercial electronic editions of these and other fine Tor books available to the general public, hopefully sooner than later.

What format are these editions of the novels?

All texts are in rich text format (.rtf) in order to be opened on the widest number of computers and electronic readers. 2006 Hugo/Campbell voters may feel free to reformat the texts in whatever manner they choose. The texts are packaged in a .zip file which also includes a brief "read me" note from the authors.

Are these editions of the novels locked down with any form of Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Robert Charles Wilson and John Scalzi are asking 2006 Hugo/Campbell voters who receive these editions of their books not to share them outside their households. Outside of this polite request, there is no DRM applied to any of the text files. Other forms of DRM implicitly suggest 2006 Hugo/Campbell voters cannot be trusted, and that quite obviously sends the wrong signal. The authors prefer to trust the voters.

I'm a 2006 Hugo/Campbell voter and I've sent in my information. What now?

John Scalzi, who is administering this program on behalf of himself, Charles Stross and Robert Charles Wilson, will verify your LAcon IV membership and then either e-mail you the .zip file containing the texts (~880kb), or provide you with a URL from which you may download the .zip file. Depending on the volume of requests, this may take a couple of days.

Your request may be denied if you have not provided adequate information to verify you are an LAcon IV member, so please remember to provide the information as specified above. If your request has been denied due to lack of information, you may resubmit with the additional information.

If more than 7 days has passed since you submitted your e-mail and you have not received either the file, information on how to download the file, or a denial, please first check your spam filters (your e-mail client or ISP may decide that someone sending you a 880kb .zip file is up to no good); if there's nothing there please feel free to resubmit your request. E-mail does sometimes slip through the cracks.

While the authors do intend to fulfill every legitimate request for these electronic editions, they do reserve the right to refuse to send the texts to anyone, for any reason.

I asked for a copy of the package before Accelerando was added in! How can I get Accelerando too?

Write in again and ask for it -- or, alternately, go to Charlie's Accelerando site, and download a free copy there. Accelerando is also available for download by non-2006 Hugo/Campbell voters.

Any additional comments or questions? Feel free to drop them into the comment thread.

Posted by john at March 28, 2006 08:31 AM

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Mdean | March 28, 2006 11:33 AM

Ya know I had started to read Spin a week before TGB came out. Once TGB came out I had to put Spin down and finish TGB 1st.

John Scalzi | March 28, 2006 11:34 AM

It's good you read both!

John Scalzi | March 28, 2006 05:51 PM

Whoops I think I accidentally someone's comment. If it was yours, please feel free to add them on.

Dawno | March 28, 2006 10:43 PM

I can really vote in the Hugos? This will be my first WorldCon - so I'm a little unsure of what is what. Would you mind telling me where I can read up about how that is done? I wouln't like to miss the opportunity to vote.

Brad Templeton | March 29, 2006 03:43 AM

There are folks out there who are practiced at converting books from format to format, in particular putting the RTF into the formats of the various ebook readers, from palm pilots to dedicated devices.

I hope that you'll encourage people to send them back to you after doing such conversions, so you can offer the converted forms to people who would not rather do it on their own.

If people are going to read the RTF on a PC, may I recommend my article on reading an ebook on a computer -- I've done a lot of that, as those in the SF field will know.

Short summary: Big text, big margins, sit far back from screen with an easy way to page down from a distance. Or use laptop with similar rules but not as big.

Smurf | March 29, 2006 08:53 AM

You're the author and everything, but has anyone mentioned that the book cover looks like the Old Man is attacking a really huge Jawbreaker.

John Scalzi | March 29, 2006 08:59 AM

Space jawbreakers are insidious, they are.

Merrie Haskell | March 29, 2006 05:28 PM

Are members of last year's Interaction eligible?

John Scalzi | March 29, 2006 05:31 PM

Not unless they are also members of LAcon IV. Interaction members were able to nominate, but only LAcon IV members can vote on the finalist, from what I understand.

Stretch | April 6, 2006 02:55 PM

Read the Old Man's War last week, got the
GB yesterday and finished it this mornng. I have one question: will this be ready in 13 years as I just turned 63?

John Scalzi | April 6, 2006 04:42 PM

Heh. Working on it --