Roland the Robot explains how publishing works today

I met Roland Denning in the comment thread of an article that Cory Doctorow had written in the Guardian (UK) about “Why free ebooks should be part of the plot for writers.”. I wrote to Roland proposing a book swap: one of my self-published technoparanoid dystopian novels for a copy of his self-published technoparanoid dystopian novel The Beach Beneath the Pavement.

When his book came in the mail, I read two chapters & then set it aside for later, as I was in the middle of a few other books at the time. I haven’t finished reading beyond chapter two yet. All of which context will only make you laugh harder (and cringe more) when you watch Roland’s alter robot ego as he follows the path that leads him to self-published stardom.

Part 2 below the fold. This is simply the best thing on publishing and self-publishing ever. Watch it and cry. Watch it and weep. Watch it and laugh your ass off. Watch it and go buy a few copies of Roland’s book, and then a few of mine.

And remember, the best way to help me out of my own robot hell would be for you to back Creation Science.

Click on the image below for the full story.


  1. Oh my — as they say, it’s funny because it’s true!

    There was a piece recently about the trend toward “universal authorship.” It uses a pretty liberal definition of “authorship” — but the point remains, there are so many people talking nowadays that it’s a wonder anyone has time to listen (maybe they don’t?)
    _writing_revolution/” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Anyway, I’ve acquired a copy of Roland’s virtual excerpt, to see if I can get past Chapter Two …

  2. My career has in some way been about creating technology for people to achieve whatever they set out to do. (…) We can create, we can collaborate, and for many things we can even distribute electronically.

    What I am only slowly realizing now, however, is that very little of our distribution systems is made from the creation, farming, manufacturing, or even the shipping and selling of goods and services. There is a massive gooey, greasy, ether permeating our lives. Most of us live there: teachers, sales people, bureaucrats, pharmacists, bankers, priests, politicians and mediatitians, … and every conceivable type of agent or broker. I despair that no matter what technology is created to eliminate this waste and friction, this horrific machine never flinches.

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