Cora hits a bestseller list, gets a one-star review and rubs shoulders with Booker Prize nominees

I did a bit of housekeeping around this site and the Pegasus Pulp site. In particular, I added links to my e-books from the bibliography page, since I noticed that a lot of new visitors head for the bibliography rather than the e-book page. This way, there’s at least a link to show what’s available.

Today, several different people typed “did don draper come from a poor family” into Google and landed at this post of mine. Hmm, let me guess, Mad Men started up again and Don Draper’s family background became a plot point again.

Two of my e-books made it into the XinXii top 100 bestseller list at position 26 and 27 respectively. So I suppose I could call myself a bestselling author now, except that I know the sales figures which led to those positions and they’re not exactly bestseller figures.

As for that other e-book vendor, typing my name into Amazon brings up not just my Pegasus Pulp e-books, but also some other stuff, most of which has very little to do with me. For example, typing my name into Amazon Germany also gives you a hundred hits or so for the guy who shares my surname (no relation, as far as I know) and seems to narrate every second German audiobook. The search results also include my cousin’s academic works on the electropolishing of metal surfaces.

Meanwhile, Amazon US also brings up a few backissues of Man’s Story 2, a retro pulp magazine in the style of the men’s magazines of the postwar era, to which I contributed some stories back in the day. And one of those backissues even had a review, a one-star review at that. Which means that I just got my first bad review.

I actually suspected that a bad review would bother me quite a bit, but this one doesn’t (otherwise I wouldn’t have linked to it). First of all, the reviewer’s beef is not specifically with my story but with the entire magazine and particularly with the artwork. Secondly, it’s a well argued review and not a mere hatchet job. Finally, the magazine in question was published almost four years ago. I had several stories in Man’s Story 2 at the time and didn’t even recall which one was in this particular issue without looking it up. Turns out it was “El Carnicero”, a tale set in Spain during the peninsular war featuring a British soldier rescuing a beautiful Spanish rebel from a garotting. I used to think that “El Carnicero” was one of the better examples of my brief erotica writing career, but then I haven’t actually looked at the story in question in several years either.

In other literary news, the longlist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize has been announced. I haven’t read any of the books on the list – bad English MA, I know – but I have actually met one of the nominated authors, Jane Rogers, whom I ferried across town in my ancient Volkswagen Jetta several years ago, when she visited Bremen and gave a reading/workshop at the university. I was one of the very few students in possession of a car at the time (even if it was a twenty-plus year old Jetta), so I ended up the designated driver.

Ms. Rogers is not the only Booker prize nominee or winner I’ve met in person by the way. I also met DBC Pierre when he gave a reading at my university.

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