23 August 2004

Peter Watts - ßehemoth

I just received the newest book by Peter Watts, ßehemoth: ß-MAX . The book is the first of a two-part conclusion to the Rifters series that started with Starfish and Maelstrom. ß-MAX is amazing. Every bit as good as the first two.

ß-MAX has an interesting author's note that explains how Watts really wanted the book to be released as a single volume but it would have been "professional suicide." It seems the publishing market has decreed that:

"Henceforth, books by midlist authors will not receive wide distribution if they cost too much—that is, if they weigh in at more than about 110,000 words."

An author that has never written a wasted word is forced to chop his novel in two for the sake of marketing. Yet the meanderings of Robert Jordan and Neil Stephenson are practically given their own sections in bookstores.


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