Habemus Abrechnung

Drei Monate sind vergangen. Was sagt uns das quantitativ?

Beginnen wir wie immer mit den Kaiserkriegern. Band 1 ging im dritten Quartal rund 150 x über den Tisch, damit liegt die verkaufte Gesamtausgabe jetzt bei 6.750 Exemplaren. Band 2 verkaufte rund 100 Bücher, hier sind wir jetzt bei 4.300 Stück. Für Band 3 haben wir ebenso 100, also jetzt insgesamt 3.500. Band 4 lief gleichfalls mit 100 Abverkäufen, nunmehr 3.050. Band 5 ging besser, da sind wir bei 150, insgesamt sind wir jetzt bei 2.700 Exemplaren. Band 6 verkaufte sich 200 x, insgesamt 2.350 Stück. Neu hinzugekommen im Verlaufe des Juli und August kam Kaiserkrieger # 7, davon verkauften sich 1.300 Exemplare.

Kommen wir zu den Tentakeln. Der ebook-Omnibus verkaufte sich beachtliche 200 x, hier sind wir nun bei 2.600 Stück. “Tentakelwacht” erreichte 150 Verkäufe, hier sind es nunmehr 1.600. “Tentakelblut” verkaufte auch 150 Stück, insgesamt also jetzt 1.250. “Tentakelreich” ging 700 x weg, hier gab es insgesamt jetzt also 850 Verkäufe.

“Eobal” verkaufte sich 50 x, damit sind wir jetzt bei 750 verkauften Büchern angekommen. Von “Habitat C” wurden rund 75 verkauft, also insgesamt jetzt 400.

Der “Lord zu Tulivar” verkaufte sich im fraglichen Zeitraum rund 40 mal, insgesamt liegen wir hier also nun bei 400 verkauften Exemplaren.

Nur für euch: Das erste Kapitel von “Eobal” auf Englisch

Am Wochenende bekam ich die englische Übersetzung von “Eobal”, erstellt von Brian M. Scott. Der Roman dürfte irgendwann demnächst erscheinen, aber ich präsentiere Euch schon einmal exklusiv das erste Kapitel:

Chapter 1

 

Henzschcot Dhloma was normally a pretty cheerful octopoid.  Daxxel valued his humor, his almost instinctive good manners, and the fact that he kept his cool even in the diplomatic nightmare of Eobal.

Unfortunately, in his present condition Dhloma was not as cheerful as usual, and that would probably not change.  Daxxel stared at his friend’s broken skull.  He felt sick.

It was early in the morning.  Daxxel had just opened the electronic lock of his little consulate – his job as the only organic member of the staff – and found Dhloma’s lifeless body in the foyer, covered with blood and stinking like a dead fish, which in a sense it indeed was.

Daxxel had never seen anything like it, and his stomach revolted as violently as his head.  His emotions were a chaos of panic and helplessness, and for a bit the voice of reason on which the young diplomat had so prided himself tried in vain to reach the surface of his mind.  After a few minutes, however, it asserted itself with a few clear words that released him from his trancelike state and restored some of his usual pragmatism.

Taking a deep breath despite the stench, he turned away, went into the office, and activated Nero, the mechanical member of the consular staff.  This was a conical metal body topped by an almost human head that was made of elastoplast and was able to adapt its expression to the customs of different species.  Nero acted primarily as receptionist, so this ability often came in handy, for all that business had been far from brisk.

No one on Eobal liked the Terrans.

The robot hummed, turned its head, and said in its pleasant voice, ‘Good morning, Consul.  I hope you slept well.’

‘Fair to middling,’ grunted Daxxel.  ‘But this morning’s done me in.’

Nero blinked his almost human eyes.  ‘Sir?’

‘Go out to the foyer.  Don’t touch anything.  Record everything.  Call Eobal Security and tell them that there’s been a murder.’

‘Murder?’  Daxxel had always had an aversion to these protocol robots – above all to their mannerisms.  Instead of carrying out a clear order, they occasionally had to show off their quasi-intelligence with unnecessary questions.

‘Just do it!’

Nero obeyed.

Daxxel sat down and buried his face in his hands.  For a moment a feeling of loss once more overpowered him, and he threatened to sink into immobility again.  Since he had assumed office six months earlier, Dhloma had been the only being in this generally hostile environment with whom he could converse more or less normally and without mistrust.  That was not just because Turulia and the Galactic Act had for years been close allies: rather, it was due above all to the situation on this planet, which was more than a bit frustrating for both diplomats.  Eobal was a distant rim world and a trading centre for goods and services that were considered illegal both on Earth, the capital of the Act, and on Turulia, so they were continually faced with suspicion, dislike, mistrust, and ignorance.  To make matters worse, the Caliphate enjoyed markedly greater sympathy, which contrasted nicely with the fact that sooner or later it would go to war with Terra.  It was just a matter of time.  Not a matter of days or weeks, but most certainly not of years, either.

Now Dhloma was dead.  Murdered.  He certainly hadn’t smashed his own skull; you didn’t have to be a criminal investigator to determine that.  Found in the foyer of Daxxel’s consulate.  That gave the incident a special character.  Daxxel was thoroughly shattered.  It did not help that Nero came humming back into the office and declared, ‘He is dead, Consul!’

‘Oh, right, didn’t I say so?’  Daxxel sighed.  ‘The Security Service?’

‘They will send someone shortly.’

‘Splendid …’

Eobal’s police forces were known for the same virtues as the local government: corruption, sloth, incompetence, and arrogance.  Crime was a part of everyday life on Eobal, and no one cared.  The fact that they even bothered to dispatch someone had more to do with fundamentally political considerations than with any serious interest in the solution of a murder and the hunt for a culprit.  This was, after all, the consulate of the Act.  On no account would anyone here pass up an opportunity to wash a bit of dirty laundry at Terra’s expense.  Some were already rubbing their hands.

‘Did you kill him?’ asked Nero.

Daxxel looked up into the utterly innocent face of his mechanical colleague, shook his head, and said in a thin voice, ‘No.  I did not.  Damn it, Nero, I am certainly the last person who would have killed poor Dhloma.’

‘Eobal Security might have a different opinion.’

The robot, whose quasi-intelligence enabled it to construct certain causal chains on the basis of its own experience, was not wrong.  The local government might come to the conclusion that this incident could be exploited political to drive a wedge between old friends.  And if Eobal didn’t think of it, Meran certainly would.  Suddenly Daxxel felt even worse.  The sequence of events that might follow  was as terrifying as it was depressing.

He did not want to go back into the foyer, but when the electronic chiming announced a visitor, he swallowed his revulsion.  He took pains not to look at the floor.

When he was past the octopoid’s corpse, he reached for the button to open the door and asked himself how Dhloma – or his murderer – could possibly have got inside the consulate without breaking open the door.  So far as Daxxel knew, he was the only one with the entry code – he and perhaps also the Foreign Office way back on Earth.  He hadn’t noticed any signs of forceful entry.

Daxxel summoned up a smile to greet the expected police – Eobalians were of human origin and understood the expression – and froze in place when the door slid open.

He was looking not into the face of a policeman, but at an impeccably uniformed young woman.  She came to attention and saluted.  It took Daxxel a moment to realize that he was well-acquainted with the uniform.  If he was not mistaken, the young woman was a sergeant in the Terran Marines.

‘Oh, no – I completely forgot about you!’ he exclaimed before the woman could say anything.  ‘You’re my bodyguard!’

The marine seemed to be thrown off balance for a moment, but she immediately pulled herself together and replied in a clear voice, ‘Sergeant Josefine Zant, Marine Detachment to the Terran Consulate on Eobal, reporting for duty, sir.’

Daxxel nodded.  The increasing tension between Meran and the Earth had led to the decision to provide diplomatic missions with more effective protection, even his insignificant little consulate.  He had actually forgotten about it, especially the arrival time.  Mind you, it had been two months since the notification.  Nero should have reminded him.

‘Come on in.  You’re too late.’

‘Too late?  I was to arrive today –’

‘Too late to prevent this.’

Daxxel stepped aside to reveal the corpse.  The sergeant stared at the lifeless body.

Real self-control, thought Daxxel, watching the soldier’s attractive oval face.

‘He’s dead,’ she said decidedly.

Daxxel sighed again.  ‘It’s always nice to work with competent people.’

Sergeant Zant was obviously not much impressed by sarcasm.

‘I passed the exobiology course at the Diplomatic Academy with distinction, Consul.  This Turulian died of suffocation.’

‘He died of a massive skull fracture.’

‘No, he was already dead when the trauma was inflicted.’

Daxxel’s interest was now aroused.

‘Really?’

‘Yes, sir.  May I?’

Zant knelt without waiting for an answer.  She pointed to one of the corpse’s eight tentacles.  ‘Do you see the greenish discoloration at the tip?’

‘Indeed,’ he murmured.  Dhloma’s skin was normally various shades of blue.  Daxxel’s unwillingness to take a good look at the corpse had kept him from noticing the change.  Never mind that it wouldn’t have told him anything anyway.

‘An indication of death by suffocation,’ the soldier explained.  ‘The tentacles change color when hypoxia sets in.’

‘As for example after a skull fracture.’

‘No.  Had he died of the skull fracture, the tentacles would not have changed color.  The brain must remain physically intact in order to cause the change of color.  It is the result of a chemical process in the frontal region of the brain.  This brain here has suffered considerable damage.’

She pointed to the pulped grey mass mixed with bone and blood.

‘He was already dead before this occurred.’

Daxxel nodded.  This woman was clever.  He believed every word.  She exuded the self-assurance that he currently lacked.

‘I apologize for my remarks,’ he said finally.  ‘I just found him.  He was a friend.’

Zant stood up again, sympathy in her grey eyes.  And a bit of concern.

‘I’m sorry, Consul.  Should I withdraw?’

‘I’m sorry, sergeant, but you’ll have to stay here.  The local police will arrive at any moment, and you seem to have a brain in your head.  I need you, even though I can’t give you a very friendly reception.  The police here are …’

‘… completely incompetent,’ Zant finished.  ‘I was comprehensively briefed.  This is my first deployment in the Diplomatic Service.  I wanted to be as well prepared as possible.’

‘Then we have something in common.’  Daxxel examined the young woman’s face more closely.  Her eyes were ice-grey below a flawless forehead.  Her dark brown hair was short but not too short, and gently brushed her ears.  Her nose was thin and very slightly tip-tilted, but absolutely symmetric.  Her shapely lips seemed almost to court a kiss.  She had small laughter lines around her eyes and at the corners of her mouth.  She likes to laugh, Daxxel realized in sudden delight.  His experiences with marines had thus far been superficial; he didn’t think very highly of the military.  At least they had sent him someone human.

‘Your Excellency!’ Zant began and was immediately interrupted.

Daxxel shook his head decidedly.  ‘Don’t call me that.  You can call me Excellency when I’m ambassador extraordinary to the Caliphate.’

‘As you wish, Consul,’ she replied with a smile that looked exceptionally good on her.  She had perfect teeth.  ‘What I wanted to say …’

Once more she was unable to finish.

The door chimed again.  Daxxel grimaced, threw Zant a significant glance, and pressed the button.

This time it actually was Eobal Security.  And it appeared, as Daxxel observed with little pleasure, in an all too familiar form.  Commissioner Volgaan was not only the chief of the municipal police but also the nephew of the current President of Eobal.  Unfortunately, that was the only qualification that he brought to the position of Commissioner of Eobal Security.  To compensate for his lack of professional expertise, Volgaan had internalized the principles of Eobal’s police forces to perfection.  Daxxel had encountered him twice before, just in passing at official receptions.  But in his own estimation, backed up by what he had heard, the little man with the bald head and watery eyes was, to put it very diplomatically, a perfect prick.

Volgaan sketched a bow and smiled.

‘Your Excellency!’ he cried at the top of his voice.  ‘I received the report and rushed over here at once.  My best investigating team will arrive shortly, but I wanted to get my own impression.’

Daxxel forced himself to return the smile.

‘My sincere thanks, Commissioner.’

‘I’ve heard that the victim was a good friend of yours.  My sympathy.’

‘Very kind,’ Daxxel replied.  ‘Do you wish to examine the scene of the crime?’

Volgaan hesitated.  Naturally he hadn’t the slightest intention of doing any serious work; he was just in search of amusement and newsworthy circumstances that his uncle could perhaps exploit politically.  His glance fell upon Josephine Zant in her immaculate uniform.  The nonchalant expression on his face disappeared, giving way to mistrust.  Daxxel seized the opportunity.

‘May I present my recently arrived Marine Detachment, Sergeant Josefine Zant.  Sergeant, this is Commissioner Theod Volgaan, Chief of the Capital Police.’

Zant nodded politely.  ‘Pleased to meet you.’

‘Marines, eh?’

‘Yes, Commissioner.  From the Diplomatic Service Battalion.’

‘I’ve heard a lot about them.  Tough and nasty, right?’

Zant maintained her polite bearing.

‘Only when necessary, Commissioner.  We prefer to complete our term of service in peace.  I am sure that that is also in your interest.’

Volgaan smiled greasily.

‘Absolutely; absolutely, sergeant.  Your duties are not affected by this incident, I expect.  You are more or less a bodyguard, are you not?’

The manner in which he used the term reflected his ‘high’ opinion of the soldier.  Zant hesitated for the briefest moment.

‘I participate in all activities by which I can improve the consul’s security.’

Volgaan nodded.

‘I understand, sergeant.  You have obviously enjoyed a little additional training – over and above the breaking of bones.’

‘The battalion is quite proud of the breadth of its training.’

‘Of course,’ Daxxel finally intervened.  ‘Commissioner, if you wish to satisfy yourself …’

‘Oh, certainly.’

Volgaan made no great effort.  His actions showed very clearly that he hadn’t a clue about what he was pretending to do.  He ‘took a close look’ for several minutes, until the arrival of his team relieved him of this heavy burden. Daxxel did not expect much from the three newcomers, either, but their procedure, even just in arranging their equipment, showed that they had at least a glimmer of a notion of detective work.

When the corpse transport crew showed up and collected the body, Daxxel was once again reminded that his only friend on this world was dead.  Moreover, the unceremonious disposal of the octopoid reminded him of another painful duty.

Commissioner Volgaa finally disappeared, the last of his team to go.  As expected, its investigation had been brief and superficial.  Before he left, Volgaan promised to do everything in his power to catch the culprit.  The significant glances that he cast in Daxxel’s direction did not escape the latter’s notice.  The political games had already begun, just as he had feared.

Daxxel thanked him and waited at the door until he could close it behind the last visitor.  He stared at the traces of blood on the floor.  ‘Nero, please contact the Turulian Embassy.  Invite Shali to meet with me here.’

He was hardly surprised that the second organic member of the staff of the Turulian Embassy had not already appeared of her own accord.  The police chief had certainly already informed Dhloma’s personal secretary, but she was just an assistant – quite competent, to be sure, but not even authorized to conduct business for Dhloma.  Which, incidentally, meant that as long as Turulia did not send a replacement … .  Daxxel realized that his problems were multiplying exponentially; on the other hand, it could also prove to be helpful … .  He expunged the thought.

Shali was alone and surely frightened.  Daxxel felt obliged to do something for her.  Besides, it was possible that she knew something that could help him with this mess.

Nero appeared in the doorway.

‘Consul, Shali acknowledges your message.  She says that she will be here soon.’

Daxxel nodded and looked at Zant.  ‘Any ideas about my security?’ he asked dryly.

Zant smiled mirthlessly.  Then she opened her right hand.  ‘Sir, I found this and decided to hide it from Volgaan’s people.’

Daxxel came forward and stared at the small box.  He recognized it immediately.  His forehead broke out in a cold sweat.  ‘Zharani Pearls.’

‘Yes.  They must have slipped out of Dhloma’s pocket when he fell or was set down.  Perhaps you should ask the Turulian staff about them.

Daxxel made an inarticulate noise.  ‘It could prove difficult to ask Shali why Dhloma was carrying a box of the strongest and most potent psychodrug in the known universe.  This stuff is illegal even on Eobal!  My God, if the police do anything at all here, they hunt Zharani dealers!’

Sergeant Zant shrugged.  ‘Or they belong to the murderer.’

Daxxel regarded her calmly.  A thought took shape in his head.  He’d be at the mercy of events if did not manage to regain some initiative as quickly as possible.  In this particular case that could mean only one thing, and for that he needed every bit of help that he could get.  Then he said, ‘Sergeant, may I ask you something?’

‘Certainly.’

‘Would it not be in the interest of the security of this consulate to find the ambassador’s murderer, especially since he was discovered on our extraterritorial grounds?’

Zant looked at him hesitantly.  ‘There’s something to be said for that.’

‘Cut it out, sergeant.  Will you help me?  I will not leave the investigation to a jackass like Volgaan.  Dhloma deserved better.’

‘He really was your friend.’

‘You can bet on it.  And there’s more than that at stake: the reputation of the Act in this sector.  A sloppy investigation could discredit us.  They’ll spread rumors that they can exploit politically.  I could extend this recital with several more points, but in the end it comes down to a single question: are you with me?’

Zant considered only briefly.  If the question annoyed her, she did not let it show.  ‘I think that potential dangers to the security of this mission can be recognized.  It could perhaps become necessary to take appropriate preventive measures.’

Daxxel continued to regard her, this time shaking his head.  ‘Did you learn diplomat-speak at the academy?’

‘I’m just trying to emulate you.’

Was that an adventurous sparkle in her eyes?  Daxxel hardly dared believe it.  But he would take what he got.

He smiled his first true smile of the morning.  ‘Then let’s get to work.  If we manage to do this, you’ll be ripe for a promotion.’

Zant raised her brows.  ‘Or for a dishonorable discharge, Your Excellency.’

ElsterCon

Nein, kein langer Conbericht, nur ein paar Eindrücke.

Erstmal: Herzlichen Dank an die Veranstalter, die wieder alles getan haben, um den Aufenthalt im “Haus des Buches” in Leipzig so angenehm wie möglich zu gestalten. Es ist ihnen zweifelsohne gelungen.

Die Atmosphäre war angenehm, die Tischnachbarn waren angenehm – mein besonderer Gruß an den Eigentümer des Septime-Verlages aus Austria, der mir einen Kugelschreiber fürs Signieren überlassen hat – und ich habe tatsächlich mehr Bücher verkauft als gekauft. Trotzdem: Reinhard Rauscher hatte erstmals Bananenkisten mit englischsprachiger Literatur dabei, da konnte ich nicht widerstehen und habe jetzt drei Warhammer 40k-Romane mehr.

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Antike Technik war auch aufgebaut worden: Alte Rechner und alte Spielkonsolen. Da sah man gestandene Ehrengäste, die “Space Invaders” spielten. Ich fand die Idee super und sie löste heftige nostalgische Aufwallungen bei mir aus.

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Verliehen wurde auch der KLP, hier auf dem Foto sieht man Hardy Kettlitz, wie er die Dankesworte von Jo Walton vorliest. Getreu meinem Motto “Der wichtigste Literaturpreis ist der, der hinten auf dem Buch steht!” habe ich mich darauf konzentriert, Bücher zu verkaufen, denn…

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… Generaldirektor Latz strahlte einmal mehr die verkäuferische Dynamik eines Buddha auf Valium aus. Und er hat mir nicht einmal einen Kaffee spendiert (von einem Käsebrötchen ganz zu schweigen)!

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Unter einem ökonomischen Aspekt war der Con erfolgreich, zumindest für den Atlantis-Verlag. Ich habe darüber hinaus viele nette Gespräche geführt und durfte überraschend viele Bücher signieren, nicht nur die 50 Hardcover-Exemplare des exquisiten Conbuches, das wirklich einmal mehr unter Beweis stellte, wie sich das OrgaTeam ins Zeug gelegt hat. Respekt!

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Ich durfte auch ein Panel zum Thema “Tatort Zukunft” moderieren und hoffe, dass wir dabei einigermaßen die Kurve zum Thema hinbekommen haben. Die Panelisten zeigten sich sehr engagiert und durchaus auch streitlustig, was ich bei einem Panel immer für das Beste halte, vor allem für das andächtig dasitzende Publikum. (Das Foto ist von Ralf Steinberg)

Alles in allem: War schön, komme gerne wieder, hat Spaß gemacht. Danke, ElsterCon!

Kurz und knapp

Irgendwie bekommt mir die Nach-Urlaub-Zeit nicht, es ist so viel zu tun und ich komme zu nix. Also, wie angekündigt, kurz und knapp:

  1. Dieses Wochenende ist ElsterCon im Haus des Buches in Leipzig. Ich werde da sein, darf auch ein Panel moderieren und stehe ansonsten für weitere Schandtaten gerne zur Verfügung. Ich würde mich freuen, so viele von Euch wie möglich zu treffen!
  2. Ich habe das Manuskript von “Ein Prinz zu Tulivar” beim Verlag abgeliefert. Ihr kennt als Leser meines Blogs die Litanei: jetzt beginnt der Revisions- und Produktionsprozess, das kann also noch dauern. Ich versteife mich hier nicht auf irgendeinen Erscheinungstermin, das wäre Kaffeesatzleserei :-)
  3. Ebenfalls abgeliefert habe ich die Übersetzung zu Earl Dumarest # 25 “Die Terridae”. Ich sitze schon an der # 26.
  4. In zwei Wochen erscheint mein nächster Roman in der Reihe “Die neunte Expansion” mit dem Titel “Ein Leben für Leeluu”, und zwar, wie ich Ernst Wurdack kenne, überpünktlich am 1.10. Ihr habt den Roman sicher alle schon vorbestellt, nicht wahr? Nicht wahr? NICHT WAHR?
  5. Die Hardcover-Edition von Kaiserkrieger # 7 ist gerade kurzzeitig vergriffen, es wird aber flugs nachgedruckt. Ihr seid aber auch gierig!
  6. Ich werde diesen Oktober wohl nicht auf den BuCon kommen können, da sich gewisse berufliche Termine böse platziert haben und ich daher mit der Reiserei ein bissel überlastet bin. Tut mir selbst außerordentlich leid, aber es ist so, wie es ist :-(

Soweit die wichtigsten Punkte im Schnelldurchlauf. Mal gucken, ob ich nach dem ElsterCon zumindest die Muße für eine gebührende Würdigung des Cons habe. Ich vernachlässige mein Blog auf unzulässige Weise, ich weiß.

Blick zurück zum WorldCon

Eigentlich wollte ich keinen WorldCon-Bericht schreiben, doch die Tatsache, dass ich danach einige Tage Urlaub bei meiner Schwester verbracht habe, hat mir geholfen, ein paar Gedanken zu sammeln und ich will sie dann doch jetzt einmal aufschreiben. Kein geordneter Bericht, eher ein paar Schlaglichter.

Zuerst einmal: es war der größte WorldCon der bisherigen Geschichte dieser Veranstaltung, mit über 7000 tatsächlich anwesenden Besuchern am Samstag. Da das ExCel-Center aber gleichzeitig ein höllisch großes Bauwerk ist, gab es nur zu seltenen Gelegenheiten den Eindruck der allgemeinen Überfüllung: etwa am Freitag zur Registrierung, die höchst schlecht organisiert war und zeigte, dass die Veranstalter mit den Last-Minute-Anmeldungen hoffnungslos überfordert waren, sowie bei einigen der Panels, bei denen man nicht einmal eine halbe Stunde vor Beginn noch rechtzeitig da war (und anschließend Katz-und-Maus mit den allgegenwärtigen Sicherheitskräften spielte, um sich doch noch reinzuschmuggeln).

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Das irre große Veranstaltungszentrum. Der kleine rote Wagen bot Softeis an. Hat gute Geschäfte gemacht.

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Irre groß oder nicht, wenn ein Panel so richtig sexy war, gab es auch so richtig Andrang.

Die deutsche Fangruppe war erstaunlich groß – dem Vernehmen nach fragte auch Chris Foss verwundert, wo denn die ganzen Deutschen her kämen – und die deutschen Programmpunkte wohl auch ganz gut besucht. Die Aussteller waren in einem deutschen Pavillon im Fan Village zusammengefasst, was immerhin dazu führte, dass man einigermaßen beieinander saß und der Stand immer besetzt war. Ich legte sogar vier meiner Bücher auf den Tisch, davon habe ich eines (D9E # 1) verkauft und eines (“Ein Lord zu Tulivar”) hat jemand geklaut. Möge ihm das Papier beim Umblättern tief ins verbrecherische Fleisch schneiden.

Sehr gutes Feedback bekam ich aber für die Werbeanzeige zur englischsprachigen Ausgabe der Kaiserkrieger auf der Rückseite der SFCD-Publikation, die ebenfalls reichlich an die Fans verteilt wurde. Ich gehe daher davon aus, dass ich in Kürze steinreich sein werde.

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Das “Fan Village” von oben betrachtet. Die blaue Leuchtgirlande unten links hängt am deutschen Pavillon.

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Das Panel zur deutschen SF/F, moderiert von Martin Stricker (in Gelb, grinsend). Immerhin wurde ich am Ende zur Lektüre empfohlen, damit hat das Panel seinen Zweck bereits erfüllt.

Ich habe einige wenige Programmpunkte mitgemacht: das Panel zu Kontinuität und Wandel in der Military SF, das mich aber inhaltlich auch nicht viel weiter gebracht habe (außer, dass ich jetzt die Military Fantasy von Moderator Myke Cole lesen möchte), zwei Kaffeeklatsche (Kaffeeklatschs?) mit John Campbell aka John Hemry (“Lost Fleet”) sowie Lawrence Watt-Evans, bei letzterem mit sehr interessanten Einblicken eines echten Profis zum Thema Crowdfunding. Ein Panel zu den Zahlen der SF/F in UK, also Auflagen und Business, repräsentiert von Vertreter/innen der vier großen britischen Publikumsverlage, mit einigen sehr interessanten Erkenntnissen, die ich hier wirklich einmal kurz zusammenfassen möchte:

  1. Der am besten verkaufte SF-Roman in UK im Jahre 2013 hat 51.000 Exemplare verkauft.
  2. Der am besten verkaufte Fantasy-Roman 170.000 Exemplare, trotzdem…
  3. … steigt der Anteil der SF im Vergleich zur Fantasy kontinuierlich an und…
  4. … verkaufen sich SF-Anthologien als ebook ganz hervorragend und…
  5. … macht der ebook-Markt mehr als 50 % des Gesamtumsatzes aus.
  6. Man habe von Anfang an auf Digital Publishing gesetzt, um nicht “die Fehler der Musikindustrie zu begehen” (ich winke mal lächelnd in Richtung der Saftnasen in deutschen Großverlagen)
  7. Man habe keine Angst vor Self-Publishing, das sei doch “quite interesting” (*maliziöses Lächeln*).
  8. Man verkaufe gut ein Drittel des Gesamtumsatzes im englischsprachigen Ausland, vor allem Mittelerde und Australien.
  9. Sogar Deutschland wurde erwähnt, als “major fantasy-market”, in den man fleißig Lizenzen verkaufe.

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Lawrence Watt-Evans erleuchtete die Zuhörer mit Erkenntnissen aus seinen Bemühungen um Crowdfunding.

Ich besuchte dann noch zwei Übersetzungspanel, an einem nahm ich sogar teil. Da gibt es nicht viel zu berichten (“Es bleibt schwierig”) und ich habe amerikanische Fans zum Erröten gebracht, als ich zweimal das Wort “fucking” benutzte. Too bad.

Ansonsten bin ich eher ziellos herumgelaufen und habe Leute getroffen, darunter meine Kollegen aus der Usenet-Gruppe rasfc und den Autor Bill Swears, den ich gedrängelt habe, endlich ein Sequel zu “Zookland” zu schreiben. Ich habe auch ein klein wenig Geld ausgegeben, denn dafür gab es einen riesigen Dealers Room, wo kräftig gedealt wurde (und dem Vernehmen  nach zur Zufriedenheit der Verkaufenden).

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Hier wurde gedealt.

Alles in allem eine hochinteressante, aber auch kräftezehrende Veranstaltung. Ich bin Pre-Supporter für Helsinki 2017 (dem wird aber nicht allzu viel Erfolgsaussichten beigemessen) und Dublin will ja 2019. Dublin kennen sogar die Amis. Das könnte was werden. Paris hat sich übrigens für 2021 oder so beworben. Angesichts der Tatsache, dass mir zu dem französischen Fandom immer nur “Under the Dome” einfällt, habe ich da meine Zweifel. Ach so, und ich habe direkt bei dem Godfather of LuxCon einen Stand für 2015 gemietet. Guido, bitte gleich aufschreiben.

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Dirk war am Ende doch bereit für ein Upgrade.