10/08/12 Trade Offs


So, my friend Daniel and I are going into self-publishing ebooks. Since I first met him I’ve admired him as a writer writer and have happily collaborated with him on illustrating his “Wild Life” stories, and being a co-auther on Cookrookery.

And so we are now teamed together under the Good Port Publishing umbrella. There’s a site up (but not much is there yet, although soon we’ll be reviewing other books etc so get on the RSS).

And now his novella “Exit Strategy” is up and available for Kindle on Amazon — for less than the price of a latte! (free for those of you with Prime accounts). (Pssst, the cover is by me!)

I believe in him as a writer, always have. And I encourage you to give him a go. Today. NOW. Seriously. (and then leave him a review)

Oh, and if my word isn’t enough, I had my friend Fred Hintze read it, who summed it up like this:

“Escaping New York on a bus, the rock-star protagonist of Daniel
Wolff’s Exit Strategy says, “It takes a long time to get anywhere in a
Greyhound bus. For the first half of the trip the bus keeps making
detours down side roads to pick up folks and taking forever to retrace
its steps back to the interstate, and then for the second half the
same thing happens as everyone gets off again,” which, in addition to
being a sensitive and accurate description or rural bus travel, also
describes the story.

The ride is interesting; the route is not under the reader’s (nor,
you quickly realize, the protagoinist’s) control; interactions with
strangers are unavoidable; side road detours tend to take over. It is
because of, not in spite of, these things that Exit Strategy is so
very engaging. The protagonist’s voice is endearingly authentic. His
life is…interesting…and interestingly described. You suspect,
reading, that your concern and involvement would disturb, even
embarrass, the protagonist–just because he needs to talk about it
doesn’t mean he thinks you should be listening.

Exit Strategy is a good read–the kind of good read that makes you
fervently hope that Wolff is just getting started writing, and has
already amassed a shelf-full that you just have not yet found. If it
could be said that Wolff clearly remembers his Salinger, and his
Goldman, it must be said that he remembers the good parts…and why
they were good. Exit Strategy is a short ride, but a long journey.
And well worth the trip.”

-Fred Hintze

Exit Strategy. Read it.


  1. Jo

    have bought Exit Strategy purely on your recommendation, Chris, so I’m expecting good things. Shame you don’t get the cover art when you buy for a Kindle though!

    Is the protagonist’s wife really called Echidna? (as per page 2)? As in cute but spiky Australian marsupial? I’ll guess I’ll have to read on to find out, but not whilst I’m at work unfortunately.

    Hey, this spaceship doesn’t seem to have a lot of privacy. Are they all really sitting there sharing the same space? Well, I guess Dimitri doesn’t have much in the way of inhibitions…

  2. @Jo, I hope you like! I do truly love his prose. Regarding the cover, I think Kindle opens to the first page of TEXT, so try pageturning backwards. The cover should be there (was on mine).

    Oh, and I imagine there’s a sliding door or curtain for the bed, maybe I should show it at some point. 🙂

  3. Muzhik

    @Anonymous, build it with gold leaf. You’ll save lots of money, and besides, if you use solid gold your head will become too heavy for your neck and it’ll keep crashing into the keyboard. Unless you make your statues really small, in which case what are they doing in a Hall of Awesomness?

  4. CBob

    What you want is called Tumbaga or Corinthian Bronze. It’s a bronze alloy with a bit of gold mixed in. If you wash a tumbaga/Corinthian bronze statue in acid, it dissolves the copper and such out from the surface, so the “skin” of the statue is just gold. Since it’s actually intrinsic to the statue, it’s a lot more all-weather and maintenance free than gold leaf. This is what the mesomericans and the ancient Greeks (and their neighbors) did when they wanted something made of gold that was too big to be made of gold.

    Bronze is better than gold for statues because it’s more structurally sound (gold being both super soft and super heavy and all). It also lasts about as close to forever as you can get. Seriously, when all the concrete and steel and marble et al has crumbled, future alien archeologists will still know of us from our bronzework. This is part of he reason bronze is till the #1 material for big damn outdoor art.

    The other reason patinated bronze is favored by artists is because it’s very comfy on the eyes while at the same time falling within the sweet spot for the human eye’s ability to see detail. A sculpture is all about three dimensional form and surface detail, so the ruddy or greenish color(s) of patinated bronze is all about maximizing the eye’s ability to distinguish those elements with a minimum of distraction/confusion. Gold by contrast is very bright, casing form and detail to get visually softened or washed out.

    Making a statue of gold is more of a symbolic thing. Specifically it’s a wealth symbol. That symbol comes at the cost of likeness or artistry though, for the above reasons. This is part of why a Trump-style overconcentration of gold comes off as tacky: it implies an insecurity about money on the part of the patron (i.e it implies their concept of self worth, and thus the worth of others, is tied foremost to money), since the symbolic value of the gold is valued above and at the cost of, say, a statue’s pose, expression, subtle body language, and stylistic touches in the sculpting. The stuff that would communicate the actual character or personality or circumstances of the subject beyond just “rich”, in other words. The other part is that it’s very very bright: too much of it zots they eyeballs, making it garish and uncomfortable.

    …That’s my allowance of incoherent OT ramblings for the day used up, I guess. 😛

  5. randomantic

    I hate the long stretch from Wednesday to Monday, delight in Monday through Wednesday. I don’t know where the story ends, but if Spacetrawler is like an epic novel, at it’s end I’d love to see a series of Kindle-single-type things, parallel narrative chapters like the Penny Dreadfuls from Chimneyspeak, featuring the irrepressible and resourceful Choan… “Choan and Dmitri Battle the Overpriced Fast-Food Cartel!” “Choan Builds A Scooter Bike to Crush Anakin’s Racing Career Before Phantom Menace Even Gets Made!” “Choan Goes Undercover as the Loch Ness Monster to Annoy Gullible Scottish UFOlogists!”

    Clearly I feel I am being amusing. My apologies. But just to be clear: I mean it. 🙂

  6. Efogoto

    @CBob: “That’s my allowance of incoherent OT ramblings for the day used up, I guess.”

    Not so! That was a great read and entirely coherent, so you still have your full daily allowance of incoherence intact. Thanks for the entertaining comment.

  7. Muzhik

    @CBob, excellent analysis! I will definitely keep it in mind after I win the lottery. (Although I still want an entryway with the walls covered in gold, you know, only about 8 or 9 feet long before going through the bronze double-doors into the inner chambers. Something bold, yet subtle.)

  8. Muzhik

    @zb, what’s the problem? Choan is just one of those people … er … beings … that gets a great deal of satisfaction out of her work, whether that work is bringing down the GOB, fixing spaceships with giant robots, or dismembering romantic rivals. If she didn’t enjoy it, she wouldn’t do it.

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