the state of things

 

Boldly Into The Future

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:53 on 08 March 2011

Made pancakes for One of Two and Two of Two this morning. Prepared the batter last night, ready to go with ease, panache and verve this morning. I was like the Wolf in Pulp Fiction. If he'd made pancakes. Actually, if the Wolf had made pancakes, he wouldn't have made them as such, he would just have told someone else how to make pancakes, and then sat back with a cup of coffee, lots of cream, lots of sugar. So nothing at all like the Wolf in Pulp Fiction.


The pancakes turned out all right, which contrasted with last night's mushroom soup, which was a bit of a culinary Towering Inferno. Looked like vomit to boot. Did not go down well with Two of Two, although One of Two choked it back and gave me a hug at the end, in the way that someone will give the guy who finishes last in the Olympic marathon a hug.


Today we're going to address the future of Long Midnight Publishing. The print publishing business is being left behind, for us at any rate. In February print books accounted for only about 8% of Long Midnight sales. Overnight the ebook market has drop-kicked the traditional side of the business over the edge of a cliff. So what next for LMP, in this exciting new golden age? At yesterday's early spring conference here at the company's HQ in Bandar Sera Begawan we came up with four possibilities:


1. Publish another three Barney Thomson novels in a new Barney Thomson Horror Novels series.


2. Publish a range of other books, including the historical Letter From Belgrade series, Engaging the Borg and even the enigmatic work of the Urban World Cup Batcave Death Poet.


3. Leverage the Long Midnight brand internationally, until we're the biggest publishing company on Planet Earth.


4. Establish a manned space programme, build a Mars rocket and plant the Long Midnight Publishing flag on the red planet.


I have to say, and I don't think my colleagues would mind, that it was a pretty cantankerous meeting. In the end, however, it was decided to go for number four, with the idea that LMP will be in a position to put a two man rocket into space by the end of 2012. At the moment I'm slated to go on the trip, along with the intrepid explorer in the company, Elvis Shackleton. We saw this one coming, to be honest, which is why I've already been undergoing astronaut training for the past three days or so. For example, on Sunday night I sat and watched the entire 60 minutes of Dr Brian Cox.


Hard to say that one actually learned anything about astronomy or about the universe from this beautifully shot travelogue. We did get to see Brian visit some lovely and remote parts of the world; and of course he did explain what entropy is, and I'm sure I understood it at the time, but looking back all I can remember is something about a sandcastle. That was pretty much about that. No doubt next week will be more relevant to LMP's Mission to Mars.


In the next few days we are going to be addressing at least a couple of the issues I have with space travel - which include, but are not limited to, fear of speed, fear of confined spaces, fear of flying, fear of heights - by driving a Reliant Robin along the M4 at 67mph, and then crashing off the Severn Bridge.


Tomorrow, more on the Mission to Mars and the lifeforms we expect to encounter there.


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