One Thousand

For what little it’s worth, I’ve now posted over 1,000 entries just in the “Blog Entry” section, the first one being in March of 2007. That doesn’t count the less frequent entries in the other sections of the website. For the most part, that’s meant writing a post of at least 400 words, and often over 1,000 words, twice a week for over ten years. At a minimum, that’s well over half a million words, or roughly the equivalent of 2.8 “average” Modesitt novels.

I don’t have any intention of stopping soon, since we live in “interesting times,” and that means there is always something to speculate about, whether it’s why such diverse fields as hard science, computer technology, history, and Fortune 500 CEOs are far more misogynistic [in general] than other fields, or why we still haven’t found a commercial way to fly a supersonic passenger aircraft, or why so many people pit religion against science, as if they don’t both exist in the same world.

Then there’s ongoing and fascinating question of why Congress has accomplished less each session, even though the intelligence levels of individual members of Congress are largely much higher than were those of their predecessors. I also have the suspicion, but no way to prove it, that more often than not, the less intelligent candidate for President has been the winner. Is that just my perception, happenstance, or does the American electorate have a distrust of “elites,” intellectual and otherwise?

And then there’s technology and all the questions that it raises. Just last week, the Atlantic ran an article entitled, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” I don’t know about “destroyed,” but I’m not so sure that it hasn’t at least impaired part of a generation, particularly their attention span, given what I’ve seen on college campuses and elsewhere. We certainly have a generation, as well as some of those of older generations, who can’t walk or drive safely because they’re too enamored of their smartphones, and that doesn’t speak much for either their upbringing or their intelligence – but then, maybe it’s just a latest manifestation of teenagers’ [and those who haven’t ever outgrown being teenagers]unthinking belief in personal invulnerability.

As for books, we’re seeing the greatest change in publishing and reading since the introduction of the mass market paperback in the 1950s, and there’s no telling exactly where it’s going, except that, in fantasy and science fiction, that once-vaunted mass market paperback is taking a far bigger hit than in other genres. Is that because F&SF readers are technological opinion-leaders or just because we’ve all run out of shelf space at a time when the price of housing continues to rise?

For those of you who’ve followed the site for its more than ten years, and for those who joined along the way, even if today’s your first read, thank you all!

16 thoughts on “One Thousand”

  1. Krish19oo says:

    Thank you very much for posts. As a lurker I eagerly wait for it.

  2. Lourain says:

    Thank YOU! The intelligence and civility of your posts and readers’ comments makes your blog well worth following.

  3. JakeB says:

    As others have said, thank you for your posts.

    I particularly enjoy seeing some of the ideas you’ve expressed in your books discussed directly in terms of the world we all live in.

  4. Jim S says:

    I’m curious… while paperback sales have taken a hit, has there been a corresponding move to electronic books? I wonder how Amazon’s Unlimited account free Kindle reads figure into the numbers, as well…

    1. As I’ve noted in earlier posts, the drop-off in mass-market paperbacks hasn’t resulted in a corresponding increase in e-books (at least for the vast majority of authors), although ebook sales have increased, obviously.

      1. Tom says:

        E-books tend to cost less than paperbacks. When trying a new author I hate paying for a hardback so I usually get a paperback edition. Since I dislike reading with an e-reader (not purely touchy-feely based but finding the page I want to re-read problem based as well), if paperbacks disappear, I shall be forced to read e-books when assessing a new author. As you point out – there are costs to everything!

  5. JM says:

    Your novels are among the few that I truly enjoy, both for the “rules” you have incorporated into magic (as an engineer I frequently find myself greatly bothered by magic without rules, such as that in The Lord of the Rings) and for the thought provoking manner in which your novels are written.

    Keep up the good work, I plan on stocking my shelves with your books when I finally stop moving around.

  6. Thank you very much indeed for both your blog posts and your books, both of which I discovered about a year ago, and both of which are thoughtful and thought-provoking.

  7. Wine Guy says:

    I take issue with one of your assertions:

    “For what little it’s worth…”

    Your time and effort are worth a great deal to me.

    Thank you.

    1. Tim says:

      I will second that

  8. J Nelson says:

    Thank you for the time to communicate with readers; going back to America Online over 20 years ago.

    1. Thank you. I’ve always tried.

  9. Arin Komins says:

    This makes me sad, as a (former) bookseller, as mass market paperbacks are by far and away easier to recommend to new readers than hardcover or e-formats.

    I almost wonder if the small press industry will start to take on mass market format; although costs are so very high to do this in limited print runs; one of the reasons small press tends to do limited hardcovers or mass market trade PBs (which I mostly loathe as a format.)

    I almost want Tor to spin off an imprint to try small run mass market PBs to see if they can make the financials work (and to supply the independents and/or do direct selling a la

    It would be a sad sad day to lose the mass market pb format. If we do, I’m going to start agitating for small format hardcovers, but that’s even less likely to succeed 🙁

  10. William Marc Modisett says:

    I enjoy searching for historical accounts of my ancestors and their offspring. I tend to focus on the Modisett/Modesitt lines, since that is my surname and because the name is rare enough that I can often make the connection between different branches of the family. You decend from Carl Leland Modisett, I found him interesting, because I could trace his path from Iowa to Nebraska to Colorado and correlate with economic engines of the times.. I was never able to determine what pulled his grandfather from Indiana to Iowa, but I assume it was the availability of land further west. Carl went to Nebraska for education, and this led him to oversee the boom and colapse of potash industry caused by WW1. I found him originally because I was search for more information about the Modisett brothers in Rushville, NE. Carl and the brothers both desended from the same family in Virgina/West Virginia. Do you know if they ever had any contact, or were aware of each other?

    1. Actually Carl’s father, Charles Brooks Modesitt, bought a farm in Alda, Nebraska, in 1883, which he expanded over time. In 1888, my grandfather, Carl, was born “near Alda.” Sometime around 1900, Charles and his wife moved to Grand Island. So Carl was a Nebraska native. Carl was definitely aware of the Modisett brothers in Rushville, because, growing up, I heard stories about the “Modisett airport” in Rushville, and the fact that they left money to the town to build a baseball field, as well as an endowment to maintain it.

  11. Mayhem says:

    I may be an irregular lurker, but I just wanted to say that you’ve been a delight to read the thoughts of from the original mailing list through the ibdof days to today.

    And boy did this post just trigger a trip down memory lane.

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