I’ve talked here quite a bit about the Faction Paradox books. These are (mostly) published by the small publishing company Mad Norwegian books, who also publish the excellent Doctor Who reference series About Time (the Revolution In The Head of Doctor Who) and various other ‘cult TV’ books.
Normally, I’ve either bought their books from Waterstone’s or Amazon, but a couple of weeks back I ordered the third Faction Paradox novel, Lance Parkin’s Warlords Of Utopia directly from their site, because it worked out about the same price as buying from Amazon, even when you take airmail into account, and I’d rather my money go to a small company that do good stuff than to a huge monopoly.
(Incidentally, I read Robert Graves’ I, Claudius and Claudius The God for the first time just over a month ago, after having been a fan, as all right-thinking people are, of the TV adaptation for years. Since then, almost everywhere I’ve looked I’ve seen another reference to those books – I was surprised to discover WoU is actually written in a pastiche of Graves’ style).
I emailed the company on Monday to find out what was happening – that was two weeks to the day since I’d placed the order, though there had been the Easter holidays in between, so I wasn’t too concerned, but I *did* grouch a bit on Twitter when, two days later, I still hadn’t had a reply to my email.
Today, the book arrived – along with another book, Parkin’s Time Unincorporated: Vol 1, a collection of Parkin’s fanzine essays on Doctor Who, which is actually a longer and more expensive book than the one I’d ordered.
I emailed Mad Norwegian (actually a *very* small firm, as far as I can see mostly a one-man operation. My Minnesotan wife was confused by me getting a package with a return address of “Lars Pearson, Des Moines” as that’s the kind of thing that would usually be for her), saying that since I’d been planning on buying this book eventually anyway, they should just tell me how to give them the extra cash and I’d send it, rather than bothering to return the book, and this time I *did* get a reply – they’d sent the extra book free as compensation for the delay in shipping my order.
Which, given that I received my airmail package only 19 days after the order was placed – and that taking into account two Bank Holidays *and* an extended period with no air traffic between the UK and US – is, I think you will agree, far beyond what should be expected.
I believe in giving praise when people do the right thing, especially when it’s a very small company, so I thought I’d tell everyone that if you want to buy Mad Norwegian’s books (and I know quite a few people who are thinking of buying their new book on female Doctor Who fandom, Chicks Dig Time Lords) you should buy them directly from their website. It’s nice to see The Right Thing being done.