Tor.com content by

Patrick S. Tomlinson

How Being an Author Changed After the Affordable Care Act

In case you weren’t aware, it’s hard being a professional author. A veritable cornucopia of nonsense conspires against you at every stage of this endeavor. It’s not just the constant pressure to create quality content for a market whose tastes are ever-evolving, hitting your deadlines, working with sometimes fickle editors, or getting paid on nothing resembling a schedule.

It’s only once you’re about a year into it do you realize that not only do you have all the issues of the normal creative process to contend with, but all the concerns and problems that arise from running a small business. Marketing yourself, managing your brand, and dealing with eye-watering levels of what most of us consider to be double-dipping taxation in the form of the self-employment tax.

For many years, nothing about any of this has gotten any easier, especially as the nature of the author-publisher relationship has shifted to place even more responsibilities on the creators themselves for self-promotion and driving sales. However, there has been one notable exception, one bright spark of hope for many authors, musicians, artists, comedians, and creatives of all stripes.

That spark has been the Affordable Care Act.

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Five Sci-Fi Books That Crank Out the Funny

Laughter is the only universal language. As a sci-fi author and stand-up comedian, nothing gets me turning through pages faster than a good belly-laugh born of sharp wit, a clever turn-of-phrase, and flawless delivery. When I was asked to write this post, I thought it would be a breeze to come up with five titles that fit the bill.

And it would have been, if I’d settled for the obvious choices. But ninety percent of the funny SFF books on my shelves are by the two names that dominate the segment; Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. We all know how wonderful The Hitchhiker’s Guide and Discworld are, so they’ve been left off the list for the same reason the University of Wisconsin system is left off lists of Top Ten Party Schools. It’s just not fair to everyone else.

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Series: Five Books About…