BC Ferries Has Completely Jumped The Shark

KatrinaOpining4 Comments

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This article doesn’t surprise me.

I own property on one of BC’s Gulf Islands, and, for weekend travel, it now costs $170 for a round-trip fare for two people and a car. For a 42 km trip! In September, 2010, the same trip cost $135: a 25% increase in 4 years. The total consumer price index rise in that time period is 5.45%. In 2007, when we bought our place, a Fri-Sun trip for two people cost me $113, for a 50% increase in fare price since 2007 (inflation = 10.2%). BC Ferries fares have gone up almost 5 times faster than inflation. IN LESS THAN 10 YEARS. There’s plenty wrong with this picture. I’ve been complaining for years that fares are getting unreasonable, but I wind up sounding like a privileged whiner because after all, I *did* choose to buy on an island.

That said, it’s very obvious to this casual observer that ridership is down, even without a study. Since 2007, every summer, once the May long weekend rolled around, if I didn’t book my long weekend reservations 3 to 4 weeks ahead of time (or sometimes longer), I’d be SOL, as the sailings would sell out early. This year, I booked as late as 14 to 10 days ahead of time, and ALWAYS got my preferred sailing. On regular weekends this summer, I noticed that the boat would not be completely full, whereas in prior years, a weekend sailing was invariably full.

BC Ferries fares are hurting their business. They are hurting the island businesses who depend on summer tourism dollars to get them through the winter, because fewer people are visiting. And who can blame a tourist who looks at the costs of a single tank of gas to Whistler, and compares that to $170 for 2 people, plus the hassle of planning for reservations and loading waits, and chooses the inland B&B? There is simply no justification for these exorbitant increases, especially when you compare our ferry system to Washington State’s, whose fares are much more reasonable and whose management salaries are also not insane.

BC Ferries is now cannibalizing its own ridership. Surely that will cause someone to wake up and smell the price gouging.

KatrinaBC Ferries Has Completely Jumped The Shark

Awards Season Reading

KatrinaAuthors, Events, Workshops, Festivals & ConferencesLeave a Comment

craterlake00

This past weekend I finished my awards season reading. I’ve pretty much spent the last 2 months reading for either the Hugos or the Auroras. This year was harder as many publishers only provided excerpts. Some only provided links to excepts (which in some cases were non-functional). All that to say that I didn’t get a full assessment of all the eligible works.

My favourites on the Hugo novel slate were Parasite, by Mira Grant, and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Glad to see Mary Robinette Kowal pick up an award for “The Lady Astronaut of Mars”. Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” made me cry. Any story that does that also gets my vote. :-)

No clear winner emerged to me from among the Aurora candidates for Best Novel, so that vote was hard. On the YA novel front, I would recommend Out of Time by D.G. Laderoute, and Ink, by Amanda Sun.

In this time, I also did a full novel beta read for someone, and a full copy edit, so I’m looking forward to not reading on a deadline for a bit. Oof!

KatrinaAwards Season Reading

It’s a Goodreads Giveaway!

KatrinaEvents, Workshops, Festivals & Conferences, UntalentedLeave a Comment

Tada! I’m giving away a copy of the U.S. trade paperback edition of Untalented on Goodreads. This will ship to the U.S. or Canada.

Fear not, Canadians, I’ll run one for the Canadian edition too, but apparently I can’t run two at the same time. That’ll be next.

Enter to win at Goodreads by following the link below. Tell your friends!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Untalented by Katrina Archer

Untalented

by Katrina Archer

Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

KatrinaIt’s a Goodreads Giveaway!

What Kind of Fantasy Heroine Do You Like?

KatrinaArticles, UntalentedLeave a Comment

Isolte and Saroya

I’ve got a guest post up today on the Heroines of Fantasy blog, run by a fine posse of Hadley Rille press authors, several of whom also happen to be Viable Paradise alumni.

The kick-ass heroine is very popular these days. But there’s another kind of heroine I wanted to talk about. Have a look!

A big thank you to Heroines of Fantasy for hosting me today.

KatrinaWhat Kind of Fantasy Heroine Do You Like?

The Non-Specialist

KatrinaRandom Thoughts, UntalentedLeave a Comment

I found this column online at The Guardian about specialists vs. non-specialists. It hit home for me given the themes in Untalented, and how I have personally experienced the pressure to specialize.

I particularly liked the point that not everyone is suited to specialization, and how freeing it is if you are a generalist to just accept that and find ways to be productive and contribute when surrounded by specialists.

If you’ve got a kid you suspect is a generalist, let them know it’s OK to not try to fit in a single rigid box. There’s untold value in exploration and the interconnection of ideas and skills.

KatrinaThe Non-Specialist