August 1st, 2009

books in a stack

Can't we all just get along?

It amazes me how people who have so much in common can be so different in how they react to developments. Specifically, I'm talking about people who love reading. Book lovers can't seem to unite, and in fact, are arguing over ebooks the way Catholics and Protestants used to argue over dogma.

A lot of the kerfuffle centers on the Kindle, mostly, I think, because Kindle is way ahead in eReader popularity. Always informative agent Nathan Bransford mentions this in his Friday This Week in Publishing post where he cites both pro and anti-Kindle posts. Certainly the snarky video (made by a used bookstore) referenced in this TeleReads post takes on the Kindle by name.

As an example, this article on the Kindle jumps the gun a bit, I think, in predicting the demise of books. I think magazines and newspapers are safe until large color screen eReaders are reasonably priced, which I would think would take several years, at least. Novels are another story. How many novels really need color or a large screen? This is why fiction publishers need to figure out ebooks and fast, because e-ink and iPhone-like readers are growing in popularity.

Now if the people who love books can just learn to tolerate each other's preferences, we'll all be fine.

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Earth from space

Updated Worldcon schedule & a request for help

I ended up getting a third panel at Worldcon. The first two are on ebooks (one on digital publishing as a career choice for writers, the other on how well eReaders work). The third one is on a topic I am less well grounded in: Cross-Genre Hard SF. The premise is that hard science fiction is not usually mixed with any other genre and discussion will center around why.

I can certainly talk about the reasons, but I also wanted to come up with a list of cross-genre works that do include "hard SF." So far I have gotten Catherine Asaro's books (lusty romances cloaked in solid physics) and Asimov's Caves of Steel mystery/science fiction novel. Anyone out there have some other suggestions? I am all ears, metaphorically speaking.

Updated Worldcon Schedule
Title: Ebooks from the Reader’s and Writer’s Perspective
Description: Are ebooks the future of publishing or just a niche market on the way to print? Can a writer have a career in ebooks?
Location: P-522B
When: Thu 2:00 PM - 3:30 pm
Participants: Cecilia Tan (m), Karen Wester Newton, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Traci N. Castleberry

Title: Faking Paper: ebooks
Description: Are eBooks the future of reading? Is paper dead? What are the problems and pitfalls of the Kindle? What does it feel like to read on electronic "paper"? Is the market ready?
Location: P-516D
When: Fri 7:00 PM - 8:00 pm
Participants: Alon Ziv, James Bryant (G4CLF), Karen Wester Newton (m), Kathryn Sullivan, Katherine (Katya) Pendill

Title: Cross-Genre Hard SF
Description: While there are many instances of cross genre SF - horror/fantasy, romance/fantasy - hard SF usually isn't involved. Why is this?
Location: P-511D
When: Sat 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Participants: Karen Wester Newton, Karl Schroeder, Peter Watts (m), Jo Beverley

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