Monday, January 30, 2012

Franzen Says Ebooks not for Serious Readers

Literary author Jonathan Franzen says that ebooks aren't for serious readers.  You can read  his comments here.

As a person who considers himself a serious reader, I take great offense at these remarks.  The medium through which a person chooses to read, whether paper, electronic, or (as in my case) a combination of both, is in no way a reflection of whether that person is a "serious reader". 

Of course, Mr. Franzen doesn't define what a "serious reader" is.  Is it someone who places a high priority on reading and buys numerous books every year or month or in some cases every week?  Or perhaps it's a person who only reads serious Literature?  (Capitalization mine.)  

Aside from the brain-dead connection Mr. Franzen tries to make between paper books and responsible self-government, his remarks show just how out of step he is with vast numbers of readers, both here in America as well as other parts of the world.  Franzen is a darling of the literati, those arbiters of taste and snobbery, most of whom wouldn't deign to read genre fiction.  At least not in public.  Franzen clearly seems to share this elitist view, despite the fact that his books are available in electronic editions.  He states that paper books provide a level of permanence.  He's also gone on record saying that "It's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction."  I strongly beg to differ, but good fiction is in the eye of the beholder. 

Still, I doubt Franzen would recognize good fiction if it bit him in the ass. 

Of course, Franzen's remarks illustrate one of the results of a recent survey by Verso Digital.  Among their findings was that resistance to ereaders is growing, even among avid readers.  If I'm understanding the survey correctly, the resistance is from people who have never been inclined to read on an ereader.  Frankly, I don't care what format you choose for reading.  Just don't take a condescending attitude toward those of us who don't choose the same as you.

Franzen also says that if printed books become obsolete, he's glad he won't live long enough to see it.  Given his attitude, I find it hard to disagree with that statement.  In the meantime, I'm going to read some good indie fiction.

On my ereader.

Over the Horizon

Things have been rather hectic for the last couple of weeks as the semester has started up and I've assumed new responsibilities in the land of dayjobbery.  My reading rate has slowed down, and I've hardly made any progress on my own personal fiction writing.  Blogging has diminished as well,

This week will be the first "normal" week.  I'm hoping to post at least one or two reviews here every month in addition to smaller posts.  I've got a a number of eARCs and one or two paper ARCs publishers have sent me, but they're all fantasy, so those reviews will go up at Adventures Fantastic.  If I start getting any science fiction eARCs/ARCs, the rate of posting here will increase.  As I'm doing with fantasy/historical adventure, I'll try to review indie published books on a regular basis.

So what's in store of the next few months?

Friday, January 13, 2012

David Gaughran's "Transfection"

"Transfection"
David Gaughran
various ebook formats, currently free

This is a fast paced little ebook, essentially a short story.  There's still plenty of story crammed into it for all its brief length.  The plot concerns one Dr. Carl Peters.  He's a molecular biologist working with genetically modified foods.  When a scare erupts following the announcement that GM foods can cause cancer, he manages to take advantage of the situation and get considerable research funding.  That's when his troubles really start.  He makes a discovery that costs him, in more ways than one.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Girl Sneaks into Russian Rocket Factory

As far as I know, these photos are legit.  They look like something out of a movie.  Check them out. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Slappy Brew Beer

Some carolers wandered by late last night chanting "Slappy Brew Beer"; at least I think that's what they were saying.  Their voices were somewhat slurred.

Slappy Brew Beer everybody.