Tuesday, May 31, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond

Over the Memorial Day weekend I carted two books across the state . . . one of which was The Year's Best Science Fiction, eighth annual collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. I have now twenty of these volumes, representing 20 years' worth of the best science fiction, or some 12,000 pages of material that now spans a couple of bookshelves in my home office (can anyone say "Kindle"?).  

I read a few of these stories sitting on the back deck of my in-laws' house, sweltering in the heat.  But it was very enjoyable and refreshing, especially as a counter to the insane amount of rain, overcast skies, and dipsy-doodle days we have experienced of late.

My niece also gave me a demonstration of her new electronic device . . . The Nook . . . which is the Barnes & Noble counter to the Kindle craze.  It's a touch screen device, a rather futuristic application that can do quite a bit more than read books.  But the Kindle has the capability of being read in bright sunlight (or on my in-laws' back deck) while The Nook screen would simply be washed out in the bright sunlight.  Okay, that's why I brought a book with me.

I'm still making the transition to the electronic book . . . but I'll probably have to make the transition faster.  Bookstores are going the way of the Do-Do bird (Borders is bankrupt, Barnes & Noble stores may be bought out by a billionaire who wants to turn the mega-stores into digital playgrounds, and Amazon has announced they sell more digital books now that paper and ink versions).

What this will mean, of course, is that publishers will raise their prices on electronic versions of books . . . watch for this soon.  I guarantee a price hike!  The gap between paper and digital is going to shrink.

The future is now.  I'm still looking for my Spock ears. 

Say, is that guy still alive?  Wonder if he still believes in the Prime Directive?  And what is that, anyway?

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