Archives de Catégorie: E-Reading

Zombies and poetry: Margaret Atwood free to read, on Wattpad

« Poetry is the past that breaks out in our hearts ». (Rilke)

Oh, yes, zombies. They’re mindless, shambling; they’re coming for your brains… And then things will never be the same.

Image: cover of Thriller Suite, poems by Margaret Atwood, published on Wattpad

It’s also a powerful metaphor. Trust Margaret Atwood to explore it! And not only in The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home, the horror fiction series she’s writing for Wattpad in collaboration with Naomi Alderman, and which was announced Wednesday worldwide.

There’s also Thriller Suite, a collection of poems by Atwood, also published on Wattpad, in which my favourite is this one:

There you have it: zombies.
Didn’t you always suspect?
« Poetry is the past
that breaks out in our hearts »
like a virus, like an infection.
How many poems occur about
the dead one who isn’t dead,
the lost one who semi-persists…

« Zombie Poetry Zombie », by Margaret Atwood. Free to read on Wattpad, both the website and the app. Click, enjoy and… shiver.

(Hat tip: @bibliomancienne, ActuaLitté.)

En passant

The bots? You know, the ones trying to take advantage of the ebook freebies you intend for your fans… C.J. Cherryh, of Closed Circle, reports on her bout of website-cleaning.

En passant

This is epic. I mean The Mongoliad, the new brain child of Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear. An online epic fantasy novel by installments with reader participation? You know what this means. Some writers fight fanficcers, others find ways to … Lire la suite

Doctorow’s First Law of Locks

Science-fiction writer and Digital Rights activist Cory Doctorow spent a few months shopping around for ebook sellers that would enable authors and publishers to opt out of DRMs. He relates for Publishers Weekly the experience and what he learned from it:

This led me to formulate something I grandiosely call Doctorow’s First Law: «Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won’t give you a key, they’re not doing it for your benefit.»

(Source: Boing Boing.)

Oh, and you want to know which on-line ebook sellers said yes and which refused to let go of DRMs at any price? In the «yes» camp: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo. And for the «no»: Apple and Sony.

When the e-book you want to buy is not available in your country

It’s very, very annoying. Trust me.

Or no, don’t trust me. Rather, witness this Twitter conversation between two serious book lovers and geeks who happen to express themselves in English, even writing professionally in that language, but don’t live in a dominantly English-speaking country.

Says Aliette de Bodard, a French-American sci-fi writer who lives in Paris, where she works as an IT engineer:

I’m getting tired of the ebooks I want not being available outside of the US or Canada…

Charles A. Tan (sci-fi writer, blogger and editor, in Philippines) answers:

and that’s the irony of eBooks; not available in areas that has demand for them

@aliettedb:

yeah, they really need to rework their rights model (geographical distribution shouldn’t apply anymore to books-maybe language?)

(Emphasis mine, as below.)

@charlesatan:

Language is fine. Unfortunately, companies and laws are still regional.

@aliettedb:

yeah, I know. Sucks for us, though…

Obvious consequence of such restrictions?

Enters @theefer (Sébastien Cevey, a French sci-fi writer who lives and blogs in London):

Time to put on your pirate helmet? (could buy paper versions and offer them to friends if you feel morally awkward)

@aliettedb:

I am seriously tempted, and not for the first time. This is bloody ridiculous

Indeed. That’s one of the reasons I dislike DRM « protection » so much on e-books. If the publisher wants to restrict the sale of their products to one geographical market (say,  North America), they have both the technical tools and the legal right to do so. And they have the on-line retailers like Fictionwise, Booksonboard or Amazon filter the buyers from their IP addresses.

If one is outside the rights-holder’s zone, the message received is a loud and clear: « Go away, we don’t want your money! Or go back to the dead tree era, you loser. »

Riiight.

(No pun intended.)

Now, compare with John Scalzi’s essay/rant: « On How Many Times I Should Get Payed For A Book (By Readers) »

Buy one paper book, download a DRM-free e-edition, and piracy concerns be damned?

Tempting, very tempting.

Obviously, this issue won’t be resolved by authors or even authors’ fans alone. But publishers should be concerned about the bad e-book buying experience of their customers, especially when these customers are bloggers, journalists or writers who can give it a wider echo.

And authors’ agents too should give it a chunk of their brain-time if they want to do what’s best, in the long run, for their book-writing clients.

The Book, an exciting wireless reading platform

OK, this is about a year old, but Penny Arcade pretty much nailed it:

Major features are the touch-based interface (the pages really turn), the amazing autonomy (you don’t even need a power plug), and a format that automatically adapts to your own shelves, not the other way around. Isn’t that neat?

I want one! Oh, wait…