13 July 2010

e-books vs. p-books

I know e-book discussions are all the rage these days.
See me on the bandwagon? :^)
But I had to chuckle when I saw Jeff VanderMeer's blog post The Future of Publishing: Small Presses? from earlier this month. He says:
Within 50 to 70 years most power grids will be overloaded and have gone dark, in coordination with the collapse of a unified world civilization and the balkanization of cultures and societies. Any remaining pockets of electricity will be used for basic human needs or for military purposes. Therefore, e-books and e-texts will be absent from any discussion of the future of publishing.

Writers whose books were published in durable physical editions or on paper built to last will flourish in reputation in the future, even if they themselves are buried under girders, roasting as human barbecue, or working as grimy court jesters to petty despots until the inevitable bullet to the head and their own sojourn on the spit.

As a speculative fiction author...I have to wonder if this might be true. (I guess I should be printing out copies of Electric Spec!)

Maybe I'm just a pessimist?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Oh, and two days until our next issue deadline!


Betsy Dornbusch said...

I think it's pessimistic, myself, but awesome fodder for SF!

If things get that dark, then paper books will be burned for fuel.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but ebooks will *clearly* be gone in that scenario--burning of books for fuel. Unless you'll be burning paper books to provide fuel to power your e-reader....


sex scenes at starbucks, said...

hahaha, Jeff, good one.

Ashley said...

Agreed, yes -- in the future where we've gone all post-apocalyptic (or at least without electricity), e-books are going to be a forgone luxury.

Then again, I can't imagine reading of any sort flourishing in said environment.

Worth a chuckle, all the same. =D

Milo James Fowler said...

...and here I was plot-hunting for my next Electric Spec submission. Gracias!

esar said...

I'm confused but anyway, Nice post...I just visit your blog and I like it...keep it up :)
stock photos | stock images | royalty-free images

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