Thursday, 6 January 2011

A Reason to Start Rioting

Just read Sum: Tales From The Afterlives by David Eagleman, one of the best short story collections I've ever read (and one of the most popular).

Sum reminds me of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, and perhaps the whole thing could’ve been written by the ghost of Calvino from one of Eagleman's imagined afterlives.

Eagleman's new book is called Why The Net Matters - a non-fiction work about the infinite possibilities of the internet. This looks very interesting, but sadly I'm not going to read it because it's available exclusively as an iPad app. I don't have an iPad. It seems a bit ironic that an ebook about how great the internet is won't be available to the majority of internet users. I'm sure the book is great, and judging by Eagleman's writing ability it's bound to be extremely well-written. Unfortunately I have no intention of buying an iPad, so I will never know, unless the book becomes available in an alternative format at a later time.

This is a bad omen for the future. It won't be long before there are many big-name authors signing lucrative contracts making their work exclusively available through Apple, Amazon or Sony. Books have always been available to everyone through libraries. If readers have this privilege taken away from them, we have a justifiable reason to start rioting.

Frank Burton

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