My story “Surviving the eBookalypse”, a satire about the future for books and their authors, is now live on Escape Pod: http://escapepod.org/2012/01/19/ep328-surviving-the-ebookalypse/
I wrote this story during Clarion West, partly as a response to a doom and gloom speech I heard on the future of the publishing industry. But folks like Mary Robinette Kowal and Cory Doctorow reaffirm my belief that we who create or consume the fiction, we have power to affect the course of things. eBooks are really not so different from paperbacks if we push for the right to truly own what we purchase. Books as objects can return to being lovingly crafted pieces of art, to be collected and displayed proudly in order to impress your date/guests. Er, I mean, to show your love of the written word. And in the end, all of us time-conscious readers will still want someone to filter out the good from the ocean of crap for us and will pay a little extra for that service. Sparkly vampires aside. So I believe the future of the written word remains bright. And if I’m wrong, I will happily accept patronage offers.
Interesting note: the recorded pod cast is actually from an earlier version of the story, and the online text is from the updated version, which I see as a happy accident because A) I went back and forth over the beginning and am still not sure which I like better (though the printed version is tighter), and B) it is a record I think of how my writing (or at least editing) improved over the time between versions. Although the very beginning of the story is the main difference, there are also a number of small differences that demonstrate opportunities to eliminate unneeded words and poor sentence structures. The story synchs up pretty quickly (once Andre enters the library) so if you listen and follow along with the text, you’ll spot the differences.
Thank you to Roberto Suarez for his podcast reading.
Cheers, and I hope you enjoy it.