Posts Tagged ‘stephen king’

Well, Russia is batshit crazy.

May 20, 2014

It’s always a weird experience when reality broadsides non-reality. While bitching about the US and throwing around Orwell references is a bit of a past time of mine, they’re never something so unflinchingly accurate that I stop and think, well, hell. They’ve gone and done it. Well, Russia has gone and done it. They’ve outlawed swearing. In and of itself, this is ridiculous, and it goes right in line with the fear Russia has shown towards how people communicate (Pussy Riot, anyone?) and people expressing themselves.  Layered on top of this is my reading Vladimir Sorokin’s Day of the Oprichnik daily in the bathroom. In it, one of the things the government has done is ban swearing. not just in media, but in every day life by everyone.

now, Russia is most certainly a bit batshit crazy with this. Sorry if you’re Russian and I offend you, or if you are really against swearing and you fully embrace this law, but it’s nuts. It’s also not what I really thought about when I had these pairs of experiences come together. instead, it was of convergence.  it seems life is a series of convergences where two things come together and bounce off of each other to either explain each other or deepen each other or destroy each other or what have you. Humanity isn’t expanded or contracted in a vacuum.  Another example would be Stephen King’s old short story Rage which seemed to predict the rise of school shootings/violence (I don’t believe King allows the short story to be published any more, which I don’t believe is necessarily a good or bad thing, but I do believe the story isn’t among his best, so maybe it’s best to be taken out of circulation for that reason alone. Another example would be Star Trek and how the technology that appeared so futuristic has started to converge with the present to the point where new movies can’t really keep up technology wise. The things that once seemed so out there are now in our living rooms and it’s to the point that only the big things, the interstellar space travel and transporters, are the things that remain truly out of reach right now (but for how long?).

But to go back to Stephen King and his short story, as I said, he has since removed it from the rotation. If you want to read it, you have to dig up an old copy of the Bachman Books (which I have, because I went through a massive Stephen King phase and it was at just the right time when a ton of great used book stores still existed in the area I lived).  He pulled it from circulation because it was reported that a kid who committed violence at school – I think he shot people, but I’m not entirely sure – had reportedly read it, and King felt some measure of responsibility.  Which I also don’t want to go into except in how it may have affected his writing since. He already pulled this one short story. Has he shelved ideas since? Have novels moved in different directions? Even if he doesn’t consciously think about it, could it be something that slides in, subconsciously moving his stories? Who knows. It was just something I was thinking about.

But how will we or Russia react to convergences such as between Russia’s new ban and Sorokin’s work? Will there be similar convergences and what will spring from them? Just my twenty minute take this morning.

Advertisements

Book Links

September 25, 2013

Bookstores…of the future!  Okay, maybe not of the future, but definitely a bit of a shift from what we’re accustomed to outside of a Barnes & Noble (or a Borders *sigh*).  Add a cafe, or a bar, or a children’s play area (maybe a Happy Meal, too, eh?).  A coffee shop I used to hangout at with friends in undergrad was attached to a Christian bookstore, and cafes have long been a staple of the national book chains. It’s also an idea the wife and I have kicked around in our more whimsical moments. “Hey, let’s open a bookstore!” “And then file for bankruptcy!” We even had a grandiose dream at one time of having a restaurant/bookstore/coffeebar. Yeah. I applaud anyone taking the leap of opening a bookstore and attempting to incorporate such things into their plans. I hope it works, and I would try to support your endeavor. That said, I think it’s a long haul through two feet of financial woe. Still, sell a good spice cake and I’m there.

Sticking to the UK, there is a massive piece in The Guardian centered on Stephen King. I’m an unabashed King fan. I have had a more difficult time getting into his newer stuff, which may in part be from my own reading interests shifting over the years, but King is the guy who got me back into reading when I was in middle school and came across Eyes of the Dragon on the school library bookshelves. to be honest, I’m still slogging through this interview, chipping away at it throughout the day when I have the opportunity.

And the BBC caught up with Bill Bryson who wants his cake…and digital books, too! He’s lobbying for publishers to package a digital copy with a normal printed copy, so when people buy an actual book, the digital book is packaged with it in some way. I get what he’s saying, and I’m not against it.  We’ve seen movies package a “digital copy” with their DVDs, and music CDs are so easy to rip that a digital copy isn’t necessary (especially since it seems most music is bought digitally – maybe they should start packaging CDs with each download?). Something I’d be curious about is a digital subscription to my favorite publishers. For ten bucks a month, let me “join” Penguin and be able to read a selection of their library.  Sort of like a Netflix for books.  They could limit what was available, though if it is too limited no one would have any interest, and control the distribution/downloading. Also, they would have an opportunity for a treasure trove of information about their readers likes, dislikes, and habits.  it would almost be enough to get me to buy an ereader.

 

Book Links 5-20-15

May 20, 2013

Apple is still fighting.  I think the government going after Apple and publishers for the agency pricing model is ridiculous considering how  Amazon was allowed to develop a strangehold on the ebook market before that. It might have forced people to spend a few more bucks in the short term, but I think it was providing for a more robust publishing industry in the long term.  While the publishers have caved, Apple continues to fight, and I applaud them and wish them luck. Also, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this bit about their tax haven practices is coming out now. Considering the big banks were allowed to skate after tanking our economy, politicians complaining about Apple gaming the tax system (legally, as they admit) rings hollow.

On the flip size, Amazon wants to profit by the government going after Apple/publishers, but they don’t want to lose any blood over it. They are fighting to keep their data/info out of the public eye, and out of the courts. I think they are wrong. they are clearly a major player in this, and they deserve  to be pulled into the fight.  They are the only major interest that will greatly benefit by the government winning their case.

Stephen King’s next book, Joyland, won’t be released as an ebook. I like this, except it’s not really his next book. It’s his next book published by the small, independent press Hard Case Crime. I still applaud the move, but it’s not like it’s his next, big publisher release. And you can still buy the physical book off of Amazon.

Not book related, but David Carr’s new article about telecom giants giving us crappy, overpriced cable is a must read.

The house, the reading, the writing, the web, and other various topics of momentary interest

April 12, 2013

Alright, it’s cold today.  the high is supposed to be 50, which means it’s actually about 45, which means the other side of the house is uninhabitable. I went over to fix lunch and froze my nuggets. Thank god for the microwave.

On the other hand, I finished nearly all of my grading this morning. And I think I tracked down the shut off valves to the second floor shower. At first I thought they would be concealed in closet of an adjoining bathroom, because that would make total sense.  So, I removed a loose panel in the closet, and was confident I would find a couple of knobs to turn. Well, no knobs.  there were these bizarre upside down copper udders, though. Did some looking through Lowes’ website and found that they are supposed to remove knocking in the lines from air. Kinda neat, actually, but an odd thing to see for the first time. I think I’ve found the cutoff valves in the basement, so when it warms up a bit, I can start tearing apart the tub faucet to see what I need to replace. I’m hoping the shower head is just clogged, but I think it’s going to more likely be the cartridge.

Also, I need to fix the toilet in the half bath. It won’t stop flushing once it starts. An easy enough fix, really.

More adventures in the basement. I hauled the majority of rubber backed rugs out of the basement yesterday. We think they played a role in deteriorating the cement in one third of the basement. In the middle third, they covered a couple of spots where it seems a previous owner tried to use a sledge hammer to level out the natural stone floor. Yeah, not sure what the was going through their heads and why they didn’t just go rent a grinder to take the high spots down slowly. Or, if the sandstone floor bothered them that much, why they didn’t just replace it with cement when they poured floors in the two other sections of basement.  It was definitely bizarre, and a bit disheartening to see the floor damage. Right now we’re thinking of hammering out the two spots that are damaged and seeing if we can find replacement chunks of sand stone to drop in.  Then I discovered that they managed to store more…stuff?… in a couple of crawlspaces in the basement under an addition they did. So I have to haul a small step ladder into the basement to boost up into these crawlspaces to haul out lord knows what. Yay.

On the non-house front, ebooks now make up 23% of all book sales. Not only that, but book sales in general were good. the digital market will continue to grow, and it becoming the dominant format is likely inevitable. At the same time, there is a tangible, tactile quality to paper bound books that is undeniable.  I still haven’t bought an ereader or tablet, I’m not sure when I ever will, but the market is undeniable.

Entertainment Weekly has an article up about a possible Shining movie prequel, and they got a couple of quotes from King about it. King doesn’t sound thrilled, and I don’t really blame him. For one, it’s not going to come close to Kubrick’s masterpiece of horror. Secondly, who cares about what happened to the previous caretaker? We know that already. Dude went nuts, axed his family. If they want to do something at the hotel, fine, but just take it out of The Shining world and use new characters and new events.

And Jeff Bezos with a letter that I disagree with. He can try to dress up his shop window and make it look like a part of the community of publishing/writing/etc., but Amazon is the new WalMart. If you were ever against Walmart because of how they drive smaller stores and companies out of business, you have no reason to feel differently about Amazon. While the publishing world certainly doesn’t do itself any favors with how it has approached the digital transition, Amazon has played an active role in hastening their downfall and turning small(ish) mistakes into catastrophes. It’s not all about the customer, it’s about control and it is about dominance, and in the end it’s about making as money as possible. If you’re going to shop there, either admit you don’t care or that you can’t afford to care. It’s okay, I couldn’t always afford to care, either. But now I can, so I make different choices.

Finally, something else I want to talk about that is a bit off the beaten path: Fox and CBS might become cable networks. The whys of it don’t particularly matter to me, but if you’re curious, it’s a good blog post from SF Chronicle. What I want to do is to pair this with the news that the city of Santa Clara is going to have free wifi. From my understanding of the history of television, the government essentially gave the broadcasting airspace to networks provided they give time back to the public in the form of providing the news. So, for basically an hour a night. And for decades it’s been a steal for the government, in that it has allowed for a populace informed about the nation and the world at a relatively low cost and high access. However, that has changed over the past decade or so. This isn’t about the quality of the nightly news, but the rise of the internet and the connected world. Television has become less important in our every day lives, at least in the sense of sitting down in front of a television and watching your favorite show at 9pm on Tuesdays. If you’re like me and my family, you don’t have cable, dish, or antenna. You just get all of your info from the web. You have a twitter feed you keep track of, you have a facebook account, you’re tapped into various rivers of information.  The problem is that this connection comes with a price. Here it seems to be anywhere from $30-120 a month. Thirty bucks doesn’t sound like a lot, but compare that to the nothing people are accustomed to paying for their broadcast television and their ability to get the news every night for nothing other than sitting through some commercials. And the Washington Post had a report from back in February about how the FCC wants to buy back some of these airwaves from broadcasters to set up a national free wifi network.

And this is why it is important. Not so we can surf gawker for free, but so that our populace – a populace becoming increasingly urban – can benefit from the sort of free access to news and information that previous generations of Americans benefited from. Would it eat into profits for wireless carriers and giant telecoms? Almost definitely, but it’s also entirely in the public’s good to push forward with such initiatives. This isn’t about getting something for nothing, but about knowledge and access.

 

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King – review

January 26, 2013

For whatever reason I think the short form is the area where King has most excelled at. Even with his novels, I think I appreciate his shorter works (especially The Gunslinger) over his larger works. His collections of novellas have spawned a small legion of wonderful films from Stand by Me to Shawshank Redemption, Secret Window, Secret Garden to Apt Pupil, and his best noevl to movie translations have arguably been his shorter works (Misery, The Green mile, The Shining). The collection of four novellas Full Dark, No Stars falls into the same vein. Reading the four stories included in the volume and all of them are readily filmable, though this is something I’m sure some would hold against him.

It’s too easy to say a book should be a book, and that books have come to rely too heavily on capturing the film aesthetic. While I think there is a bit of truth to this, I don’t think it applies to King. Being filmable doesn’t detract from the impact of the stories or how well they function on the page. I think Russell Banks is very filmable as well, but it doesn’t make me think any less of novels like Affliction or The Sweet Hereafter. With King,I think it’s more a criticism that he sells a lot of books, that popular doesn’t equal good. I’m not the biggest King fan, but I think he does exceptionally well at capturing his stock and trade, the darker side of human nature.

With Full Dark, it leads with “1922” and it is easily the strongest story of the collection. A farmer recruits his son to kill their wife/mother and both are driven to horrible ends from the results of this act. Typical of King, you are never quite sure how much is real and how much of what transpires is delusion on behalf of the characters, striking a similar chord to his novel Gerald’s Game. Is the dog real in Gerald’s Game? Are the rats real in “1922?” In both cases, you assume so, and you’re never really sure whether to believe otherwise at the end. in any case, the dog and the rats were certainly real to the characters at the time.

The second story is a revenge story. Within “Big Driver,” King makes reference to the Jodie Foster movie The Brave One and it is damn apt comparison for this story. It’s a good read, quick, and the scope of evil it nudges towards at the end, the sheer scope of the act of rape, is the most unsettling part of the story.

“Fair Extension” is the arguable home for the most unsympathetic narrator in Stephen King’s body of work. I’m not sure I have ever seen a King story where the main character so quickly reveals how monstrous he is, only to have him continue to be monstrous and to be rewarded for it. This is really the sole reason for it being a stand out piece in this collection, maybe my favorite work.  The small, early reference to the meagerness of human souls to the ugly “transaction without mercy” backbone behind the story, it is unsettling. Considering the profession of the narrator (works at a bank) and the timing of the collection, I would have to wonder if it is in some way tied in to a greater anger at the financial crisis, but I don’t know if King ever spoke to that or if it is in any way true. Still, the ruthless “I want mine, and yours too” feeling of the story is difficult to ignore.

The collection wraps with a solid enough short story of a woman who discovers her husband’s dirty little secret. To be honest, that part of the story didn’t really hook me and I was pretty ambivalent to the story until the old detective shows up at the end to question woman about her recently deceased husband. there was something about the aged, retiring detective that screamed Kinderman from Blatty’s classic The Exorcist.  in no way do the two detectives appear to be literally linked, but there was something to King’s detective that seemed entirely in line with Blatty’s, and either way I can only picture Lee Cobb as either of them.

Barnes and Noble

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson – review

October 25, 2012

I enjoyed Tau Zero, an old hard scifi book about people journeying past everything and back, but it’s also not the most entertaining read in the world. This is going to sound a bit harsh, but what I found most interesting was the book itself. From the library, it is a first edition hard cover from 1970 with wonderful cover work done by Anita Siegel. I hauled the image to the right from the novel’s wikipage and, if everything went right, you should be able to go there for a plot synopsis and other things by clicking the image. I’ll try to stay away from talking much about the actual happenings and goings because there really isn’t much to say that wouldn’t kill what plot the book has.

When saying it is a hard scifi novel, it means it focuses a good deal on the science and less on the people. I’m sure there are hard scifi books out there that do a great job hitting on both, but I don’t know what they are. The effect with Tau Zero is that I found the science a  bit hard to plough through while the characters were a bit hard to care about beyond their rather thin construction.

Which sounds like a devastatingly negative review, I know, but it’s not. It’s still an enjoyable read, perhaps made more enjoyable (at least for me) by getting through it quicker. While the characters really don’t matter a whole helluva lot, it makes up for it at least a bit by where they are going. What it really suffers from is just a general lack of vision. I think Anderson has a clear, strong grasp of the scientific aspects of his novel, and he goes into loving detail about tau – a detail that I just found dense and cumbersome compared to the lack of details he goes into with his characters, settings, and work.

In fact, he seems to go out of his way to not give details about the lead character, Reymont. The captain of the ship is shunted off. The other characters are either nearly as cold as Reymont, aren’t really delved into, or are even shown  as weakened a bit by their emotions.  It really seems as if Anderson just didn’t want to fill his novel out with anything but a framework so that he could talk about the science behind the idea of his story.

Which is a shame. While I wasn’t a big fan of Adrian’s The Children’s Hospital, it shows what can be done by cramming a bunch of people into a small area and just observing them and reporting back on what you see. Stephen King makes use of such a theme in story after story after story, trapping people in everything from vampire infested small towns to psychotic monorail trains to under a big invisible dome. However, this is also old scifi, which never really seemed to put an emphasis on the story. That was left to their fantasy tale spinning cousins, I guess.

If you like old scifi, or hard scifi, I think Tau Zero could be up your alley.  If you just sort of go walleyed and feel a tight clenching in your bowels by the idea of having to slog through some mathematical formulas about time dilation or having to keep track of a host of vaguely similar and thin characters, this is probably less for you. As I said, the most interesting part for me was the book itself. An artifact from 1970, its coverwork is distinctly scifi in its oddness and openly interpretive meanings in relation to the work. On the last page there is still a library card in the little paper slot, a single date stamped onto it (May 7 1970), though there are a host of Date Due stickers on the back cover, the most recent being 11-26-01.  Perhaps the best part is the brief synopsis on a little sticker on the cover page:

A space adventure which takes fifty people to the end of the universe, infinity, and the beginning of a new eternity.

Yeah, that sums it up pretty well.

Tau Zero at Barnes and Noble

Poul Anderson at Wikipedia and GoodReads

Anita Siegel’s archived NYT obituary at Legacy and a google image search. There is startlingly little I could really find on her.

Book Links 8-13-12

August 13, 2012

A few links today, as I run around town trying to get my car title/license thing changed, look at houses and maybe fix some sort of supper before picking the wife up from work. Long day. Monday. Shocker.

Media Decoder has a bit up about Google buying Frommers. I just find it interesting after they bought Zagats last year. Google’s trying to corner the market on travel writing?

An 11 minute youtube of Craig Ferguson talking to Stephen King. Nothing ground breaking, just Ferguson being Ferguson. Still, kinda nice to see an author hitting the late night talk show circuit.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review has a good article by Leah Price about the death of books being greatly exaggerated.

Well, that’s all that made the short list today. Now off to work.

The Fall by del Toro and Hogan – a review

September 13, 2011

I owe a lot to the horror genre, and specifically Stephen King. Grades 1-5 took a lot of time and care to bludgeon out of me any joy that I got from reading. I was put into special reading groups, so I had to miss movies the rest of the grade got to see. I had to read books only two or three other people had to read. My spelling lists were different. My entire school experience was different from probably 95% of my classmates. My response was to say to hell with it and morph into one of the laziest (though still high grade attaining, which was quite the feat), most put off students you could find. I wasn’t put enough to quit doing the work, just enough to do it sloppily and as averagely as I could. Unfortunately, this was a lesson that I am still unable to entirely shake, as I still find myself wanting to default to “not give a shit mode.”

Thankfully, Stephen King (specifically, his Eyes of the Dragon novel) rescued my interests at some point in middle school and I took up reading again. Truth be told, I’ve never been overly interested in the horror genre outside of King. I tried Koontz, but couldn’t get into it. Lost interest in Lovecraft, and enjoyed the occasional zombie anthology. There was a brief time when I really dug Phil Rickman, but suddenly his books quit appearing on the bookshelves. Though intermittent reader, I’ve always kept at least half an eye turned towards the horror section, looking for something new and interesting.

I found it with the first book of what’s promised to be a trilogy, The Strain. It was original, returning vampires to the ugly, brutal cloth that I think they were originally meant to be before they were sanitized and made glittery.  It was a breath of fresh air for a subject that had simply lost me.

Reading The Fall, the newness of the approach is, as expected, gone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does force the novel to stand on its own feet in a way the first novel didn’t have to bother itself with. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hold up its own weight. The people you expect to die, do. Those you expect to live, do. And it clearly leaves off in preparation for a third act, so any great revelation isn’t to be expected.

Where the third book goes, is still up in the air. They seem to hint at a somewhat darker turn at points in this novel, specifically regarding Ephraim’s son and the biblical turn his story line appears to take towards the end of The Strain.

There are some larger themes at play in the book. There is certainly a question of obsessions becoming a blinding force, luring characters into actions they feel are necessary but are really foolish and destined for failure, often leading to the loss of loved ones. We see it with Ephraim. We come to see it with Setrakian. We see it with Palmer. We see it with the Ancients.  It’s repeatedly early and often in both books.

Also, there seems to be a lot going on with blood, not just in the sense of nourishment/poison, but in the sense of family, connections and responsibility and it often ties into the idea of obsessions. The vampires introduce their own idea of “blood” and family, and the obligations that go along with it. With the human characters we see varying definitions of what family means and entails, and the sacrifices that go with it. There might really be something here in regards to how the male and female characters treat the idea of familial responsibilities, and the success each gender has at fulfilling the roles they largely self-define.

This idea of family and blood, and the differences along these lines between the vampires (and specifically the ancients) and the humans gains a bit more depth considering the connection between the ancients and their “homes” and between humans and their homes.

Alright, my coffee cup is empty. I’ve been tempted to google some of the stuff from The Strain having to deal with The Master and things Satrakian said, but I actually don’t want to chance upon some part of the story the authors plan on revealing in their own good time. So while there might be more depths to plunge in that direction, they are going to have to be spelunked by someone else. Or if  I am to do it, it will be at a later time after having read the next book.

Blaze by The Writer Formerly Known as Richard Bachman (pssst, it’s Stephen King!)

August 17, 2010

King up and admits in his forward that this is a trunk novel but it’s not something he has to apologize for in this case. The horror aspect of the novel is never clearly developed regarding the actuality of the “ghost” that haunts the protagonist, Clay Blaisdell, jr., throughout the novel but it doesn’t really matter with the pace and energy devoted simply to pushing the story along. It moves along at the wonderfully quick pace of other shorts works by King like The Gunslinger, The Shining and ‘Salem’s Lot. While it is not as polished or as fundamentally solid as any of those novels, the foundation for such a work can be easily found and it is this foundation that the reader walks (or runs) along to the unexpectedly gentle ending.

Which might be the only real down point of the work. While not entirely surprising, it feels sort of like the ending that was clearly tacked onto AI after Haley Joel Osment took a plunge into the cold waters. Which isn’t something I can blame King for. Ending on a grim note isn’t something he has made a living at and it’s not something I’ve  exactly complained about in the past after enjoying The Tommyknockers, The Stand or pretty much any damn Stephen King book I lay my hands on.

There’s an obvious connection that can be drawn to Of Mice and Men. The smart one, in both novels, is named George though the George in Blaze decidedly uses his big dumb friend for quite different means though for not altogether different ends.Instead of wandering from farm to farm, breaking their backs to try to work up enough money to buy their own place, George and Clay wander from con job to con job, trying to score enough to get out of the business and just settle down.

It also made me think of the old Cagney flick, Angels with Dirty Faces. In Angels, Cagney plays a criminal who grew up with Pat O’Brien who became a priest. They were friends and shared many of the same adventures as youths, including petty theft and what not – except Cagney got caught while O’Brien got away. And this went on to form the rest of their lives. Blaisdell is the one who got caught, not by the cops but by life in general and an abusive, drunk father in particular. Blaze talks not just about the desperation of the dumb and criminal but the inherent roles of chance and fate in our lives and how our existence is shaped and altered by events that lie largely out of our control. When Blaisdell is given the massive dent that comes to define the rest of his life, and loses any hope for the life he was on the path for, it is at a moment where he was effectively powerless to alter events or to prevent them from happening. His existence was at mercy to the gods.

Given the ending of the novel, it could be argued that King makes a further case for the essential goodness of people. Blaisdell was a good kid who fell to horrible circumstances but, in the end, he returns to a basic goodness where his means might be horribly flawed but where his intentions are essentially positive. This could open up a rather messy look into human nature and whether we are born good/bad or whether we are made that way, and it is something that King largely flits across without truly delving into such as when he talks of the farmer who brings in a bunch of youths who, today, would be called disadvantaged and then would have simply been called Trouble.

This could also be seen as a precursor to later works by Stephen King, notably The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. The lovable (or at least agreeable) con at the hands of the unfair system has become a bit of a standby for King and they often result in some of his best work. It’s not hard to look at someone like Blaisdell and see a bit of John Coffey, from Green Mile, there or to look at Law, the headmaster at the school Blaisdell attends, and see the cruel warden and guards of Shawshank.

In the end, Blaze is a solid read from an entertaining writer. It has its rough spots but it’s a good novel for just ploughing through the day with.

Price War?

November 10, 2009

Well, November is nearing the halfway point and I’m wondering if anyone remembers the Price War of October where retail giants tried slugging it out humanities style. At the time I said it was a blip on the radar-something to take advantage of while you could because it was unlikely to last or even to repeat itself in the near future and, so far, it looks about right.

I haven’t seen any of the major retailers continue to discount preorders to the $9 range. Once the books were released their prices jumped to more normal discount levels for best sellers. And no one is going crazy about how the publishing world is going to be placed on its head and how the 21st century would officially be leveled upon writers and how their work will have to change.

So. Blah. The price war is over and the new publishing world looks damn similar to the old publishing world. Much like the file sharers found with the ongoing fight with the music industry, lumbering giants die hard and, when they fall, they tend to leave everything maimed beyond recognition – not just the horrors of the old regime.

The publishing industry will change. It is inevitable. As music has had to shift gears (while missing second entirely and still trying to make an ugly grinding stab at third), as newspapers have falled from venerable institutions to vulnerable endeavors and as the movies still blame those damn pirates for falling box offices rather than shotty movies, the writers and makers of books will have to find new hotels to occupy, new frontiers to letter over.

And I have no doubt they will. And people will continue to make money off of it. Change will come and money will not be far behind.  Just not today.