Wednesday, August 11, 2010
THE DEATH OF BOOKS
As a fantasist, I have a dislike of futurists, and am loath to make predictions, but even a cursory examination of the recent past should give enough hints. The book, and especially the novel, will mutate rather than die. Paper books will continue, much in the way that vinyl continues. Some kinds of paper volumes will be re-crafted as faux-luxury items while others will be demanded by folks who simply want to read that way. A lot of people will read e-books, a lot won’t, and by far the majority won’t anything read at all. What scares me in the short term is that writers, like musicians, will become expendable. The corporate salary person frequently cannot tell the good from the bad from the ugly, and runs like a mutt from the risky and the unconventional. At a time when authors should be crafting whole new conventions and creatively investigating how reading patterns are being changed by the internet and the inroads of contemporary tech, they will be left to twist in the wind, with publishers shucking off their traditional role of the bankers of writing. It was stupidity – not technology – that destroyed the magazine industry.
Like I said just now, I’m loath to make predictions, because, even when on the right track, I know they are never the complete picture. Thus, above all, I expect the unexpected and know I must be ready to run with it. Right now I am working on the fifth Renquist novel in a way that may well cause agents and editors – already clinging desperately to celeb non-books – to shake their heads in confirmation that I am as insane as they always suspected. But I continue, because, in the end, that’s both the strength and the downfall of all creative work. Whatever happens, you just gotta do it.
Click here to fill in some background with a more conventional view of the situation.
The secret word is Onward
Posted by Mick at 8/11/2010 04:28:00 PM