Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Buzz (and buzz kill)
As Prof. Farnsworth oft said on Futurama: "Good news, everyone." There's no longer any reason to wait till after showering for a caffeine fix. Not when you can (or so the manufacturer claims) get caffeine from your soap. (Really. I'm not making this up, whether or not the Shower Shock people are.)
And you'll want to be awake before you leave home, because there's a new threat to our networked world: GPS jamming. The notion of inexpensive jammers messing with my GPS ... that's very upsetting. As is the possibility (see the same article) that 4G LTE mobile broadband services will interfere with GPS on a wide scale.
But the bigger buzz kill is a recent blog post by SF colleague Kristine Kathryn Rusch. In "Writing like it's 1999," she paints a picture of authors needing to become their own agent, publisher, and promoter combined. (And when, you might ask, are we supposed to write?) I like to think there's some hyperbole involved, and that prospect for traditional publishing isn't quite as harsh and bleak as Kris portrays it.
But I can't dismiss her viewpoint out of hand. Like two-headed calves and the sky raining stones, there are portents of a (publishing) apocalypse: The Wall Street Journal reports that 99-Cent Titles From Unknown Authors Put New Pressure on Big Publishers. Like ebooks outselling mass-market paperbacks -- and the Association of American Publishers ought to know -- authors bypassing publishers is surely a sign of ... something.
Now if you'll excuse me while I get some coffee and a bar of soap ...