Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: For the (broken) record

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Meanwhile, this seems apposite.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Thanks Jolisa. Will look lustily for your new book thread. Hmm, this could get out of hand...

    Meanwhile, Giovanni, yes very apposite. The issue of originality and ownership of the written word is not going to go away any time soon.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Meanwhile, this seems apposite.

    A major focus of Reality Hunger is appropriation and plagiarism and what these terms mean. I can hardly treat the topic deeply without engaging in it. That would be like writing a book about lying and not being permitted to lie in it.

    Let's hope that Shields never writes a book about, say, genocide.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Let's hope that Shields never writes a book about, say, genocide.

    He could call it Human Shields.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 638 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    A major focus of Reality Hunger is appropriation and plagiarism and what these terms mean. I can hardly treat the topic deeply without engaging in it. That would be like writing a book about lying and not being permitted to lie in it.

    Let's hope that Shields never writes a book about, say, genocide.

    Exactly. Did he actually read that sentence?

    Perhaps this is also apposite.

    'Author Skips Publisher'. Is he doing a 'Radiohead' on the publishing industry? They must be petrified, which, as the article suggests, will involve lawyers.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jack - that's exactly the kind of book (going on his past publishing record) that will do extremely well as an ebook. Non-fiction of the sort
    that people who read those sort of books will want to carry about with them for a good long time. General ref. books will be another goer
    And it's already established that crime/romance/fantasy books-of-a-certain-kind do very well as ebooks.

    The interesting part will be how S&S will attempt to prove that they can pre-empt older title e-rights. Some publishing contracts from the 1980s did have a clause that read (more or less) ' this clause pertains to technology already existing or which may be developed in future."

    I always struck such clauses out (having read enough scifi to be aware that almost anything could be developed given enough time...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Islander - Yes the technology will be 'self-regulating' for some time while readers of different types of books either adopt or reject it. I've held a Kimble, and it didn't grab me.

    I suspect though that a generation is fast sneaking up who spend hours everyday reading on 1.5 inch screens, or 2 inch iPhones, who may think we're all just being old school.

    The Academic Textbook is another opportunity in this field. It seems some are already on to it. That, if it catches on, might actually save some trees.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Some publishing contracts from the 1980s did have a clause that read (more or less) ' this clause pertains to technology already existing or which may be developed in future."

    And there's been some pretty interesting litigation over clauses like that already, and I don't think publishers' have been too pleased with the outcomes. So far.

    Non-fiction of the sort
    that people who read those sort of books will want to carry about with them for a good long time.

    I'd also surmise that e-books would be a goer for reference titles that become obsolete on an annual basis (travel guides, tech manuals etc.) Why wouldn't an innovative publisher sell an e-book, and future updates at a discounted rate, like a piece of software? I'd certainly find that more user-friendly than shelling out a wad of cash for a stout volume I know is probably going to be collecting dust in a year or two.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    A classic one would be drug manuals, which are updated yearly, and cost gazillions...Martingdale's Extrapharmacopaeia" used to publish year *separate* inserts because the cost of the initial volume was $100s -

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I suspect though that a generation is fast sneaking up who spend hours everyday reading on 1.5 inch screens, or 2 inch iPhones, who may think we're all just being old school.

    My eyes have started to age, and although I can read screen and page with the naked eye, I usually wear some light reading glasses for comfort.

    But I find screens easier to read than a paperback book. I'm very comfortable with reading from a screen, and I suspect that as the form factor improves, I'll use a dedicated reading device. The mere fact of being able to increase the type size is a winner.

    Apple's forthcoming device isn't going to be for everyone -- it won't sell here for less than $1000, for a start -- but the magazine content that's being created for it looks quite promising.

    My guess has been for a while that devices-with-content will be what saves "print".

    On the other hand ... I really do love books as objects. My preference is for small, odd ones with ideas in them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Forgive me for trying to drag this out, but it's my first experience of jump-starting a thread, so I'm hanging on to it...

    Quality Standards. They are updated regularly, and if you take for example the Health & Disability Standards, they are huge. Add the Laboratory and Environmental Standards, and there's a forest right there. Being searchable would make them easier to navigate also. You can order PDF versions already, but it is as a second option to the printed form.

    Oh well, I mentioned Quality, so I guess this sucker's a gonna.

    Time...6.06

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Ahh, an unseen post. There's life in it yet.

    But I find screens easier to read than a paperback book.

    Can't say I'm there yet. While these online communities have meant I'm reading much more on both computer screen and phone, and the mobility factor is a definite plus, if I use my phone for bedtime reading, someone reminds me where the spare room is.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    Can I just interject at this crucial moment to point out that I am almost certainly of the same generation as Philip Matthews ?

    Like Philip, I did MacBeth for 6th form English (oops, sorry actors and luvies !!!, "The Scottish Play". Oh Jesus no, whatever have I done ?!!! Just the mere mention of MacBeth brings weeks of bad stage luck to any actor reading this. Oh God, I can only apologise).

    Anyway, moving right along, we were shown precisely the same famous Polanski film - definitely, as Philip says, GORY - heads hacked-off with swords all over the place. Tragically, I can't quite remember the nude scene Philip speaks so fondly of.

    I remember the teacher making each of us read out excerpts of the play. I was so bored rigid that I decided to do it in as authentic a Glaswegian accent as I could manage - got a laugh (and a smile from a particularly good-looking girl) so that was the main thing.

    After the film, the teacher brought up the whole Sharon Tate/Manson family saga. Amazingly, she and I were the only ones in the class who'd ever heard of it, so she had me explain to the rest of them the whole gory episode (and, in the process, the hard realities of life). We were all the same age, of course, but I like to think that from then on I became a kind of Father-figure to the naive young pups - giving the youngsters a bit of fatherly advice and the occasional clip round the ear whenever they needed it, bless them :-)

    All occurred in precisely the same year as a certain Springbok Tour ever so briefly discussed on another thread by myself and the said Philip.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Sounds like I was about three years behind you -- but the same generation. The notion that Polanski's Macbeth was his response to, or processing of, the Manson murders is a common assumption, and one a lot of critics made at the time, but in his autobiography Roman, Polanski said:

    Most American critics assumed that I’d used the film for some cathartic purpose. In fact, I’d chosen to make Macbeth because I thought that Shakespeare, at least, would preserve my motives from suspicion. After the Manson murders, it was clear that whatever kind of film I’d come out with next would have been treated in the same way. If I’d made a comedy, the charge would have been one of callousness.

    Not that Polanski is someone we can rely on to tell the truth at all times, of course.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 638 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    dyan, there's truth in the idea of precocity being a difficult path.

    Ben, I don't mean to say I had a hard time... that's what's wrong with the concept of "giftedness". Apart from genuine talent in music or math, "gifted" is almost invariably a measure of environment. Environment and nutrition . If we were to make sure no kids in NZ schools were suffering nutritional deficiencies there would be a massive jump in academic performance.

    In the SciAm article I read about education, it said the concept of "giftedness" is not recognised at all in Asian schools (except in the obvious and genuine cases of math and music) and academic success is considered a result of how hard a student chooses to work more than any other factor. This is good for both poor students and good students.

    The point Prof Wolpert was making was that academic success is on ongoing task, not an innate talent. While it was all very nice for me to be considered smart, it wasn't at all an accurate appraisal of my abilities.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

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