I always develop most of a novel’s setting before I start writing it, and allow the writing process to flesh out a few cool details along the way. As I’m currently hip-deep in my next novel, currently known by the project name of Sarcology, I’ve written most of those fine details, and find myself working in an environment that I can picture in my mind as if I’ve actually just returned from visiting there. So I thought I would spell out a few details, to prepare you for the world of my upcoming novel.
It has been baffling to many aficionados why the e-book market has taken so long to develop… isn’t it as simple as opening up a new counter at the bookstore, or creating a new section of an online bookstore, and beginning to sell e-book content? Alas, e-books have proven to be much more than simply a new format for reading, as the constant banter over selling paradigms, formats, price, piracy and access have effectively demonstrated. E-books represent no less than a conceptual change to an entire world of literature, a foundation-shaking event that will eventually leave the industries devoted to literature forever changed. It is the real significance of the Digital Revolution: The fundamental difference between a commodity that was once scarce, and one that is now abundant.
Ever since it was discovered that people could send information encased in arranged groups of electrons, a realization about the nature of that information began to set in: It was no longer as secure as it had been before.
Physical objects were easy to keep track of and catalog. They were harder to replicate, which made it easier to control their numbers. Large numbers were correspondingly harder to move, or lose, than smaller numbers. And they could be locked in a coherent space, with no chance of somehow seeping through the cracks and escaping. But the new digital file presented a problem that was as far beyond the constraints of physical objects, as a horse would be compared to a slug. And whereas you can confine a group of slugs with the simple expedient of encircling them with salt, you need a considerably more sophisticated method to corral a herd of horses.