Episode 40: Live with Gary Wolfe redux

A note to subscribers.  Due to high traffic I’ve had to move the podcast to a new host. This seemed to go smoothly last week, but has caused problems this week.  While downloading from here should continue to work seamlessly (heh), you can download it from jonathanstrahan.podbean.com. If you use iTunes you might want to search for and subscribe to The Coode Street Hour.  My sincere apologies for the inconvenience to people who’ve tried and failed to download the podcast and my thanks for persevering.

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6 thoughts on “Episode 40: Live with Gary Wolfe redux”

  1. Good morning guys. Many thanks for another wonderful podcast. Before I can get showered and dressed and get on with my day, I do want to make a few brief comments.

    As someone who produced ebooks, I’d like to say that I would love to produce better ones. However, there are very good reasons why their look is so generic. Firstly ebook software can constrain font choices and almost always allows the reader to change the font. This discourages publishers from paying any great attention to fonts. But more importantly the lack of standardization in support for the supposed epub standard, and the primitive nature of Kindle’s support for HTML/CSS, means that the only sane way to make an ebook is to go for the lowest common denominator and keep your formatting as simple as possible. Hopefully this will change with time.

    US immigration rules are, of course, a subject close to my heart. My good friend Nicola Griffith is, I believe, an Alien of Outstanding Ability. My immigration lawyer got very excited about my Hugo wins until he realized that I made no money from the work that won those awards, which in the eyes of the State Department means that my abilities, outstanding as they may be, are of no value the the USA.

    Mycroft Holmes is, of course, a leading character in Kim Newman’s Diogenes Club stories.

    I may mutter about the Nebulas on my own blog.

  2. I’ve been greatly enjoying these podcasts over the last few months, and had been meaning to mention it. I lost touch with the SF world after the mid-80s or so, and have been getting back into it. Your discussions have helped me contextualize the history I do know with what’s been going on over the last 25 years of so, and helped me make some reading choices.

    In re: ebooks. The big benefit for me is the saving of shelf space, allowing me to avoid the culling process I reluctantly go through every few years. It seems especially ideal for something like the complete stories of … (Sturgeon, Silverberg, Anderson, etc.), which I’d like to have available and dip into, but probably wouldn’t invest in the physical version of. (I snapped up Suberranean’s Silverberg series when they put them out as $5 ebooks.)

    And speaking of Subterranean, I went looking for Mirror Kingdoms, the Best of Philip Jose Farmer, and the Jack Vance Treasury, but they’re all out of print, and used copies are pricey (especially Beagle and Farmer). I understand juicing demand by creating artificial scarcity (I’m an economist), but these “best of”-type books ought to be in print as entry points for people wanting to check out the authors for the first time… They weren’t released that long ago! Hopefully they’re being looked at as ebook releases at some point…?

  3. Thanks for the comment, Cheryl, and I sympathize with the design limits effectively imposed on e-publishers. As convenient as the Kindle is, it sometimes gives the impression of trying to watch HDTV on an old black-and-white set (which I realize isn’t possible, but you get the point). I haven’t had a chance to play with the color Nook, but I wonder if it’s any real improvement, or if the iPad is, for that matter.

  4. Gary: I’d be happy to send you copies of Salon Futura so that you can compare them on the Kindle and iPad (and test the color Nook which I haven’t seen yet).

  5. Yes! An rss feed! (and yeah iTunes for all the rest of you lot). Now Coode Street can go viral.

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