Book News: Realms of Fantasy, the Kindle Two, and Magazine Woes


Here are a few big stories for today:

Kindle 2.0
Apparently the new Kindle has been revealed (CNET has the story). The prognosis is good, but not great. While it has a lot of new features, there aren’t any features, according to CNET, that make the Kindle Two more appealing to the mainstream market. I have to agree and disagree. I think the fact that both the Kindle and the Kindle Two offer an easy, modern way to read books is appealing to the mainstream, but the price tag for both ($240 and $359 respectively) will turn people off. I’m certainly not going to spend that kind of money for a reading device when the books themselves are almost the same cost as paper books. Then again, if you made it really easy to put stuff into it that isn’t an eBook (.pdf, .doc, etc.) and had a way to do editing and the like inside it (maybe writing notes in the margins along with strikeouts, etc.), then I’d probably pay for it. Having a cool reading device with built in functions to make my life as a writer easier when I’m riding the bus, etc. would be great.
The good news is that the new one does look a bit better. I can’t say it’s beautiful, but it doesn’t look like something stuck in the boxy days of handheld technology.

Realms of Fantasy Up For Sale?
SF Scope has some clarification to rumors spreading around the net that RoF is up for sale:

Hintz did say that the magazine is near and dear to Sovereign, and he expressed sorrow over its demise. While he was unwilling to comment on any specifics of a potential change in ownership, he did say a “purchase is possible.” Whatever the magazine’s final disposition, Hintz promised more information by early March, saying “we won’t let this drag out.”

Translation? It’s up for sale, but they’re not going to sell it for a cheap price. But that does mean that someone with some idea of what they are doing could purchase it and revitalize it. We’ll see. I’m hoping it happens.

Distribution Execution (the Magazines Get Hit Again)
As if things weren’t bad enough for the big three, Anderson News, the folks behind distributing F&SF and Asimov’s, have ceased doing what they do (a.k.a. gone under) when publishers refused to pay an additional fee for, well, distribution. Apparently they closed down because they just couldn’t afford to keep in business. Course, I suppose you can’t blame them. It can’t be cheap to ship stuff around.
Then again, I keep saying that all the old-format magazines should consider, you know, looking at all the newfangled methods out there. Like this thing called the Interwebs and that other thing called POD. I mean, really, let’s get on the wagon of the future people. It’s not 1950 anymore. If you honestly think you can survive in this business dealing primarily in ancient technology, then don’t be surprised when you have to cut back on your publishing schedule…oh crap, that’s already happened…
Get with the program. Short fiction doesn’t have to die, but at the rate these folks are going, the big three mags are going to find themselves extinct.

And that is all!

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and fantasy.

4 thoughts on “Book News: Realms of Fantasy, the Kindle Two, and Magazine Woes

  1. Have you heard about Shortcovers yet? I just read about it today; it’s a new service that aims to eventually turn all smart phones into digital readers. Wonder if it’ll be a Kindle killer?

  2. Eh, I doubt it. The Kindle has the advantage of a larger screen than a phone and it’s built specifically for reading books, etc. Software for phones will likely provide a secondary market for eBooks, though, but I doubt it will significantly influence sales. Right now eReaders are still in their infancy. They’re getting bigger, but that could tank for a lot of reasons (not least of which is cost and functionality).

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