Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Episode 681: I Support Dead Tree Editions

Stayed up till 3 am reading Carol E. Meacham's Machina Obscura. It was a good read, until the last chapter or so. That's when it felt like a deus ex machina had been shoved in, so that a semi-happy ending could be achieved. That this plot development raised the most interesting question regarding artificial intelligences, i.e. whether their inability to see shades of grey makes them impartial or merciless, was therefore a bit of a disappointment, since there was no room to explore it further. (Tony Ballantyne's Watcher trilogy has successfully explored this on a much grander scale anyway.) There's apparently a sequel, Aquaria, but that's only available for free as a podcast, so I'm not too keen on having to listen to the whole novel being read to me. It's difficult enough getting through a full-length book on the screen, let alone to have to adjust to someone else's reading speed. There really is quite nothing like holding a physical book, I think. It's also much harder to concentrate on clicking through the pages of an e-book, whereas turning physical pages somehow makes it easier to devote one's attention to the act of reading itself.

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