Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kindle on the iPhone

Nathan Bransford recently wrote a post about e-books, Kindle, and the iPhone. He was so enthusiastic about the iPhone Kindle app that I went out and downloaded it (for free). I needed a book to read so went to Amazon and downloaded ($7.50) Philip Pullman's, The Golden Compass.

Wow! This is fantastic! The iPhone is easy to read on and the application is simple to use. You'd think it would be difficult to read on the small screen. Nope. Since you can use your finger to sweep to the next page, there is no interruption to your reading as you advance. Text size is adjustable and the screen lighting is variable to fit your current reading conditions.

I've wasted a lot of down time (waiting in line, Dr's office, daughter's gymnastics lesson, etc.) with iPhone games. Now I have a novel in my pocket any time I want it. My consumption of novels has significanly decreased over the past few years--no more. I have a feeling I'll be consuming a lot more books in the coming months.

Oh, so far (the first 15 pages or so) The Golden Compass is excellent.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Very Cool

My friend, Mike Shultz, took me to New York City to have lunch with his editor (Carsten Polzin of Piper Fantasy) yesterday. Carsten was in New York for a few days of business following Worldcon in Montreal the previous week.

Carsten "discovered" Mike's novel, Sword of Memory, after reading one of his short stories and checking out the link to Mike's website. Carsten saw that Mike was working on a novel and asked to take a look at the manuscript. One thing led to another and Mike now finds himself in the unusual situation of having his novel published in German before being published in English.

We ate at the Gramercy Tavern on East 20th street. I was very impressed. Great service, excellent food, and wonderful beer. It was made all the better when Carsten announced at the beginning of the meal that his publishing house was picking up the bill. Cheers to Piper Fantasy.

We spent at good two hours talking about the path Mike's novel would follow to publication, the publishing industry in general, and fantasy in specific. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire affair. It was just plain cool to find myself sitting in a restaurant in the publishing capital of the world talking to an editor. I couldn't help but imagine that somewhere, just a few blocks (or so) from my table, my future agent and publisher were waiting for my manuscript.

Much appreciation to Mike for taking me along, and to Carsten for both the meal and conversation.