First up, it seems that a couple of researchers have been doing studies on “spoilers” and guess what? They’ve found out that a) they don’t matter, and b) they might actually be a Good Thing. Here’s a BoingBoing post on it, in which Cory Doctorow agrees with me that heavily spoiler-averse people are tedious; and here’s a working link to a PDF of the paper (as the link in the BoingBong post is wrong).
In this week’s edition of Awesome Book News, Tor UK will now be offering DRM-free ebooks. Seeing as they publish excellent books by awesome people like Cherie Priest, this is excellent news. I think John Scalzi’s summed up the problems with DRM pretty succinctly:
”DRM hasn’t stopped my books from being out there on the dark side of the internet. Meanwhile, the people who do spend money to support me and my writing have been penalised for playing by the rules. The books of mine they have bought have been chained to a single e-reader, which means if that e-reader becomes obsolete or the retailer goes under (or otherwise arbitrarily changes their user agreement), my readers risk losing the works of mine they’ve bought. I don’t like that. So the idea that my readers will ‘buy once, keep anywhere,’ makes me happy.”
For this next bit, I suggest you make sure you’re sat down and have a fortifying drink to hand (tea or any kind of strong spirit is good). Ready? Warren Ellis’ new book, Gun Machine, is set to become a TV series.
Yes, I am doing a dance.
My anticipation for Gun Machine is phenomenal, as I’ve mentioned before, and early reports suggest it’s justified. Not to mention that it was optioned “sight-unseen”. Not a case of “hey, this sold well, let’s get on that”.
As Warren says, anything could happen to stop this happening, but I’m keeping everything crossed.
Perennial favourite Project: Rooftop have done an excellent roundtable dissection of Catwoman’s looks through the ages. Their thoughts echo my own pretty closely: Darwyn Cooke’s design is pretty much the definitive version; the Dark Knight Rises version is just not right; and I’ll always have a soft spot for Michelle Pfeiffer.
Keeping with a comics theme, Christian A. Dumais, the man behind Drunk Hulk on Twitter, has written up his presentation about being successful on Twitter. Even if you’re not trying to run a novelty account or even just be funny on Twitter, it’s still an interesting dissection of the community and how information disseminates within the Twitter ecosystem (yes, I did just say that — I guess that Creative Technologies MA wasn’t a waste after all).
I’m assuming you’ve all been reading What if…? If not, why not? For those not up to speed, Randall Munroe (of xkcd fame) has started a blog (?) where each week he answers a science question posed by a user. If you’ve ever read xkcd, you’ll know what to expect. It’s funny, clever, and exceptionally charming.
Finally I’ll leave you with an excellent video from Waterstones’ YouTube account. It’s interesting to heard Ben Aaronovitch’s thoughts as (like I mentioned in my review of Whispers…) I’ve been particularly impressed by the depth of his knowledge of the police force. Not just their procedures, but the attitudes of the officers and the soul of the force.
I think I’m with Harlan Coben though (possibly because I’m coming from a fantasy/SF background, where accuracy isn’t as important). Writing’s the point; research shouldn’t get in the way.