Stuff and nonsense — part 6

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.

What do you think?