Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New and Noteworthy (Stross on Publishing, New Strange Horizons blog, Adapting Torchwood)

In today's edition:

* An excellent, lengthy blog post from Charles Stross regarding the future of publishing, in which he covers the travails of the newspaper and magazine businesses, Rupert Murdoch's fight with Google, and e-books (as well as much else), talking numbers and making the kind of tough, testable predictions that too much business and technological speculation shies away from. (Will the e-book cannibalize the print book by 2020 at the latest, as Mr. Stross suggests? I have my doubts. After all, Ray Kurzweil promised we'd already be there now in his famous predictions for 2009 in The Age of Spiritual Machines-my assessment of which I published at The Fix last year. Nonetheless, Stross offers plenty of interesting observations and arguments.)

* A new blog from Strange Horizons concerning the fiction run in that pro-rated science fiction market. (Who decides these things? Among others, the Science Fiction Writers of America. You can check out their list here. A quick check shows an impressive growth in the number of online pro-level story publishers.)

* Jenn Falls of Airlock Alpha in a piece branching out from the reports of an American version of Torchwood to the problem of television series adaptation in general.

My take: FOX has had a sad track record where its science fiction shows are concerned, as repeatedly noted on this blog-indeed, their execs earned a slot on io9's list of the "top 10 Sci-Fi Disappointments of the Decade." However, rather than simply being FOX's problem, this one is endemic to American television more broadly, as I argued in an essay in IROSF last June. And, frankly, I'd rather they bothered to make up something new from scratch, not least because U.S. adaptations of British television rarely go well-the success of The Office a lonely and unlikely exception that has probably blinded many observers to this reality.

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