Busy day wondering around NYC, talking at the TOC conference, meeting editors and fighting crime. So you’ll not see too much of me today. But before I go:

* I was asked over on Twitter what I thought about the Authors’ Guild contention that the upcoming Kindle 2’s “text to speech” software violates copyright, apparently on the reasoning that it creates a new derivative work. My thought: Meh. Since I’m not committed to busting down doors and shooting people when they read a book to their kids, worrying about a montone computer voice bleating out the words to a text on a kindle is not something I’m going to stay up nights thinking about either.

My major question is, leaving aside people who are blind or have poor eyesight, and therefore for whom such a thing is manifestly useful, why someone would bother. Computerized text reading is really not the way to experience a novel in audio fashion. I pity the person who thinks a bland computer text reading of Zoe’s Tale is an optimal experience, especially when Tavia Gilbert’s spectaular reading of the book exists out there to get. Yes, one is free and the other isn’t, but you do get what you pay for.

* A very silly article in the New York Times about the new-found angst corporate-type people are having these days about who picks up the check at lunch. Are people really this stupid? Corporate lunches = dates, i.e., whoever asks the other person to lunch pays. If rather than doing business you’re just getting together with colleagues, split the check. There, we’re done, go and sin no more.

* For those of you trying to follow the link in the last entry and having trouble, the big news there is my friend and current Campbell Award winner Mary Robinette Kowal just got a two book deal, the first book of which is tentative scheduled to hit bookstores in spring of 2010. Very exciting stuff. I’m hanging out with her here in NYC and having a lovely time; the two of us got to see Paul Cornell (of Dr. Who fame) and his lovely wife last night at the City Winery, where Mary’s husband works as a wine expert. It’s fun knowing people with interesting lives.

And how are you today?

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