Print/Digital, Part the Whatevereth

My experience with my own kid is in line with Joe’s. Athena can and does read on a screen quite frequently — she’s a fan of Wattpad and reads lots of stuff there — but at the same time she loves having print books and visiting the book store to get more of the same. She would better describe her own relationship with print and digital, but I suspect an either/or mentality about it would be puzzling to her. It would be asking her whatever her favorite soda is better in a bottle or a can. It’s still her favorite soda regardless of packaging.

My own current relationship with print and digital is primarily a question of functionality and circumstance. I find myself buying a lot of print books because I like the physicality of books and because I make it a point to support my local bookstore. When I give books as gifts, I tend give them as physical things, because the physicality of the gift matters to me in an ineffable way. But I also buy digital copies of many books I already own, because it’s easier than dragging the physical book out of storage, and I also buy digital books for travel because of space and weight considerations (and given how much I travel, this is not a trivial thing). Like my kid, I am adept enough in the digital world that reading a novel there doesn’t strike me as a notable difference. Again, it’s a can or bottle thing.

What I find myself really on board with the digital medium for is not books but magazines and comics. At the peak of my magazine subscribing career I subscribed to about fifteen magazines a month, and the pile of used magazines was, frankly, insane. Now I subscribe to Next Issue and it’s pretty much a joy to zip through a dozen magazines on my Nexus 10 and not worry about dropping the issues into the recycling bin afterward. I feel the same way about comics and graphic novels — I read more episodic graphic storytelling now than I ever did before because Comixology makes it easy for me to find what I want to read and not have to worry about the clutter afterward. I obviously don’t have the collector mindset, here.

I don’t find digital has had any effect on how many books I buy — I was going to buy tons in any event — but it has had an impact on how many magazines and comics I buy (aside from my Next Issue subscription I also subscribe digitally to other magazines). So to that extent the digital world both increases the amount I read and increases the amount I spend (and send to creators), and that’s only a positive thing, I think.

Samuel R. Delany: Grand Master of Science Fiction

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Samuel R. Delany its newest Grand Master. All the details are here.

I’m still doing my “no comments on SFWA for a year” thing, so I won’t discuss this substantively at the moment. I will say this: This is an award both well chosen and well deserved.

Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2013, Day Three: Arts, Crafts, Music and More

The Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2013 continues, and today we move away from books and focus on other gifts and crafts — which you can take to mean just about any other sort of thing a creative person might make: Music, art, knitting, jewelry, artisanal foodstuffs and so on. These can be great, unique gifts for special folks in your life, and things you can’t just get down at the mall. I hope you see some cool stuff here.

Please note that the comment thread today is only for creators to post about their gifts for sale; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Creators: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Creators (of things other than books) only. This is an intentionally expansive category, so if you’ve made something and have it available for the public to try or buy, you can probably post about in this thread. The exception to this is books (including comics and graphic novels), which have two previously existing threads, one for traditionally-published works and one for non-traditionally published works (Note: if you are an author and also create other stuff, you may promote that other stuff today). Don’t post if you are not the creator of the thing you want to promote, please.

2. Personally-created and completed works only. This thread is specifically for artists and creators who are making their own unique works. Mass-produceable things like CDs, buttons or T-shirts are acceptable if you’ve personally created what’s on it. But please don’t use this thread for things that were created by others, which you happen to sell. Likewise, do not post about works in progress, even if you’re posting them publicly elsewhere. Remember that this is supposed to be a gift guide, and that these are things meant to be given to other people. Also, don’t just promote yourself unless you have something to sell or provide, that others may give as a gift.

3. One post per creator. In that post, you can list whatever creations of yours you like, but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent creation. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on things available in North America.

4. Keep your description of your work brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your work and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a sales site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from creators promoting their work as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting work.

Now: Tell us about your stuff!