Cover to Cover #310A: L. E. Modesitt, Jr

Viewpoints CriticalDiscussion: Mark from Kentucky comments on DRM in PDF e-books, and different levels of DRM, which leads to a discussion between Mike and Mike about the uses behind the consumption of digital media vs. hardcopy media, and collectible vs. not collectible.

Random comment: Trampas agrees with Schmoo's approval of Piers Anthony's "Incarnations of Immortality" series, which leads to a discussion about writing what you know and knowing what you write, no matter what genre you're writing in.

Interview: Lee Modesitt, Jr joins Michael and Michael to discuss Viewpoints Critical, his long overdue collection of short stories, about his prolific writing output over the years, and everything in between.

Submitting Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know!

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  1. Just a point regarding digital books...
    OK, so I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but I like dead trees. When I buy a book, I get a book. I can read again and again, lend it out, make notes in it, etc. Even a "throw-away" paperback can do all these things, but digital copies can not. On top of that, I need some sort of expensive device to read them, the functionality of which is subject to the life of the battery, and my ability to recharge it. My dead trees never run out of batteries. If the sun is up, I can read them.
    All of those things would be acceptable IF digital books were cheap, but they're not. They are usually priced at or near the paperback price. So why on earth would I BUY a digital book? I think that is the one question you guys haven't answered.

  2. I can't speak for the guys, but sometimes, it's nice to be able to listen to a book rather than read it, especially if I find myself in the middle of span where reading time isn't as plentiful as I'd like.

    I will admit that most of the audiobooks I own are non-fiction, but I've just picked up a few mystery-thriller audiobooks by Kate Wilhelm, one of which I think is listed as hard-to-find. I know I've never seen it on the bookshelves the last couple times I went to B&N. The newer books in her series were there, but not the first two.

    It doesn't seem like audiobooks, at least the digital download ones, ever go "out of print". I could be wrong, and I will ask Stackpole what his experience with that has been with his books, but that would be one plus. The other is that I get to listen to something entertaining during my commute... sometimes it's podcasts, other times it's audiobooks.

    And there have been times when I've liked the audiobook enough to go get the dead tree version. It's only happened twice, but if I like this Kate Wilhelm series, it may happen a third time.

  3. One of things that I think e-books would excel at is whole series. Digital omnibus. And maybe, down the road, CGI cut scenes.

  4. First of all, since this is my first time commenting I would like to say Michael Stackpole, you are one of my favorite authors. I found out about you while reading the x-wing series, and enjoyed the Talon and Hero Reborn.

    As for digital vs print. I have several print collections I keep and reread constantly. THey are not just a collection to me, they are something I really do enjoy reading 5 or 6 times. The few PDF e-books I have, I find more often than not I forget I even have them. They stay on my computer and even if I print them out, they get lost. I would not get an ebook version of a book I would want to read more than once. I love audio books to listen to when I'm working or while I'm driving, however, since I only have cassette in my van it's hard to find audio books in the format that's convenient for me. (Star Wars of course is the only audio collection I have at the moment.) I also find that cd's are too easily damaged. So again, anything I wish to collect or listen to more than once, definitely print is the way to go for me.

    I enjoy your shows so much and I'm constantly learning something new. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  5. Summer, I agree with you on audiobooks. Hey, I listen to podcasts, right? 🙂
    I do like audiobooks, and use them on a pretty regular basis. My only gripe is the price. I'm not saying the price isn't justified. A lot of production goes into a good audio book, and that ain't cheap. That said, 16.00 USD a month for a subscription to Audible that only let's me get ONE book isn't a good value. I can buy a paperback for the same price, and still have enough left over for an over-priced coffee.
    No, audiobooks are fine. My gripe is digital text E-Books. Kindle E-Books run 8-10 bucks a pop. That's just too much for something I can't touch, can't loan to a freind, can't prop up a wobbly table leg with. E-Books will have to be a lot cheaper ($3-5) before I'm willing to drop $300.00 on an electronic device that doesn't do anything else. At the curren't E-Book prices, it would take at least 3 years for me to recoup the investment.
    By the way, love the show! Forgot to mention that in my first comment. Keep 'casting!