Cover to Cover #297A: Nina Munteanu

Darwin's ParadoxMichael and Michael discuss "The Technologist" column from the Feb 18th issue of Newsweek. Stackpole pitches a fit about the lack of tech savvy by this supposed expert pundit on this column, with very good reason. You have to wonder if the technology pundit knows enough about Google to use it and search for terms related to digitizing books.

Summer wishes she'd been in the studio for this, since she's geeked over the fact that Tor is now having a free ebook a week special that just started this week... their first free book is "Mistborn: The Final Empire" by Brandon Sanderson, and the next free book will be "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi.

Interview: Michael and Michael talk with Nina Munteanu about Darwin's Paradox, a near-future eco-thriller that Brian enjoyed, and he had a list of burning questions.

Nina is a scientist working as an environmental consultant, and she approaches environmental conservation with a scientific perspective. The story explores a path of "where we are" and "where we're going", and a number of intertwining concepts that could place a fast-paced thriller in a dense, rich world.

Nina also talks about the differences between technical writing and fiction writing, and how she's managed to make both types of writing help her write better in both realms.

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

Can you do an audio book review no longer than 3 minutes? Here's what we're looking for:
* Book title, author, publisher, cost
* Must have been published within the past calendar year
* Why did you like the book?
* What about the book will you remember a year from now?
* Why do you want to recommend this book to other potential readers?

If you can record it yourself and email it to Michael, all the better!

The Library: New this week: Goblin War by Jim C. Hines; The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez; Something Magic This Way Comes edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Sarah A. Hoyt; Singularity's Ring by Paul Melko.

Don't forget, you can also comment on books listed in The Library... look through the listings and feel free to post your thoughts and comments there.

Promo: The Babylon Podcast: Exploring Every Detail about Babylon 5


  1. I had an awesome time, Michael and Michael! Thanks for the cool interview. I enjoyed it. Oh, and speaking of digitizing books, ebooks and book, Darwin's Paradox is also available on Amazon's Kindle and will shortly be on PDF for download and audio format.

  2. Cool interview. Thanks for the info on Tor, downloaded Old Man's War.

  3. Who the heck was the clueless person that started digitizing books, I couldn't catch his name. Talk about a clueless fool.

  4. A plea on listener feedback. I enjoy hearing book reviews by listeners, but when the reviewers sound like they're making it up as they go along, with all the hesitations, mistakes, changes of mind about what they want to say, it can be a bit of a chore.

    What about suggesting reviewers write out what they want to say first, then read it aloud?

  5. I really think you're mis-reading Levy's "Rip this book?" article. First of all, this is Steven Levy of "Hackers" fame...not some clueless journo who got moved from the Food section to the Technology section.

    Second, Levy is talking about "ripping" books in the way we rip CDs. Before you could pop a CD into a PC and have the songs ripped to mp3 files, there were other, more cumbersome ways to do the same thing, but music piracy didn't take off until it was really easy to do so. And this is what Levy is talking about... widescale "ripping" and illegal sharing of books. He isn't talking about legitimate ebooks provided by an author or publisher or public domain books. He's talking about me taking my collection of Stackpole books, casually 'ripping' them to an ebook format, and sharing them with any and everyone who wants them via Kazaa or some other peer-to-peer file sharing system. (And don't worry, I would never really do that.)

    The truth is, not a lot of people are going to go through the hassle of 'ripping' a novel via flat scanner and OCR software. But at some time in the future where there's a device that you'll 'feed' a book into and it'll automatically scan, convert and correct the copy into ebook format (and honestly I'm dubious that we'll *ever* get such a machine), then publishers will have to worry. When the new "Harry Potter of the Next Gen" book comes out and instead of lining up at Barnes & Noble, people are downloading the illegal copy that someone ripped and released the day of release, then publishers will have a problem on their hands.