Nov 16 2009
Katie Weiland was kind (or reckless) enough to interview me for the AuthorCulture blog. She asked fun questions, and I replied with what may be considered provocative answers.
In the interview, I talk about the genesis of Ray Gun Revival magazine and my “Adventures of the Sky Pirate” serial novel, as well as the challenges of writing a serial novel, the importance of writing out your million words of dreck, thoughts about the fine line between piracy and obscurity, and the vision I predict for for the future of the publishing industry.
AC: The publishing industry is daily growing more and more digital—something you’ve tapped into with RGR. What do you visualize for the future of the industry?
JC: There was a time that you had to go to a music hall or church or listen to the radio to hear music. The invention of vinyl albums changed that by allowing common people to collect and keep their own collection of music. It was that way for decades. However, today, the vinyl record is a largely historical technology. Few current works are pressed and released, and the only people who continue to seek them out are hardcore fans.
As strange as it sounds, I think we’ll see books as we know them today go the way of the vinyl album; something that was once venerable and ubiquitous that has been bypassed by technology and finally exists only as a rare occasion product. I’m a little surprised that well-meaning government types haven’t already passed regulations to prohibit dead-tree books for the sake of preserving the environment or something.
But necessity if the mother of invention, and I think we’ll see development of as many different kinds of inexpensive digital reading devices tomorrow as we saw portable music players yesterday. I think new generations of readers used to reading content with multiple levels of metadata will find actual paper documents both flat and quaint.