Friday, June 13, 2008

Randomly


Photo by Craig Blackstock, from my theme calendar for the month marked "Vision."

Favourite topic around the sphere lately has been the future of print books -- as if the advent of the Kindle is some shattering eschatological event.

Please, print publishing is not facing Apocalypse Now, no matter how fervently the idea is promoted -- simply because this "e-revolution" is based on the assumption that electric power will continue to be cheaply available; and that all book readers/buyers will shortly become computer literate.


Am delighted to see that Rick has continued to play with his hard-boiled Roman detective story begun on a whim in comments here on Monday.

I think the world can use more detective type heroes, besides those from the Middle Ages and Egypt and Fu Manchu. I'd like to see a hard-boiled fellow operating in Troy or in Gaul. In fact there are an endless number of historical settings where a tough detective guy (or girl) would be a total hoot.


They defused another 1,000 lb. WW II bomb in London last week. Have often thought old ordnance provided a perfect deus ex machina.


My rose climbers are in bloom ahead of the tea roses and the grandfloras. The red one preens and flirts at the bay window, walking its tendrils up my casements in blatant provocation. But the creamy rose by the sundial entwines and entraps by a song of sensual, sultry fragrance.




39 comments:

laughingwolf said...

what a superb photo!

i agree, ebooks suck... in my world, anyway... i want to hold my book while i read, without the glare of some screen

good that your flowers bring joy

December/Stacia said...

Thank you for that! I get tired of hearing it too, even as someone with a vested interest in seeing ebooks grow.

The fact is, books are sensual pleasures as well as intellectual ones. People will probably buy more ebooks in future but the rpint book is not going to become obsolete, or--as I saw suggested elsewhere the other day--the sort of specialist collector's item that vinyl records are. At least not in our lifetimes.

Gabriele C. said...

There are quite some Roman gumshoes around, Falco, Marcus Corvinus, Ruso ... and Nathan Bradford links to two crime novels set in Aegypt in his sidebar.

But don't expect any from me, I could not write a good crime novel/mystery/thriller/whatever. Or a good Romance. ;)

sandy l said...

Rosemary Rowe also has an detective series in ancient Rome,although he is a Celt and former slave. I've read some Rowe and the Ruso, but my favorite is still Didius Falco.

Whirlochre said...

Direct writer-to-reader brainpulse zaps will be with us long before the Universal eReader is a thing of the past.

And, yes, we'll still be reading books — though by that stage the 'leaves' really will be leaves and nothing will need chopping down in the vast library of chameleon scripted forests.

As for detectives — could a Neanderthal work in anything other than a comic way?

Bernita said...

Though e-books are not my medium of reading choice,I don't think they suck, Laughingwolf; but they are not going to be the only option any time soon.

Exactly, December, and it seems like a form of generational conceit to think so, especially when the biggest book buyers are of the pre-electronic generation.

There's a lot of vampire stories around too, Gabriele, so I don't think the fact that it's "been done" should discourage anyone.

Sandy, Wayne and Schuster, a pair of TV comics, made a hilarious show involving a Roman detective. Caesar was called "Big Julie" if I remember.

Bernita said...

"Direct writer-to-reader brainpulse zaps"
That's a horrible thought, Whirl. Really.

Gabriele C. said...

I didn't mean to discourage anyone writing Roman mysteries, I wanted to list some names for those interested to read that sort of books.

Bernita said...

Sorry,Gabriele.I should have known better.
Was afraid your post would provide Rick with an excuse not to do it.(That it's "been done" was the first one he trotted out - after a tantalizing start.)

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, I've just read the post on his blog and I think he's too deep into it already to stop now. :)

Bernita said...

I hope so! That business with the Boeotian still makes me grin.

spyscribbler said...

I can't wait to get a Sony Reader or Kindle or something. The idea of carrying around 80 books in my purse sends me into ecstasy!

Jon M said...

Yay for the printed word! The bomb in London caused us some consternation given that we were attending a wedding in the same district at the time!

Your rose climbers are blooming? Didn't you just have about umpteen metres of snow ten minutes ago? I bet it's too hot where you are now!sheesh!

Bernita said...

Natasha, the idea of losing 80 books fills me with horror.

Bernita said...

Jon, I like it hot.

writtenwyrdd said...

Just like the paperless office didn't come to pass, so shall e-only pubbed books not come to pass. In other words, I'm not holding my breath.

I think that a hard-boiled detective in ancient history settings is a really cool idea, Bernita. Neolithic investigation, even? Hah. I'd like to see that one. Someone kills Og, and Ugg has to figure out who. Nevermind that everyone thinks Ula did it in revenge for him sleeping with Ota... It was really a saber-toothed cat!

Bernita said...

Written, the possibilities are unlimited!

raine said...

Please, print publishing is not facing Apocalypse Now

Most definitely not, and I'm sure there are readers enough for both.

But the creamy rose by the sundial entwines and entraps by a song of sensual, sultry fragrance.

Wonderful, Bernita. Sigh...
(and yes, the photo is beautiful).

Bernita said...

Thank you, Raine.
There is romance of old gardens in that rose.

BernardL said...

The E-book technology has improved to the point I do buy them. Beautiful picture.

Bernita said...

I think e-books are a wonderful expansion, Bernard.I just don't think they are going to take over the world.

Rick said...

I can't see ebooks taking over, even with glare free screens and cheap enough that you can leave it on the bus. (And we are a long ways from either.) Books are convenient, and as December said, sensual as well as intellectual.


Thanks for the plug! I'm too far in to quit now. The Greeks need to be rescued from all that Truth and Beauty. Well, I do have some beauty, even if she is Roman.

I think I'll jump forward to him knocking some Athenian smarts into that Boeotian, so the Boeotian leads him to whoever kidnapped Kalli. Two-fisted ending; Kalli does her bit by breaking an expensive Greek vase on someone's head.* Then I can figure out the middle part, where the actual plot is. :-)

* Shouldn't this be an archeological find 2450 years later? 'Fragments of Pyxos C revealed traces of hair, suggesting that it was deliberately broken in the course of an altercation.'

Bernita said...

"I'm too far in to quit now"

Hee. I am delighted.

Lana Gramlich said...

Wow...stunning photo!
I like the idea of the Roman detective story--interesting!
I love the description of your roses. Very nice. I wish I had some!
Personally I hate e-books. I don't like to read books on a computer screen, & printing them out just puts additional cost on me. Heck, I've even been hesitant to print out my own dream journal for that reason. These days I can buy a book used on Amazon & have it delivered right to my mailbox for as little as $4 in some cases. You can't beat that.

Bernita said...

Caverns for the mind, Lana!
You'll have to speak to Charles about roses when he gets back.
The scent of the cream one is heavenly.

Travis Erwin said...

Interesting photo. And i agree the Kindle isn't the end but I do think some kind of e-reader will eventually become popular but I'm betting it is an all in one device similar to the I Phone that finally achieves that status.

writtenwyrdd said...

I'm waiting for smart paper that will look and act like a book, which you can fold or mutilate without damage and which downloads any of the books you want without limitations. Probably from your home computer.

Now that would almost be worthwhile. But I am still a book hoarder with a book habit and always will be.

Bernita said...

A multi machine, Travis.

That's an interesting concept, Written.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

I love that photo. We have a place in New Zealand with formations like that. I believe it was used in Lord of the Rings.

StarvingWriteNow said...

I love roses. I just wish all the bugs didn't love them too!

Bernita said...

Some magnificent scenery from NZ in LOR, Suzanne.

Beth, aphids can be a problem.

laughingwolf said...

i don't mean do disparage those who publish in ebooks, that's why i noted 'in my world'... i'm just too old to get into days of online reading, if i can hold the 'book' in my grubby hands

no offense, intended....

Sam said...

I read a very fun hard boiled detective novel set in ancient Greece. The author has a series of them, and they are terrific. I hope Rick finishes his - that sort of book really appeals to me.

"White Murder" (Marcus Corvinus Mysteries)
by David Wishart

Bernita said...

From comments on other sites, Laughingwolf, lot of people feel the same way - they want the physical object. I do too.
Someting to do with my concept of reality, I suppose - not just convenience.

There's something deliciously gleeful about the juxtaposition between ancient and modern, Sam.
Not that crimes weren't solved in those periods, but the hard-boiled factor is considered a modern characteristic.

haunted author said...

Ive always been fasinated by archeology. I was watching a program -Ive forgotten now what it was, "Secrets of the Dead" I think, where Archeologists were excavating a Coptic Egyption Cemetary and one of the skulls showed blunt force trauma- they speculate it was what killed him. There you are- Murder in the Ancient World. They were able to use other evidence to say he was NOT killed in combat- he was not a warrior, somebody done him in!

Now theres a plot for somebody...

At my house now, the scent of honeysuckle is so strong I feel you can almost touch the scent of the flowers- really wierd in a cool way. I have banks of the flowers- and I love them except they are terribly invasive, and are determined to take over my blueberry patch!

Bernita said...

Yup, Haunted, murder most foul has always been with us.
Blueberries! The soil here is not acid enough for the bushes to flourish.

Rick said...

Sam - do you mean Marcus Corvinus? Or another series? Someone must list classical-setting mysteries online. I didn't know about either Corvinus or Ruso, but I've read other Roman mysteries, not so hardboiled. I don't know of any mysteries set in the earlier, Greek golden age, though. If the Roman Empire can support three, surely there are enough murders in Athens to keep one in business.

I'll have to be careful, though, that people don't see 'Roman girlfriend,' and assume the whole Roman Empire is out there. Rome in 440 BC is a hick town way out past nowhere.

Chumplet said...

I SO love that picture.

Current wild things in bloom: My peonies which I haven't visited yet because the grass hasn't been cut, and it won't be because it's Father's Day tomorrow, and I'll be eaten alive in ten seconds if I venture out there.

A dogwood or mock orange - I can't remember which - is blooming in the front yard. It popped up out of nowhere a decade ago. Very heady scent.

I think I might lean toward mystery or at least suspense in my next couple of books. Possible unlikely heroes: A garbage man who discovers a body at the dump, and a groom who discovers a body in the barn during a charity polo match. Both in modern era, however, although I love a good mystery in a historical setting.

Bernita said...

Sandra, this time of year my personal scent is Deep Woods Off.
The blooms on my white peony are as big as breakfast plates - just in time to be sprawled by rain.
I like the garbage man hero but I bet you'll choose the groom hero first.