Okay, so Amazon has been reporting how their e-book sales have gone through the roof. My immediate response to that news: of course they are screaming it to all who will hear—they want to sell more Kindles! When the iPad launched and reports came out about how this was boosting e-book sales, my first thought was new toy phenomena. People buy an iPad because it’s cool and they are looking for things to do with it. Of course they are going to download books. Will the sales drop off once people find other things to do with their gadget or are we on the cutting edge of a major shift in reading?
Honestly, I’m not really opposed to this change, but I do fear what the changes are doing to the publishing business. I know it will all work out in the end but I fear the transition. This is one of those times when I’d rather just hop into the future where they have it all worked out.
In Dara Joy’s 2001 book, Ritual of Proof, the entire culture of her colony planet was based on the Regency-set romance novels the ship passengers had on board when they landed. Only, the mostly women colonists reversed the rolls, giving women the power. Green, the heroine, carries an e-reader with her when she travels.
In the 2002 movie based loosely on H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, Alexander travels through time to 2030 NYC and visits a holographic AI librarian called Vox 114 who insists that time travel is impossible. Later, in the far future, he bumps into Vox again. This time in the library ruins. Vox has grown lonely and forgotten with the terrible changes that altered Earth’s civilization around him. At the end of the story there is hope for Vox, as Alexander introduces him to the Eloi.
In SG1/SG Atlantis, the holographic librarian in the Atlantean library again preserved the knowledge of a lost civilization. In one episode, an “Ascended Being” impersonated the librarian to secretly help Daniel find a way to defeat the Ori.
I’m sure there are more. Which ones do you remember?