If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

A Singularly Unwelcome Development for Readers


Dear Singularity,
How are you doing? I’ve been hearing about you for quite a while. This whole idea that we humans are going to merge with machines (the big moment that happens, that’s you, Singularity!) and embark on a Better Life of white jump-suited, computer-assisted bliss. I watched The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman in those bad old days when computers were the size of a two car garage, and I say, bring it! Anything that can keep me dancing into my tenth decade and beyond is OK by me.
Now, what you’ll do for my blown out joints is great, but I do have a few concerns about what you and all your Mini-Me minions (tablets, smartphones, etc) are doing to prepare my mind for your coming. You see, I enjoy doing something that’s, well, hard to admit because it’s so, you know, 19th century. Oh, all right, I’ll spill.
OK, so I like to read books. Call me crazy, old fashioned, a luddite, but I find reading a novel to be a very enjoyable, and occasionally exciting, thing to do. I know, right? I could be watching videos of cats skateboarding or the zombie kid who likes turtles. But the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. Some guy named Pascal said that.
Anyway, I was reading (there I go again!) an article that said the human brain is being rewired by digital life. We are developing “circuitry” that helps us sift through the Internet’s torrents of information. We can click links, skim for key words, and scroll with the speed of a squirrel on crack. We must do it fast, because speed is what matters, right? Leaves more time for buying stuff.


But our new wiring makes it increasingly difficult for us to maintain the sustained concentration necessary for reading novels. What’s a novel, you ask? Perhaps it would help you to think of them as really big text blocks, or “reading things” that are longer than 140 characters.

So, when you finally do get here, I do hope that my new knees will include programming for Argentine tango. And that there will still be a few surgeons who are capable of getting through my four hour long joint replacement surgery without taking a Twitter break or posting to Facebook.

But please, Singularity, just leave my brain alone.
Very sincerely yours,
Shari

8 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

One of the many advantages of being old is that none of this stuff really affects me. The brain damage likely to come my way will be in the form of strokes, hemorrhages, hardening arteries and misfiring dendrites.

Of course if people no longer read novels writing will become only self-therapy, but heck I'm at the leading edge of the baby boom--there will still be readers around when I am gone.

The future belongs to the young, and that is probably a good thing as the old tend to prefer the past.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Man has always been infatuated by his inventions including machines. They can assist us and make life better--but they can also kill us. I'd like to think that there will always be people who live outside of the mainstream, who dare to be individuals, and who fight cultural machinations. I count on these gutsy people and champion them. If books become the new underground contraband--good!

Shari Randall said...

Jim, I'm a wee bit further back in the boom. I think of myself as a hybrid. I'm comfortable enough with technology, but I am also aware of what's being lost. I do wonder if these shortening attention spans will mean a renaissance in short story writing and publishing.

EB,I love/hate the idea that physical books will become an underground thing, loved by only a few passionate people. Wonderful if people appreciate them, but sad that fewer can get their hands on them. With the demise of book stores, where do people get books?

KM Rockwood said...

I see technology and ebooks as supplementing, not replacing, print books. To tell the truth, with the introduction of Harry Potter and the Twilight books, I see more young people reading in the last decade or so than before. Reading, including reading print books, is cool now to a population who didn't used to consider reading as a possible recreational activity.

I prefer print books, but I the low cost of ebooks makes it possible for me to buy many books I would once have either waited to get from the library or not read at all. And when I'm traveling or stuck waiting somewhere, I love to have a variety of reading material available on my Kindle.

Oh, but I will take some of those new joints please. And perhaps a reconditioned heart.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, like you I love books - print books especially. My favorite time of day is in the evening when I curl up with a book or when I go to bed to read another book. When I go places I might have to wait, I always take a TIME magazine - they fit in the outside pocket of my purse and books don't.

Like KM said, thanks to Harry Potter and the Twilight series, lots of kids are reading today. And yesterday when I was taking home my 16 year old grandson after he'd been working doing yard work for me, he told me he thought he got the writing gene from me because he and a friend of his were writing stories - not books but stories, and that convinces me there will always be readers and writers.

Sarah Henning said...

I met with a group of writers this weekend and moms with teens and a children's librarian were all saying that teens are very much interested in having real books in their hands and not a Kindle/Nook/tablet. Maybe that's so they actually can focus? Maybe the younger generation will revert? So many of them are already avoiding Facebook. Wouldn't that be nice?

Shari Randall said...

KM, Gloria, and Sarah - I love that you mention the younger generation. I have noticed that teens still like to get a physical copy of a book - I think you are on to something, Sarah, maybe they spend so much time on other media that a book feels like a break to them. Gloria - another writer in your family would be pretty cool!
KM - those book series did hook a lot of kids. It is great that, in a way, these hot novels make a bit of peer pressure for reading - kids want to read what their friends are reading. And I do hope the new parts will be available when I need them. I just got back from zumba and all I can say is, Ouch!

Kara Cerise said...

That was an eye-opening article, Shari. I was surprised that our brains are adapting so quickly to using technology. I wonder what the human brain will look like in 200 years?

I also like the idea that physical books may become the new underground contraband. We writers and readers are a rebellious group.