a post from the Author Enablers
With more than 25 years of experience, Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Sam Barry have the inside scoop on writing and publishing. Together, they are the authors of Write That Book Already!: The Tough Love You Need to Get Published Now. Email them your questions (along with your name and hometown) about writing and publishing, and don’t miss their column on BookPage.com.
Dateline, May 5, 2084:
My daughter and I stopped to have one of those new cellero ice creams, the delicious vegan treat that promotes weight loss, when I saw a sign: “Serendipity Downloads.” We entered the old used e-book store. A small group was clustered around a hologram of the newest Joyce Carol Oates book, narrated by the revered Senator Justin Bieber. Yes, at 146 years old, Joyce was still cranking out a book every six months. My daughter slumped down in a chair, bored, and called up a teen magazine from her V-12 implant, which enabled her to interact with any media at any time. I could see she was drifting into the dreamy state of someone lost in another world. No doubt she was seeing beautiful people, hearing beautiful sounds, even smelling beautiful odors. She had it set her V-12 to “private” so none of us could share her exotic adventures.
I wandered down the dusty hall and soon came to a section with the most mysterious objects I had ever seen. I picked one up and sounded out the name: Kin—dle. It was gray and rather ugly. I tapped a button and a light came on. There was text in a very old-fashioned font. I tapped a word to see if it would do anything, but nothing happened. I realized I was holding in my hand one of the ancient e-readers. My grandmother had told me of these things, but I’d never seen one. The only purpose of the device was reading. That was all they did. She used to say, wistfully, “You kids don’t appreciate the feel of the plastic in your hands, the soft gray glow of the screen, the smell of the plastic. Those were the days.” I held the device to my nose; it had no discernible smell at all.
Just then my data implant beeped. It was my daughter. “Daaad, where are you?”
“I’m down the hall—I found a bunch of old e-readers. Come see!” But when I showed them to her, she rolled her eyes. “Can we go now?”
As she dragged me away I looked wistfully back down the hall. I’d wanted to explore further. I’d heard there were printed books there, too.