The facts of the Matter, and the ripping of books

I don’t like to think of myself as the boastful gloating type. But today, I shall wilfully be exactly that.

Because I have an ARC of the new Iain M. Banks ‘Culture’ novel, Matter.

SouthseaAutumnSunset 058

Nothing else matters, indeed.

[I was pipped to the post with my boast by the good Mr Bloomer of Big Dumb Object … but I retain top rank among jammy bastards, because I have the privilege of doing an interview with Banks for an Interzone feature. I believe the appropriate phrase is "get in"!]

Peer-to-peer book sharing

There’s an awful lot of people who’d very much like to be able to read that book rightf*ckingnow. That hunger for fresh material has driven the P2P distribution systems, at least as far as the music industry is concerned, but as yet there’s no easy way to ‘rip’ a book.

Or is there?

Well, obviously there is, or I wouldn’t have laid that obvious bait. Observe! The Atiz BookSnap:

Atiz BookSnap book ripper

Atiz are calling it the first consumer book-ripper, but that’s a bit of a stretch at over US$1500. But it is the Model-T of things to come; a device that will (with some assistance from you, at least in this instance) convert a book into a digitally scanned PDF file.

I have my own set of opinions about this, which regular readers will doubtless be able to predict quite effectively. But I’d be fascinated to hear the opinions of library staff, publishing staff, bibliophiles and writers about what this will mean to them (and everyone else) in the long term.

First one to mention DRM is a rotten apple. 😉

[tags]Iain M Banks, Matter, Culture, novel, ARC, books, ripping, p2p[/tags]

12 thoughts on “The facts of the Matter, and the ripping of books”

  1. Don’t you dare post any spoilers! I have a pdf (no arcs left) to read before the BSFA interview. Any chance of seeing you there?

  2. I won’t be posting any spoilers, I assure you – for one thing, I’d be in breach of the rather strictly worded embargo if I did so. Once it’s been published, though, I’ll consider it fair game!

    I very much hope to be at the BSFA interview, but it’s rather dependent on me finding somewhere up in the Big Smoke that I can crash overnight without having to pay a lot of money for the privilege. Considering it’s IMB, though, I may just settle for wandering the streets under the power of caffeine until the trains start running the next morning … 🙂

  3. Ah, Mr McKie, I knew you were first, but I didn’t count you in my reckoning – as a pro reviewer and close friend of many authors, you have privileges that the rest of us cannot hope to rank against!

  4. See above – very keen to do so, but travel’s a bitch for a non-driver such as myself, so I’m trying to find someone with a sofa to spare for the night. I’ll make it somehow.

  5. Front page message looked unusually stern to me, and I think Matter is Orbit’s big bang of the season, so I doubt they want things out of the gate too early. I mean, I doubt I’d get sued or anything, but it’d sure piss a lot of people off.

  6. You missed out the best part of the book ripper’s description:

    “… a promised scanning rate of 500 pages per hour (although that partly depends on how fast you can flip the pages…”

  7. It’s Dr. Bloomer, btw, I didn’t slave over those Tau Leptons for three years to be called Mr. 😉

    I think the Proof front page is the standard Orbit spiel, without checking it seemed the same as for Halting State. However, I’m sure George could enlighten us of the protocol.

  8. I am suitably replete with jealousy. Jammy but deserved – after all you’ve got to have some fringe benefits to all that diligent reviewing. Hope the interview goes well.

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