Sony Reader Update #2

Looks like it’s been posted: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2392115,00.asp

Let’s recap my prediction:

So, here’s my prediction: in the next 2-3 weeks Sony will announce a new ebook reader. It will be touch screen. It will be a pearl e-ink display. And it will retail for under $180.

Well I called it, though I was two months early. I forgot about the WiFi though :) .  Now that I’ve taken a better look at it though I’ve noticed something. It’s priced too high still.  The other readers are in a race to the bottom, and I’m afraid that ebook readers are not a must have gadget.  Which means that people will buy the cheapest one, not the best quality one.  They’ve done a good thing by lightening it up (plastic chassis), but they also need to lighten the price more.  I know I predicted $180 and it came in at $150, but now that Amazon is looking like they’ll bring out a new Kindle in time for Christmas, Sony needs to win the price war.

A $109 price point would pretty much kick out the rest of the competition.

That being said, I think that Sony’s focus on libraries is going to be a major point in their favour.

New Sony Reader?

So I just realized today that both Kobo and Nook have new editions out.  And Kobo’s is selling for $139.  Looks like the Kindle 3 is almost to its one year milestone, and Kindle now has a new ad-supported version (not touching that one with a ten foot pole). Well, as I love my Sony I figured that I’d go take a look at their current offerings.  And low and behold the touch edition: sold out, pocket edition: sold out.  In fact only the daily edition is left.  So I checked around, looks like the Sony is on a major sale down at Amazon… I sense a theme developing here.  They’re clearing out the models.  Which hints at one thing. Last year (around November I think) Sony inked a deal for an exclusive contract for new e-ink displays. Putting these together I think we have a new model coming out soon.  And I think it’s going to be competitive with the Kobo. So, here’s my prediction: in the next 2-3 weeks Sony will announce a new ebook reader.  It will be touch screen.  It will be a pearl e-ink display.  And it will retail for under $180. If they’re smart they’ll peg it at $139.  If they’re stupid they’ll peg it at $199. They will also have a smaller version, an updated pocket edition, which will retail for $99.  It won’t have touch screen, but it will have a pearl e-ink display.

Review of The Gnostic Mystery by Randy Davila

The Gnostic MysteryThe Gnostic Mystery by Randy Davila
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I actually chose not to review this book originally because I felt that it was such a poor attempt at disguising a string of logical fallacies as a novel that I couldn’t imagine putting any more thought into it.

The book starts out as a mildly interesting mystery, but it ends up being so heavy handed that any interest you might have in the novel is killed. The character who is introduced as being a logical and intelligent person soon forgets the basic concepts of logic and automatically agrees with whatever logical fallacy his guide/author stand in says.

If you are looking for a good mystery novel delving into the history of Gnosticism don’t pick this one.

View all my reviews

Book Shops and Vampires

I like Vampires. I enjoyed reading Dracula, I enjoyed The Vampyre more. I loved the Vampire Lestat. I have watched more bad vampire movies than I care to admit (here’s a hint, look up Shadow of the Vampire). I have read the Twilight books, all three of them; and even the fanfiction that was book four.

And yet. Yes there must be a yet.

I walked into a book store the other day. I was half way through Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, which was loaned to me by a friend, and I wanted to buy my own copy, and maybe the sequels.

So I go up to the Fantasy section, my favourite haunt, and low and behold there is only one kind of fantasy left: Vampire Fiction. But it’s worse than that, most of them aren’t of the classic gothic style, or even in the Anne Rice style. No, most of these are chiclit with fangs. Vampire bodice rippers which are aimed at and written for primarily women. But are they in the romance section? No, they’re in the Fantasy section, pushing out authors like Weeks. There was only one Robert Jordan, they weren’t carrying any Tolkien, and they had a few lonely paperbacks left of Modesitt. Everything else had been pushed out by vampire novels. Vampire novels by the tonne. At least when Harry Potter was popular other forms of Fantasy still thrived. What is it about Twilight that has encouraged people to read while at the same time limiting the types of books that they will read?

Fantasy is a wide genre. Vampire novels are a proud part of that, but so are quest adventures like Tolkien, militant-political examinations like Jordan, and sociological adventures like Modesitt.

A reader of fantasy isn’t just one kind of reader, they are a reader of everything. Though it is true that fantasy tends to focus on things from the past and on fantastic worlds, this is simply a vehicle for the story, be it escapism, social commentary, or coming of age. To see all of this subsumed by one subset of the genre is depressing.

Please, read a Vampire novel. Then pick up Way of Shadows. Trust me. You’ll like it. Once you’re done that, why don’t you try some leGuin, she will knock your socks off.