[FoRK] Gibson's Spook Country

Ken Meltsner <meltsner at alum.mit.edu> on Thu Aug 30 12:36:29 PDT 2007

I've been using a Sony Reader for the last two weeks -- it's really
great:  smaller than a hardcover, readable at several font sizes,
keeps track of where I stopped reading, stores many books, etc.

I got mine for ~$60 by opening a Sony Rewards credit card account.
The deal included $50  credit at the Sony ebook store; some of the
bundles were especially good deals (3 older titles for $12, or the
Neal Stephenson Baroque cycle for $22, IIRC).

My main complaint is that the e-ink display is somewhat gray-on-gray.
Not unreadable,   but higher contrast would be nice.  E-Ink and its
licensees have announced improved displays (esp. higher contrast), so
I'm sure these will be coming soon.

In fact, I suspect the current deal on Sony Readers is a sign that
Sony will be moving to the next gen e-ink displays and they're
clearing out the old units.

Frankly, if it weren't for DRM issues, I'd strongly consider buying
all my new books in electronic format.  Well, DRM and the relatively
limited selection (and backlist).

There are more obscure competitors to Sony's Reader -- the iLiad is
quite interesting (bigger display, more pixels) and Cybook come to

The best info source for ebook junkies, by the way, appears to be


On 8/30/07, Luis Villa <luis at tieguy.org> wrote:
> On 8/30/07, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> >
> > Fantastic.  His second-best book, only topped by Count Zero.  In
> > fact, if I have any criticism of Spook Country at all it's that it
> > has (too?) many structural and character similarities to Count Zero.
> > I didn't like Idoru and really didn't like Virtual Light, and could
> > barely force myself to finish Pattern Recognition (though that may
> > well deserve a second shot...)  But I couldn't put Spook Country
> > down, and I expect it to stay with me for a while...
> >
> > His thesis is that science fiction is extraneous at this point
> > because the present is weird enough is...  thought-provoking.  In the
> > sense that this provides a sort of proof, this may well be his most
> > important book since Neuromancer - and possibly ever.
> Maybe I'm just becoming a cheap bastard with age, but I find
> hardcovers to be increasingly irritating. Give me something more
> portable any day.
> Luis
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