February 24, 2012

Kindle -- gaps

Glory Road, Space Cadet, Citizen of the Galaxy are all available for the Kindle. But The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is not. I wonder why? (I want to read it again!)

Dream Park is available, and I just bought The Gripping Hand. Which is the sequel to The Mote in God's Eye, and is also a lot better story.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 09:50 AM | Comments (20) | Add Comment
Post contains 63 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Huh, I didn't know Mote got a sequel.  Does it avoid the potential-aesop the end of Mote had ( "All civilization is Malthusianly doomed!" )?

Posted by: metaphysician at February 24, 2012 10:35 AM (3GCAl)

2 It's nothing like that. The only other thing I'll say about it is that the main (human) characters are Kevin Renner and Horace Bury. Which is the main reason I liked it more: Renner is a lot more interesting character than Rod Blaine.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 24, 2012 11:18 AM (+rSRq)

3 The sequel isn't as good as the original, but several of the original supporting cast get fleshed out in fun ways.

As for the missing Moon, I suspect the most recent dead-tree contract included an ebook clause that conflicts with getting it on the Kindle.


Posted by: J Greely at February 24, 2012 11:29 AM (2XtN5)

4 It really is interesting what is or is not available in the Kindle store, how much it costs, etc.  Some things I've seen really do drive home the odd thinking that must be going on in the publishing industry.

I have a hard copy library of thousands of books, mostly hardcovers.  When I started heavily reading on my tablet, and using the kindle app for PC, I more or less stopped buying dead tree books.  Some publishers, notably Baen, are fully willing to support this, you can get the ebook the day of release, or in many cases an advance copy months before the paper release, in either case for less than the cost of the hardcover.  Pretty much the entire Baen catalog is available in ebook format.

Other publishers either don't release the ebook until months after the publish date, or want to charge the same price as the dead tree hardcover version.  I'm sorry, that's not happening.

And then you get to how they handle the back catalog.  There are certain series that I have in dead tree that I'd be perfectly happy to buy again in electronic version so I have access on the tablet, away from home, etc.   But for most of my stuff, unless it's from Baen the odds are that either it's entirely unavailable, or only the most recent book in the series is available, and in either case it's going to cost more than a good quality used paperback at Powells.

Some publishers get the concept: take the old manuscript, spend a little effort putting it into a simple electronic format, scan in the cover art, charge a few dollars, easy money.  But most of them simply can't grasp that.  I just want to bang my head on the desk when I see something like Tor spending the time and effort to do a complete re-release of the Wheel of Time series with new cover art specific for the e-books, taking a couple of years to work through the whole series, and then not having the e-book available on day of release for the latest editions.

So here I am, a good customer, with money in hand and willing to spend it, and they don't seem to be interested.  And yet they are upset and flailing around pointing fingers everywhere at their collapsing profit margins...

Posted by: David at February 24, 2012 11:43 AM (+yn5x)

5 King David's Spaceship and Outies are also not on Kindle. How are those compared to Mote and Hand?

Posted by: muon at February 24, 2012 02:01 PM (JXm2R)

6 King David's Spaceship isn't in the Kindle store, but you can get it direct from Baen and either email it to your kindle or do a file copy.


And Outies is in the Kindle store:

Posted by: David at February 24, 2012 03:14 PM (+yn5x)

7 I was not terribly impressed with King David's Spaceship.  I haven't read Outies.

Posted by: David at February 24, 2012 03:15 PM (+yn5x)

8 Dream Park had at least a couple of sequels, no idea if they are available on Kindle. Not as good as the original but still a fair bit of enjoyment value in them.

Posted by: haphazard1 at February 24, 2012 05:07 PM (9yBYR)

9 I didn't really care for the Dream Park sequels. But the original book was a masterpiece, and I will eventually buy it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 24, 2012 05:16 PM (+rSRq)

10 Steven, if you want a dead-tree copy of Moon, let me know... I've got three.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 24, 2012 08:53 PM (O9XO8)

11 Thanks, but I think I'm OK. (I can't really read books any more because of my eyes.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 24, 2012 09:55 PM (+rSRq)

12 How would the Kindle be for reading manga?

Posted by: muon at February 26, 2012 09:34 AM (JXm2R)


Well mostly it would be about like reading one of those shrunken manga that are the size of a DVD case. The screen is even smaller than that.

But if it was created right, you could zoom in, and manually pan, and then it might be better.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 26, 2012 09:38 AM (+rSRq)


I was going to try to show you how it looks. When the Kindle is connected to my PC via USB, I can access the file structure. There's a directory called "Pictures", and I copied one page of the Negima scanlation into it.

But having done that, I can't figure out how to access it from the Kindle GUI. I wonder if that directory is an artifact of the basic Android system, and isn't used in the Kindle.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 26, 2012 10:55 AM (+rSRq)

15 OK, found it. You go into "Apps" and choose "Gallery".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 26, 2012 11:03 AM (+rSRq)




The Negima PNG I used as an example is 1119x1600. The top example shows the whole page, and it is definitely readable. The bottom shows what it looks like if you zoom in by hitting the magnifying glass icon twice.

You can get variable zoom by using two fingertips and moving them apart, so it's possible to get zoom levels in between those two. If there's a way to say "100%", I haven't found it yet.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 26, 2012 11:14 AM (+rSRq)

17 That might be an acceptable way to read manga then.  I have a problem with Akamatsu's work even on computer screens.  He tends to put a lot of very small text next to background characters.  The upper left panel has examples of this. I find it impossible to read in printed manga, and very difficult on a monitor -- I often have to load it into MS paint and zoom.

Posted by: ubu at February 26, 2012 12:06 PM (GfCSm)

18 Does double-tap on the image do what you want?

Posted by: Mark A. Flacy at February 26, 2012 03:18 PM (Lbkvv)

19 It does the same thing as the magnifying-glass icon, which is to say it doubles the size irrespective of the true resolution.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 26, 2012 03:44 PM (+rSRq)

20 My understanding of the Kindle publishing model, at least for big publishers, is that when the files got over a certain size, as they would in anything graphics-heavy, they start having data transmission costs, to the point where it would not be a cost-effective substitute for say, Comic Books.  Although it was a few years ago when i read this, and it may have changed.

Posted by: Mauser at February 26, 2012 03:58 PM (cZPoz)

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