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Monday New: S&S DRM-free imprint; Nobel Lit Prize awarded; British free speech case; and the possible future of print magazines

Monday New: S&S DRM-free imprint; Nobel Lit Prize awarded; British free...

“The science fiction and fantasy community were early adopters of electronic formats, and have enthusiastically embraced DRM-free content while showing great respect for authors’ works under copyright,” said Joe Monti, executive editor of Saga. –Publishers Weekly

Much of his work is concerned with the aftermath of the German occupation of France during World War II, and since Modiano was born right after the end of the War, his own sense of identity is entwined with the cultural and political impact of occupation on France.

In a rare interview accorded to France Today in 2011, Modiano says he never considered becoming anything but a writer. “I had no diploma, no definite goal to achieve. But it is tough for a young writer to begin so early. Really, I prefer not to read my early books. Not that I don’t like them, but I don’t recognize myself anymore, like an old actor watching himself as a young leading man.” –NPR

The artist, who is well known in his field, says his right to freedom of speech is particularly acute because he was a victim of such serious abuse, and because his book is intended to encourage other victims to come forward. . . .

However, his ex-wife’s lawyers dispute claims that the case could set a precedent undermining the rights of other authors, arguing that it is concerned only with the rights of one child, who has a number of health problems, who they say would suffer catastrophic psychological distress were he to read parts of his father’s work.

What is not in dispute is that the case hinges on an obscure piece of Victorian case law, known as Wilkinson v Downton, in which a man who played a practical joke on an east London pub landlady in 1897 was found to be guilty of the “intentional infliction of mental distress”. –The Guardian

The joy we get from throwing magazines away seems like a bad sign for their future. On the one hand, there is something nice about reading something you know is finite. Unlike the endless internet that you will never conquer, once you’ve read a magazine you’ve read it, and you get a nice feeling of accomplishment at least until the next issue arrives. On the other hand, it’s a reminder of what a curious position magazines hold — they are so much more disposable than books that you almost wonder why they should be in print form at all, and yet once they go online you tend to lose your incentive to read them, since there’s so much other stuff to read online. –Gigaom

Friday News: Kobo nixes tablets, grammar rules you can forget, libraries and Adobe ADE, and Agatha Christie’s jewels

Friday News: Kobo nixes tablets, grammar rules you can forget, libraries...

Tamblyn added that its “most valuable customer for us is the customer who reads on e-ink devices and tablets. They are worth 23% more to us in terms of sales”. . . .

Douglas McCabe, analyst with Enders Analysis based in London, said that Kobo needed to acquire exclusive content to be competitive in the e-reading market. “Kobo has to establish itself as the niche e-reader competitor to Amazon’s Kindle,” he said. “The tablet market has too many very successful players—Apple, Samsung, Sony, Google, Tesco, Amazon itself. Kobo is lost on that battlefield.” –The Bookseller

Classic style makes writing, which is necessarily artificial, as artificially natural as possible, if you’d pardon the oxymoron. That is, you’re not physically with someone when you write. You’re not literally having a conversation with them, but classic style simulates those experiences and so it takes an inherently artificial situation, namely writing, and it simulates a more natural interaction, the more natural interaction being (a) conversation (b) seeing the world. So two people in the same place, one of whom directs the other’s attention to something in the world, is a natural way in which two people interact and classic style simulates that. –New Republic

Librarians who have ebook collections need to inform their patrons right now that if they are using the latest Adobe Digital Editions software, their reading history, including ebooks they didn’t borrow from the library, belongs to Adobe and anyone else who’s watching. (See how librarians at Ryerson responded within 24 hours.) Next, they have to figure out what steps to take to fix the problem.Beyond that, we all need to have a serious conversation of whether our devotion to privacy is merely lip service, an old-fashioned hang-up we have decided doesn’t matter anymore and should scrub from the American Library Association website, or whether we will actually, you know, stand up for it. Because right now, that’s not happening. –Inside Higher Ed

Four years after buying the trunk, Mrs Grant had builders in and wrenched open the box with a crowbar.

Inside she found a purse of gold coins, a diamond brooch and a three-stone diamond ring, items that are mentioned in Agatha Christie’s biography as pieces earmarked for her and her sister Madge. –BBC