[LMB] Notes on growing older, on list.

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Sun Jan 27 19:06:55 GMT 2019

Bill Wenrich notes: 
>When I was disabled, I worried most about being 
>useless. ... I no longer [worry ](if I ever did)
 >that I will live forever unless I do something about it.
Getting older in primitive cultures is hazardous.  In _MY_ culture, 
it's a never-ending exercise in novelty and learning new things.  
Consider the experience of discovering/discussing new Bujoldian canon.
In the old days, we had to wait for dead-tree editions to reach the 
local shops.  Lucky listies posted with spoiler space on the whole 
Somewhat later, a "sample chapter" would appear before the paper 
work.  About one chapter per week. Luck had little to do with it.  
Some chose to sample, some waited until the whole work was 
available. Still, new posting included spoiler space. 
A memorable experiment (publisher's, not Lois's) put out e-samples 
of something like the first three PAGES of the first ten chapters.  
DUMB! (Or so all the opinions available to me agreed)  But, to 
their credit, the publishers tried something new. Fawn-ish, even. 
(This referring to Gwynn's recent recap.) AFAIK nobody posted on 
those smidgens.  (Smidgens being distinct from snippets.)
There was a story for a US anthology that was first printed in, 
IIRC, Russian translation, well before the anthology.  The overseas 
fans un-re-translated back into English and circulated an e-edition 
to those who swore to buy the anthology in future.  Yes, some did 
buy the "pirate" work and comment here.
There was an Advance Reader's Copy auctioned off and passed around. 
Postings here followed the snail mail as the dead-tree edition 
There were after-the-paper-edition interpretations in audio-book 
format. Competing, different, "editions".  So we commented upon the 
reader's voice and interpretations and how names were pronounced or 
And most lately a new work nearly EXPLODES into circulation all at 
once. Anybody with a few bucks gets hold of it and is ready to 
discuss.  We still wait politely for all to get on board. And there 
is no dead-tree edition, or if there ever is, it's as "after-the-
fact" as an audio-book.   But with the new e-reader technology, the 
e-text can be mechanically "voiced" by text-to-speech tools. The 
audio book is available (if imperfect) right away.
John Lennard mentioned the other day that discussion of the WGW 
depends upon literacy.  Pretty good forecast ...  What literacy 
means in the environment of my life now is vastly different from 
the days of my own schooling and noticably different from what I 
taught my own kids. Not necessarily better or worse, but different. 
In the edition I acquired and read last night,  I was making 
electronic notes DURING THE READ.  Not merely mentally commenting 
to myself. Not, as with a textbook, highlighting (although  a 
change to the color of the screen of noted text incidentally 
occurs.)  It's much more like having a loose-leaf edition of a text 
with the wide margins, or single-sided pages,  encouraging almost 
expecting the reader into the process.  This is a story event that 
creates THIS expectation.  HERE is where that expectation is 
confirmed or refuted.  THAT is a logical outcome from all presented 
before, that I surely did NOT see coming.  It's different. It's 
novel and exciting.  It's almost like learning to read all over 
again. Or discovering a new super-power.  ("Space Ghost can READ!" 
to quote 4-year old MicroPouncer about super-powers in general,  
some 15 years ago... )
How a reader feels about having the skill set augmented, disrupted, 
or revolutionized is a whole 'nother thing.  

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