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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Guest Post By Rob Taylor

How the Digital Boom Has Breathed New Life into Science Fiction Literature
Since the huge increase in popularity of devices like the Amazon Kindle, the reading community has been somewhat divided on whether or not e-readers like this are a good or a bad thing. Without going into too much detail on the pros and cons of the reading experience, there may just be some benefits that many people don't consider -- especially for science fiction fans. So with that in mind let's take a look at why e-readers might just be the best way to experience a new generation of sci-fi literature.
Is the book better?
No matter which way we approach this particular debate, there’s no escaping the fact that some people like to read paper books while others prefer e-readers. What’s most likely is that the vast majority of people are happy to do either. At the end of the day, the story itself is what really matters, and in that regard, the two are more-or-less equal. So how does any of this relate to science fiction? Well, a lot of it has to do with the fact that sci-fi is (and likely always will be) a niche market. That means that there’s a far greater likelihood that books will either be a.) out of print, or b.) never make it to shelves. In some way, e-readers solve both of these complaints in one fell swoop.
A new means of distribution for sci-fi
With the introduction of the Kindle, Amazon also created an all-new forum for writers to showcase and sell their works. This had never really been possible before, and much of the power was in the hands of the publishers. As it stands today, it’s possible to have a book self-published and up for sale on Amazon within about three days, sometimes less. That fact alone has changed the literary landscape, and for sci-fi authors it’s something of a boon. Whereas in the past these authors would need to be very lucky to get a book deal with a niche sci-fi or fantasy publisher, they now have the option to self-publish and find their own audience. Sure, this opens the door to some dreck, but it also gives consumers much more choice – and that can only be a good thing.
Giving the power back to sci-fi authors
As it stands today, there are numerous ways for new authors to promote their self-published science fiction stories. The issue has now become making themselves stand out in a marketplace that’s become ever-more full of great talent. In order to make an impact, new science fiction authors can post in forums, join in with online discussions, or perhaps hire a quality blog writing service to help boost their profile on the web. But whatever they choose to do, the simple fact remains: it has never been easier for new authors (or those whose work has gone out of print) to find an audience. A lot of that can be directly attributed to the digital boom.
No matter what threat the e-reader may supposedly pose to the paper book, it’s difficult to argue that giving new authors a platform is a bad thing. For that reason alone, we should perhaps give a little more credit to the self-publishing revolution – especially for the science fiction community.

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