William Gibson gets a blog

· Book News, Weblog Concepts

William Gibson, influential writer of speculative fiction (sci-fi to the genrists), has a somewhat ironically neo-Luddite reputation but added a blog to his official site yesterday and promises to post there nearly daily.
For some reason, the main page currently shows the first entry and not today’s, the second, in which a discussion of his choices and intentions about grammar and diction for his narrators and character segues into this interesting discussion about the publishing busines:

re those advance reading copies (ARCs) of Pattern Recognition that have been popping up on eBay for the last little while.

Those are “uncorrected proof copies”, which means that they are (1) absolutely riddled with errata, and (2) in the case of this book, to some extent a variant text. There is, in particular, a completely annoying failure on the typesetter’s part to keep the email sections in the font allotted to email. This has (I hope) been thoroughly corrected in the actual book, though too late to impress any of the reviewers who had to struggle through the ARC. Why does this happen? Well, novels, these days, have to be scheduled long in advance, as to production and date of initial sale, and you could say that it all springs from that. Publishing today encourages a certain lamentable “hurry up and wait” factor. The ARC’s were gotten out before I would have wanted them to, before I’d had sufficient time to “sit with” the manuscript, and then I was able to make another pass (actually two more) taking whatever time I needed. I won’t go into the changes, else I enter spoiler territory, but you can take my word for it that the ARC is not at all the finished text.

He’s using Blogger.