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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Books

$1.99 for a digital comic? I'll pass

by Ken Newquist / April 3, 2010

The Marvel Comics app for the iPad is out, offering 500 titles at $1.99 a pop. Reading comics is one of the reasons I'd like to get an iPad but speaking abstractly (I have neither the app nor the iPad), $1.99 is too expensive.

Cover price for a comic these days is $2.99, which occasional spikes to $3.99 for super-sized issues. I'd consider paying $1.50-$1.99 for a current-run title -- that'd save me $0.50 to $1 a comic, which isn't bad.

Unfortunately, that's not what Marvel's selling online. The books they're selling through the Marvel app appear to be back issues -- in some cases, 4-5 year old back issues. I'm interested in buying older digital comics -- in fact it could be a great way to read those titles I skipped because they were tangential to my collection -- but I'm not going to spend $1.99 for the privilege. The price descripency becomes even more glaring when you realize that the Marvel Comics Unlimited subscription service for digital back issues gives you full access to 5,000 comics for $9.99 a month (or $4.99/month with an annual subscription).

Off the Bookshelf: Cole Protocol, Skies of Pern, Century Rain

by Ken Newquist / March 15, 2010

Cover: The Cole ProtocolAfter a fiendishly busy January and February, I've finally had a chance to take a deep breath and spend some time reading. First up on my early spring reading list is The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell, a Halo Universe novel involving the quest to prevent the alien Covenant from securing navigation data leading to Earth.

On deck is The Skies of Pern by Anne McCaffrey, one of her last in the classic science fiction setting which features telepathic dragons and their human riders battling the alien, sky-borne menace of Thread, followed by Century Rain, near-future apocalypse/time travel/alternate reality book by Alistair Reynolds.

Why I want an Apple iPad

by Ken Newquist / January 27, 2010

I want an iPad. It’s not because I’m a raving Apple fan boy or obsessed with the latest gadget – it’s because it fits the way I want to use technology, and addresses frustrations I’ve had with contemporary form factors. There are three specific products that I want to use with a tablet:

Off the Bookshelf: Twilight, The Gathering Storm, Star Wars Atlas

by Ken Newquist / January 23, 2010

Cover: Twilight

Over Thanksgiving break, my wife and I made a deal: I'd read Twilight if she read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It took me a month of on and off reading, but I finally did so. Completing that teen romance horror novel let me read the book I've been waiting months for: The Gathering Storm, Book 12 of the Wheel of Time.

In between the two I've been sneaking quick reads of Star Wars: The Essential Atlas, which is sure to become an indespensible reference for my Star Wars RPG campaign.

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