A time-travelling author reports back on what he’s seen of the future of literaturePart One: The war yearsIn the story of Rip Van Winkle, a British-American colonial villager living on the east coast of America in the 1760s falls asleep only to wake 20 years later, having slept through the American Revolution. Perplexed and disturbed by the new world he finds, he has nonetheless been spared the hardships and sufferings of war. I have often thought that the digital revolution has much in common with the American one, and that I would like to be spared the hardships of the messy years we are living through – the conflict between digital publishing and established publishers, the declines and booms, the false hopes and future projections, the compromises that in hindsight might have proven fatal – and to awaken when one side or the other is victorious and a workable peace has been established.Imagine my surprise then when – after a flight to America, some appalling jet lag and some ill-advised sleeping pills – I woke to find myself in 2043. Although I was awake in that future world for only a short time, I used my time to chart that …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books