The Mashed-Up Future of Novels

China Miéville speaking in a debate at the Edinburgh international book festival about the future of the novel, called anti-piracy measures for literature in the digital age “disingenuous, hypocritical, ineffectual” and “artistically philistine.”

According to the Guardian he looks forward to open texts:

“Anyone who wants to shove their hands into a book and grub about in its innards, add to and subtract from it, and pass it on, will … be able to do so without much difficulty.”

But Ewan Morrison, author of Tales from the Mall, called Miéville’s vision of the future “naive, and based on what I would call dot-communism, which is a spurious leftism based on collectivity, that we are all heading towards a world where information will be shared”.

Countering another argument, that writers couldn’t make a living in such a world, Miéville called for a uniform, blanket salary for writers, novelists and poets equivalent to the “wage of a skilled worker.”

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

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4 thoughts on “The Mashed-Up Future of Novels

  1. Yes, someday in the not too distant future, we may have difficulty knowing what China Mieville actually wrote, and how much was added or deleted by people who thought they knew better how to write Mieville’s books. For that matter, we may not even know how much of his thoughts on the Future of Text were his own. They may have been made up by Mike Glyer.

  2. Miéville recalls the wage scheme of so many lousy but politically ok “workers” who were in the Writer’s Union of the dear old USSR. Some never learn.

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