Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Le Guin on Google Books Settlement

Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction writer and all-around badass, addresses the Google Books Settlement in an interview:

"The future" in most science fiction is just a metaphor for "us, here, now." The possibility of digitizing books to make them available to everybody, a limitless Public Library, is us, here, now. It's our baby. Let's bring the baby up right, in the public interest -- not hand it to a corporation whose interest is in controlling information and horning in on writers' profits.

I'm part of the technological age whether I want to be or not, and mostly I enjoy it very much. I'm not protesting technology -- how stupid would that be? Writers against Computers, or something? I'm protesting against a corporation being allowed to rewrite the rules of copyright and the laws of my country -- and in doing so, to wreck the whole idea of that limitless electronic Public Library.
She goes on to reveal what she hopes will become of her books after her death:

I want them to be available, I want cheap paper editions of them, I want them to be continuously downloaded in forty different languages, I want them to be read, I want them to be argued about, I want people to cry over them, I want unreadable dissertations written about them, I want people to get angry with them, I want people to love them.

There is no doubt all of these things will happen.

For anyone who has never read Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness, go read it. Now.

No comments:

Post a Comment