Author says technology can't kill the novel

Sony e-book
A young girl looks at a Sony e-book at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 10, 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

Novelist Sam Byers has written a sharp and persuasive series at where he argues that all the fretting and fault-finding with technology's detrimental effect on fiction is nonsense.

He reminds us of the anti-Amazon outcry that accompanied the introduction of the Kindle:

When Amazon recently released details of its new range of Kindles, which will, if you want them to, read sections of a book aloud to you, my Twitter feed was clogged with outcry. WHY CAN'T WE JUST READ? People bellowed. WHY WON'T TECHNOLOGY JUST LEAVE US IN PEACE? The answer, of course, is that you can "just read." Simply because something has been invented, doesn't mean you have to use it. Did it occur to any of these terrified readers that perhaps this latest technological invasion wasn't aimed at them?

We take a look at how technology has changed the way we read and whether screens make a difference in the reading experience.


The End of the End of Everything: Fiction's Fretful Futures, Part I. Read the rest of Byer's essay. (The Weeklings)

The Reader and Technology. Toby Litt contemplates fiction in the future and our wish to look back on a pre-Twitter era: "Literature can accommodate nostalgia, but only as a houseguest; if nostalgia becomes the landlord, architect and psychoanalyst, literature will have to evict itself." (Granta)

He Hit Send. It might be awkward, but maybe technology is needed in fiction. (The Millions)

• Author Ian McEwan discusses the future of the novel with Tina Brown of The Daily Beast:

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