The Cloud and the Networked Book: Science Fiction and the Future of Reading
by Robert Bee
What will the future of reading be like? Will reading long form narratives be imperiled by our fast-paced modern world? We are entering a future in which we are always connected, receiving feeds, emails, and phone calls. Cellphones are rapidly becoming portable, as are touchscreen computers. In ten years cell phones and small portable computers will have more memory and capabilities than the best desktops today. Everything—
our pictures, music, work documents, financial info, books, videos, personal records— will be available everywhere, all the time. Does this sound like heaven, or a stress-filled nightmare? With WiFi, WiMax, or some other sort of high-speed Internet connection we can look forward to a future of ubiquitous always-on, always-connected computers. The difference between virtual and physical reality is rapidly becoming meaningless.
What do you think about the future of reading?