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Not Yet Revolution-Ready

 

If the stacked books had been material instead of electronic, they would've swamped us in a lethal cascade. Even so, I couldn't help wondering if Crescent Blues would soon be visited by the digitized equivalent of Fritz Leiber's Our Lady of Darkness. How would it feel to be consumed in the data streams of twenty unread ebooks all crying for review? 

Ebooks, ebooks everywhere, and only one staff reviewer with a reader. The rest simply won't take ebooks anymore. 

This situation doesn't reflect the quality of the ebooks Crescent Blues receives. With writers like Terry Campbell, Douglas Clegg, Pauline Jones and our own Patricia White working in electronic format, the problem obviously lies elsewhere -- specifically in our writers' eyes. 

Our reviewers suffer severe eyestrain when they attempt to read a book-length manuscript on a standard computer screen. Hand-held ebook readers, which make reading downloaded text a treat, remain few and far between in the writing community. In addition, it costs our reviewers twice as much to print out an ebook as we can afford to pay them for the subsequent review. 

Since I refuse to lower the bar on our submission standards, that leaves me only one option. Crescent Blues will no longer accept downloads of epublished works. As of today, we will accept ebooks for review only if writers, publishers or publicity departments send a legible hard copy, complete with electronic contact information, to our snail mail address: 

Crescent Blues
Attn: Editor
P. O. Box 3121
Arlington, VA 22203 

I apologize in advance for the inconvenience this will cause epublished authors. Trust me, I don't like the situation any more than you do. I believe the Web provides a wonderful way to transmit all kinds of information, including fiction and non-fiction. And per our guidelines, Crescent Blues will continue to use the Web as its submission medium for features and reviews.  

But I must think of our writers and their health -- if only so I can continue to intimidate them into grinding out the prose. Hope that promised ebook reader revolution comes soon. In a very real way, I feel cheated by the retreat to hard copy too. 

Jean Marie Ward

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