Amazon and the "Author's Guild" Reach a Cute Little Agreement About the Kindle's Text-To-Speech
In an effort to retain good relations with the mysterious "Author's Guild" that supposedly represents the world's fiction writers, Amazon has decided to go ahead and let the rightsholders of Kindle books decide whether or not to allow the Kindle to read books aloud in an uninflected, demonic robot voice.

If rightsholders don't want the Kindle to do this, they can turn the feature off for their specific title.

While I hate both the Kindle and Amazon, I disagree with the "Author's Guild" about this issue in a big way, and, with this decision, the "Author's Guild" only succeeds in making writers look selfish and cruel.

The only GOOD thing about the new Kindle is its easy-to-use text-to-speech feature, which potentially allows blind people to consume first-run editions of books for the same price that other people get them without having to wait for the Braille edition. Only big bestsellers ever make it to the audio book market.

A dead robot reading fiction does not constitute a professional performance. There are a million shitty text-to-speech programs out there that have been around for decades. My favorite was the "Talking Moose" for the Apple Macintosh, a program we used to fuck around with in elementary school to our endless delight.


The only reason Amazon has done this deal is to nod to the "Author's Guild" as a sovereign body that represents writers, because the "Author's Guild" has already proven that they can be bought and have neither spine nor sense.

Crowning the "Author's Guild" as the designated spokesperson for writers everywhere is like the U.N. asking Taiwan what China thinks.

They are only going to say something crazy and then ask for money and tanks.

Who is the "Author's Guild?" Do they have a Guildhall? How do you frag the leader? Where will he respawn? Will he respawn next to the rocket launcher? If so, we should snipe him there before he can rocketjump to safety and then get armor.

I don't trust that "Author's Guild."

Posted by miracle on Tue, 03 Mar 2009 06:19:11 -0500 -- permanent link

The Gallery at LPR
158 Bleecker St., New York, NY
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

All content c. 2008-2009 by the respective authors.

Site design c. 2009 by sweet sweet design