From the Cloud – Issue #67

by Stephen Higgins Happy New Year! It’s nice to get back into the swing of things with a new issue and a whole year’s worth of reading ahead of us. If you’re new to Aurealis, we welcome you and hope you enjoy the ride. If you’ve been with us for a while, we hope you’re still enjoying the new format of the magazine. This is probably going to sound weird coming from someone who helps publish a digital magazine, but I’ve only really recently started reading e-books and mags. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. I’ve had an iPad for two years, yet I’ve also have been supplying e-books for my mother-in-law’s Kindle for quite some time. For some reason, I was hesitant to read books in any other than the traditional manner. The actual change came over a period of time. For many years now my study has been lined with books. They looked great, had a nice feel, and the room had a weight of literature to it. The bookshelves supporting all those books had been made by a variety of people and added to over the years. The books on the shelves were in fact two deep. When other book lovers visited me, they were impressed by all of the books that were visible, and then stunned when I showed them that there were in fact many more books in the room than was immediately apparent.

One day as I was pulling books out and scanning the shelves in search of a particular title, I realised that many of the books I had I would never read again. In fact many of the books I owned I hadn’t read at all. I went through a phase of acquiring second-hand library books very cheaply; I just used to grab anything and shove it in a bag. All of these Gollancz classics with their distinctive yellow jackets and lurid paperbacks were never likely to be opened. Anyway, I decluttered or debooked or whatever the term might be.

I kept the books that I loved and knew would read again. I kept all of the Philip K Dick books simply because there were so many of them and they looked impressive. I kept the books received as special gifts or that had some other significance such as a memorable place of purchase. I kept some books that have been with me since my youth and also kept all of my hard copies of Aurealis. We still have a select few of these for sale. (Sorry, but I had to get that in as they are taking up room in my otherwise clean and uncluttered study.) In all, I got rid of nine boxes of books. Those large removalist boxes. And they were incredibly heavy!

So when I was looking at my iPad with its very own bookshops on it, I started to appreciate the idea of the virtual library (as depicted a little clumsily) on the iBooks opening page. The first book I read was Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers. It was such a page turner that I soon forgot that it didn’t feel like a book or smell like a book. I’ve found that I now read The Age online rather than get the hard copy newspaper.

While I love my books, I’ve realised I love reading more. I’m beginning to acquire a decent sized library that doesn’t take up room. My digital collection of Aurealis will soon be bigger numerically than my hard copy collection. Overall, the actual number of stories we have published is impressive, but what is more impressive is the quality. I love having my Aurealis… but I love reading it more.

And I’m not alone in feeling way. I was just informed that seven of the stories published in Aurealis in 2013 made it into the Tangent Online recommended reading list for the year. Congratulations to the authors involved! You can view the list at http://www.tangentonline.com.

You can buy Aurealis #67 from here or pick up a 10 issues subscription for $19.99 USD.

2 Comments on From the Cloud – Issue #67

  1. This will be my first Issue in my subscription and I can’t wait to receive it so I can dig in. From everything I have read about Aurealis it will be a great read 🙂 The covers are always amazing too, great work.

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