I read Overtime by Charles Stross on the flight to California this morning. This is the first thing I’ve “read” in iBooks. It wasn’t unpleasant, but I much preferred the time I spent with a paper book later. The iPad is still too heavy. I enjoyed this, I’m glad I didn’t waste the paper, but alas. The story itself was okay. I hadn’t yet read The Atrocity Archives, so I had very little context. It was a cute sci-fi story and all, but nothing really compelling or engaging. Not very thought-provoking. A weak showing, compared to some of his other shorts, to be sure. 5/10.
Palimpsest was far longer, but I read it via a cached copy in Instapaper instead. On the iPad, I prefer reading in Instapaper to iBooks, though the headers were mangled in the mobilizer conversion. Can’t have everything, I guess, but I like the lack of superfluous fake book shit. Anyhow, Palimpsest was much longer than the previous story, and took some time to actually read on the iPad. As far as time travel paradoxes mixed with singularities go, it was a pretty compelling read, and it’s worth a go, especially since you can read the whole thing online for free. Painfully predictable at times, but I still enjoyed it. 8/10.
The Atrocity Archives was a good book to read on a plane; it doesn’t take a lot of thought, and reads pretty easily; I polished it off in about three hours. It combines lovecraft, insider IT jokes, math and computer science, and Castle Wolfenstein. Pretty much can’t go wrong, if it’s the sort of thing you’re looking for. If you’re looking for hard singularity/relativistic science fiction, however, it’s a bit on the easy side. I’ll probably finish the series, but it’s fluff reading. Reading this one on paper was far more pleasant than either of the digital reading experiences. I’m quickly becoming an anachronism. 6/10.