From “Towards a Paperless Future: Electronic Publishing and You,” a paper written by Peter Taylor in 1993 for Creative Writing 306B, an undergraduate magazine publishing course taught by Stephen Osborne at Simon Fraser University. Check out the digital edition of Geist 74 and let us know what you think.
In space, there is no paper. The preferred means of relating written material is by electronic tablet, except for Picard, who hoards real books in his ready room. Fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation already know that the future of the written word is doomed to live out its existence on some sort of electronic display device, yet even these science fiction fanatics believe that day is far off.
Today, on Earth, the number of personal computers in use is over 100 million. The world’s largest computer network, the InterNet, is reported to have over 3 million users. Almost every magazine produced in the world is written, edited and designed using a computer. If a publication can be completely produced on computer and there is a large number of potential computer readers electronically connected, it should follow that the same publication can be distributed and read using a computer.
Current technology limits the quality of electronic publications, so for now the Picards among readers will still prefer the printed page to the electronic. With the recent introduction of handheld personal computers, such as Apple’s Newton™, the day is coming when every reader will consult their electronic tablet for their latest issue of Geist™ magazine.