Feature Friday: The regional digital divide cuts both ways (or: WHERE IS MY IRON COUNCIL AUDIOBOOK, WORLD!)

Most times, as a reader and listener in the US, I don’t have to worry much about regional rights when it comes to the books I want to read, the films I want to watch, and so on. But as I find myself following the field more and more closely, those exceptions, generally UK and Australia (and sometimes Canadian!) titles which haven’t (yet?) made it to the US begin to gnaw at me.

 

Last year, it was (among other books, but most notably) Christopher Priest’s The Islanders which came out in the UK …

But not in the US. A lot of people were talking about it, but unless you wanted to order internationally, it wasn’t to be had. (Luckily we aren’t having to wait long for a US publication of the Ann and Jeff VanderMeer-edited 2011 anthology The Weird, which is coming to the US from Tor in 2012.) The same is often true of the lovely PS Publishing books, from William Shunn and Derryl Murphy’s 2009 novella Cast a Cold Eye to Lavie Tidhar’s 2011 novel Osama and novella Gorel and the Pot Bellied God — another PS Publishing title of interest is coming this month, Alex Irvine’s novella Mare Ultima. Ah, international shipping… Still, we’re quite lucky. We tend to get fairly prompt US releases, such as for Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Quantum Thief or Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City which were published in print in the US only months after their UK release.

  

Back to the point of today’s post. The digital divide can sometimes be more permeable, though sometimes less so. It took about 6 months for Jeff Harding’s narration of Lev Grossman’s Codex to arrive in the US, despite the book having been published for several years, and there are some very, very tempting audiobooks which, at least for now, are available in the Audible UK store, but not at Audible.com:

Yeah, yeah. Usually we have it pretty good. But peeking across the pond can sometimes reveal some pretty tempting titles, and these six are all on my wishlist.

 
 

But when I begin to despair, I remember: Hey. We’ve got The Silent Land: A Novel By Graham JoyceNarrated by John Lee — and that was even published in print first in the UK. And that, more than likely, we’ll get to hear Songs of the Earth and Blue Remembered Earth before too much longer. Though somebody needs to tell me that I’ll be able to listen to the Mieville books soon, so I can step back from the ledge.

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