Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Curse of the Crime Writer

Pathological suspicion, it's a curse.

Recently Rachael King on her blog The Sound of Butterflies blogged about Word Clouds. These are cool things where you plug in some text and, hey presto, it produces a pretty graphic, which you can tweak with colours etc.

Rachael, and then Mary McCallum plugged their entire novels into Word Cloud and marveled at which words its algorithm decided to emphasise and place next to others. It looks like so much fun.


I am pathologically suspicious, so my thought patterns go something like this:

I could plug in Overkill, or The Ringmaster and get the pretty picture, but some clever person might write a reverse algorithm , and then somehow magically be able to reproduce an entire file of my book, which they could then flog off on the internet and people would be able to pirate my books and download them for free, and I'd never get any royalties ever again and I will never be able to afford my new computer when Mme Mac here finally kicks the bucket.

Sigh, it's a curse being a crime writer.


Rachael King said...

Oh dear Vanda. I'm afraid I have news for you. Someone is just as likely to be able to hack into your computer and steal your manuscript and do the same thing! Will that stop you using the internet altogether? ;-)

Rachael King said...

Oh, and one more thing - there is a place that people can already go to to read your book for free. It's called the library!

I am teasing you mercilessly I know. Great review in the Press last weekend!

Vanda Symon said...

Arrrgggghhhhhhhh,Rachael. I'll never sleep again!

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Hehehe. I had a similar suspicious reaction Vanda. My highly strict security software didn't like whatever the site was trying to do on my puter, so I didn't persevere.

But I think it's more likely that - if it is a dodgy site - they just want to turn us into spam robots than that they are trying to steal our ideas!