Stephan Colbert is leaving the Colbert Report
Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show
Andrew Sullivan is no longer blogging
Bill Gasarch has resigned as SIGACT News Book Review Editor
Where will Gasarch get his news from?
Where will Colbert-Stewart-Sullivan get their reviews-of-theory-books from?
Why am I stepping down? I've been SIGACT News book Review editor for 17 years (just as long as Jon Stewart has been doing The Daily Show.) That's enough (more than enough?) time. I want time to spend more time with my books and my family. I will be on sabbatical next year so I am generally cutting down on my obligations.
I have enjoyed it, gotten to know some publishers, got more free books than I know what to do with. I haven't paid for a math or CS book in... probably 17 years.
While writing reviews is great, figuring out who reviews other books, getting them the books, getting the review from them, editing it all into a column four times a year, can get to be routine. Though I DO like reading the reviews.
Who will take over? I asked Lance who would be good and he said `someone old who still reads books'- so I asked Fred Green who agreed to take the job. I then had to get my files (of reviews, of who-owes-me-reviews, of which-books-do-I-want-reviewed, etc) in order to email to him. The usual- I wish I had cleaned up my files years ago so I could benefit from it.
The main PLUS of the job was that I got to read lots of books and learn about some fields. As someone who would rather read a good book rather than produce a bad paper, the job suited me.
The main NEGATIVE of the job was seeing so many books that I WANT to review but either didn't have time to (and I usually KNEW that and had someone else review it) or found myself unable to (gee that books is harder than I thought!) leave my office for someone else to review.
The biggest change that Fred will encounter is e-books.Will publishers want to send out free e-books instead of hardcopy? Will reviewers want hardcopy? This is of course a very tiny part of a more profound conversation of what will happen to the book market once e-books are more common.