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Tiny Books for Lonely, Nervous Men.

Armed Services Editions. Printed in the millions, publishing incredibly diverse authors and subjects, now semivaluable. What (besides this tiny project) are our servicemen reading today? This is the closest thing I can find, and it’s linkless and referenceless.
posted by interrobang on Feb 6, 2003 - 6 comments

 

Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff VanderMeer is not only a great author of weird sf, and a creator of the mysterious city of Ambergris, but has an alternative official site where he makes merciless fun of himself and the whole idea of author web pages. The site includes bad poetry, a secret subsite of the "webdesigner" Garry and a strange alien baby project, just for starters.....
posted by inkeri on Jan 30, 2003 - 3 comments

"Nothing like this will be built again"

"Nothing like this will be built again" is the summary, by sf author Charles Stross, of his tour of the Torness nuclear power station in East Scotland.
His enthusiastic descriptions of the extreme coolness of the technology, the combination of near Victorian style brass plumbing and advanced nuclear engineering, go some way to demystify and humanise what I always regarded as one of the more terrifying pieces of architecture I had ever seen when I lived in the area.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Jan 24, 2003 - 15 comments

Who wrote Lord of the Rings, again?

Who wrote Lord of the Rings, again? Those wacky, wacky teeming million followers of Cecil Adams are at it again, this time figuring out how Lord of the Rings might have read were it written by other hands. The best, in my opinion, is John Cage's rendition.
posted by thanotopsis on Jan 16, 2003 - 24 comments

The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction

Angie was a marked woman, paying her own ransom with a body none could resist.
Someone has spent an incredible amount of time and energy scanning in lesbian pulp fiction covers from the 50's and 60's. An interesting look into what was considered titillating 40 years ago.
posted by patrickje on Jan 8, 2003 - 21 comments

Movie Adaptations of Books

Sometimes Movies Are Even Better Than The Good Books They're Based Upon. [More inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 2, 2002 - 56 comments

TextArc

TextArc is an interactive program that reproduces the text of more than 2,000 books as works of art.
The software converts the text into an interactive map that allows viewers to quickly see relationships between words and characters at a glance, even without having read the book. Try it with Alice in Wonderland. (Links opens a full-screen window.)
posted by Mwongozi on Nov 30, 2002 - 9 comments

Modern First Editions

If You Were Rich Would You Collect Modern First Editions? Well, it's difficult to browse Christie's upcoming auction of 20th century books and manuscripts; the stock of a well-known bookseller such as Ken Lopez or even go "bargain-hunting" at Amazon without understanding their appeal... [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 25, 2002 - 21 comments

Aspects of the Victorian Book

Aspects of the Victorian Book is a Sunday morning kind of site, a relaxed but vivid tour of 19th century British publishing that explores production techniques such as lithography, binding and illustration, and looks at the printed works of the period (including forms such as the inexpensive "Yellowbacks" and their cousins, the usually lurid "Penny Dreadfuls").
posted by taz on Nov 17, 2002 - 6 comments

Literature of fact

'Literature of fact' The high wall which seperates fact and fiction has a small door in it through which people can step. A piece which discusses how someone writing a supposed eyewitness account of an event always tends to fictionalise, even unconciously, in order to make the subject interesting, the idea being that just because a book is in that section, it might not actually be completely non-fiction.
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 16, 2002 - 12 comments

Is this naturism, photography or soft-core child pornography?

Is this naturism, photography or soft-core child pornography? If you search for photographers like Sally Mann or Jock Sturges you'll come across this entirely legitimate purveyor of naturist books and videos. In the Fifties and Sixties nudist magazines, like Health and Efficiency, were an excuse for looking at naked bodies. Now that porn is legal, have nudist publications made a comeback as an excuse for looking at photographs of naked children? Their website is itself well concealed - the front page looks innocent enough but, the further you click into it, the more unsettling it becomes. Or are we all becoming to paranoid for our own good? (I'd say NSFW)
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Nov 9, 2002 - 110 comments

A Gallery of Bookplates.

A Gallery of Bookplates. I always think it's a wonderful surprise when I'm antique bookshopping and I happen across some beautiful ex-libris. Many more links found via Joy Olivia on the Graphic Design blog Speak Up.
posted by Stan Chin on Nov 6, 2002 - 18 comments

"The first flight we took my wife and I, we were greeted by a ticket agent who cheerfully told us that we had been selected randomly for a special security check. Then it began to happen at every single stop, at every single airport. The random process took on a 100 per cent certitude." Canadian award winning writer Rohinton Mistry cancels his US book tour after being subjected to racial profiling.
posted by tranquileye on Nov 3, 2002 - 78 comments

Recreational mathematics and fractal graphics continue to stimulate the mind and foster student interest in mathematics. Some favorite authors & books in this area include: Martin Gardner's books (like The Colossal Book of Mathematics and The Night is Large), Cliff Pickover's books (like The Mathematics of Oz and The Zen of Magic Squares), Calvin Clawson's Mathematical Mysteries, Ian Stewart's books and puzzles, and Ivars Peterson's writings (like Islands of Truth). What are your favorite books and web sites in this area for stretching the mind and eye?
posted by Morphic on Nov 1, 2002 - 25 comments

Literary Gothic

Literary Gothic offers up a splendid smorgasboard of literary ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and, of course, gothic. As a Victorianist, I have a particular predilection for their ghost stories. Many more Victorian tales of the terrifying--and just plain weird--can be found at this site, which also features an ongoing reading group. [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise on Oct 31, 2002 - 8 comments

What makes for a successful life?

What makes for a successful life? Luc Ferry, French minister for education, recently released a best-seller which aims to work out what is success today and what makes for a successful life. So, what do MeFiers think - what is success? Who today is successful? What makes for a successful life?
posted by jonvaughan on Oct 28, 2002 - 17 comments

I must keep on the move. I must not allow them to stop me or trace my whereabouts.

I must keep on the move. I must not allow them to stop me or trace my whereabouts. I must keep on the move. I must not allow them to stop me or trace my whereabouts. I have set the date for the release in the future to allow time to build publicity. With the worlds full attention, these secret agencies or privately run factions cannot deny or lie to the public about what I will reveal. This smacks of hoax, but I'm leaving the final decision on that up to you.
posted by bryanzera on Oct 23, 2002 - 85 comments

It's nearly time for National Novel Writing Month 2002

It's nearly time for National Novel Writing Month 2002 This was discussed in detail on mefi last year, and plenty of interest was shown. Now you should take it to the natural conclusion: a collaborative novel attempt. It might be bending the rules a little, but surely Metafilter users could come up with 50,000 words between them in a month. Maybe this is short notice, but I'd like to see an attempt...
posted by tapeguy on Oct 22, 2002 - 45 comments

Parallel universes

Parallel universes Alternate universes may exist besides our own in some ghostly manner. Various science-fiction series explore parallel universes, but what do serious physicists think? Hugh Everett III's doctoral thesis outlines a controversial theory in which the universe at every instant branches into countless parallel worlds. Physicist Andrei Linde's theory of self-reproducing universes implies that new universes are being created all the time through a budding process. Stephen Hawking's quantum cosmology also suggests the possibility of other universes connected by wormholes. Some scientists feel that the famous photon double slit experiments proves the existence of parallel universes in which a photon from one universe interacts with a photon from another. Black hole theory suggests that black holes may be portals to parallel universes.
    Science-fiction stories about parallel universes always delight the mind. Two of my favorite SF novels on parallel universes are Heinlein's Job and Number of the Beast. Several others intrigue me, such as The Neoreality Series, Diaspora, and Parallelities. Science books on the subject include a famous book by David Deutsch.
    Do you have any favorite books on parallel universes or parallel realities, fiction or nonfiction? What do you think? No doubt, scientists and science-fiction authors will continue to explore the concept in the decades to come.
posted by Morphic on Oct 21, 2002 - 64 comments

A NYTimes book review

A NYTimes book review of Richard Davenport-Hines' 'The Pursuit of Oblivion' by Christine Kenneally talks about trying to help erase the stigma of drug use by placing it in a historical context that 'sees it as part of the repertoire of normal human activities'. Looks like one to put on the shelf next to 'Writing on Drugs' and 'Food of the Gods' :D but I was also thinking it might help raise popular awareness that might support research efforts like HRI's and MAPS!
posted by kliuless on Oct 19, 2002 - 5 comments

Edible books. The International Edible Book Festival is held yearly on April 1 in cities around the world. (Yes, I know, April 1, but this is apparently real.) Mmmm, I could just eat up a juicy novel right about now, like Great Eggspectations!
Link swiped from The Cellar's Image of the Day
posted by Slithy_Tove on Oct 13, 2002 - 8 comments

The Gospel According to Harry Potter.

The Gospel According to Harry Potter. Connie Neal thinks that she sees "glimmers of the Gospel" in the Harry Potter books. Not the most interesting attempt to counter the occult hysteria surrounding this book, but sure to stir up some hilarious controversy just the same.
posted by mikrophon on Oct 8, 2002 - 19 comments

"Dell 129 is also a 'mapback'. Dell published hundreds of paperbacks in this manner, the back of the book featuring a colorful map of the scene of the crime or events in the story. They were very popular in their day and are popular today with collectors as well." -From Gary Lovisi's essay about collecting paperbacks.
posted by interrobang on Oct 7, 2002 - 5 comments

In 1972 the librarians were revolting.

In 1972 the librarians were revolting. Now they're at it again. Katia Roberto and Jessamyn West are compiling a sequel to the famous (or infamous) classic of radical librarianship. [more inside]
posted by IshmaelGraves on Oct 7, 2002 - 12 comments

"By removing both costs and the barriers, weblogs have drained publishing of its financial value, making a coin of the realm unnecessary. A lot of people in the weblog world are asking "How can we make money doing this?" The answer is that most of us can't." Though he finally admits: "Right now, the people who have profited most from weblogs are the people who've written books about weblogging."
posted by zenpop on Oct 5, 2002 - 27 comments

The following is a [partial] list of the most frequently challenged books of 2001...
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
3. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (the "Most Challenged" fiction book of 1998)
4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
5. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
(Last week was Banned Books Week. Sorry this is late. Did you remember to hug your favorite banned book? Does anyone really think children need to be "protected" from these books?)
posted by Shane on Sep 30, 2002 - 52 comments

Are you writing a novel?

Are you writing a novel? An article in the NY Times urging would-be authors to pack it in. Given the quoted stat (that 81% of Americans 'feel they have a book in them'), and extrapolating it for the rest of the world, that still means that there are roughly 12,887 unwritten books out there in me-fi land. Is this true? And has anyone actually written theirs down?
posted by jonathanbell on Sep 30, 2002 - 59 comments

Did perfume from a dress make T.S. Eliot so digress?

Did perfume from a dress make T.S. Eliot so digress? Or was it the scent of other men? A rash of biographies this year claim to have found closet homosexuals just about everywhere; Adolf Hitler, G.F. Handel, Friedrich Nietzsche and T.S. Eliot are all suspected – largely without substantial evidence – of being gay. [more inside]
posted by Ljubljana on Sep 29, 2002 - 15 comments

In the new LRB, a pretty good attempt to answer the pressing question - why do the Bush people want to attack Iraq so much?
posted by Mocata on Sep 25, 2002 - 20 comments

India's slide into facsism...

India's slide into facsism... An essay in The Nation by India's Arundhati Roy — novelist, essayist, activist — lays down the facts around a very troubling assertion: people-heavy, nuclear-armed, legitimacy-seeking, proto-super-power India is quickly becoming a fascist state.
posted by silusGROK on Sep 18, 2002 - 14 comments

The following sing I a book.

The following sing I a book. a book of art. of mind art as that which he hid reveal I. Tom Phillips made his first Humument pages in 1966 and continues to make them. He drew new meanings out of a forgotten Victorian novel - A Human Document by W.H. Mallock - by painting over or otherwise obscuring most of the words on the page, leaving pithy fragments. The result is wonderfully allusive, poetic and occasionally wise as well as beautiful to look at. He's used it to comment on Dante's Inferno and Joyce's Ullysses, made a sort of opera out of it, and it's dead postmodern to boot.
posted by Grangousier on Sep 17, 2002 - 11 comments

Fantomas

Fantomas Lives!
Fantômas is the Lord of Terror, the Genius of Evil, the arch-criminal anti-hero of a series of 32 pre-WWI French thrillers written by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain. He carries out the most appalling crimes: substituting sulfuric acid in the perfume dispensers at a Parisian department store, releasing plague-infested rats on an ocean liner, or forcing a victim to witness his own execution by placing him face-up in a guillotine.
In 1912, Apollinaire founded the Societe des Amis de Fantomas which included prominent artists and writers. Magritte considered Fantomas to be a major influence in many of his paintings. Fantomas was not only a comic book but also spawned films, tv and radio shows and plays. (There is, of course, a modern band as well)(I read the Mexican comic book as a child)
posted by vacapinta on Sep 14, 2002 - 6 comments

Elephants are people, too.

Elephants are people, too. A new book by Steven M. Wise, Drawing the Line, marshalls the latest research on animal cognition in arguing for legal rights for some animals, especially gorillas, chimps, elephants, and gray parrots. The author's previous book, Rattling the Cage, forcused on primates, as many researchers and animal rights activists do. After all, we share at least 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees. Other researchers are expanding our knowledge of animal cognition in the octopus, dolphins, even dogs. See also: Next of Kin and When Elephants Weep.
posted by acridrabbit on Sep 4, 2002 - 40 comments

A search engine to help you find things you don't know about.

A search engine to help you find things you don't know about. gnod stands for The Global Network of Dreams, and is a test of artificial intelligence. Building a database from the user choices, it helps you find books, music and misc. other by having you enter in things that you like, and based on what other people like, it shows you stuff you ought to like, too (which is slightly different from what Amazon does, showing you what other people have bought). Don't know if all the Amazon Associate links detract from it all or not
posted by crunchland on Aug 30, 2002 - 25 comments

On The Road...

On The Road... coming to a theater near you (scroll down in link). Francis Ford Coppola is working on a film adaptation of Kerouac's classic (?), starring Brad Pitt. Genius? Heresy? I can see the Barnes & Noble tie-ins now...
posted by serafinapekkala on Aug 29, 2002 - 54 comments

The Invisible Library is a catalog of books that appear only within other books: in other words, a collection of imaginary books. With such names as "Growing Flowers by Candlelight in Hotel Rooms", "How Beautiful are Thy Feet" and "The Bitch Pack Meets on Wednesday", though, some of these books are just begging to be written. (more...)
posted by taz on Aug 25, 2002 - 39 comments

Af-Am poet disses Maya Angelou's new book, gets disinvited to book signing

Af-Am poet disses Maya Angelou's new book, gets disinvited to book signing In this calm and thoughtful piece, smart, sharp poet Wanda Coleman reflects on the "furor" she caused in the Af-Am community with a savage review of Angelou's latest work. After the review appeared, she was asked not to attend a signing at a famous black bookstore for an anthology she participated in (story confirmed halfway down this page). She notes, "Critically reviewing the creative efforts of present-day African-American writers...is a minefield of a task." Also: Coleman on American poetry, Coleman recalls a mid-70's interview with Marley and Tosh and ponders black hair, Wanda's all-time top 10 books. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Aug 19, 2002 - 26 comments

Disgraced stock analyst embarks on second career:

Disgraced stock analyst embarks on second career: Steve Harmon (who you might have seen on CNBC) has fallen from respectability and is now trying his hand at writing a science fiction thriller. The first two chapters of his upcoming novel -- Hybrids -- are online. Unfortunately, Harmon's not a good writer, and his effort is entertaining only as "good God, this is awful." I'm guessing he misses the spotlight and figured a novel would be his way back in. (from Tech Investor)
posted by kurumi on Aug 15, 2002 - 20 comments

If cyberspace were organized into a giant neural computer...

If cyberspace were organized into a giant neural computer... [NYT, reg req] ...one could in theory "upload" a person's mental software into it: thoughts, feelings, memories, the works. - an interesting sci-fi premise by author john darnton complete with a contemporary 'mad scientist!'
posted by sixtwenty3dc on Aug 7, 2002 - 29 comments

Steampunk

Steampunk (alternate) is surging. With the recent works of China Mieville (and his creation of New Crobuzon) and Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials) and Alan Moore, inspired by the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, there is a new growing fascination with this genre typified by Victorian Anachronism, an alternate history in which technology is overwrought and fantastic. Think Leonardo's machines (though not Victorian), Victorian Robots (prev. mefi thread), The Babbage Engine. 19th Century Science.
posted by vacapinta on Aug 6, 2002 - 30 comments

Daniel Pinkwater is a big, fat weirdo who writes really hilarious books for smart children and young adults. He can also be heard doing commentary on NPR. His most famous novels include The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, Fat Men From Space, Lizard Music, and Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars. Some of his books are being slowly republished in omnibus form. You can read an interview with him here, or peruse some obsessive links./
posted by interrobang on Jul 22, 2002 - 18 comments

Ace Doubles were undersized paperback novels published from the mid 1950s to the late 1960s. One book was on one side, the other, upside-down on the back. Sometimes, they were intended to introduce a new author t o the public by piggybacking the newcomer with a well-known professional (with varying results). Aside from the novelty of the layout of an Ace Double there is the fabulous art by now-unknown artists like Ed Emshwiller (Emsh), Jack Gaughan (my favorite) and Ed Valigursky. I myself am partial to the D series. â??
posted by interrobang on Jul 17, 2002 - 17 comments

Ann Coulter confused about that pot and kettle saying.

Ann Coulter confused about that pot and kettle saying. Katie Couric calls Ann on her own slander and nazi related namecalling on the Today show. Ann later later tells James Carville that its liberals who have a problem with calling people nazis. Hypocrisy must be selling nowadays, Coulter's new book is number one at amazon.com and fourth at barnes and nobles.
posted by skallas on Jun 28, 2002 - 35 comments

Virus Books

At Virus Books(mostly German, but it doesn't matter), you can download short visual summaries of books for your PalmOS portable. Even if you don't have a handheld, there are images of the results, so you can have a look, anyway.
posted by Su on Jun 23, 2002 - 2 comments

Ever dream of owning a Bookstore?

Ever dream of owning a Bookstore? Essay Contest! $250 and 250 words could win this thriving Used Bookstore in Roseburg, Oregon. A very cool, very busy store with a customer base of well over 10,000 people. Someone is going to win and it might as well be one of us.
posted by Mack Twain on Jun 17, 2002 - 18 comments

Election 2000 Enchantment: A love, crime story...

Election 2000 Enchantment: A love, crime story... From the author's geocities site: "Election 2000 Enchantment," by Elaine North, is a fun-filled adventure of two young women, who are ballot hand recounters during the Florida election crisis. The young women encounter intrigue, romance, passion, crime, danger and deception as they meet some of the many people from across the country that converge upon Florida due to the derailed presidential election. Exploitation or creativity? You decide.
posted by krewson on Jun 11, 2002 - 6 comments

J.T. LeRoy: The Next Lit-Crit It Boy?

J.T. LeRoy: The Next Lit-Crit It Boy? A report from the trendy and bespectacled world of hipster-lit book-readings and its newest star, the mercurial J.T. LeRoy. From the article: "LeRoy is the mirror image of the New York hipster’s aspiration: the lost soul done good, when so many in the audience, in pricey vintage t-shirts, seemed to want nothing more than to shed the trappings of middle-class life. More than a few in the audience spoke of him with a sort of rapt awe usually accorded NBA stars and minor deities." For more info on LeRoy, check out the author's official website.
posted by cell divide on Jun 4, 2002 - 36 comments

In Philadelphia, the ratio of students to librarians has increased dramatically. Schools are not only cutting the jobs of librarians, but they are failing to hire those who are qualified to perform the task. Some people, including principals, seem to have the notion that school libraries are a nonessential facet of high school education or are adopting idiosynchratic measures to keep school libraries in existence. The Toronto District School Board, for example, has decided that it will only offer a full-time librarian to schools with more than 710 pupils, leaving school libraries that are closed half the time or that remain substantially inaccessible to students. Laura Bush's Foundation for America's Libraries is an admirable idea, but will merely talking about the importance of libraries hammer the point home? What does it take to convince administrative types of the importance of school libraries? Where did the idea of the school library go astray? And what can we do to ensure that a reasonably accessible school library is there for any student who needs it?
posted by ed on May 30, 2002 - 23 comments

Who's the Best-Read MeFite?

Who's the Best-Read MeFite? The 100 best works of fiction (as chosen by Norwegian Book Clubs) (via Archipelapogo via rebeccablood). Sure, it's arbitrary, but there's a lot of great writing here. Bragging rights awarded (unless someone cares to sweeten the pot). How many have you read?
posted by Sean Meade on May 22, 2002 - 137 comments

Turn the world into a library.

Turn the world into a library. Have you found a book recently?
posted by carsonb on May 21, 2002 - 6 comments

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