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things found written upon books

We've discussed odd bookmarks, but what about the humble inscription? Start with two lovely efforts to collect inscriptions, including the Book Inscription Project and Inscripticateded Dedicated to the One I Love, which tracks inscriptions found at used book stores. Read up on the history of inscriptions at the Library of Scotland's wonderful Private Life of Books, and discover how inscriptions change the value of books. And pity the poor author, who often has to come up with interesting inscriptions for book tours. Have you seen or written any good inscriptions?
posted by blahblahblah on May 14, 2007 - 22 comments

 

Lyra and her dæmon moved through the darkening hall...

The His Dark Materials movie is taking shape. The award-winning children's series, considered the "anti-Narnia", is due on the screen in 2007, starring a actress found in open casting, along with Nicole Kidman (as Mrs. Coulter, for those who know the books). Unfortunately, the screenplay by Tom Stoppard has been dumped, though the new one appears to be to the author's liking. There is no official trailer yet, but there are several more or less painful fan-made ones. The series has also been made into a successful play, and a radio program. For those who haven't read it, an excerpt is here; and for those that have, try the interactive alethiometer or find out your daemon's name. Previous discussion on the debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury was here.
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 31, 2006 - 52 comments

Books that never were

Famous books that never existed: The Necronomicon, A First Encyclopaedia of Tlön and others by Borges, The Planet Gobblers, The Book of Counted Sorrows, S. Morgenstern's A Princess Bride (unabridged), the library of the Comte de Fortsas, and The Case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra; among others in a tradition dating back many centuries. For a fairly complete list of books that don't exist, check out the Invisible Library, which also features essays on the subject. [prev.]
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 15, 2006 - 54 comments

Free good science fiction

Free, good science fiction for download, some you might have seen, some new, all are worth the time. If you have only a few minutes, Michael Swanick's Science Fiction Table of the Elements features 108 short short stories. If you have a little more time, Kelly Link, called by Neil Gaiman "the best short story writer currently out there" has released her much-praised collection Stranger Things Happen. For longer reads, Charlie Stross has made available his cyberpunk novel Accelerando and his Lovecraftish Colder War. The creepier Peter Watts has posted the New York Times Notable Book Starfish, and its sequels as well [previously]. If you haven't had enough, you should check out the Baen Free Library, with books by everyone from Andre Norton to Larry Niven, as well as a large amount of right-of-center combat-oriented stuff by David Weber and friends. Also, the Science Fiction Channel has made available many well-known classic short stories as well as a lot of contemporary Hugo and World Fantasy Award winners [previously]. Finally, you probably already know that Cory Doctorow has four novels available under creative commons. Happy reading!
posted by blahblahblah on Sep 19, 2005 - 59 comments

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