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Internet Column from Science Fiction Age,
March 1997

Cory Doctorow

"A for effort, B for Bibliophiles..."
...C for implementation. The "Alexandria Digital Library" site holds a great deal of promise: it's an ambitious "preferences engine" aimed at genre fans. The idea is, you rate your favorite books -- and the database has thousands and thousands of titles -- and the preferences engine compares your preferences with everyone else's, and tells you which of those books you failed to rate it thinks you'll enjoy. These engines are terrific tools for finding information of any kind (check out the huge engine at www.firefly.com) but Alexandria is still in the bug-killing phase, and is a little clunky and non-functional.
"Reach out and touch someone"
The Internet Fandom Directory is a browseable database with addresses for thousands of fans, conventions, zines, and businesses. It's very, uh, fannish. It looks like something put together by earnest, devoted people without much design sense. Like a programme book at a Con. But hey, it's chock full o' data, so give it a visit.
"Monster Nostalgia"
Stoner's Monster Mayhem has the look-and-feel of those grubby newsprint catalogs of small-press, bootleg and otherwise non- scheduled monster merchandise that you'd send away for out of the back of Fangoria and similar venues.
"Filthy Lucre"
The Intertain Bookstore is the online equivalent of one of those draughty, over-sized discount book warehouses you find in the better class of industrial malls. You can shop a fairly large catalog of 10%-off new books, and the vendor guarantees 2-4 day turnaround on orders. It lacks the romance of wandering the shelves, but if you know what you're looking for and can't make it out to your local superstore, it's worth a visit.
"Ooh, pretty!"
Michael Weaver, science fiction illustrator, has put up a personal gallery of his works. His pieces are striking, even when rendered as pixels instead of paint.
"Not as goofy as it sounds"
Sci-faiku is science-fiction haiku. At first glance, it seems like the kind of silly word-game that science-fiction is full of (limericks, clarihews, anagrams), but some of the pieces are quite beautiful and evocative. As for those that aren't, well, at least you didn't have to invest much time to find out you didn't like it.
"Preserving Heritage Through Copyright Violation"
The Virginia Tech Speculative Fiction project is just ramping up, but it has a wild mandate: to scan and data-enter the entire contents of over 5,000 golden-age pulps donated by collector William J. Heron. They're scanning cover-art, interior illustrations, and then typing in all the text, and putting it online. Cool, yes. Legal? Who knows.
"Trash your video-card!"
Never again will you have to brave the murky depths of the local Blockbuster. Sinister Cinema is a B-movie's best friend. This Oregon-based video distributor is your one-stop shop for low-budget flicks that can be yours -- cheap.
"Killer Serial"
The Lurker Files is a serial novel jointly presented by Random House and Yahoo!, and written by Scott Ciencin. It's awfully good fiction, by Web standards, and good enough to pay for in paperback. The coolest part is that the audience has the opportunity to modify the storyline as it progresses, through a busy online forum.
Click here for info on my second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe

Click here for info on my first short story collection, A Place So Foriegn and Eight More

Click here for info on my first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom