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Internet Column from Science Fiction Age,
May 1998

Cory Doctorow

This month, I'll be taking you through the wonderful world of Webrings -- collections of related Web sites, linked to each other. This is a hobbyist's realm, full of raw enthusiasm, questionable design choices and intellectual property violations galore. The hub of this is http://www.webring.org, which provides the glue that holds together over 33,000 Webrings, comprising nearly a million individual Web sites.

Topping the list is an adult anime Ring, the Hentai Webring at http://w3.animanga.com/hring/. The Ringmaster, a Quebecois Separatist, boasts that his Ring is the largest in the world, with over 90 sites fielding more that 1.8 million hits.

The Wonder Woman Webring is a trip down memory lane, with sites featuring collectibles, episode guides, fan clubs, comics, and general Linda Carter worship. Point the invisible jet at the hub, http://www.hastur.com/WWWebring/, and give the Amazons my love.

Warner's merchandise designers just rediscovered Marvin the Martian, but he's always been prominent on the Web. Over 50 Marvin sites are linked in the Ring, at http://www.niagara.com/~tamron/marvring.html. You name it, they got it: screen savers, audio clips, video clips, games, wallpaper, themes, and isn't that nice, hmmm?

The fifty-some sites at the SF Zines Webring cover the gamut from fan-reviews to Cthulu fandom to amateur fiction to fanfic to "adult" science fiction: naked barbarians ahoy! Visit the Ring's homepage at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/5195/.

There's a videogame, there's a director's cut, there's the P.K. Dick novel. It's Blade Runner, and the Blade Runner Webring is chock full o' scholarly essays, continuity errors, scripts, homebrewed sequels -- your one-stop-replicant shop. Strain your eyes at the Ring's illegible homepage: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/4438/bladering.html.

Steve Iverson -- AKA Cult TV Man -- has runs the SF Modeling Ring from his site at http://www.culttvman.com/ Build 'em, paint 'em, design 'em, light 'em, models are the kind of patient, painstaking, attention-span oriented undertakings that the Web has destroyed my capacity for. Still, more power to 'em.

YTV is just around the corner from me, here in Toronto. I wonder if the guys wandering the block in their sexy ReBoot leather jackets know about Zen Zenith's ReBoot Webring? With nearly 50 sites containing everything a ReBoot obsessive could ever need: episode guides, straw-polls on favorite characters, 3D meshes, stills, sounds, the whole ball of wax. Mr Zenith's base of operations is at http://www.thetemple.com/Zen/reboot/ring.htm.

It's rainin' frogs, hallelujah! The UFO Web Ring at http://www.mbn.net/rover/webring.html/webring/ is the nexus for sites devoted to alien abductions, embarrassing probe incidents, rains of frogs, Carol Channing comeback specials and other incidents that strain this reporter's credulity.

Click here for info on my second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe

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