...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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.