1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  |  37  |  38  |  39  |  40  |  41  |  42  |  43  |  44  |  45  |  46  |  47  |  48  |  49  |  50  |  51  |  52  |  53  |  54  |  55  |  56  |  57  |  58  |  59  |  60  |  61  |  62  |  63  |  64  |  65  |  66  |  67  |  68  |  69  |  70  |  71  |  72  |  73  |  74  |  75  |  76  |  77  |  78  |  79  |  80  |  81  |  82  |  83  |  84  |  85  |  86  |  87  |  88  |  89  |  90  |  91  |  92  |  93  |  94  |  95  |  96  |  97  |  98  |  99  |  100  |  101  |  102  |  103  |  104  |  105  |  106  |  107  |  108  |  109  |  110  |  111  |  112  |  113  |  114  |  115  |  116  |  117  |  118  |  119  |  120  |  121  |  122  |  123  |  124  |  125  |  126  |  127  |  128  |  129  |  130  |  131  |  132  |  133  |  134  |  135  |  136  |  137  |  138  |  139  |  140  |  141  |  142  |  143  |  144  |  145  |  146  |  147  |  148  |  149  |  150  |  151  |  152  |  153  |  154  |  155  |  156  |  157  |  158  |  159  |  160  |  161  |  162  |  163  |  164  |  165  |  166  |  167  |  168  |  169  |  170  |  171  |  172  |  173  |  174  |  175  |  176  |  177  |  178  |  179  |  180  |  181  |  182  |  183  |  184  |  185  |  186  |  187  |  188  |  189  |  190  |  191  |  192  |  193  |  194  |  195  |  196  |  197  |  198  |  199  |  200  |  201  |  202  |  203  |  204  |  205  |  206  |  207  |  208  |  209  |  210  |  211  |  212  |  213  |  214  |  215  |  216  |  217  |  218  |  219  |  220  |  221  |  222  |  223  |  224  |  225  |  226  |  227  |  228  |  229  |  230  |  231  |  232  |  233  |  234  |  235  |  236  |  237  |  238  |  239  |  240  |  241  |  242  |  243  |  244  |  245  |  246  |  247  |  248  |  249  |  250  |  251  |  252  |  253  |  254  |  255  |  256  |  257  |  258  |  259  |  260  |  261  |  262  |  263  |  264  |  265  |  266  |  267  |  268  |  269  |  270  |  271  |  272  |  273  |  274  |  275  |  276  |  277  |  278  |  279  |  280  |  281  |  282  |  283  |  284  |  285  |  286  |  287  |  288  |  289  |  290  |  291  |  292  |  293  |  294  |  295 

August 05, 2008

Rogue document hunters scouring Timbuktu for manuscript hoard

Africa's Literary Treasure Trove: The Rush to Save Timbuktu's Crumbling Manuscripts - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

This is so fucking Indiana Jones. I love it.

An astonishing project is underway in Timbuktu, Mali, one of the world's poorest countries. On the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, experts are opening an enchanted Aladdin's Cave, filled with hundreds of thousands of ancient documents.

The Ahmed Baba Library alone contains more than 20,000 manuscripts, including works on herbal medicine and mathematics, yellowed volumes of poetry, music and Islamic law. Some are adorned with gilded letters, while others are written in the language of the Tuareg tribes. The contents remain a mystery.

Manuscript hunters are now scouring the environs of Timbuktu, descending into dark, clay basements and climbing up into attics. Twenty-four family-owned collections have already been discovered in the area. Most of the works stem from the late Middle Ages, when Timbuktu was an important crossroads for caravans. It was home to gold merchants and scholars, and it even boasted a university with 20,000 students. The old saying "the treasures of wisdom are only to be found in Timbuktu" summed up the ancient city's appeal.

. . .

According to an employee at the Ahmed Baba Library, Mali was overrun by the French colonial army after 1880. "The French didn't want us to have the manuscripts, and they tried to steal them," says the library worker. The documents were hidden to protect them.

August 02, 2008

Ellis on the future of SF publishing

Warren Ellis - SF MAGAZINES: Yes, I’m Here To Ruin Everybody’s Day Again

Warren Ellis looks at the annual decline of subscriptions and cries "doom!" He then suggests that web-based magazines are the way to go. I have to agree here with the honorable sir.

Readers, you may not all be aware of this but for the past eight years we here at Poor Mojo's Federated Concerns have been publishing a weekly Almanack of Fiction, Poetry and Rants. And advice columns written by our editor-in-chief, the Giant Squid. We do on occasion print science fiction and horrow and we would *love* to print more of it in our long-running magazine. If you or those you associate with are the types to sit down and write up a story or poem or essay that involves science fictional elements, we would love to have a look at it with an eye towards publication.

Keep us in mind.

ANALOG came off best, though it should be noted that ASIMOV’S has staunched some horrific bleeding, having lost almost a quarter of its audience in 2005.

These are the walking dead.

Cases are always made that in fact these magazines are on strong — or at least survivable — financial ground. Even ignoring the fact that the money they offer for fiction is pitiful, I think that matters less than that they are reaching massively fewer people every year.

One of the reasons we care, of course, is that we associate print magazines with an intelligent curation process overseen by functional salaried adults. That’s why so many people still look askance at the online scene as "not proper magazines." The people who believe that got their wish last month, when one of the editors of HELIX SF had his covers pulled as a bigot with clear psychological issues by a disgruntled writer. It gives credence to the bias, unspoken or otherwise, that a print magazine is a job of work and an online magazine can be thrown up by any drooling lunatic with access to the net and a credit card. A fanzine by any other name.

Regular readers will know that I like sending traffic to the likes of CLARKESWORLD and FARRAGO’S WAINSCOT etc from time to time. Aside from (patchy, beautiful) McSWEENEY’S, these are the places I look to for short fiction now. No real fireworks yet, no real movement, none of them seem to be really cresting the other in terms of profile, but the best work there has been head and shoulders over pretty much anything I read from ASIMOV’S, F&SF or INTERZONE (with one exception in the latter case) over the last several months.

July 31, 2008

Rowling releasing "Beedle the Bard" this Xmas

Rowling gives children Beedle the Bard for Christmas | Books | guardian.co.uk

Harry Potter may have waved his wand for the last time, but JK Rowling is set to cast another spell over the bookbuying public this Christmas. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Rowling's valediction to the world of child wizardry, is to be published for the mass market on December 4 with all proceeds to go to Rowling's charity.

Rowling originally handwrote and illustrated six copies of the book as thank-yous to people closely involved with the Harry Potter books. A seventh copy, bound in brown morocco leather and mounted with silver and semiprecious stones, was auctioned at Sotheby's last December, eventually going to online bookseller Amazon for L1.95m.

The Children's High Level Group (CHLG), the charity Rowling co-founded in 2005, will now publish the collection of five tales in trade and "collector's" editions. The trade editions, retailing for L6.99, will feature additional commentary on each fairy tale from Professor Dumbledore and an introduction by Rowling.

July 30, 2008

A Game That Teaches Academic Library Research? Fun!

The Defense of The Hidgeon: The Plague Years "...