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Old 04-27-2009, 04:41 PM   #1
Robotech_Master
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"Paleo E-books": E-books from before the dawn of the e-book age

Lately I've been writing some columns on TeleRead looking back at writing groups that were cranking out Internet fiction years before the term "e-book" even entered common usage. Here's the first two:

http://www.teleread.org/2009/04/26/supergu/
http://www.teleread.org/2009/04/27/t...-of-netheroes/

These groups (and the others I'll be covering in future entries) have copious archives. At last count, Superguy had over 12 and 1/2 million words in its archives. It even has a handy CGI script to retrieve just those archives which need reading.

Free to read, some great stories (though granted, some pretty lousy ones too), fascinating stuff. See the links for more details.

I'll be writing about more "Paleo E-book" sources in future columns, and will link them in responses to this thread.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:03 PM   #2
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You might check out back issues of Quanta:
http://ftp.andrew.cmu.edu/pub/quanta/

Quanta was the earliest ezine I was aware of, and ran from October 1989 to December 1993. It was edited by Daniel K. Appelquist and featured workd by Peter David, Jason Snell, Jacqueline Carey, and others. He was also kind enough to publish in Quanta my first semi-pro short story, "Illusions of Reality", which is absolutely terrible and should not be read again by anyone ever.

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Old 04-27-2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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There's another e-zine called "Dargon" that apparently started out as a collaborative writing circle like Superguy and LNH, only it started in 1985. (I don't have any experience with it, though, and only learned about it recently.) Might do a catch-all issue later with it and Quanta and others I've not been involved in.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:22 PM   #4
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Lately I've been writing some columns on TeleRead looking back at writing groups that were cranking out Internet fiction years before the term "e-book" even entered common usage.
I was fond of InterText, published from 1991 to 2004.

The archives are still available on-line in HTML, but the links to the PDF and Postscript versions seems to be broken (perhaps temporarily).
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:31 PM   #5
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Cool! I'll check 'em out; probably end up doing a "catch-all" entry at the end where I talk about the various forums and stuff that I don't cover elsewhere.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:32 AM   #6
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Here's my next Paleo E-books column, covering alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo, alt.pub.dragons-inn, and alt.pub.havens-rest.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:13 AM   #7
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Cool, I remember Chatsubo. Never knew they actually managed some anthologies, though! Awesome.

You should track down the editor and see if the contracts had electronic display rights. It would be great to have these in ebook form.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:52 PM   #8
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Cool, I remember Chatsubo. Never knew they actually managed some anthologies, though! Awesome.

You should track down the editor and see if the contracts had electronic display rights. It would be great to have these in ebook form.
I would tend to doubt it. Remember, the point of the column is to look at things that were written before anybody even knew what an "e-book" was. They wouldn't even have been thinking about "electronic display rights" back then.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #9
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Cool, I've been really enjoying those articles at Teleread, should have guessed the writer was over here.

We did something similar (just a few friends) on an old network where I used to work but thankfully my random thoughts are probably sitting on some rotting tape in a dusty basement.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:28 PM   #10
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My next column is up: animé fanfic and Undocumented Features.

http://www.teleread.org/2009/04/29/u...nted-features/
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:27 PM   #11
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My final "Paleo E-books" column, with links to lots of fun sites and resources, is now up:

http://www.teleread.org/2009/04/30/p...ives-to-zines/
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:09 PM   #12
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Good job!
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:22 PM   #13
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Good job!
Thanks! Good to hear from people who enjoyed them.

I wish more people would go into the archives and read some of that stuff. Especially Superguy. There's some good work in there.
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