For many years, I was (and still am, I suppose) a Palm operating system (Palm OS) afficienado. Back when Palm was in the business of making affordable, versatile Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), they had the market in their, uh, hand. A friendly, easy operating system that performed minor miracles, including handwriting recognition. Several cheap, useful, multimedia friendly electronic text formatters and readers were on the market in those days, but my personal fave was MobiPocket.. Mobi would take a formatted text document, break it up into chapters, maintain your bookmarks, display illustrations, and maintain a digital library on your Palm Pilot, for virtually no overhead except disk space. There were repositories of free, public domain books, short stories and articles on the web in those days. Some, like memoware.com, The Baen Free Library, and Project Gutenburg have continued to thrive and expand with the passing of the years. Others, such as Black Mask Quarterly, have fallen by the wayside, and are much lamented. The Black Mask Quarterly site specialized in pulp horror, western, fantastic and science fiction stories from early in the 20th century. If you had an interest in reading spooky stories from an earlier era, the Black Mask Collection was the place to go. Their fate is an old story on the internet– they ran afoul of the titular copyright holder and had to close their doors, disappointing hundreds of fans. Black Mask Quarterly slid into the “remember when”? category for me, and I forgot about it. That was, until I discovered MUNSEYS.COM today. Munseys is a portal for electronic book formats specializing in (you guessed it), the pulp, science fiction and fantastic literature format. I found it via the “browse catalogues” feature on STANZA, by Lexcyle probably the best portable book reader “app” I have on my Ipod Touch. Voila! Instant access to a giant compendium of old pulp authors. I quickly downloaded The Seed from the Sepulchre by Clark Ashton Smith, The Sword of Solomon Kane and the Valley of Worms by Robert E. Howard, and The Zap Gun by Phillip K. Dick. Heaven knows when I’ll have the time to read them, but they are all free.. and you just can’t beat that phrase, can you? Free books. As many as you like. All you have to do is read. So! Check out Munseys if you can. I suspect those folks at Black Mask had to go somewhere, and this is where they ended up. Enjoy!
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
- Samuel Beckett
The Third Blog of Mister Nizz: Covering history, wargaming, reading, writing, game design, miniatures, science, NASA, space exploration, cryptography, politics, society, mathematics, mindbenders, contests, various computer geegaws, gadgets, and gizmos. In other words, an eclectic mix of stuff.
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