I realize it’s getting down to the wire, with some 40 hours remaining, but I’ve eyed the Singularity & Co. Kickstarter for a while now. They’re raising money hoping to find vintage, long out of print SF books, and either acquire the rights or take orphaned books and reprint them. Kind of like Project Gutenberg, but for books that aren’t necessarily public domain. Their end goal is to digitize SF novels that would otherwise be lost to the mists of time, and either give them away free or for a small fee. Supporters and subscribers can suggest and recommend books to look into, and a bunch of people are donating time and effort on the technical and legal sides of things.
Sounds pretty damn good to me.
Granted, I’ve been on the fence about digitized/ebooks for a while now—there’s just something about holding a printed book, with an awesome retro cover, that a Nook or Kindle can’t compare to. Then again, I look and realize just how few DVDs I’ve bought since I got my Netflix/Hulu accounts. I think if I had a Kindle already, the print/digital thing would be less of an issue. As a kind of rescue and preservation project, digital is the way to go.
They’ve posted a lot of slick covers to all sorts of vintage/retro science fiction novels, a lot of old pulpy goodness that might come back to life, so the Kickstarter itself is pretty fun to scroll through. Hopefully, the dedicated SF fan might have heard about this already, from IO9, Neil Gaiman’s twitter, C.J. Cherryh’s blog, Ken MacLeod’s site, or several other places on the internet.
Since the Kickstarter fund goal has already been met, three times over, plus a double-up from an anonymous benefactor equal to their starting $15k goal… I think it’s safe to say that the Sci-Fi will be saved. But the more donations equal an easier time saving old books; the $10 and $25 are downright steals for what they’re offering as incentive.
Now, I’m more curious to what their first releases will be.