Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Singularity & Co. - Save the SciFI!

My husband pointed out a cool kickstarter project to me yesterday.  They've already reached their goal, but there's still time to help support them if you're interested.  Here are the details:

Our Big Idea is a simple one, but we think it’s pretty great. So do some beyond great scifi authors.

We love books.  A lot.  And we love sci-fi books, new and old.  But mostly old.

We’ve seen too many sci-fi books that are out of print, out of circulation, and, worst of all (given the subject matter) unavailable in any digital format. Meaning, as of now, these books may never be seen in the future imagined in their pages. That’s just not right.

So here’s what we’re going to do: Each month we’ll choose one great classic, obscure or otherwise fascinating sci-fi book that’s no longer in print and not available online, track down the copyright holder and/or author (if they’re still around), acquire or otherwise clear the copyright, and publish the title both online and as an e-book, for little or no cost. Our supporters and followers will help us choose which books will be digitally rescued from copyright and publishing limbo via a monthly poll on our website, and we'll share the story behind the story, including with each ebook what we learned about the book, the author and their history along the way.

And while Singularity & Co. promises to keep our mission alive, in perpetuity, throughout the universe, we need your support to get started. This Kickstarter campaign will allow us to rescue our first four neglected works by providing for the following:

* Acquiring and curating the treasures to be found  among many, many paper copies of old, out of print sci-fi books
* Expanding our current website to allow us to display and deliver our sci-fi library - physically as well as electronically - and support voting capabilities for fans to help decide the next titles to be rescued
* Building an open source book scanner (see http://www.diybookscanner.org/ for an example) to aid in turning forgotten paper books into e-books
* Covering costs associated with tracking down rightsholders, authors and/or their estates, as well as clearing or acquiring the electronic publishing rights to our orphaned books
* Spreading the word not only to established fans but also potential supporters who love great books and ideas (may include attending conventions, creating t-shirts, prints and anything else we can think of)
* Covering costs associated with legal work to be done by our attorneys, all of whom are generously contributing their time pro bono (we’re trying to keep our costs as low as possible)

This is part adventure, part detective story, and part story about the intersection of the past and the future.  So as we dig into a particular book, and pull on the various threads that we need to to make sure we can share it without taking something that isn't ours, we end uncovering the story of that book.  That means that as part of each release, we plan on sharing that story, telling you what we learn about the book, it's author, it's history, and the adventure we had bringing it to you.

Rescuing beloved, forgotten, fondly remembered, out-of-print and otherwise lost sci-fi books by bringing them into the digital domain is more than a labor of love - it’s our way of celebrating visions of futures past that shaped the way we live now.  And it’s all in a day’s work for your average, ordinary, time-traveling bookshop. Please help us bring the past and future together - Singularity loves company.

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