Science fiction's Islamic roots


From Ibn Tufail's 12th century Hayy Ibn Yaqzan to Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain's 1905 feminist masterpiece Sultana's Dream, the Islamic world produced some of the earliest proto-sf, which IO9's Charlie Jane Anders rounds up in an excellent post.

Read the rest

William Gibson reads Neuromancer

It's from the original audio edition of his seminal 1984 novel, which is sadly no longer available, though it's easy enough to find bootlegs online.

Read the rest

Vintage ads for ill-advised pets-by-mail


This weekend in the Vintage Ads LJ: a treasury of horrifying ads for pets-by-mail: Sea Monkeys, monkeys and baby raccoons, "performing" chameleons, ant farms (with magnifying glass -- eww) and more.

Read the rest

Viewmaster reels for the old D&D cartoon show

Matt writes, "I found these old Dungeons & Dragons TV-show View-Master reels on Internet Archive and made a slide show, complete with the 'ka-chunk' noise the old View-Master toy made."

Read the rest

Michigan State Fair program book, 1967


The program book for the 1967 Michigan State Fair is a slice of heaven -- like the Schoolhouse Rock kids have gone to the carny for the day.

Lamps made from old game consoles, controllers and accessories


Woody from Oshkosh, WI, makes amazing lamps out of old gaming gear: there's lamps made from NES lightguns, ROB the Robot and Powergloves; stacks of obsolete Nintendo controllers; stacks of obsolete Playstation controllers; NES and controllers; and a PS1 and controllers.

Read the rest

Rod Serling's closing remarks from "The Obsolete Man"

Robbo writes, "This was the closing monologue from The Twilight Zone epsiode "The Obsolete Man" - where Rod Serling sums up the realities behind and flaws within any tyranny - and, as with almost all things Serling, it remains profoundly prescient and relevant."

(Thanks, Robbo!)

Glimpses: amazing audiobook of one of the all-time-great rock-n-roll novels

Cory Doctorow rates Lewis Shiner’s haunting Glimpses as one of the all-time great rock-n-roll novels, right up there with George RR Martin’s stupendous Armageddon Rag. It’s now available as an audiobook, and he’s delighted.

Read the rest

First-ever Disneyland ticket


Mikayakatnt posted this image of the first Disneyland gate-ticket ever sold, from opening day, July 17, 1955.

Read the rest

Henry Kuttner: long-lost works of a Lovecraft acolyte

Kuttner met his wife, the writer CL Moore, through a mutual correspondence with HP Lovecraft; when he died, she became his literary executor, then married a non-writer who ordered her to stop writing, and insisted that she suppress future publication of Kuttner's work -- but now you can get 14 of his books as ebooks.

Read the rest

How Gary Gygax lost control over D&D and TSR


Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World, tells the gripping tale of how Gary Gygax lost control over TSR and Dungeons and Dragons, ousted by his business partners after a series of miscalculations and mistakes.

Read the rest

Classic Omni art and articles gallery


Neeraj writes, "The Museum of Science Fiction in D.C. Has launched its first curated online gallery as part of our partnership with OMNI Reboot."

Read the rest

The Shadow Hero: giving an origin story to comics' first Asian-American superhero

Gene Luen Yang has made comics history with his graphic novels about race and identity, now, with Sonny Liew, he goes back in time to reinvent the first Asian superhero in the history of comics. Cory Doctorow reviews The Shadow Hero and presents an exclusive excerpt.

Read the rest

Side-scroller life-lessons


Owl Turd's most recent webcomic, We Go Forward, has a surprising barb hidden in its lighthearted parable about life considered as a side-scroller. It brought me up sharply this morning when I read it, and I can't get it out of my mind.