Penthouse magazine no longer to be printed

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Penthouse, the long-running men's magazine founded by Bob Guccione in 1969, is to cease publication in print. The Wall Street Journal reports that it would be "reimagined" as an online-only affair.
“Reimagined for the preferred consumption of content today by consumers, the digital version of Penthouse Magazine will combine and convert everything readers know and love about the print magazine experience to the power of a digital experience,” publisher FriendFinder Network said in a statement.

It once sold 5m copies a month, went under in 2004, and was bought by online hookups 'n' porn network FriendFinder—which itself went under in 2013. Its circulation figures aren't known, but was shifting about 200k last time figures were released in the 2000s. Read the rest

Hong Kong's dissident publishing workers are disappearing, possibly kidnapped to mainland

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Five employees of the publisher Mighty Current and its retail arm, Causeway Bay Bookstore, have disappeared from Hong Kong, and pro-democracy leaders say that they were kidnapped to the mainland by PRC security forces in retaliation for publishing books critical of the Chinese government. Read the rest

Owners of 20,000 print books can get discounted audiobook bundles

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Peter from Shelfie writes, "Shelfie has announced a partnership with Findaway to add 20,000 audiobooks to its print to digital bundling service. This news comes on top of the recent announcement that it will be adding nearly 100,000 titles for DRM-free bundling from Springer." Read the rest

Springer Nature to release 100,000 titles as DRM-free bundles

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Peter from Shelfie writes, "In a press release on Digital Book World, Springer Nature has announced a partnership with Vancouver start-up Shelfie (BitLit) to offer digital bundles on over 100,000 titles from their catalog." Read the rest

Humble Bundle's Prime Sci-Fantasy Bundle

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The latest Humble Ebook Bundle features 15 DRM-free ebooks, with works by Fritz Leiber, Kelly Link, Mary Robinette Kowal, Neil Gaiman, Peter Beagle, Madeline L'Engle and many others -- name your price and how much you'd like to divert to charities, including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Science Fiction Writers of America's Givers Fund, and Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders. Read the rest

Scholars and activists stand in solidarity with shuttered research-sharing sites

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This week, the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier filed suit against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis, two sites where academics and researchers practiced civil disobedience by sharing the academic papers that Elsevier claims -- despite having acquired the papers for free from researchers, and despite having had them refereed and overseen by editorial boards staffed by more volunteering academics. Read the rest

Everything is miscellaneous: why publishing needs tagging

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Walk into a bookstore, and chances are you’ll see books divided into sections by genre. Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Mystery, and so on. It’s the most common system of categorizing books, conversationally and from the data-management perspective of the book world. Genre is also incredibly limiting at times.

There are dozens upon dozens of subgenres across the genres of popular fiction (Romance, Crime, and Science Fiction/Fantasy, plus some others). Science Fiction gets sliced up into Space Opera, Mundane SF, Hard SF, Cyberpunk, Dieselpunk, etc. These subgenres can get hard to keep track of, especially since their boundaries are often porous, and even life-long fans often disagree on the borders between sub-genres, policing them inefficiently but with gusto. At times it’s fun to argue classifications, try to find exactly the right place to frame a piece so that its cultural and narrative context is most clear. And narrow sub-genres can be useful for putting works into clusters for conversation, but it’s also really easy to slice so thin that the discussion becomes obscure or self-serving rather than practical.

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Kickstarting a new science fiction magazine from the propietors of Singularity & Co

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The people behind Brooklyn's brilliant science fiction bookstore Singularity & Co are looking to raise $60,000 to launch a new science fiction quarterly magazine called the Tycho Journal. Read the rest

Alan Moore's advice to unpublished authors

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Alan "Watchmen" Moore, the Wizard of Northampton, gives some frank advice to beginning writers at a Q&A at a 2011 an anti-library-closure protest at St James Library, Northampton, UK. Read the rest

GIFs, texts, serials: new ebook frontiers

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In the decade since publishing embraced ebooks in earnest, we've seen a cornucopia of exciting and innovative ways technology is being used to enhance reading. By utilizing all the tricks at our Internet- and device-savvy disposal, publishing companies are creating stories that are manifested in and influenced by the digital platform. Read the rest

Copyfraud: Anne Frank Foundation claims father was "co-author," extends copyright by decades

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The Anne Frank Foundation -- a Swiss nonprofit that supports children's charities and provides a stipend to gentiles who hid Jews during WWII -- has claimed that Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, is the legal co-author of her diaries, a move that will have the effect of extending copyright on the diaries to at least 2030. Read the rest

Make: Humble Bundle: name your price for books for makers

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The latest Humble Ebook Bundle features Make: books from "Planes, Gliders, and Paper Rockets" to "Bicycle Projects" to the "Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments" -- 17 titles in all, with more to come. Name your price and get $200+ worth of ebooks, with charitable donations to the Maker Ed projects. Read the rest

The Economist's anti-ad-blocking tool was hacked and infected readers' computers

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Pagefair is an ad-blocking circumvention tool that publishers can use to track readers who've taken technological countermeasures to protect their privacy. The company has sold its service to many publishers -- including the Economist -- by deploying moral arguments about the evils of ad-blocking. Read the rest

Spy at will! FCC won't force companies to honor Do Not Track

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The FCC has rejected Consumer Watchdog's petition to force Internet companies like "Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn") to honor the "Do Not Track" flag that browsers can send to web-servers, informing them that users do not want their Internet activity to be tracked and shared with third parties. Read the rest

Mothership Zeta: a new science fiction zine from the creators of the Escape Pod podcast

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Mur Lafferty writes, "Mothership Zeta is the first ezine project to come out of Escape Artists (publisher of podcast magazines Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Podcastle). We are an ebook-only zine that focuses on new fiction with a fun theme, along with nonfiction from experts in science fiction, science, and more!"

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Shortly after Murdoch buys National Geographic, he fires its award-winning journalists

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When the climate-change denier/evil billionaire bought National Geographic, National Geographic Society CEO Greg Knell promised that "there won’t be an [editorial] turn in a direction that is different form the National Geographic heritage." This week, the company fired some of its most senior, decorated staff. Read the rest

Good grief, the Humble Peanuts Bundle has $171 worth of DRM-free Charlie Brown books

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The latest Humble Books Bundle features more than 11 Peanuts collections and storybooks, including "Waiting for the Great Pumpkin," "Snoopy vs the Red Baron," "Snoopy's Thanksgiving," "The Complete Peanuts 1950-52 v1" and volumes 1-6 of the Peanuts collections. Name your price, support two great charities (The Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund) and get $171 worth of DRM-free comics to treasure on any device you own, now and forever! Read the rest

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