"merril collection"

To do in Toronto: the Retro Futures exhibit at Metro Reference Library

Toronto's Metro Reference Library is hosting a Retro Futures exhibition until July 28, filled with exhibits from the collection of the Merril Collection (previously), the largest science fiction reference collection in any public library in the world. Read the rest

Charitable Giving Guide 2018

Boing Boing

Here's a guide to the charities the Boingers support in our own annual giving. Please add the causes and charities you give to in the forums!

Friends of the Merril Collection I'm on the board of the charity that fundraises for Toronto's Merril Collection, a part of the Toronto Public Library system that is also the world's largest public collection of science fiction, fantasy and related works (they archive my papers). Since its founding by Judith Merril, the Merril Collection has been a hub for creators, fans, and scholars. I wouldn't be a writer today if not for the guidance of its Writer in Residence when I was a kid. —CD

The Tor Project The Tor anonymity and privacy tools are vital to resistance struggles around the world, a cooperative network that provides a high degree of security from scrutiny for people who have reasons to fear the powers that be. From our early hominid ancestors until about ten years ago, humans didn't leave behind an exhaust-trail of personally identifying information as they navigated the world -- Tor restores that balance. —CD

Planned Parenthood Because we deserve health care, including reproductive, gender, and sexual health care. Because access to birth control and safe abortion is a human right. Because Trump's regime wants to destroy all of this. —XJ

Software Freedom Conservancy Software Freedom Conservancy does the important, boring, esoteric work of keeping the internet from tearing itself to pieces, playing host organization to free software projects like Git, Selenium and Samba (to name just three). Read the rest

Romance writers sought for library residency at my former Toronto workplace

I was a teenaged page at the North York Central Library in suburban Toronto, working in the Business and Urban Affairs section, shelving books, taping together newspapers while we waited for their microfilm versions to arrive, and fiddling around with the newly installed (and poorly documented) computerised catalogue/lending system -- I worked there with many other would-be writers, like Nalo Hopkinson, who was a public service clerk a few floors down. Read the rest

The story of how sf writer and editor Judith Merril founded Toronto's astounding sf reference library and changed the city

My middle-school used to take us on field trips to the Spaced Out Library, the Toronto Public Library's science fiction reference collection founded by legendary author, critic, editor and activist Judith Merril, who emigrated to Canada after witnessing the police brutality at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention. Read the rest

Toronto's amazing science fiction library, the Merril Collection, has a new head librarian

It's been decades since I first discovered my love of science fiction on a school trip to the "Spaced Out Library," the public science fiction reference collection founded by Judith Merril -- that day, I met both Merril (who went on to be a mentor to me) and Lorna Toolis, who has just stepped down as head of the library, which grew in stature and changed names, becoming the Merril Collection of Science Fiction. Read the rest

Toronto's public library under threat from Rob Ford's Library Board

The Toronto Library Board appointed by the disgraced former mayor Rob Ford has continued its programme of cutting library budgets, cutting way past the bone and threatening the Toronto public library system altogether. Read the rest

Cory in Seattle tomorrow, then PDX and SFO, for Homeland tour

Correction: The Borderlands event is on Feb 7, not Feb 8.

As this post goes live, I am on a plane from London to Seattle to kick off the tour for Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother. My first stop is tomorrow (Feb 5) night, at the Seattle Public Library, and then I head to Portland for Feb 6, where I'll be at Powell's in Beaverton. Then it's off to San Francisco, where I'll be at Booksmith on Feb 7, and Borderlands on Feb 8.

There's a lot more cities on this US tour, mostly in the warm spots (we're trying to minimize weather delays, because the schedule is so tight). And though it's not on the calendar yet, I'll be Lawrence, KS on Feb 28 at the Kansas Union's Alderson Auditorium at 7:30 and in Toronto on Mar 1 for a presentation at the Merril Collection at 7PM.

If you're wondering what the book's all about, The Oregonian ran an interview with me this weekend about the book:

A couple of years ago, it occurred to me that the emergency had become permanent. Declaring war on an abstract noun like "terror" meant that we would forever be on a war footing, where any dissent was characterized as treason, where justice was rough and unaccountable, where the relationship of the state to its citizens would grow ever more militarized.

But this permanent emergency didn't have any visible battlefront -- it was a series of largely invisible crises in the form of brutal prosecutorial overreach, police crackdowns, ubiquitous surveillance, merciless debt-hounding and repossession.

Read the rest

Cheapskates love libraries (it's mutual)

This series is brought to you by TurboTax Federal Free Edition.

Libraries aren't just the mark of a civilized society -- assembling, curating and disseminating knowledge to all comers! -- they're also a cheapskate's best friend. Anyone who's interested in saving money probably already knows about the free Internet access, daily newspapers, DVD and audiobook borrowing, and book lending (duh). But local libraries go beyond that -- many host community meetings, book readings for kids, author signings, and workshops, as well as providing free or low-cost meeting spaces.

My favorite cheapskate pro-tip for libraries is asking reference librarians really hard, chewy questions. For example, any time I have a question about science fiction literature ("When did William Gibson first utter 'The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed'?" or "What was the time atomic weapons appeared in science fiction?") I ask the librarians at the Merril Collection, Toronto's incredible science fiction reference library, whose librarians are ninjas in such matters. But it's not just esoterica: many's the time I've walked into a good library and asked the reference librarians for help with something really chewy -- the sort of thing I might otherwise pay a researcher to find. Unlike a paid researcher, reference librarians usually don't just give you the answer, but rather take you by the hand and guide you through the use of library resources (including proprietary databases that aren't accessible over your home Internet connection), giving you an education in problem-solving as well as the solution to your problem. Read the rest

Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide, 2011 edition

It's time again for Boing Boing's guide the charities we support in our annual giving. As always, please add the causes and charities you give to in the comments below!

Electronic Frontier Foundation The EFF's mission has never been more important: as laws like SOPA are rammed through Congress, as bloggers around the world are arrested and tortured with the collusion of American network-surveillance companies, and as the FBI's unconstitutional, warrantless use of surveillance technology like GPS bugs comes to light, EFF is poised to be center-stage in the fight for a free and open world with a free and open Internet. —CD

Creative Commons Creative Commons has permeated my life in a thousand ways -- on Boing Boing and in my writing, Creative Commons is responsible for how I get the job done and how I get paid for it. CC's advocacy of a nuanced, intelligent position on creativity and sharing changes the lives of creators, educators, scientists, scholars, and kids, all over the world. —CD Read the rest

Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide, the 2010 edition

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Boing Boing's charitable giving guide has become a seasonal tradition of ours, listing the charities we personally support and want to give more attention to. As in previous years, we invite you to add your own favorite charities in the comments section.

Last year, the econopocalypse gave the charitable sector a rough holiday season. A year on, improvements are slow to come. But many of these charities help keep the world fair, free and healthy, so please spare what you can.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

It seems like every year, EFF's reason for existence becomes more self-evident: from Wikileaks-panic censorship to cozy telcoms deals to scuttle network neutrality to scary evoting mysteries to more warrantless wiretapping... EFF was founded by people who realized that the electronic world would quickly become as important as the real world for many aspects of our lives, and that the civil liberties battles we've fought in "real life" would have to be fought all over again online, by technically skilled, principled people. EFF always gets my biggest donation -- because our future is riding on it.

Creative Commons:

Creative Commons has permeated my life in a thousand ways -- on Boing Boing and in my writing, Creative Commons is responsible for how I get the job done and how I get paid for it. CC's advocacy of a nuanced, intelligent position on creativity and sharing changes the lives of creators, educators, scientists, scholars, and kids, all over the world. Read the rest

The Master Switch: Tim "Net Neutrality" Wu explains what's at stake in the battle for net freedom

Tim Wu's The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires is as fascinating, wide-ranging, and, ultimately, inspiring book about communications policy and the information industries as you could hope to find. This is, of course, no surprise: Wu is one of America's great information policy scholars and communicators, probably best known for coining the term "Net Neutrality" (like many great Americans, Tim is, in fact, Canadian -- we attended the same elementary school in Toronto, where we enthusiastically traded Apple ][+ software and killed each others' D&D characters).

Wu's great strength is in the breadth of his scholarship and in his ability to use humor, clear language, and innovative arguments to connect diverse ideas. Thus in Master Switch, we have a brilliant explanation and history of what Wu calls "the Cycle," through which information industries rise, consolidate, monopolize, capture governments, force out competitors, and, eventually, fragment into something less grandiose, less perfect, but more vibrant, open, and innovative.

Wu connects the industrial and informational monopolies of AT&T, the film trust, the exhibitors monopoly, the radio monopoly, the fight over FM, the censorship of the Hays Code for film-makers, the liberation of the Hayes Code for operating modems, the dashed hopes for a diverse and vibrant cable TV landscape, and, ultimately, the invention of the Internet. On the way, he makes a convincing case that information industries are different -- the basis for every political revolution, every genocide, a "claim that can't be made of orange juice, heating oil, running shoes, or dozens of other industries."

The uniqueness of communications as an industry means that regulation and markets fail more often around them, and that the failures are worse. Read the rest

Guestbook from the Merril Collection, Toronto's science fiction reference library

More scenes from a book-tour: last night I wrapped up this leg of the tour (I'll be back in the US at the end of June for American Library Association and Copynight in DC, as well as an appearance at Red Emma's, co-sponsored by Baltimore Node). The final stop was my hometown, Toronto, at the Merril Collection, the largest public science fiction reference collection in the world (it was stupendous, with a huge crowd of friends old and new).

Which brings me to this photo. The Merril has a beautiful guestbook with signatures from the members of the public and the science fiction luminaries who visited over the years. When we visited it as a class in 1983 (a transformational event in my life), we all signed the guestbook. Last night, I had a long peruse through the book (lingering over the signatures from the likes of Theodore Sturgeon!) and found this page, with the names of all my school-chums from grade 7. Also note the signature from "Timmy" Wu, who now goes by Tim Wu, and is the excellent writer and thinker who (among other things), came up with the term "Net Neutrality."

The guestbook is nearly full after several decades, and about to be replaced with a new, equally lovely hand-made number. If you're in Toronto, be sure to visit the Merril and ask to see it (as well as the rest of the wonderful collection). They also archive all my manuscripts (along with many other writers'), along with lots of other really fascinating material. Read the rest

Coming to Toronto tonight!

Hey, Toronto! I'm coming home tonight for the Canadian launch of For the Win! I'll see you at 6:30PM at the Merril Collection on the lower level of the Lillian H. Smith Building, 239 College Street, just east of Spadina. Read the rest

Coming to Toronto this Friday

Just a reminder: I'll be in Toronto this Friday, June 4 for the Canadian launch of For the Win. We're launching it at the Merril Collection (239 College Ave, east of Spadina), starting 6:30PM. The good folks from Bakka-Phoenix Books will be on-hand with hardcopies to buy, as well. Read the rest

A perfect marvel of vacuous malice

More scenes from a book-tour. Today I had the extreme pleasure and honor of being one of three authors who presented at the Book Expo America Children's Book and Author Breakfast, along with Mitali Perkins and Richard Peck. The session was chaired by Sarah Ferguson, the British Royal who, in addition to writing kids' books, was also recently the center of a pay-for-influence scandal broken by a British tabloid.

Afterwards, we all went over to the trade-show floor to sign books, and, as you might expect, Ferguson was mobbed by aggressive paparazzi. From my vantage point, it looked like they were being incredibly obnoxious, and the enterprising gentleman pictured here actually came over, barged into the queue for my signing, and stuck his telephoto lens between me and the person whose book I was signing so he could get pics of Fergie. When I told him that this was obnoxious, he was affronted and argumentative.

I know that being jerky and shameless go with the territory when we're talking about paps, but just look at the shit-eating grin on display here. It is truly a marvel of perfect vacuous malice. Or, as they say in the New Yorker: "Christ, what an asshole."

Luckily, that was the only sour note in an otherwise brilliant day, during which I met vast numbers of Boing Boing readers. Many thanks to all of you who came up and introduced yourselves! I hope to see more of you at my remaining NYC stops: powerhouse Books, (May 27, 7:30PM) and McNally Jackson (May 28, 7PM). Read the rest

NYC: For the Win tour-stops

Hey, New York! I'm in town for the next-to-last stop of my book-tour for my new YA novel For the Win, and I'll be at:

* Books of Wonder, May 26, 6-8PM * powerhouse Books, May 27, 7:30PM * McNally Jackson, May 28, 7PM

The tour ends on June 4 in Toronto, with a stop at the Merril Collection -- can't wait to see you! (full schedule)

Reminder: There are plenty of libraries, schools, halfway houses and shelters hoping you'll donate a book to them. Read the rest

Cardboard homebrew irising mechanism

More scenes from a book-tour: Boing Boing reader Jason Baker saw this morning's post on the homebrew irising peephole mechanism, so he banged up this awesome facsimile out of cardboard and hot glue and fishing line and pushpins and brought it to today's signing at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC (thanks to all the awesome folks who turned out!).

Tomorrow, I head to NYC: Books of Wonder (May 26, 6PM); Brooklyn's Powerhouse Books (May 27, 7:30); and McNally Jackson (May 28, 7PM). The tour wraps in Toronto on June 4 with an event at the Merril Collection at 7PM. ( Full tour schedule)

Reminder: There's plenty of libraries and schools and such that are hoping you'll donate a copy of For the Win to them!

Mechanical irising peephole mechanism Read the rest

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