cover image, Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman (dark mode edition)

Frankenstein and Sappho are served up. anarchist lit in the deep fryer

The literary scene on Cardano is building infrastructure. So if you hear jackhammers in the distance, pardon the noise. That sound is just a handful of people getting up at (or staying up to) wee hours to turn your wallet into a bookshelf.

A couple weeks ago I published 10 million copies of Frankenstein as a fungible token (FT) on Cardano. The following morning I had a great opportunity to talk about it in the Tokhun Breakfast Twitter Space hosted by Tokhun’s community manager CardanoNoodz. And there was someone else listening with similar ideas.

Recently I’ve met a few other people who want to do the same thing, which is an amazing thing for Cardano. And there is also a bookstore project called BOOKtoken that allows you to mint encrypted on-chain books for 180 Ada each.

cover illustration for Frankenstein (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley). Cardano edition

This is the cover art for the dark mode web novel edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I’ll mint this as a limited-edition NFT with additional art — when I get a chance to make the art. I don’t know about you, but I miss interior illustrations in novels. They should all have them — why is it not so?

screenshot of dark mode press edition of Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
letters are displayed in a monospace font to avoid the repetitive use of quotation marks

A week ago I also published The Poems of Sappho. I thought it would be a simple matter of using the pre tag to do the indentation, but that resulted in the ends of some lines being cut off and I would have had to add vertical and horizontal scroll bars. Obviously that wouldn’t be great UX on a phone, so I had to define classes for 40px and 80px left margins and manually wrap each indented line in a span with one of the classes.

cover image for The Poems of Sappho, dark mode press edition
the home page

screenshot of poems from Sapphics

screenshot of poem in web book next to its HTML code
manually formatted indents
screenshot of menu/table of contents in The Poems of Sappho
the menu is the table of contents

I’m not normally a fan of poetry. I like direct language. Most poetry, to me, is like a paisley pattern to a person who likes solid colors. But I can see why Plato called Sappho the 10th muse and why the Roman Catholic church condemned her work.

That last part makes me want to decentralize literature lately. Things have totally gone off the rails and we never know when some despotic nut job will do away with the first amendment. So naturally, in terms of future publications, I want to help protect work I think is important but might be vulnerable to censorship.

cover image, Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman (dark mode edition)

Here’s something I love and am working on now. Emma Goldman’s fiery indictment of capitalism, the church, and the state, Anarchism and Other Essays.

This is my third and favorite format for the home page. It looks better on all the screen sizes than the first two. I’m especially happy with how it fits a tablet screen. Pool.pm’s display window is that size, so I have to design for tablets as much as I need to design for phones.

screenshot: home page of Anarchism and Other Essays (Emma Goldman) web book NFT
home page on desktop
screenshot: mobile view of Anarchism web book home page
mobile view
screenshot: tablet view of Anarchism web book home page
tablet view

This is my first book with footnotes, and I think footnotes are an abomination. So I had to decide how to handle those in a way that makes it not annoying as hell to get the information. But with HTML I can just build them in as tooltips or modals, and there will be no scrolling up and down and losing your place.

I’ve spent the last week combing through public domain book shelves, formatting and line-editing books for typos and leftover page numbers. Deleting non-breaking spaces. Resolving HTML and styling issues. Making cover art. Choosing colors and typefaces.

Why the hell didn’t I start doing this a long time ago?

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