The Bookshelf Archive

- webzine columns by Hart Williams -

before SALON, before SLATE, a pioneering
webzine that was a bit too far ahead of its time ...

 ... Long, long ago, (about a year or so, in Web Time*) I was contacted by a gentleman who was putting together an online 'zine. It was called Webzine Weekly, which quickly became WebZine, and came out monthly. We won a "Top 5% of the Web" from Point Communications (the review is probably still there) and churgled forward, groping blindly towards literary immortality.

[*1996 - ed.]

But the original intent was, evidently, beyond its time: to syndicate several columns, to make money off the web. Well, like the Stanley Steamer, it was ahead of its time, and behind, and it is gone.

But my Santa Fe Sun columns were archived there, and I find that now the archive has crumbled to cyber-dust, and I must, therefore replace it. Fortunately, I downloaded the archived columns in anticipation of just such a day, and present (with minor modifications) the original archived columns, including the infamous "Rama: Lama? Ding-dong?" column, which is archived at several other areas of the Web.

Why? Because, I think, I have a long track record of being ahead of the times, ahead of the breaking story, and this is just another example. In other words, I was one of the only reviewers in the country to cover the damned thing, even though it was getting massive radio advertising, and had glowing quotes from famous people about how great it was -- until the Washington Post exposť and the WIRED exposť and the ... well, you get the idea.

Suddenly, blurbs were withdrawn. This, then, is my little book column that I started when I was living at St. Elizabeth's Shelter for the Homeless in Santa Fe, sans typewriter, sans anything but the knowledge of how to review, and how to write.

Perhaps there's a lesson in that, somewhere.

1997 © Hart Williams

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Presented as the originally appeared on-line (more or less)

1. Olympics, Spies, Maps and 'Kink' (August 96)
2. The Emperor's New Clothes, Part III
3. The Obligatory O.J. Column
4. History Reconsidered
5. Rama: Lama? Ding-dong?
This was a rather famous column. It is archived several places, by request & permission,  including The Ex-Cult Resource Center
6. Theodore Sturgeon as Yoda, Or The Empire Strikes Back
7. A Surfeit of Soothsayers (commentary)
8. The Amazing Djuna

The vorpal blade went snicker snack!

1. Criticism 2. Stories 3. Politics 4. Miscellany
5. Reportage 6. Virtual Santa Fe
7. The Secret Page

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for over a decade now!

last updated 02 Jun 2007