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"May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books." -Thomas Carlyle

Welcome to my virtual book collection. Since collecting actual books is somewhat cost-prohibitive, I've begun to amass all of the books I would love to have if I had the means. Some are new, lots are old, all are unique or beautiful or unusual or in some other way have captured my fancy. Enjoy browsing!

Special Collections: Fine Bindings ~ Fairies and Fairy Tales ~ Terror and Madness ~ Poetry ~ Food, Drink and Apothecary ~ Science Fiction ~ Illuminations, Lettering and Hand-Coloring ~ Magic ~ Supernatural and Occult ~ Alchemy ~ Science and Technical ~ Maritime ~ Costumes ~ Humor ~ Children's books ~ Legend of King Arthur ~ Americana ~ 18th Century ~ 19th Century

Authors and illustrators: Edgar Allan Poe ~ Jules Verne ~ Edmund Dulac ~ Kay Nielsen ~ Arthur Rackham ~ Edward Gorey ~ Charles Dickens ~ H.P. Lovecraft ~ William Hope Hodgson ~ Mark Twain ~ Lewis Carroll ~ Salvador Dali ~ George Cruikshank ~ Emily Dickinson ~ Geoffrey Chaucer ~ H.G. Wells

R.U.R. Rossum’s Universal Robots.
Karel Capek. Prague: Aventinum, 1920.

First edition of the book which coined the word ‘Robot’. Capek’s dramatic exploration of advancing automation, and the near-universal fear of machines supplanting humans, was an immediate worldwide success. R.U.R. premiered in Prague early in 1921, was performed in New York in 1922, and issued in English translation in 1923. It was eventually translated into all the major languages. This copy shows annotation suggesting that it was used by an actor playing the role of Dr Gall. This copy appears to be in a variant binding with a cloth spine. Origins of Cyberspace 249.

B-A Note: According to wired.com, this play first premiered on January 25, 1921 - which will now be recorded in my calendar as “Robots’ Birthday”. Also, according to Google, it was not Karel Capek that coined the term but rather his brother, Josef Capek.

Again from wired:

"The robots in Capek’s play are not mechanical men made of metal; instead they are molded out of a chemical batter and they look exactly like humans. Each robot costs the equivalent of $150 and "can do the work of two-and-a-half human laborers," so that humans might be free to have "no other task, no other work, no other cares" than perfecting themselves.

However, the robots come to realize that even though they have “no passion, no history, no soul,” they are stronger and smarter than humans. They kill every human but one.”

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